Monday Morning in Bird World

26 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that the start of your week has been a good one. It is 10 degrees C this morning and the birds in the garden are not happy. The men have come to put the skirting on the conservatory and they have a big saw. It is not very appealing! I did work outside and have moved in the some hot pink trumpet plants to reside inside along with the Hibiscus. Perhaps it will feel like a tropical paradise on the coldest days of winter. It is supposed to be excellent weather for the goose and duck flight arrivals as migration truly gets underway this week. Sandhill cranes have been spotted south of me and the honking and quacking at the ponds around the City is louder each night.

In the Mailbox:

‘L’ sends us a joyful little video she found showing ducks, swans, geese, flying.

‘A’ wonders if there are any raptors unique to Australia.

That is a great question since we are primarily looking at nests with eggs or youngsters pre-fledge in Australia right now. I cannot, at the first instance, think of a single raptor that is unique to Australia. One might think of the largest eagle, the Wedge-tail as living in Australia only it doesn’t. I have pulled out Penny Olsen’s Australian Birds of Prey to scour over today and this evening with hopefully an answer tomorrow.

If you are looking for information on Australian raptors, you can do not better than Penny Olsen. The book is sadly out of print and should be revised and reissued. If you happen to be able to find a copy, it is worth gold so hang on to it. The information is detailed and Olsen has a very interesting way of making data seem quite interesting. Very informative book and there seem to be a couple available at a very decent price on an on-line Australian bookseller. Just Google the name of the book if you are interested. Should be in everyone’s library – and not just those interested in Australian raptors as it covers raptors that reside around the world.

Many of you will have watched the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest of Harry and Nancy. Harry did not return to the nest and Nancy raised one eaglet to fledge. The other was pushed off the nest by its older sibling and subsequently had to be euthanized. Well, Nancy has been photographed on the nest with a new male interest. Congratulations, Nancy!

Another study for the reintroduction of the White-tailed Eagle to Cumbria:

Farmers are putting out water in the UK for all manner of wildlife. For us, living in other places, it is essential that the birds – songbirds, raptors, all of them, have water. They need it to rehydrate themselves while they are feeding so that they can have a safe and healthy flight – so please, keep the water out!

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-suffolk-62575058?fbclid=IwAR33H4tIitpYoIDG2Ixm-33435ppk3e-bU5t6W2DpENpWwg5rDniU_ZaYkU

The Swiss were set to be the first European country to ban factory farming on the 25th of September. Instead, they voted to retain the practice.

Nest News:

I could watch Samson and Gabby working on their nest in Northeast Florida all day. The moving the big sticks, the negotiating (or not) where they should go, and then moving them again. What an absolutely privilege to be able to see these two prepare for another breeding season.

They are an absolute riot – these two -you can laugh yourself absolutely silly for 10 or 15 minutes in one of these sessions especially if Samson brings in one of his huge twigs.

Thunder visited her nest at the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands Sunday morning. She brought in a fish, ate it, and sunned herself on the rock. Isn’t she gorgeous?

SE29 has walked up to the branch of the White-bellied Sea Eagles in the Sydney Olympic Forest. This is not ‘branching’ – the eagles need to fly up to the branch but, we are getting close!

Dad brought in an enormous fish that has supplied the fish from Mum and the three osplets at Port Lincoln for four meals! Little Bob did miss a meal and sometimes he just gets turned in the wrong direction but, when he is up there he is getting full. Mum is fantastic at figuring out the feeding order.

Dad brought in more fish and at the end of the day, Little Bob had eaten so much fish and his crop was so big he could hardly stand up. Now isn’t that incredible.

Look carefully at the top image. There is Big Bob. Notice the head. After the chicks lose their fine light grey down they move into the reptilian phase. To me, they look like they have attended Carnival in Grenada and been out the morning when people throw oil, paint, or mud at one another as a way of freeing themselves from the past and in celebration of the new. That day is called J’ouvert and it marks the beginning of Carnival. Sometimes people dress as red and blue devils as they parade through the streets — and I always remind myself that it is in this phase that the older siblings can become unruly and domineering. Fingers crossed for Port Lincoln. Mum and Dad are doing fantastic and Little Bob is eating – not always at every meal – but, well.

It appears that the female at the 367 Collins Street scrape is accepting food gifts and that the bearer of those gifts is also on the ledge, sometimes in view of the camera and sometimes not. It appears that this is male 2. I stand to be corrected. The ID of the male falcons is very difficult unless you can see their neck!

