I haven’t checked to see if Cilla Kinross posted the total numbers for the names that people voted on. This morning I woke up in Canada to discover that the little one of Diamond and Xavier is to be called Yurruga. I am so glad. It means ‘sunny’. And we hope that this little one brings lots of light and happiness to all!
Here is a video that was posted of one of the feedings. You can hear how loud Yurruga is. She will rival Izzi (or he). Just adorable. Started to get pin feathers and is rather itchy. Notice how Yurruga tries to grab the pigeon when it comes in and watch her stand on her legs being fed. This is one strong and healthy chick.
If you noticed the Collins Street streaming cam was down, it is now back up. This seems to be happening more and more with cameras going off line in Australia (and elsewhere). I wonder if the weather plays a part????
This is an image from the late feeding yesterday for the Port Lincoln Ospreys. Just look at them! The size of them. Now look at Mum. Incredible growth.
The following was posted on the Eagle Cam FB page. The 3:30 pm update is very promising. Mobile means they are flying. I was quite worried that 28 would have issues because of their first notice of it being on a low branch. Send positive energy to these two. I hope that they find the area of the river where their parents fish and the parents can feed them there til they are stronger fliers. Oh, it would be so wonderful. Beautiful birds. The situation with the Currawongs every year is just tragic. Hopefully these two will beat the odds!
If you are just reading this WBSE 28 fell off the nest trying to land on a branch by 27 yesterday at 07:22. WBSE 28 flew to the cam tree at 8:33:56 after being harrassed by Pied Currawong. This posting is good news. I hope that some of the locals will get some images of them with their parents near the water.
Take care everyone. This was meant to be a very quick notice telling you of Xavier and Diamond’s chick – whose name is Yurruga. I wonder how many will call it Sunny?
Thanks for joining in!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and the Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.
For those of us who only have the Internet and not any television or cable stations, it might be a bit difficult to watch the documentary on the Ospreys, Season of the Osprey on Nature PBS. For those of you with cable television, this is a reminder to check your local station for when Season of the Osprey is showing. For the rest of us, I will be checking for the release of the DVD and, also, to see if the documentary will be streaming on the Internet. Will keep you posted! Do check your local stations. You do not want to miss this if you love ospreys!
I am including the URL for the company that is distributing this special. Why? Because, if you scroll down, you will see that there are a host of podcasts that you might be interested in.
Oh, what amazing birds. I am already getting excited about our local nests and the birds have only been away for two months! This year I will be checking on several nests and submitting information on arrivals, hatches, juveniles, fledges, and departures. It is an honour to add the Ospreys that consider Manitoba their summer home and breeding territory to the lists of nests from around the world.
Speaking of migration and raptors around the world, Jean-Marie Dupart reports that there were 50 birds this morning on the shores at Casamance, South Senegal. He has counted 432 arrivals so far this season and said he has 10 more locations to check. That is fantastic.
Many of you will be members of one or another of the many groups pressing for businesses and residents to stop using rodenticide. You might also be lobbying various levels of government to ban these designer poisons. It is well known that it is not only cheaper financially but also much more effective to use raptors. Raptors will clean up the critters – just don’t poison the mice and rats because, ultimately, they will also poison cats and birds that eat them. It is a horrific way for a raptor to die.
Today, in the Fall 2021 issue of Bay Nature magazine, the leading article is a vineyard that is employing Red-tail Hawks to keep the rodents out of the fields. They are turning away from using rodenticide. Oh, this could seriously be a start of a movement. Here is that article:
Xavier and Diamond’s only eyas is one week old today. Only Bob can see the world! And Xavier has had some time to spend with his wee one. Here he is brooding Only Bob. How precious.
I have not reported on the White-Bellied Sea Eaglets in their nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest for several days, if not a week. It is really interesting watching the two of them interact together. One will do something and the other will try to outdo the first. Here they are flapping their now very large wings.
I really hope that they do not knock one another off the nest. The more they flapped those wings the more energetic they got and the more air they stirred up. It was like the centre of the nest became a trampoline.
WBSE 27 and 28 will have a wing span of 1.8-2.2 metres or 6 to 7 feet. If I remember correctly, the nest in the old Ironbark Tree is 1.8 metres or 6 feet across to give you some idea of the wing size of the pair today.
WBSE 27 hatched on 29 July 2021 and WBSE 28 hatched on 31 July. This makes the little sea eaglets 78 days old (27) and 76 days old (28). The average fledge period for the nest is 75-85 days. We are now in that window. Ideally, the eaglets will do some branching, will make their first flight, and return safely to the nest where they will strengthen their flying and be furnished prey by the parents. In reality, the Pied Currawongs often chase the newly fledged chicks out of the forest. It is hoped that the parents are providing food off nest or the eaglets find a beach area full of carrion (what most juvenile sea eagles survive on til they hone their fishing skills).
This nest has produced two very healthy Sea Eaglets this season. Just look at them spreading their wings, one looking over the rim of the nest. That first flight could happen at any second. It has been a fantastic nest to watch this year and I do hope that these two strong eagles will survive and have very long lives. Lady and Dad have done an amazing job.
The Osplets at the Port Lincoln Barge nest are not ready to fledge – thank goodness! But they are growing like wild weeds in my garden. The juvenile feathers are now growing in thick and fast. They have had several fish deliveries today. I reported on two and there was a third at 11:28:54 and there will be more during the day.
Mum trying to get the fish off of Dad’s talons.
Little Bob is lined up waiting for some more fish. He is on the right. You can see the more circular mark on the top of his head and the white painted effect under his eye. It coats the lower lid a little like white eyeliner might do. From this angle you can also see some of the white on the cere. Little Bob has a rather large crop. It seems to be sagging from the weight.
