Bursting crops and branching…tales from Bird World

4 November 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

Gosh, I cannot believe it is November. Today marks the beginning of the cooler weather for the Canadian Prairies. It is -5 and the Crows and the Blue Jays have been telling me all morning that we need to bring out the heated bird bath! The problem with the heated baths is that you must, in my climate, put small boards across the surface so they can drink and not bathe. It is too cold. Well, actually it is easy to put the boards across the top, it is the Crows that whack them out of alignment causing the entire exercise to be futile.

I can see no more double digit days ahead – maybe not until May! The Snowy Owls continue to arrive in the province while the number of Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks, and Dark-eyed Juncos is dropping dramatically. I do not blame them! I need to go out and have a last check at three local ponds and do the duck and geese count but, I have been having so much fun watching Missey and Lewis play that I just have not done it.

In the garden, the Blue Jays are here and so are the Crows. The Black Capped Chickadee stays all winter as does the Downy Woodpeckers. There are about 40 or 50 Old World House Sparrows that remain also. The numbers feeding drops substantially but, there is always a huge push for food from those migrating and that happened on Tuesday.

I am so glad that you have enjoyed the photos of the kittens. To all who realized what a wonderful distraction they are for the sadness at Port Lincoln, it is true. Lewis and Missey have really helped ease that tragedy. There is nothing more wonderful than your own animal or bird friend at home. The energy of Lewis and Missey is unmatched in my mind as my last cat, a lovely Red Aby rescue, was 14 and much slowed down when she passed away in July 2021. It took awhile to get ready for other fur ball companions. There is not a place that these two haven’t explored. I will include more pictures tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! But for now, ‘H’ cheered me up with this compilation of the two Lewises. So cute.

Australian Nests:

This image of Big at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge pretty much sums up this nest for this season. Look at Big’s crop. I would also like to see that size on Mum!

Big is massive.

Dad brought an enormous fish to the barge early yesterday morning. He had a good fill, so good that Mum was screaming at him to get that fish over to her and Big.

She is not too happy thinking Dad is going to eat that entire fish! He wouldn’t but…what we have to still consider is that during the stormy cold weather – our dear Middle got little to eat. At the same time, Mum had only the head of a fish more than Middle and some bites she could ‘steal’ while feeding Big. She was absolutely famished and still is hungry. You know I always say how much these adults lose in terms of body mass raising their chicks, it can be tremendous. I am hopeful that Mum will step back and, while feeding Big, take some care for herself.

The fish was estimated to actually weigh more than Dad. He had some trouble dragging it on to the ropes. It was just the kind of fish this family needed to start the day. Good work, Dad!

Mum and Big ate for an hour and a half.

There was some fish left for Mum, too, at the end which she ate by herself. Big was full – can you believe it? And moved away from the beak.

Last evening Mum went down and spent some time with Dad in the shed. Remember these two are grieving the loss of two chicks. Mum has fed Dad and now she has slipped down so they can spend some time together. I actually do not recall Mum being down in the shed very often. This has been a difficult season after the triumph of last year with the three males.

The attention at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne is not how much prey is brought to the nest but when the eldest eyas or two will fly. They are sure getting ready! Here are a mixture of images from today.

Dad missed the ledge – thanks, ‘H’.

Most of you will be familiar with the term ‘branching’ when it comes to eaglets. The flight from the nest to the branch. Well, there are no branches for either the Collins Street or Orange flacons but, ‘H’ caught the eldest having flow up to the other ledge at Collins Street – branching Melbourne style!

Rubus seems to have taken over the entire Orange scrape. From that tiny wee eyas that had to really jump to try and get any prey in its early days to now when it intimidates Xavier and seems to be eating everything, Rubus is a force to be reckoned with. Indigo, meanwhile, is becoming the most beautiful falcon, just like her mother Diamond.

Indigo reminds me of Izzi in this picture!

Rubus has been self feeding and plucking. He made quick work of a Starling head the other day. I wonder what he will do with this piece of prey?

I still say he but that does not mean Rubus is a ‘he’. Indeed, Rubus is eating so much and growing so big that we might be looking at another female. I don’t think Cilla has declared yet – if you know and I missed that, let me know please.

In Taiaroa Head, the first egg of the Royal Albatross breeding season has been laid and everyone of the NZ DOC rangers is looking forward to an exciting season! If you want to watch a mostly ‘unstressful’ nest, the Albatross is your seabird of choice. Why? The NZ DOC rangers take such good care of their birds. Eggs are removed right before hatch so that fly strike will not happen, eggs are shifted around between parents if a foster family is needed, and — there is normally no starvation as the chicks are weighed and topped up if their parents cannot supply enough food or if one or both are lost.