The male arrived with a prey item when the female was off the eggs. He waited and then flew off with it. The exchange, if it took place, was off camera. Mum did not return for a few minutes so it is possible she was munching away on that nice food gift.

He is clearly looking for the female and he has made no indication of any attempt to try and harm the eggs. All of this is good news especially if the old male is no longer ‘in the picture’ and if those are the ‘old male’s eggs’. I will happily be corrected that this is the old male….

Peregrine Falcon males are, thus, quite interesting in their behaviours. If this is male 2 accepting the eggs and helping to raise the eyases (yet of course to be seen), then he grows a growing list of males that will help a female raise a clutch in order to gain the female and the territory. We know of both Alden and Xavier and studies in the UK have indicated that even fledglings of another year have worked to help with a clutch. These falcons get more unique. I would love to hear your stories if you have any examples.

Earlier in the day a male – I still cannot see the neck and the line that male 2 has – is on the ledge.

This is male 2 in the image below with the female. I believe then it is also male 2 in the image above that frequented the ledge several times on Monday (in Australia).

Diamond gave us a good look at the eggs when she left for a break today. Wonder where Xavier is??? He is missing eggie time.

1at the Captiva Osprey Nest in Florida, Lena is having nothing to do with the young male who keeps showing up. He has been dubbed ‘Romeo’ because of the small heart on his chest.

Migration News:

I want to begin with the news from the family of Karl II, the Black Storks from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. There is good news over the past couple of days. The father, Karl II, normally spends much time in the area around Odessa in Ukraine. When we last had a signal transmission from him, he was known to be in the area of heavy fighting on the Dnipro River in Kherson Oblast. Karl II survived! he flew 361 km after deciding he did not wish to stay in Odessa to Olanesti in Romania. He is very near where his mate, Kaia, is. Tears are flowing.

Bonus, the foster storklet from the nest of Jan and Janikka, is also in Romania! So three from the nest – Karl II, Kaia, and Bonus – were safely in Romania, out of Ukraine, on the 25th. Waba is in Moldova.

Here is a crazy colourful map to show you where they are in relation to one another.

It is hard to imagine how dangerous it is for the birds that must migrate back and forth to their winter and spring homes.

You can see what I am talking about in the bright white going right down the centre of North America. Where I live we are in the yellow area. Those light areas are beginning to spread eastward.

Oh, it is joyful to hear that Karl II and his family are safe. I find it very interesting that they flew west and got out of Ukraine. We must be watching for hatch at Melbourne. The eyases can be heard, close to hatch, and I have noticed – and perhaps you have also – that the female is looking at the eggs sometimes. Today is the 27th and it is the first day of hatch watch for these urban falcons. We will mark down the 1-3 of October for Xavier and Diamond. The Sea Eagles will be jumping up and down on the branches but let’s see which one flies up there first – and they must be working on self-feeding. These two truly do love Lady to feed them. By the end of the week all three of the osplets will look different – enjoy the last of that light grey fluff for now.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Everything seems to be going very well everywhere. What a relief. Perhaps I should not have said that! Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and posts where I took my screen captures: NEFL-AEF, Explore.Org and IWS, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Looduskalender, Stepmap.com, and BirdCast.

Cute little Sea Eagles, an angel of a step-Mum, and more in Bird World

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Good Morning Everyone. It is not raining! The sky is a beautiful blue, there is a breeze, and it will be a high of 27 today. That is the same temperature as at my son’s house in the Caribbean! Mr Blue Jay has come to visit the new bird bath and after having some big drinks jumps down to get a peanut. Too quick for me. Oh, there he is planting them in the gutter! Silly bird. I love those images of trees where the Blue Jays have pushed their stash into the grooves of the bark. I am surprised that Dyson is not around! Images are shot through a screen with my phone so not great, apologies. The glass in the sunroom also causes some very strange reflections.

White-bellied Sea Eagles live along the coastal waters of Australia, New Guinea and parts of Asia extending all the way to India. If you have ever been in Singapore you can see them at the harbour. You will find them along inland rivers as well. They are sometimes called the White-bellied or White-breasted Fish Hawk because, in many places, their diet consists of mostly fish. Unlike the Osprey who lives exclusively on fish (unless there is nothing else), the White-bellied Sea Eagles do eat birds and mammals.

Lady and Dad live in a typical stick nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Like other White-bellied Sea Eagles, Lady laid a clutch of two eggs. It is extremely rare to see a clutch of three like we do in Bald Eagle populations.