Now when I write ‘Little’ Bob it seems a bit silly because he is definitely not little! It will be nice when they get their bands, satellite packs, and names in a few weeks. I wonder what they will name these three?
While we can only see two of the osplets, both of them have big crops. Little Bob is looking out from the nest on the right and another is preening, showing off its big ping pong crop, in the middle.
Look at how those lovely dark grey/black juvenile feathers tipped with white are. They are growing fast. Soon they will cover all of that dark grey wooly down. Much of the fish they are eating is helping them produce these beautiful feathers, feathers essential for their success as raptors. They cannot fledge without them.
Everything is looking good. I cannot wait for their measurements to be taken. Little Bob looks like he could be the biggest or close to it. Little Bob certainly does not take anything off Big Bob.
Thank you so very much for joining me. Take care everyone. Have a terrific Friday.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Charles Sturt University at Orange Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.
At 8:56:34, Dad brought in a massive fish (despite having eaten his fair share) to the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest.
The image below shows the size of the fish a little better despite much of it hidden under mom. Imagine that the top part is up at her beak where she is feeding one of the chicks to get an idea. Little Bob is in the middle. You can see the white lace on his cere and the black circle on top of his head.
Dad returned at 9:11:33 to see if Mum was finished feeding the chicks. She wasn’t and she did not let him take the fish.
The trio lined up again. Big Bob, who had eaten first, is full and is moving away from the feeding line. She is letting the two younger siblings have their share.
Middle and Little are right in there. Their feathers are growing so quickly. Look along the edge of Little Bob’s wing. They are beginning to look like fringe.
Oh, goodness. Dad is rather anxious this morning. He returns a second time at 9: 28:20.
Mum is still feeding Middle and Little Bob. Oh, and look. Big Bob is waking up again. Is he ready for another round of fish?
You can see that there is still lots of fish left. The chicks have now been eating for 34 minutes and it looks like half the fish is left. Dad is really having a close look. Mum does not give the fish to him, again. She seems to have decided that he is not going to rush her today.
Ah, Big Bob is back up at the end of the line wanting some more. This is such a polite nest. Big Bob does not push his way to the front of the line, she waits.
By 9:29, Mum decides to move the fish around to the other side. Maybe she thought Dad was going to take it. She continues to feed the chicks and herself.
Despite the fact that the chicks have moved so that they can pass out in their respective food comas, Mum continues to feed Little Bob.
Little Bob is ‘stuffed’ and has turned away from any more bites of fish. Mom is doing a good job eating that nice fish near the tail. She needs to eat, too! Dad seems to have nodded off waiting! In the end, I do not think Dad even got a nibble of the tail. We have to remember that he did have a big chunk before he brought the fish to the nest.
The trio and Mum finished off that extra large fish in 47 minutes. Amazing.
Dad brings another fish to the nest at 13:29:38. Everyone is fed and it is not even the middle of the afternoon. This is a good example of how the feedings change. When the three were wee, they needed more feedings with less fish at each one. Now they will eat much more fish but, there will be less feedings. They are really, really growing. Little Bob is 24 days old today while Middle and Big are 26 days old.
Xavier watches from the ledge of the scrape box as Diamond feeds their wee babe. So far there appears to be no pip or crack on a second egg. It is unclear if there is even a pip.
It is the middle of the afternoon and Xavier is again resting on the ledge. He was seen limping and he is probably resting that leg. Instead of Starlings and Parrots, Xavier has been bringing in pigeon which is a much larger prey item. He might have strained his leg when he was hunting.
I also wonder if he can hear the second chick? or if he just wants to be there with Diamond in the scrape? or wants to brood the chick and incubate the eggs?
The waiting must be frustrating for these two. Big Bob (or Only Bob) is poking its head out from under Diamond to the right of the egg. Cute.
At the nest of the White-Bellied Sea Eagles in Sydney’s Olympic Park forest, a Pied Currawong will not leave WBSE 27 and 28 alone. It has been harassing them on and off all day. It is the Pied Currawongs who are intent on chasing the little sea eagle fledglings out of the forest. Normally, eagles fledge and return to the nest for the parents to feed them while they strengthen their flying skills. Many will return to the nest for feedings for up to a month. If they are rushed away, the ‘map’ or return to the nest might not be imprinted in their memory.
27 and 28 are smart. They can hunker down duckling style and watch but the Currawong cannot harm them. These birds can knock them off if they were standing on a branch or injure them if they were standing up.
These two will be branching so soon and then fledging. They can walk and stand and both are self-feeding. We are entering the 11th week. From hatch to fledge for the Australian White-Bellied Sea Eagles is 80-88 days. The median is 83.1.
Here is a video of WBSE 28 stealing the prey from 27. Fantastic!
At the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcon scrape, Mum has left the scrape box and is off for a break and to retrieve prey for the eyases. Look at how much room they take up today!
They look like a large white Persian cat if you squint.
Time for your mid-afternoon pigeon everyone!
Dad had it prepared and ready for Mum to bring and feed the youngsters.
The oldest two are getting more hawk like in their appearance.
Except for the Pied Currawong’s harassment, all of the nestlings are doing very well. It is, indeed, a pleasure to be able to watch them grow from hatch to fledge. How fortunate we are!
Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 365 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam at Orange and Cilla Kinross, and Sea Eagle Cam @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.
One of the problems with the streaming cams is the ‘chat’ feature. There, I have said it. The same persons come on at different times of the day, every day or every other day and say the same negative things. There is one on the PLO chat that always says, ‘The mother never feeds the youngest’. ‘Mama feed in order never feeds youngest.’ Seriously! Either they can’t rewind, they don’t watch, or they just want to stir the pot of negativity. I think that it is all three. So I go back to an old cry out of mine, Streaming cams need 24/7 knowledgable moderators. They need them to stop the bots coming in and they need them to stop the negative chatter. Even more so, if something happens on the nest they need to have emergency numbers to call or place them on the streaming cam site at the top.