I will not say that the nests do not have their sadness. They do. We waited and waited for the return of OGK this year – he was last seen in mid-May-. He was young! Albatross can live to be quite old. Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, from Midway Atoll, will be 71 or 72 this year.

The NZ DOC has posted a video of what to expect:

On the Bookshelf:

I am not certain that this isn’t a book that all ages would enjoy. It was intended for children – to introduce them and convince them that birds are stunningly extraordinary. The topics cover every aspect of a birds’ life from their ancestry, to their behaviours, how we can help protect them and how to make your garden more bird friendly. The images are gorgeous and, the message is clear – protect the birds they are amazing! It is by David Lindo. Published in the UK, price varies but roughly $22 CDN for the hard cover. Highly recommended as a fantastic holiday or birthday gift.

The Name Game:

I want to thank everyone who took the time and sent in some of the names of their favourite streaming cam birds. It was quite fun.

Finally this morning, the ‘Name Game’. Thank you to absolutely everyone who sent in names. There were many duplicates and quite a few that I did not know. The letters in brackets are meant to help you figure out the nest but some, like (BS) stand for Black Stork. The Welsh names are either the Glaslyn or Dyfi nest. There were 3 names that tied for being submitted the most – 27 times each: Ervie, Izzi, and Xavier!

A: Annie and Alden (UC-B), Aila (LA), Andor (FP), Akecheta (WE); Andy (Captiva), Arthur (Cornell), Aran (Glaslyn), Aeron (Pont Cresor), Axel, Abby (EC), Alex and Andria (KNF), Audrey (CC)

B: Bazza (PLO), Big Red (Cornell), Blaze (EC), Bonus (BS), Blue33 (Rutland), Betty and Bukachek (Mlady Buky), Bella (NCTC), Brooks (SF), Baron Blue and Baroness Barefoot (WTE), Boone (JC), Bailey (HI), Barb (BPF), Bonnie (GHOW), Boris (Finnish nest)

C: Chase and Cholyn (2H); Captain JJ7 (LA), Carson and Cade (UC-B, 2020), Connie and Clive (Captiva), Ceulan, Clarach, Cerist, CJ7 (PH), Cookie (BBV), Charlie and Charlotte (Charlo Montana), Claire (USS), Clyde (GHOW)

D: Diamond (Orange); Dorcha (LA), Doddie (LA), DEW (PLO 2020); Daisy Duck (WBSE 2021), Dylan (LC), Dinas, Delyth, Della (MH), Dory (Boathouse), Diane (Achieva), Decorah North Mom and Dad, DM2, Duke and Daisy (Barnegat L)

E: Ervie! (PLO), Einion, Eitha, Eerie (BS), E9 and all the Es (SWFL)

F: Falky (PLO), Fauci (UC-B 2021), Freedom (RE, GG, Hanover), Franklin (Dollywood)

G: Grinnell and Grinnell Jr (UC-B), Gabriella/Gabby (NEFL), Glesni, Gwynant, Guardian (RE), Glory (NADC), Grislis, Glory (Dunrovin)

H: Harriet (all the Harriets but especially SWFL), Helyg, Hesgyn, Hope (GG), Harry (MN-DNR), Honor (NADC), Helju (GE), Hal (Dunrovin), Honor (Dunrovin)

I: Izzi (Orange), Indigo (Orange), Idris (Dyfi), Iris (Hellgate), Iniko (CC), Independence (Dollywood), Irvin (USS)

J: Jackie (BBV), Jasper (NEFL), Joe (Captiva), Juliet (NEFL), Jan and Jannika (BS), Jack (Achieva), Jack (Dahlgren), Junior (GI), Jolene (JC)

K: Kaknu (UC-B), Kana’kini (WE), Kindness (GG), Kaia and Karl II (BS), Kincaid (KNF), Kisatchie (KNF), Klints, Kalju (GE), Kingpin (CC)

L: Louis (LA), Lady (WBSE), Lotus (NADC), Lena (Captiva); Little Bit ND17 (ND), Legacy (NE FL), Lindsay (UC-B); Lancer (2H), Lillibet (FP), Lawrencium/Larry (UC-B), Love (GG), Liberty, Louis (KNF), LGK and LGL (RA, Taiki’s parents), Louis (HG), Lily (GHOW), Lady (LOTL), Laddie LM12 (LOTL), all of Big Red and Arthur’s Ls

M: M15 (SWFL), Mama Cruz (FP), Mr. President (NADC), Monty (Dyfi), Merin, Menai, Mrs G (Glaslyn), Martin (Captiva), Mitch (HH), Maya (Rutland), Mahala (GI), Missy (BC), Molate (SF), Malin (CM), Ma Berry (BC), Mom Decorah, Milda (WTE)