WBSE29 hatched on the 19th of July with WBSE30 hatching on the 20th. Incubation by Lady was deliberately delayed so that the hatches would be close together. During the first week of their life, the hatchlings will be covered with soft fluffy down. Their beaks are black; the little white spot on the end is the egg tooth. By day 7 the chicks will be sitting nicely, no more bobbing of the heads, etc. You may see some sibling rivalry.

The newly hatched chicks, once they are dried off, look like little snow people with arms. Darling.

Tumbling around. In a few days they will be ever steady on those cute pink legs.

The Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland is still causing some confusion over what is precisely happening on the nest but, I believe the mystery is now solved. The Mum has been very ill and on the nest yesterday, very tired and looking ill. (Mum of chicks has red Darvic ring – the Dad has a yellow ring). I have not seen her since. Maybe you have?

A female intruder and other visitors have been around. This is the female intruder eating some fish on the nest with the chicks. She does not have a Darvic ring. She is the one that pecked at the chicks and took their fish the other day, I think. Darvic rings are very helpful….we need all the birds to have them.

There is a fish delivery at 12:29. The chicks were calling as the adult came into view with their lunch. This is the female intruder bringing a fish to the two osplets. There is no Darvic ring on her leg.

The largest of the chicks mantles and gets the fish.

The female looks around.

The largest chick will enjoy some good fish. There has been fish all over the nest lots of it so neither are starving. This is a good thing. They prefer, of course, the fresh fish! I would, too. Sometimes the new female takes the fish and then brings it back.

The female flies off the nest and leaves the chick to eat.

It would appear that the one chick that got the fish is finishing the tail at 13:06. The other one did not eat but there is plenty of fish coming to the nest so no worries.

One would have to understand that the female has died or is dying. Is the father accepting the female for maybe next year? It appears that the two osplets will not perish but will thrive. They have another female helping. This reminds me of Alden moving in to help Annie. It is brilliant!———-I am glad that the confusion is turning into something good for this nest. I wonder then how many times will potential mates step in to help a single osprey family member? and help raise their chicks? Is this behaviour more common than we think?

‘H’ was able to get a great capture of the Exshaw nest at Canmore, Alberta. The camera has, for days, had condensation, so that we could not see the three chicks properly. Well, look at them this morning! They are doing fabulous. Thanks, ‘H’.

In the UK, the Belgravies Osprey nest has collapsed. I have no images but the juvenile is on the ground. No word if it survived the nest failure. So sad. So many issues with nests this year. It is a good opportunity to consider checking every single platform and nest that can be checked and refurbished/re-supported after breeding season this year.

Lindsay has been taking some lessons from her younger brother Grinnell Jr! BTW. I feel so blessed to be able to see these two darling fledglings as much as we have. Oh, we will miss them when they depart the area.

Fish deliveries were early on the Osoyoos nest. It is cooler but will be going up to a high of 35 C. A scorcher. You can see that both of the chicks have a nice crop in the image below including the younger one. I hope Mum got some nice bites too. So want this nest to succeed this year after the tragic ending to the 2021 season. Mum is fantastic. She will make sure that the pair of them are shaded as best she can from the heat of the sun this afternoon.

All around the UK and Europe, temperatures are climbing into numbers never before seen. I did not check all the temperatures in Scotland but their weather looks nicer – sitting at 23 degrees C. It looks like a gorgeous evening at the Loch of the Lowes. Both chicks have fledged and if you squint you can see Ospreys on the dead tree to the left. This is one of the favourite places for Laddie. One fledgling on the nest hoping for a fish delivery.

Loch Arkaig has its own microclimate. The two osplets of Dorcha and Louis are not panting…it looks like a good evening for them, also.

Louis arrives with a nice fish for everyone. How lovely. These chicks are also starting to work their wings.

Wales is cool also — at 22 C. Everyone is on the nest in the Glaslyn Valley – Mrs G and the kids – awaiting Aran with the evening delivery. I believe there is one more osplet left to fledge on the Glaslyn nest (Blue 499?).

I apologize for forgetting to report on the Ospreys nest in Estonia. I forget – lost in what is happening on the Black Stork nests. The three osplets of Ivo and Liris were ringed by Urmas. That took place two weeks ago. It is wonderful that this nest has osplets that are now fledging – no Goshaw issues!