The Port Lincoln Osplets are doing fine! And it is something to celebrate. One of the most exciting things is to watch them grow and grow they are. these chicks are losing their light grey coat to get their second, darker grey down. You can see the little pin feathers starting. still, each retains a tiny bit of its egg tooth. The feet are getting bigger, wings are growing and the tiny tails are starting. If you didn’t know the different species at this age of 9-10 days, just look at that beautiful dark mask going from the cere to behind the eye. that is the distinctive bandit mask of the Osprey!
Dad comes in with another fish. the big one that arrived earlier is all gone.
The chicks are getting bigger and they don’t like sleeping under Mum like they did when they first hatched. Indeed, these little ones seem to be tumbling around underneath her much of the time.
Awwww. Such sweeties.
Because it is winter in Australia, the light changes early. Mum and dad are on the nest and the little ones are getting another feed. Notice how much they have grown. It is as if someone took them and stretched them in the last couple of days. They no longer appear like short fat little chicks but they are entering another phase where they will begin to look like thin reptiles with long necks.
Each is doing fine. There were not as many big fish yesterday as during the high winds but everyone was fed and no one was left out.
I literally checked into the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest to see how WBSE 27 and 28 are doing. Lady was feeding them.
That is WBSE 28 at the front of the nest with its big crop. 27 is practicing its self feeding with a small piece of prey.
This nest will have two fledges this year. I so hope the Pied Currawong do not chase them out of the forest so they can fly and return to the nest for more meals while they get their piloting in order.
Lady Hawk did a video of 27 learning to self-feed and 28 nibbling at her toes. Have a look:
The strongest earthquake in recorded history hit Melbourne, Australia yesterday.
The first thing many thought of were the four eggs of the Peregrine Falcons at 367 Collins Street.
Dad was on the eggs at the time and stepped off wondering what was happening.
Everything appears to be fine. Some buildings were damaged but no one was killed. Thankfully! We are nearing hatch watch for this couple.
In Orange, the running joke has been Xavier wanting his time to incubate the eggs.
Do you know why the male Peregrine falcon is called Xavier? It is one of those heart wrenching stories that makes you love this little male bird even more.
Diamond’s eggs were ready to hatch. Her mate, Bula, disappeared and was presumed dead. As we all know, the chicks would have died. Instead, enter a new male who starts helping with the chicks and raises them as if they were his own. Because he was a ‘saviour’ of the family, he was named Xavier.
The researcher at Orange is Cilla Kinross. She did a cute video of the negotiations between Diamond and Xavier over the incubation duties.
Everything is changing at these four nests in Australia. The White-Bellied Sea Eagles are exercising their wings, jumping, and hopping about. They are getting more adept at self-feeding although 27 still is the one that gets to the prey first it seems. Lady does come in and feed them. Branching will be next but not for a bit, thankfully. We will be watching for the four at Collins street to hatch in about four or five days. Diamond and Xavier’s chicks will follow but not for a week or a little more. And, of course, the change in the Osplets at Port Lincoln will be significant. They will look like skinny reptiles all wound around one another. The key is that everything, at this moment in time, is just fine. There are no worries. So enjoy them!
It is another beautiful fall day in Manitoba. The Green Heron has departed and I always missed it. Perhaps another will come next year! The Blue Heron is also gone but I hear there are waves of Dark-Eyed Juncos headed towards the city. I cannot wait. They love to pick apart my red outdoor carpet. Such cuties. I am going out for a long walk and to check on the Wood Ducks. Perhaps they will cooperate and there will be some good photos for me to share with you.
Thank you for stopping by. Check out the streaming cams – the birds are doing great. And, if you feel up to it, shut down the negativity. There is already enough in the world. The birds bring us joy. Take care all. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, 367 Collins Street by Mirvan, Falcon Project Cam at Orange, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.
WBSE 27 and 28, the two little sea eaglets in the old Ironbark Nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park, had an early morning breakfast of bird.
Ah, just guess who was the first one up at the breakfast table? If you said, 28 you are absolutely right.
The little bird filled up their empty tummies but it wasn’t big enough -like a grand fish -to fill their crops, too. After breakfast the pair did some wing flapping, standing, and attempts at walking. They still need their wing tips to help with their balance.
Look at the tail that is growing on WBSE27! 27 is the one flapping its wings below.
Well, the Australian Magpie was not giving the White-bellied Sea Eagles a break today. For a couple of hours after feeding the eaglets, Lady defended the nest ducking and honking as the Magpie swooped down trying to hit her.
In the image below, Lady is honking at the Magpie.
Here is a good image of the bird as it goes to land on a branch of the nest tree. This bird is cheeky – they must taste terrible or Lady could have that Magpie for lunch! I would not blame her.
In this image you can see the Magpie caught in flight right above Lady’s head.
Here the Magpie is flying around Lady. It is right over her head.
Dad came to help Lady. All of the big raptors – at the top of the food chain – attract all the small birds and owls. It is surprising how much physical damage these small feathered creatures can do. Last year, BooBook Owl injured Lady’s eye. They can, of course, knock the eaglets out of the nest.
Tiaki looks out to the world that awaits her. Her name means protector of the land and the seas. I hope that they also protect her.
As Albies fly around her in the strong winds, Tiaki raises her wings. She will be off on her big adventure soon.
The chicks are all hovering in the strong winds. In a blink they will be gone. I think I put down 12 September on the guessing game but it could just be any time. Quarry Chick fledged 3 days ago.