N: Nancy (MN-DNR), Nora (Dyfi)

O: OGK (RA)

P: Pedran, Padarn, Peace (GG), Pa Berry (BC), Pikne (BS), Pa Decorah, Phoebe (HI)

Q: QT

R: Rosie and Richmond (SF), Rocket (NEFL), Rick, Rubus (Orange), Rocket (NEFL), Ron and Rita (WRDC), Romeo (NEFL), Rachel (HI), Redwood Queen (CC)

S: Shadow (BBV), Samson (NEFL), Solly (PLO), Simba (BBV), SE26 for the brave eaglet she was (WBSE), Spirit (BBV), Seren (LC), Star and Sentry (RE), Skiff (HI), Sloop (HI), Schooner (HI), Slapjack (HI), Sarafina (Loch Arkaig), Star (WE), Smitty (NCTC), Spilvie, Superman (WE), Swoop (Dunrovin), Salli (Finland)

T: Thunder (WE), Takoda (NADC); dear Taps (PLO), Taiki (RA), Telyn (Dyfi), Tuul (BS), Titi (FN), The First Lady (NADC), Tom (CC), Tiny Tot Tumbles (Achieva), Tiger (GHOW)

U: UV (KF), Udu (Black Stork)

V: Victor (FP), Vera (Loch Arkaig), Voldis (WTE)

W: Wek Wek (UC-B), Willow (Loch Arkaig), Warren (MH), Waba, Wilfred and Wilma

X: Xavier

Y: Yurruga (Orange), Ystwyth, YRK (RA)

Z: Z1 aka Tegid (AO4, Wales, one of Monty’s boys), Z2 aka Aeron (PC, one of Monty’s boys)

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their videos, streaming cams, and posts that make up my screen captures: ‘H’, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and the NZ DOC.

Eggs, Electrocutions, Migrations and more…Tuesday in Bird World

30 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

We are nearing the end of August. I keep saying the month has disappeared and it surely has! It is simply hard to believe. We had a magnificent rain that brought the garden back to life. There is nothing like a good soaking – watering from the tap doesn’t seem to do it. The garden also had a visitor this morning. I know the hawk has been around but, with all of the foliage it is hard to spot him. The new fence has, however, attracted a lot of attention and today it got approved to be the new plucking post! The image is not good. I got so excited that I hit the silly video button on the phone and not the photo. It is also from a distance through a screen -I was hiding in the shadows hoping that she would not see me inside the house taking her photo – hawks have to eat, too.

By now you will have noticed that I have added some sub-titles to my blog. There will not always be questions in the post to answer – that is up to you! But if you are wondering something, ask. I will absolutely not always know the answers but I have friends and colleagues to ask that do and they are happy to share what they know with all of us. There is generally some news and there are always things happening at the nests despite it being quite slow the end of August. I hope also to incorporate a book review section once in awhile —- when there is time to read a new book. I am currently working on two: Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behaviour. It is excellent so far – a great reference that includes topics such as Anatomy and Physiology, Flight, Food and Feeding, Breeding… The second is After They’re Gone. Extinctions Past, Present and Future by Peter Marren who tackles some of the very uncomfortable truths that we have to face. It is time, after all, to get our heads out of the sand and listen to what individuals like Marren have to tell us. Full review to follow in a few weeks when I have had time to digest and reflect the latter.

In the Mailbox:

‘B’ writes: “I have been watching Osprey nests for years. Why do the siblings attack one another after fledging when they have been nice on the nest?” Oh, this is such a timely question as the nests begin to empty themselves of parents and fledglings in the Northern Hemisphere.

Some of you will remember that the three osplets on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in 2021 – Bazza, Falky, and Ervie – were sweet to one another as nestlings. Bazza tried a couple of times, early on, to boss Ervie but, even as little as he was, Ervie wasn’t having any of it. So the nest was very peaceful. Then they grew up. They fledged and even became interested in fishing. When Dad would bring a fish, they would descend on the nest and fight – or, rather, let’s use the Australian term, “a dust up” would occur. If you are watching the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn, two of the three girls remain in Wales. Whenever a fish comes on the nest, they practically knock each other about to get to that food. This is perfectly normal behaviour. They no longer see one another as siblings but as rivals who might take the only food supply. Soon, they will go their separate ways and no would have been hurt-normally -although Bazza and Ervie did get pretty rough. Please note that the PLO nest had 3 males and the Dyfi had 3 females – same gender on the nest. Same sex nests tend to be very civil after a brief set to at the beginning.