Urmas is one of my great heroes. As ‘the’ ornithologist for Estonia, he is always thinking of clever ways to help their wildlife survive. The rescue and fostering of the Black Storks and the creation of the fish baskets when fish supplies are low is commendable. He gets it. I wish that others around the world would take note of the fish supplies. He has even climbed up to the nests and placed fish on them (Grafs and Grafiene 2021). Here he is banding these fantastic osplets. Look at the one stand up and become fierce as Urmas approaches.

Ivo flies with a fish encouraging the osplets to continue their hovering but to think about flying! It seems that the chicks are flying…I will try and get the details.

It appears that for today the two nests of concern – Osoyoos and Janakkalan – are alright. Osoyoos had a larger fish early on and it is the fish deliveries that are important in the heat. We all know that is where the ospreys get their hydration. We hope for more during the day. I am delighted to have been so confused by the Finnish nest – and to see a female stepping in showing that she will not harm but help raise the chicks to become the potential female for nest year is nothing short of heartwarming. All of the other nests appear to be doing well except for Belgravies which has collapsed. No word yet of the fate of the occupant juvenile.

I want to close with a very cute video of Diamond and Xavier in the scrape box at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. These two are real characters when it comes to prey delivery. They are delightful. Diamond does not always accept the prey. Xavier doesn’t always leave it. Sometimes it is a Starling and Diamond does not like Starlings. Too crazy. Too fun!

Thank you so much for joining me. It is nice to bring some good news. I will not be posting an evening report today. I am hoping to make the rounds of our own birds to see how they are doing. It has been a scorcher for them, too. Take care everyone. Stay cool. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their FB posts, their videos, or their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney, Finnish Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllyt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Wildlife Trust, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Fortis Exshaw, and Osoyoos Ospreys.

Another siblicide at Loch of the Lowes and other news in Bird World

14 June 2022

I want to start this blog off today with one of the cutest videos called ‘My Turn’. It is from one of the first – if not the first – osprey cams on Dennis Puleston’s property on Long Island. I would like to quietly show this to every third hatch osprey!!!!!!!! It always lifts my spirits when it has been a rough day in Bird World.

Dennis Puleston was a remarkable man who spotted the decline of the Osprey populations in the US due to DDT.

Sadly, the Little Bob at the Loch of the Lowes fell victim to a brutal Big sibling that refused to let him eat and who finally killed him this morning shortly after 0530. Little Bob was alive in the image below, barely, from not having eaten in at least three days.

Laddie LM12 arrives on the nest but flies away. No fish.

Big Bob brutally attacks Little Bob and kills him.

Blue NC0 stares at the body of her Little one. It has not been a good year for this wee one who, like the others, just wanted some fish. It is unclear why there is so few fish coming to this nest. It has been a discussion about the other nests and people are conflicted. Is it intruders? has the loch not got the fish? is something going on with Laddie? All of the other nests are not having difficulties. Fly high Little one, fly high.

Sadly my list of siblicide victims this year is getting longer.

Blue NC0 looks worn out and hungry. She is hardwired, like all other Osprey Mums not to interfere. She looks down at her wee little babe. So sad. I do hope that whatever is troubling this nest that it goes away so that this family can heal.

There is another nest that remains worrisome.

To the relief of everyone cheering Little Bit 17 on at the ND-LEEF nest, that camera is back working. It is unclear if 17 got any food since the camera went down but he was seen doing wingersizing according to many of the chatters who watch the camera. He is not acting like the third hatch at Loch of the Lowes. 17 seems fine. I will not presume anything but let us all hope that if it is cooler tomorrow – which they say it will be – that the fish will be flying onto this nest. — I want to be optimistic. Many third hatches benefit from the older ones fledging. It seems both 15 and 16 are branching —- and not wanting to sound nasty but it would be nice if they would take a 2 day trip to see the beautiful area where their nest is! Little Bit could eat it all!

The eaglets on this nest are the following ages. ND 15 is 76 days old, ND16 75 days old, and ND17 is 71 days old. Little Bit is not ready to fledge. His tail needs to grow more. The feathers on his head are growing longer and covering up the bald spots caused by 16’s scalpings. This Little one has worked so hard to live. I want to believe I am seeing something of a crop under his beak and that he did get some nourishment today. Hang in there Little Buddy!

The streaming cam is also back up at the Cape Henlopen State Park Osprey Platform. It was a very interesting Tuesday morning. The female intruder with the torn feathers was in the nest. Another osprey landed on the nest and she got rid of them quickly. A third bird or was it this one that landed ?? could be seen flying by the nest on several occasions to the left of the platform.