Tiaki received her GPS tracker today. Ranger Sharyn Bronte said, “A wider study of the entire Northern Royal Albatross is being conducted this year. And in a first for a Royalcam chick Tiaki as received a tracker. Trackers have deployed on northern royals on the Chathams where 99% of the world population of this species breeds.We are extremely lucky to have 20g devices are available to track LGK, LGL and Tiaki. Although LGL’s device failed it has provided valuable data. Devices are extremely light compared to the weight of the bird and attached to back feathers. These feathers molt within a year and the device will fall off. The device is solar powered and will remotely send data until molting.”
If you read my column regularly, you will know that I am a big supporter of GPS trackers. I also support Darvic bands. Much new information on the migrations, winter and summer breeding grounds – and yes, deaths, are revealed amongst other things. Studying birds or watching them in their nests is never for the faint of heart. Their lives are full of challenges, most placed on them by humans.
Last year, a lovely Polish woman wrote to me to tell me she didn’t know how I could be so calm when ‘bad things’ happened to the birds. Those were not her exact words but that is what she meant. I was not the least bit offended. The truth is I feel for each and every one of them. That caring is inside a bigger box that is now labelled ‘ avian activist’. I want to help stop those things that cause the birds injury or death when it can be avoided. Rodenticides, sticky paper traps, lead shot, lead bullets, lead in fishing equipment, fishing line, fishing nets, windows, garbage dumped on the roads, habitat loss, wild fires caused by arson, electrocution, bread fed to the birds —— and simple neglect or oversight. Like having emergency contact numbers for the streaming cams where there is no 24/7 chat with knowledgable moderators.
I am working on a way to remember Malin, the Osprey nestling at the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, whose life was needlessly cut short. The Malin Code. Osprey streaming cams that follow The Malin Code would have either 24/7 moderators who can access emergency help immediately or emergency numbers at the top of the historical information on the nests. Individuals who are in charge of parks or areas with nests would be trained to recognize the physical signs (11 of them) from food begging to alerting and the 8 vocalizations. It is the least requirement. The other is that they pay attention to what is happening on the nest. They need to know the difference between a juvenile and an adult. Etc. Whew. Yes, I get worked up. If you can think of anything else that these organizations should be doing, let me know. Don’t be shy! At the end of the year, the streaming cam that best implemented The Malin Code would get a donation, big enough to motivate them to do what is right for the birds.
OK. On to what is happening in some of the scrape boxes:
Diamond and Xavier spent some time in the scrape box together today. There was a bit of a conversation between Diamond and Xavier. I need to learn to speak falcon.
There is a real soft spot in my heart for the little male Peregrine Falcon in Melbourne. Maybe it is the ledge where he comes scurrying in to take his turn incubating the eggs or when he brings prey to the eyases.
He is the cutest thing and makes the biggest messes plucking pigeons right in the nest with the eyases. But, last year, I noticed that those three girls really knew what to do with a feathered bird. They were not shy. By the time they fledged, they were professional pigeon pluckers. Can you say that fast 10x?
What a cutie! Our stealth raptor.
Have you ever wondered about the black faces of the Peregrine Falcons? Did you know that the size and intensity of the black varies by region? Have a read.
Cody and the lads down in Kisatchie National Forest have done a great job with the camera for the Bald Eagle Nest of Anna and Louis. Cody says that the sound is going to be fantastic.
Isn’t that a gorgeous sunset over Lake Kincaid? Such a lovely spot for a Bald Eagle nest —- and, of course, there is the lake that is stocked with some really nice fish. Couldn’t get much better. Everyone is just waiting for the Eagles to return.
Speaking of Bald Eagles returning, both Samson and Gabby are at home in Jacksonville and Harriet and M15 are in Fort Myers. All that reminds me I have to check and see what is happening at Captiva.
I want to leave you with an image of Tiny Little. She is one of the fledgling Ospreys in my long time study of third hatch survivors. She has a Darvic ring-Blue 463. Here she is as a wee one.
Blue 35 is feeding Tiny Little by herself. Look at ‘big nasty sister’ in the middle. It really is thanks to excellent parenting that Tiny survived – and became the dominant bird. Gosh, I wish she had a tracker. Is she at Poole Harbour? has she made it to Brittany? will she go to The Gambia? or Senegal? or Southern Spain? My ‘wish list’ includes getting someone to look for her if I can’t be there myself during the winter of 2022.
That’s it for me tonight. Tomorrow I am off in search of a Green Heron. Take care everyone. Stay safe. Be kind. Remember: Life is for living.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: 367 Collins Street Falcons, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, The Kisatchie National Forest Bald Eagle Cam, The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University at Orange and Cilla Kinross, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ Doc Royal Albatross Cam and FB Page and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.
The golden glow of the morning sun kissed the branches of the old Ironbark Tree in Sydney’s Olympic Forest. WBSE 27 and 28 were sound asleep in the nest bowl while an adult was on the parent branch keeping watch.
This morning breakfast arrived at 9:20:11. It was a nice chunk of fish.
28 was up at the breakfast table right away and dominated the feeding. There was no pecking and 28 was on the left side! Well, well.
It is easy to see that 28 really loves the fish! One of the things people have noticed is that the birds actually do have preferences. Some prefer fish, others prefer birds. Some don’t like specific species of birds. WBSE tend to really love their fish!
Here is a short video clip of the feeding.
WBSE 28 is still being fed after ten minutes. Indeed, Lady will still be feeding 28, almost exclusively, for another twenty minutes.
At 9:30:11 either a Pied Currawong or an Australian Magpie swooped down on the nest. Lady alerted and both of the sea eaglets pancaked on the nest.
Anyone watching the feeding would have immediately known that Lady’s alert call meant ‘danger’ and the sea eaglets stopped everything and became very still. This is what all raptors do, as far as I know. It is certainly what Osprey chicks do when their parent is alerting.
Oh, these eaglets love this fresh fish! 28 has gotten very good at the quick snatch method as well. He is very cute.
Lady finished feeding the pair at 10:01:27. They both settled down, each with a crop – 28’s was the biggest! He is in front sort of sitting up.
Right now it is easy to tell the difference – 27 has more juvenile feathers on its shoulders and wings.
No doubt, WBSE 27 might well dominate the next feeding. But it is significant to note that 28 stepped up first and was fed – and went to sleep with a very large crop. There was absolutely not a hint of sibling rivalry other than the typical ‘snatch and turn’ of 28 at times. The ‘snatch and turn’ is often a side effect reaction – grab the food quickly and turn – protecting one’s head from being pecked earlier in the chick’s life.
These two are doing very well. I hope that the Magpie or the Currawong – as well as BooBook Owl, and others do not inflict any injuries on any of the sea eagles. In fact, some of you might remember that it was a Magpie that helped WBSE 26 last year against the Pied Currawong.
The top two images are of a Pied Currawong and the bottom one is an Australian Magpie. Sometimes you only see a blur. Those familiar with the sounds of the forest might be able to tell who caused the ruckus.
There are decided differences between the two but a split second sweep of black and white makes it difficult. The Pied Currawong has been a constant in the Sydney Olympic Forest. Perhaps it has a nest near to the sea eagles and wants the big birds – the top of the food chain – to get out of town!
Sadly, the Currawong did chase 26 out of the forest and she wound up the next day, after a storm that evening, on the 22nd floor of a condo building about 1.5 kilometres away from the nest. The Currawong are a big problem in the forest. They also chased 25 out when it fledged and I suspect they have done this in years past. 25 never returned to the nest. No one knows what became of her. Ideally, these two beauties fledge and return to the nest for rest and food just like the Bald Eagles or the sea eagle fledglings are fed down by the Parramatta River by the parents til they can survive on their own.
It has to be mentioned that Sydney’s Parramatta River is full of dioxins. Commercial fishing is banned after elevated levels of the toxins were found in seafood from the Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.
The toxins leaked into the river from a shipping container company as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2009. The article said, “The Patrick’s site on the Camellia peninsula, near Rosehill Racecourse, has been found to be leaking the chemical Chromium VI, posing a risk to people and marine life.”
In 2017, 2ser 107.3 reported that the Parramatta River was a “toxic time bomb.” They said, “Fifty years of toxic chemical residue is sitting on the bottom of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It’s a toxic time-bomb and disturbing this sediment could worsen already dire pollution levels. And now sweeping developments along the shore of the River could be bringing more pollution to the already sullied waters.” While many might have hoped to swim in the river before they were too elderly to do so, contaminated storm water was pumped into the river in December 2020 causing more problems.
There was concern that siblicide was occurring on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney’s Olympic Park. It is time to put those fears aside. Prey delivery has become regularized and the two are fed regularly, growing, and are becoming curious about what is happening outside the nest.
The White-Bellied Sea Eagles are Australia’s second largest bird of prey. They have a wing span of 1.8-2.2 metres or 6-7 feet. They weigh up to 4.2 kg or 9 lbs. The female is larger and weighs more than the male. This is known as reverse sex size dimorphism. The adults on the Sydney Olympic Park Ironbark Tree are Lady and Dad. There have been a succession of breeding couples using this tree nest for decades.
In 2021, WBSE 27 hatched on 29 July at 4:57 and WBSE 28 hatched 31 July at 5:48 pm. Just to remind you how tiny they were here are two images in those first few days.
In the first image WBSE 27 was not quite 24 hours old.
In this one, WBSE is not quite 24 hours old and WBSE 27 is almost 48 hours old. You can clearly see the egg tooth, the white piece on the tip of the beak that helps them break through the hard egg shell.
Now look at the two of them. WBSE 27 is on the right with WBSE 28 on the left. You can see how 48 hours difference in age impacts the growth of the juvenile feathers.
In terms of the development, we are entering weeks 5 and 6. By week 5, the chicks will still have their white down. Pin feathers will appear on the shoulders, the back and the wing tips. If you look at the image above you can see these dark feathers coming in on each of the chicks. They should be standing on both feet, checking out the nest, and trying to pick up food. They may start to flap their wings. As we get to week 6, more and more of the dark feathers will begin to show all over the chick’s body. They will preen a considerable amount of time per day. They will now do more wing flapping and standing on both of their feet without the aid of the wings. They will continue efforts at self-feeding (if allowed, Lady does love to feed them!).
Looking forward to developments during week 7, the chicks will do a lot more preening as the dark brown juvenile feathers will continue to grow over their entire bodies. It has to be really itchy – those feathers coming in. Their tail will become noticeable. When they sit they may spread their wings. You may see them begin mantling. They will become more steady on their feet. One notable change is the chick’s interest in grapsing twigs and food with their feet. They should continue to work on self-feeding but this, of course, depends on whether or not prey is left on the nest for them to practice.
WBSE 27 is standing nicely on his feet. WBSE 28 still has a crop from an earlier feeding. You can really see how many wing feathers are coming in. Just look at that little tail developing.
It looks like 28 has a bit of a food coma. 27 is busy looking at what is happening outside the nest.
WBSE continues to work on its balance. Notice how it is holding out its wings for balance. Often the birds will use the tip of the win to keep them steady on their feet. By the end of the 6th week, they should be standing without using the wings. WBSE 28 is working hard to do this.
WBSE is also curious as to what the adult is doing up on the branch. Notice how 28 is sitting with its wings loose to the sides. Sometimes I find that the chicks on the nest are actually ahead of the development scales for that week.