The bird that almost looks like I cute and pasted it on was quickly shooed away by the female intruder on the nest. From that behaviour we might assume that this was not a bird associated with her.

She removes the body of the oldest and largest of those beautiful chicks from the nest.

As the sun was setting on Lewes, Delaware, the female intruder has now cleared the nest of any remnants of its former occupants. It is just gut wrenching what has happened here. I do wonder if the Mum is alive and if it is her flying to the nest? No one was at the nest overnight.

I have been praising Betty on the Mlade Buky White Stork next in The Czech Republic for not eliminating the smallest, the fifth storklet. Well, she has now done so. Let us hope that all four remaining chicks thrive! (The storklet did not survive the 9 metre/30 ft drop but it was quick, not like starving to death on the nest).

There is wonderful news coming out of Cal Falcons. Laurentium is one of Annie and Grinnell’s fledglings. She has a nest on Alcatraz. She has successfully fledged chicks in years before but not it is confirmed that she has two healthy grand chicks for Annie and Grinnell again. How wonderful!

I have neglected the Foulshaw Moss nest this year despite the fact that it is one of my favourites. Last year White YW and Blue 35 successfully fledged 3 osplets including Tiny Little Bob, Blue 463. The chicks below are around the 3 week period. They are healthy and doing well! Excellent parents. I cannot say enough good things about them.

I do not like the cam. You cannot rewind so if you don’t see it, the event is gone. Or if you do see it and don’t get a screen shot it is gone, too. That style of camera is very annoying if you are trying to document events on a nest.

Congratulations to everyone at the Ithaca Peregrine Falcon scrape. They had their first fledge today. It was Percy! One more eyases to go. How exciting. Falcon Watch Utica posted this gorgeous picture of Percy taking off. Look – those legs are held tight against the body and the feathers are in perfect shape. What a wonderfully healthy fledgling!

Even before the three Bobs had their breakfast Wednesday morning, Telyn was chasing after an intruder with feather wear – perhaps a moulting bird. Emyr Evans wants him to come back so they can get a ring number and ID the bird. He is evading all of the cameras. Emyr believes it is Teifi and if so, it is Telyn and Idris’s 2020 hatch come home to the natal nest. After, Idris brings in a lovely sea bass for Telyn and the kids.

Emyr Evans posted this on the 23rd of May. I think he will be updating his number after the intruder this morning to 8. Tegid – of the white egg – is one of my favourite hatches. Lovely to see his son back!

There was an intruder at the Llyn Brenig osprey nest. LM6 just about tore the nest up when Blue 416 from the Lake District arrived. Gracious. I thought she was going to toss the two wee chicks out, too. Lots of two years old successfully returning this year (like this one) causing mischief.

Aran was up early fishing for Mrs G and the gang.

Everything seems fine on the Glaslyn nest.

Sentry returned to the Redding Bald Eagle nest on 14 June after fledging on the 11th. He was tired and spent the night with Star in the nest sleeping duckling style. Star has yet to fledge.

It is getting to be time to check in with some of the Australian nests. Dad brought Mum a very nice fish on the nest. Oh, she looks so good. Last year she took raised the Port Lincoln three – Bazza, Falky, and our dear Ervie.

Beautiful Diamond with a full crop after a prey gift from Xavier at the Charles Sturt University falcon cam in Orange, Australia.

Lady incubating the two eggs of hers and Dad’s on the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest. If you look close, you will see Dad sleeping and protecting the nest on the parent branch.

The CBD 367 Collins Street Falcon cam will not be back on line until September. It is usually started once eggs are laid.

Fledge watch started yesterday for the Cal Falcons. Here is Grinnell Jr with his super crop last evening! Looks like he is going to fly anywhere! So cute.

Thank you for joining me. This is a very early Wednesday morning check in. I will have a later report Wednesday evening. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam and/or FB announcements where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@BirdLife Australia Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Osprey, Friends of Redding Eagles, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, ND-LEEF, Cape Henlopen State Park Ospreys, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Emyr Evans, Falcon Watch Utica, Mlade Buky, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, and Cal Falcons.