Lady has come a long way in her parenting skills. Both chicks wait their turn to be fed. She will give 28 a few bites and then 27 and then back to 28. This method has given the chicks food security and reduced the pecking of 28 by 27.
Lady always looks like she is smiling to me.
Here is the link to the Sydney Sea Eagle Cam.
Thank you so much for joining me. I know that there are so many people who love these little eagles and I wanted to reassure all that the nest is very calm and peaceful and the chicks are developing normally. Take care everyone. Stay safe.
Thank you to the Sea Eagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.
There is an excellent and rather cheeky article on the penthouse of our Collins Street Peregrine Falcons in Meanjin Quarterly coming out of Australia. The author is Ester Anatolitis. It is outrageously funny and clever. Check it out!
For anyone who missed the news, the female at Collins Street laid that second egg today at 16:43. Yahoo!
I am posting a video that was shared on one of my Osprey FB groups today. There is a bit of foul language but it is the subject and the ‘heart’ of what is going on that is important and that is why I want you to find it and watch it. It also happened in Canada! Near Ottawa. A juvenile Osprey takes its first flight. Where does it land up? On the ground, of course! It is found by this couple who help it. If you have read my posts about Malin, this is what should have happened Thursday night. The wildlife rehabber should have been allowed access to the gate and stairs to get to the top of the tower with her binoculars. She could have found Malin and helped him – just like this couple did this Osprey!
I was actually trying not to mention Malin for once but, this video caught my eye because it is the ‘right thing to do’. The man found the Osprey in the grass after its first flight. He helped the little one out of the grass. And flapped his arms and helped it until it could fly back to its nest. Bravo.
I am really keen on tracking and banding. Originally satellite trackers were used to study the foraging ranges of sea birds. In fact, that is precisely what is going on with the Royal Cam adults in New Zealand currently. More recently, however, trackers are used to study the migratory strategies and to identify the wintering grounds of several species. Others use them to study how weather conditions influence migration. This information and much more data like it will become paramount as we try to establish if the climate crisis has an impact on breeding and wintering grounds.
This is Karl II. Karl has been fitted with a satellite transmitter for a number of years. This is his last appearance of the nest that she shares with Grafiene in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The couple raised three healthy fledglings this year. Karl II was last seen on 22 August at 15:50. Satellite tracking indicated that Karl II was on his usual routing towards the Black Sea.
Karl II is an expert at migration. He travels from his breeding area in the Karula National Park in Estonia to spend the night in the Sebezhsky National Part in northwest Russia.
The latest transmission on the 24th shows Karl II travelled 278 km and is now near the Berezina River east of Minsk in Belarus.
The satellite tracking further showed that Karl II looked for food in the wet areas around the river and went to sleep in a forest on the bank of the river. It is an area known as the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve.
The following information was posted about the place where Karl II is located.
“It is situated on the flat watershed of the Baltic and Black Seas, in low valley in the basin of the Berezina River. Landscape is a mosaic of coniferous and deciduous forests, lakes, peatlands (60 %), rivers, floodplain and small arable fields. Climate is temperate continental, humid, precipitation total: 690 mm/year. Average annual air temperature is 5.2 °C. The Berezina is the main river in the reserve, flowing through its territory for over 110 km. There are 7 small lakes with the total area being about 2000 hectares in the reserve. The flora comprises more then 2000 species with 804 species of vascular plants (42 rare for Belarus).”
The female, Pikne, was the last fledgling to leave the nest for her migration. She loved being fed by dad. She is also the fledgling that has made the most straightforward routing. She flew from Latvia to Belarus and then on to the Ukraine. The map below shows the leg from Belarus to the Ukraine. She will do doubt be further still when her transmitter data is next recorded. In one day she flew 379 km.
Udu was confused in his travels. Everything seems corrected now. It is like driving a different way than Google Maps tells you and Google adjusts for the error. At the time of the latest satellite transmission, Udu had traveled 604 km in total. What the researchers are noticing is that while, Pikne is going the normal Asia Minor or Eastern route, Udu is heading towards Germany and the Western route. He was last in Poland heading southwest to Germany. This is very interesting.
There are issues, as I stated in an earlier posting, with the transmissions from the other male, Tuul. The transmission data showed little movement. I am awaiting news. It is possible that the transmitter is faulty.
The last combined image of the routes of the three for comparison.
At the same time I would like to show you what other information that the researchers and citizen birders can access. On the left hand side you can find the precise location of the bird, the speed they are travelling, and their altitude – just as if you were tracking a plane on FlightRadar. This particular information is for Pikne.
Things are not going well on the WBSE nest of Lady and Dad in the Sydney Olympic Park. Everyone was hopeful that the two sea eaglets, similar size, would get along and thrive. There was some bonking in the beginning but not a lot. That, however, has changed significantly because of the lack of prey delivered to the nest. WBSE 27 totally dominates the now much smaller 28. 27 is 27 days old and 28 is 25 days old. The rains started the issues related to prey delivery.
In the image below 27 has completely controlled the feeding and has a large crop. 28 was too frightened to try and eat.
Even when the parent is gone Little 28 is afraid to move. Like every little abused second or third hatch, 28 knows to keep its eyes open, to listen, and to keep its head down.
Little 27 waits til 28’s food starts making it sleepy and the little one moves up to the piece of prey left on the nest. 27 doesn’t care now. This is the perfect time for the parent to return to the nest and feed this baby who is so hungry.
The survival stories of our Ospreys Tiny Tot and Tiny Little are being played out on this nest in the life of 28. The Little one is starving. It needs food. It will be the first to self-feed. It is unclear if 28 got any of the food but it knows what to do. Let us hope that it is as clever as our two great survivors this year!
27 has fallen asleep. It is unclear if 28 was able to get any food. I somehow doubt it.