Late Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

It is the end of what seemed like Saturday but it was only Friday. The snow did come to Manitoba but not to the City but the temperatures fell here. The Baltimore Orioles are all over our City to the delight of everyone who can lure one of those orange and black beauties into their garden. One man built a big segregated feeder with alternating jelly, orange halves, and watermelon. My friend Wicky lives on the NE coast of the US and she says her Orioles will not eat the oranges. They want the Quince buds on her tree! What I found interesting today about the garden was the lack of European Starlings and the return of the Grackles and the Dark-eyed Juncos. It was rather odd. I wonder if it was the snow in some of the rural areas that pushed them back into the urban sphere???

We relish the triumphs of the birds who we thought might not make it. Middle at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest is just one of those birds. After Little Bit was killed by Big, she set her sights on Middle. Things went smoothly then when fish deliveries were at a minimum the dominance returned. Mum and Dad are dropping off pieces of fish and small fish for the two on the nest. I happened to check on the pair this evening and there was Middle with his prize tiny fish! He was so happy and making such a racket (that bird really is loud – loud like Middle Little at Captiva) it is a wonder that Big did not try to take it away.

Middle has the little fish. It reminds me of a very small sun fish. He is mantling and protecting himself and his prize.

At one point Big looked like they were interested in what Middle had but then they went back to flapping their wings. Middle protected the fish for a few minutes before trying to figure out how to unzip it. The key would just have been to hork it – but Middle will learn that later!

Big is still watching but he is not making any attempt to interrupt Middle.

Middle turns his back to Big to finish the tiny morsel.

Sound asleep. It is very difficult to tell the two apart now. You have to look closely because Middle’s plumage is getting darker.

Sweet Osprey Dreams.

Big on the left and Middle on the right.

The first chick has hatched at the Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria. These are the parents of Tiny Little who fledged last year as one of the smallest third hatches I have ever seen.

Both Lady and Dad spent the night on the nest tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest waking up to sing their lovely duet. Will we have eggs within 2 weeks? Probably!

Staying with the Australian raptors for a moment, Diamond and Xavier have been bonding in the scrape on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange.

It has been wonderful to see Ervie on the Port Lincoln barge. I checked a few minutes ago and he was not there but it does not mean he won’t be with one of his delicious puffers at some point during the day.

The Anacapa Peregrine chicks are no worse for ware after getting their bling from Dr Sharpe this morning. One girl and one boy. Dr Sharpe banded them on the edge of the cliff.

I mentioned that the five Manchester NH chicks were banded this morning. A picture posted on FB with the news shows them on a table in a room with an audience being banded. Quite the opposite experience from the chicks at Anacapa.

Picture credit goes to Linda Furlizz.

The pair at the University of California at Berkeley scrape gave their Dad, Alden, a tough time the other day. Someone said it was like Alden being a substitute teacher! I smiled. Today they gave Annie a bit of a time.

The trio at the Manton Bay nest have so much fish to eat they cannot help but grow. Dad brought in the breakfast fish and Maya immediately fed the chicks. Dad returned to take some leftovers for his breakfast but Maya convinced him to leave it and then she fed the chicks a second breakfast immediately. There was still some fish on the nest for later.

The wee babe at Loch of the Lowes looks up to its beautiful Mum Blue NC0. There was a pip in the second egg. Looking for a hatch when I wake up in the morning.

Richmond and Rosie’s two little ones are adorable. Rosie is so good at trying to get a flake of fish in a bobbing mouth!!!!!!!

That was so cute and it is a wonderful way to end this very short late report of happenings in Bird World. There should be a couple of fledges coming up and some more hatches at the Osprey nests. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, LRWT, Cal Falcons, Explore.org, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and University of Florida-Gainesville Ospreys.

Friday in Bird World

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

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

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

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

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

“Its conker time” by theirhistory 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kincaid is already making attempts at self-feeding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://fb.watch/b6jnYJByKa/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear, Achieva Credit Union, Wildlife Kate, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Berry College, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, KNF, Latvian Fund for Nature, and Sea Eagle Cam FB Page.

Ervie and Liberty!

The Port Lincoln Osprey cam is working!!!!!!!! There sitting close together having one of their silent conversations were Ervie and Dad. I noticed something different about Ervie. He has a nice crop and he displays the appearance of an Osprey who has been in the water fishing. Oh, Ervie, it is so nice to see you! It is so very nice to see you.

Liberty has laid the first egg of the season. It happened just a short while ago on 9 February at 15:19. She had a 5 minute labour. Congratulations Liberty and Guardian!

Here is a video of that exciting event!

Quick news report from the other nests:

The new female at the NCTC Bald Eagle nest with Smitty has some flight feathers missing. The missing feather/s were noticed today when she flew in to get a fish from Smitty. It answered a puzzle. One of the searchers for Bella found the feathers but noticed from images that they did not come from Bella. Mystery solved!