Lady returns. Wakes up the ‘beast’ and 27 begins hammering 28. This is turning into a horrible situation. Please send your positive energy that lots of food will come to this nest so that both are fed full! This little one needs to eat to survive.
This image was shot later in the day, hours after the morning attacks by WBSE 27.
I was told that a big fish had come on to the nest and both were fed well but I cannot find that in the footage of the streaming cam. What I do see is continued dominance and abuse by 27 over 28. No one will intervene.
I want to close with something nice because it is out there and we have to remind ourselves continually that there is ‘light’. At the same time, positive energy needs to go out to little 28 so that he can survive and thrive like Tiny Tot and Tiny Little.
One of the chicks destined to die of starvation on a nest was Tiny Little Bob, Blue 463, at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest in Cumbria. But, she didn’t. She lived to become the dominant one on the nest (as did Tiny Tot at Achieva). My last post had Blue 463 screaming her head off for a fish. Well, guess what? It worked! Dad, White YW, brought her in a really nice headless fish. Tiny Little went to bed with her crop full.
So when you think that the worst is happening with WBSE 28 just remember that the ones who survive do it by being clever, by watching and listening, learning how to overcome and get what they want ——— just like that big fish about to arrive on the Foulshaw Moss nest for her queen, Tiny Little!
Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me. I hope you do not mind my including some repetition on the satellite tracking of the Estonian Black Storks. I wanted you to know where Karl II had been and is. Some do not read the newsletter every day and it is good to remember that banding and tracking are valuable tools in studying our beloved birds. I hope to have updated information on the Udu and Pikne’s locations tomorrow. Perhaps there will also be word on Tuul.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Eagle Club of Estonia, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre, The Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.
There were a few people who did not sleep well last night – concerned as we were over the safety of Malin. At the same time, there are great people going out to check on our little warrior. I want to give a shout out to Susan Theys, the wildlife rehabber for the area. Susan searched last night for Malin to make sure that he was OK and is returning sometime today, when she gets a chance, to search again. In addition, I want to thank Jake Koebernik, the Osprey and Eagle DNR staff for area 3, Steve Easterly, the DNR Biologist, and Patricia Fisher, Wildlife Rehabber. Malin had been flapping its wings vigorously yesterday and for a few days. Still, the video footage shows a chick that left because there was an intruder.
Two other really good things happened. The rain has been pouring down for hours on the Canadian Prairies. The ditches are full and it is marvellous. I hope that it rains for a week – putting out all the fires and filling up the water reserves. Instead of being grumpy, people are so happy. This rain might also be falling in Missoula, Montana – in the Clark Fork River tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
The second miracle happened in Latvia on the Black Stork nest of Grafs and Grafiene near Sigulda. For those who do not know, the male, Grafs was having a difficult time feeding the storklings by himself since Grafiene left for her migration. A feeder area was fixed in the ditch and stocked with fish along with a decoy of Grafiene. Grafs had not found this and the concerns grew. Fish could not be delivered directly to the nest because of the condition of it. On 20 August, Grafs made one fish delivery. BUT the miracle happened at 8:39:34. The youngest storkling, at 66 days, fledged. My source tells me that two fledged but I need to confirm the second. Now the storkling/s can find the feeder and supplement any food from Grafs. What a relief! I hope that all of them leave the nest. The oldest is 69 days and the middle is 67 days old. This is the best solution.
Here is the flight sequence of the youngest:
In Estonia, in Jan and Janika’s Black Stork nest in Jegova County, the trio have eaten every bit of the fish that Urmas has brought to the nest – for the banding and then the pail of fish the other night. You can see that they are gone in the image below.
Jan fed the storklings at least once today. These birds, like those of Grafs, are almost ready to fledge. They will, hopefully, find the feeder area set up for them too!
It is essential that we all stay hopeful – for the six storklings and for Malin. Send strong positive thoughts to all these birds.
I took this at the tea time meal. Tiny Little did not have the fish, Big Brother 464 did but, she is waiting and hoping and so far White YW has been a great ‘Door Dash’ delivery.
Oh, this bird has brought us such joy. She is tenacious. I adore her.
Dad wouldn’t leave Tiny Little hungry and screaming her head off! It is three hours later, the last fish of the day probably, and here is Tiny Little filling her crop in the image. Oh, you are going to sleep well Tiny Little!
There have been rumours that some of the female Osprey in the UK – the ones on the streaking cams – have fledged. Today, Telyn, who was believed to have left since she had not been seen since Wednesday, turned up with a fish on the Dyfi Nest. So Telyn is still with us!
Mrs G is still on the Glasyn Valley nest. Oh, she is so stern looking! You can almost tell an Osprey female from the intensity of their gaze.
Disturbing news coming out of Maryland in the US today concerns two workers who needed to replace a light in a Southern Maryland Park. Actually it is outrageous. To do that, they removed two Osprey chicks from their nest and euthanized them. I know how to spell both words ‘disturbed’ and ‘angry’. The incident occurred at Cove Point Park. “County officials said they had a “cooperative services agreement” with the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to have the ospreys and their nest removed. The commissioners said they were “not consulted or informed as to why or how the decision was made to euthanize the juveniles in the nest rather than relocate.” That last word is very significant – relocate. Relocate is not euthanize.
The Washington Post article is here. I hope you can open it. If not, Google the subject. There will be other news agencies picking up this story.
Always good for a smile or three are the two sea eaglets, WBSE 27 and 28. My goodness these two are so close in size and the bonking was at a minimal this year. They are well fed and healthy….and those pin feathers are coming in and they are both preening up a storm!
I have not been able to spend as much time with this family in the Sydney Olympic forest but I hope that might change. These two are growing slightly ahead of schedule it seems – their big clown feet match those crops. Just stop and look at those crops. They are so full they sag. Crazy. Dad and Lady are doing a fantastic job. So pleased.