Lady and Dad have visited their nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest for two straight days. Oh, ask me if I am glad that Daisy isn’t trying to incubate eggs in that nest! This year the Sea Eagles stayed away longer than normal. It could be because they were harassed so much by the Currawongs on their last visit.

It is not breeding season. We will not be looking for eggs until June – two of them traditionally known as the heir and the spare.

Lady and Dad are alerting. Lady in front and Dad in the rear. They are letting the forest know they are home from Goat Island!

Staying in the Southern Hemisphere, the Royal Cam chick nicknamed Quarry Track or QT til it gets its official name, is growing and growing and growing. Parents OGK and YRK have literally been coming and going almost every 24 hours. The little one is working its wings and getting strong.

Ranger Sharyn keeps an updated log of the weights of all the chicks including the Royal Cam ones. The NZ DOC does DNA testing to see if the chick is male or female but sometimes, around 80 days, this can be done by comparing the weight of males and females. Here is the chart for QT so far:

Mum, YRK, is on the nest today.

Adorable.

When the Osprey nests stress me out too much, this is where I come for comfort. NZ DOC takes excellent care of its wildlife. Never a worry if there is not enough food for chicks or parents –supplemental squid feedings are always on hand. Here is your link to this at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand (on the South Island near Dunedin).

Thank you for joining me. I know that we all love Ervie and are so happy to see that he is fine – and there are many Redding and WBSE fans here, too. Stay safe all of you. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC and Sea Eagles @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Soap Opera at the Campanile and other nest news

The soap opera playing out with the Peregrine Falcons at tThe Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley made the Los Angeles Times this morning:

Annie only knows Grinnell is not there and it appears she might be taking up with the interloper that caused Grinnell’s injuries. My goodness!

The birds are stirring at Port Lincoln this morning. Before 6am there was calling from the nest. There were only 3 birds but it was Mum calling Dad with the breakfast order. No. It was the chicks calling Dad wanting their fish! They are so big. Ready to begin flying.

Just look at those three birds. I sure hope they stay in the nest and pancake when they are to be ringed today but I am worried the sound of the motor boat is going to make them bolt off the nest early. I so want to be proven wrong, for the sake of the birds, and foolish for even thinking such a thing.

Janet Forster says they will come in a boat and dingy when the boat gets back from the Sea Lion Tour. Fingers crossed. We will not be able to see this live but I am hoping either pictures or a video will be shared later. The trio were fed six times yesterday. It should have been seven but dad lost a fish and he found it and decided he would eat the entire thing!

Is this to be the day that at least one of the 367 Collins Street Four fledges? They slept on the ledge last night. Will they fly off together?

Yurruga had a lot of prey items yesterday. She sported a nice crop and is doing really well with her self-feeding. What a lovely independent eyas. In one instance, Xavier came in with a Rosella. Even with a crop Yurruga seemed to want to have some of it – they must be very tasty. Someone told me they are the equivalent to the pigeons in the city – parrots everywhere – but I have no idea if that is true. In the end, watch and see what happens. Oh, and before I forget. Diamond’s limp is still there but it is improving every day.

There is an updating on WBSE 27 by Judy Harrington. This is what she posted: “SE27 is doing well, gaining strength and is feeding by itself. It has moved to a larger raptor cage to allow it to exercise and recover.
The treating vets have advised that SE27 will be in care for a few weeks while it recovers and will be released back into the wild as soon as it’s well enough. Healing takes time so please be patient. Updates will follow when possible. BTW, we hear fish and mice have been on the menu!
It is unlikely any photos will be issued while in captivity.
There are no reported sightings of SE28.” That is good news for this beautiful sea eaglet, WBSE 27.

It is really windy down in Ft Myers, Florida. M15 has been bringing his mate, Harriet, some nice treats in the last few days. The other day it was a Cattle Egret. She was delighted. The pair continue to work on their nest. Wonder when the first egg will appear?

Harriet being blown a bit by the wind. 6 November 2021

It is stormy over in Jacksonville, Florida. Still Samson and Gabby were both on the nest in the wind and rain preparing it for this season. Oh, goodness, this couple just warms my heart! (Yes, we all have our favourites. I admit it).

The weather out in Colorado is perfect and the Bald Eagle couple on the Fort St. Vrain Bald Eagle Nest are busy working, too. Last year they raised one chick. Wonder if they will make it two this year?