The day is just beginning in the forest. Just look how big that sea eaglet is next to Lady! Wow.
I know that many have not watched this nest because of past things that have happened. I encourage you to check in this year. Lady is a more experienced mom and both of the eagles are healthy. There is no one getting the advantage over another. They are delightful.
That is what I want to leave you with this magnificent rainy day – a smile. Those sea eagles are adorable. Why not stop in and check on them? Here is the link:
Thank you to everyone for joining me. Please continue to send your positive energy to the Black Storks in Latvia and Estonia, to those storks and Ospreys migrating, and to little Malin. Malin really needs it. To my knowledge he has not returned and it is worrisome because the parents have been on the nest with fish today trying to lure Malin back. Malin is approximately 2 months and 2 days old.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screenshots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Byrwd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, The Latvian Fund for Nature, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre, and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.
One of the big announcements came today when four extremely rare Hen Harrier Chicks fledged in Derbyshire, England. They were predated by hunters and owners of estates where grouse hunting was popular as well as ‘land management practices’. They are now protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.* In North America, the Hen Harrier is called the Northern Harrier while in France it is the Buzzard of St Martin.
Hen Harriers are a bird of prey like most of the birds that I write about. They are related to kites, hawks, and eagles. Have you ever heard of them? or seen one?
The males are pale grey as in the image below. The primaries are a dark espresso colour. Here the male is flying low over the countryside looking for prey.
Here is an image of the underside of the male Hen Harrier.
The females are brown as are the juveniles with a white rump and long barred tail. The females are often called ‘Ringtails’ because of the bars or bands on the tail. Like the Honey Buzzard their heads are rather small in comparison to other raptors. They will measure no more than 42 cm with a wing span of 120 cm. They weight less than a pound at 300-400 grams. Hen Harriers eat small birds and mammals. Besides flying low and finding prey, they also use the cover of bushes in the woodlands to surprise and take their prey on the ground (normally).
When hen harriers are courting, they do a fabulous sky dance or rolling and tumbling. The Hen Harriers normally lay 4 to 5 eggs in a nest on the ground or in cattails or long dense grass. The male and female both take care of the chicks but the males provide the food. They hunt it and when successful pass the prey to the female by tossing it at them mid-air. They would make great softball players!
Look carefully at the image below. Notice that the facial features of the Hen Harrier look like an owl. Like owls, they have a parabolic facial disk which allows them to hunt by sound (like owls) as well as their incredible ‘hawk’ eyes.
*There continues to be the debate between the grouse hunting societies and those that protect birds and want grouse hunting banned. Any number of associations who do not support the killing of animals are active in supporting the reintroduction of the Hen Harrier. You can do a simple search on Goggle for ‘Hen Harrier Myths’. There is even a Hen Harrier Day celebrated in the Highlands of Scotland.
Other Bird World News:
Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Cumbria: After waiting and moving about sticks, Tiny Little (Blue 463) was prey calling and in flew big sibling chasing after Dad or White YW. 464 took the fish and then flew off with it. Poor Tiny Little.
Nasty older sibling!
WBSE in Sydney Olympic Park, Australia: Well, they just can’t stop getting cute!
Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Wisconsin: Malin is looking really good to me. I focused on her wings whenever I checked in. She has been fed and the feathers look grand. I can also see four bands or bars on the tail now so Malin is continuing to grow and develop.
Besides this lovely tail growing and those gorgeous scalloped back feathers – I adore Osprey, can you tell? Malin is no longer dragging one of her wing feathers. It just seems it took almost 7 weeks to get these things sorted. Joy. Real joy. What a beautiful Osprey chick?!!!!!!
Patricia Fisher, the local wildlife rehabber just wrote and agreed that Malin’s feathers are looking much better. They still have to cross but fingers crossed on that one. More Joy. Thanks, Patricia for keeping an eye on this little one with all you have to do.
Port Lincoln Osprey Barge, Australia: Mum is busy rolling two eggs and I believe there remain two, awaiting third. Dad and her have been taking turns incubating.
Dad has returned to see if Mom would like a break. He is annoyed by the blue rope material and Mom seems to be annoyed by him pulling it out from under her! What a pair.
Fortis Red Deer: It is embarassing. I have not mentioned our Canadian Ospreys in Alberta for awhile. When I last checked you could only see Legacy’s little head hardly extended above the sticks. Look at this beauty now. Wow. These chicks have grown. This is what I want to say about Malin’s growth at Collins Marsh in a week!
Fortis Exshaw, Canmore, Alberta: It looks like the ospreys were practicing with their ‘ps’ or there was rain and enough blowing wind to throw mud balls up on that lens!
The good thing is that you can hardly tell which are the two chicks and who is the adult. Incredible.
It has been hot but more than that the smoke pollution has made it difficult to breathe at times on the Canadian Prairies. I am keeping an eye on the White Rock fire in British Columbia. You might all know Dr Christian Sasse and his love of Bald Eagles and Osprey. He often streams live generously showing us these beautiful birds. Well, his cottage where he streams them is in the path of the fire. Send warm wishes his way as well as all the wildlife in the region. The White Rock fire is misbehaving badly, not doing normal things so the firefighters are really having a time of it.
Thank you for joining me today. I had hoped to bring you some local hawk pictures. I am heading out hopefully later. Take care everyone.
Thanks to the following for their streaming cams: the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, the Sea Eagle Birdlife Australia, and Discovery Centre, Cumbrian Wildlife and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Fortis Alberta Red Deer, and Fortis Alberta Exshaw. A Special thanks to Patricia Fisher from Wisconsin who cares about Malin and takes time to answer all our questions. I am so grateful.