There is one eagle, at this very moment, working on the nest in the Kisatchie National Forest. I do not know if it is Anna or Louis. This is their second season together. So glad to see the couple returned. Last year was the first since 2013 that an eaglet had hatched and fledged in this nest. Nice to see the young family here. That is a great image on the two cameras and the sound is excellent this year. Cody and Steve have really been working on the set up. (Thank you!)

I am afraid that I could go on checking Bald Eagle nests and we would see the same image – one or both adults working on the nest. The eagles have really come back from nearly being wiped out. I hope there are enough big trees for them for nests!

It is going to be awhile til the PLO chicks are ringed and, believe it or not, it is 14 degrees C on the Canadian Prairies. Summer weather. Well, this is what our summers used to be like: 14-17 degrees C. Now you can double that. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and so far, Dyson is leaving Mr Blue Jay’s corn cob alone. It is a great day for a walk. See you later. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: X-Cel Energy, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, SWFlorida Eagle Cam and the Pritchett Family, NEFlorida Eagle Cam and the AEF, the KNF Bald Eagle Nest, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Monday in Bird World

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

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

Oh, what a wonderful treat. Thank you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good News in Bird World

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

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

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

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

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

Pikne’s position:

Karl II’s position:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little Bob gives its two older siblings a big hug.

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

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

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

Everyone’s favourite duck is back!

Lady and Dad had no more than finished eating the fish that was brought to the nest yesterday – in case one of the eaglets showed up – than our very own Daisy flies in! Yes, you read that correct!

Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. Last year her and her mate visited the White-Bellied Sea Eagles’s nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest in December. They decided that it was the perfect place for Daisy to make her nest and raise her ducklings. The pair worked very hard making a nest cup lining it with leaves and the soft down that Daisy pulled off her breast. It was a work of art!

There were seven eggs in the nest. In total, however, Daisy laid nine eggs. Dad ate one and it is presumed that Daisy laid one egg elsewhere on a day when Dad decided to stay all day at the nest trying to catch her. Daisy is a very intelligent duck!

Here she is laying her last egg.

No one knew how but Daisy managed to thwart efforts of eviction. Lady and Dad were very curious and would come to the nest and mess it up but they were curious only. Dad had tried to eat a second egg and couldn’t and seemed to not like the taste of them anyway! Daisy would wait for the sea eagles to leave and return quietly to incubate her eggs. They were close to hatch when, at a time she was off the nest, the Ravens came and found them. Hundreds of people cheered the little duck on. No one thought that her or her eggs would last longer than a week but, she almost made it. Maybe this year she will.

This morning Daisy came to visit the nest again. Look closely. Her camouflage really works well. Can you see her?

There she is right in the middle of the nest.

What a relief to see that our darling little Daisy survived another year. She looks really nice and fit except for her paddle feet which look a little worse for wear since last year.

I could not see if her mate was with her or not. He certainly didn’t come into the nest but he might have been on one of the branches. Last year, he was very active in helping Daisy select the nesting site. Sadly, he was not active in protecting Daisy and the eggs.

Normally Black Pacific Ducks would make their nests on the ground near water. In this case it would be somewhere along the Parramatta River. There are, as we well know, predators ready to steal the eggs or eat the ducklings the minute that they are laid or hatch. Perhaps Daisy still thinks it is worth the risk of the ravens to try for a clutch here. Black Pacific Ducks lay two clutches of eggs a year. This is earlier than last year so, perhaps, this would be the first of two clutches this breeding season.

Oh, those beautiful wings. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see Daisy and to think of the possibility of seeing ducklings jump off this old nest in the Ironbark Tree. That would be really amazing.

I will keep you posted of developments or you can tune into the Sea Eagles cam to see if Daisy returns tomorrow morning. Here is the link to Cam 4 without the chat:

If there are any updates on WBSE 27 I will bring them to you tomorrow. There was some clarification about what happened. 27 had been standing on the road or sidewalk. When it flew up it was attached by a group of Currawong who kept hitting its head and it fell to the pavement. Thankfully a ranger was close by and 27 was alert in the transport van. So far no news is good news. I am really hopeful that 27 will get great care and if there was nothing broken or no internal injuries, it will make a full recovery and be returned to the wild. Indeed, this could all be a blessing in that 27 will be strong and well fed and able to fly before it is released. This might be just the chance it needs to survive.

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

Thank you to the SeaEagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.