‘S’ sent me some news and included in it is a video/PowerPoint on what to expect at the Royal Albatross Taiaroa Head Colony in September. I know that many of you are fans of the albatross and watch Quarry Track chick, this year’s Royal cam chick, faithfully. I do not cover her but I look in on her. Sharon Dunne does an excellent job of providing all the information needed! This is a great information packet – have a peek. Thanks, ‘S’.

Making the News:

Drought and hydro poles killing off Europe’s White Storks. Only 10% of the hydro poles in Hungary are insulated and yet 150,000 beautiful White Storks are electrocuted each year. This well done video shows the birds, where they live, the deaths, and the fix that is required. It is now time for humans to step up to the plate and take care of the wildlife instead of doing what we have always done — put ourselves first.

And, of course, Hungary is not the only country that has this issue. We saw it in Canada when Junior was killed near the nest on Gabriola Island, in The Czech Republic, and elsewhere.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-62690344

A Polish Photographer has been stirring up real interest on the Internet with his image of an Osprey fishing. His name is Krzysztof Stasiaczek and the image was taken in August 2022 in Eastern Masuri, Poland.

Hancock Wildlife Foundation in British Columbia used their GoFund Me and some other private donations to build a new sun-shaded nest for Ma and Dad at Delta 2. Why? Rising temperatures in the area of the nest due to the increased heating of our planet. They released the images today. That is David Hancock with the light blue long sleeve shirt working tirelessly to continually improve the lives of the Bald Eagles…he has been doing this for at least 65 years!

Somehow we all knew that the numbers of Bald Eagles on the Channel Islands is growing – thanks in large part to Dr Sharpe ensuring the eaglets do not tumble into the sea or die under a nest from zinc toxicity.

News is coming out of the Channel Islands Eagle Lovers group that there is the possibility of a new Bald Eagle pair spotted on Santa Cruz! Sauces 2016 hatch A-63, a male named Whisk, has been seen at the old Fraser Point nest with a subadult female of approximately 3 years. Fingers crossed.

A blog by Rosie Shields who monitors the Borders nests in the UK found its way into my inbox today. You might not be interested in these Ospreys but, it is the behaviour of the female that is important. She left a nest with three chicks she was feeding to begin her migration, landed on a nest she had visited before, and sat herself down now for 9 days being fed by the resident male who is willingly catching fish for her. It is always good to learn more and more about the behaviours of Ospreys – they never cease to surprise and amaze me.

Nest News:

Annie and Alden decided it was a good idea to renew their bond in the UC-Berkeley scrape on The Campanile after the sudden visit of a mysterious male falcon. Alden initiated the bonding session. “Annie, do not look at another male falcon. Alden is a keeper!”

Alden was caught loafing in the setting sun last evening. How adorable.

Everyone is sitting waiting really impatiently to see if Diamond will lay a third egg at the Charles Sturt Orange Falcon cam in Australia. Diamond’s average between eggs is 56 hours. The second egg was 57 hours this year. Will there be a third? and will it be on time?

Xavier loves his ‘eggie’ time and Diamond was obliging this morning to let him take a turn.

Xavier left and returned around 0700 with a Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo (IDed by Holly Parsons). Xavier always brings something special on egg laying day. What a sweetheart.

Xavier waits for one and a half hours to incubate those precious eggs…it is caught on video.

Diamond looks pretty contented. Let’s see what is happening in a couple of hours.

There are still only 2 eggs at Orange. It is the middle of the night. If Diamond is to lay a third egg I would surely think that it will come before 0800 on the 31st.

In Melbourne, the little Dad is getting his turn, too and those four eggs look awfully big as he wiggles and squiggles to get them under him. Yesterday he looked down and noticed one was outside!

You can almost hear him saying he hopes the new mate doesn’t lay 5! She could. Keep hoping the population of pigeons is bursting at the seams in Melbourne!

Everything seems to be going well with the Sea Eagles. They are six weeks old and standing sturdier by the day and changing their appearance with those gorgeous feathers coming in.

At Port Lincoln, Dad took over incubation and Mum is enjoying a really nice dinner time fish before tucking it in for the night.

Updates on Tweed’s three fledglings from yesterday’s post.

A Tweet from County Cork with a great photograph of an osprey believed to be Kirk. Fantastic. He has had quite the adventure. Glad Kirk is safely on land. Now to get his GPS coordinates polished.

In the UK, Louis and Sarafina are still at Loch Arkaig. Dorcha was last seen on 18 August and it appears that Willow, LW5, began her journey on the 28th of August.

Louis delivered a lovely Mackerel to the nest for Sarafina today. She has been seen down at the loch attempting to catch a fish, too. Isn’t that splendid?

Louis brought a lovely fish to Sarafina at 16:16:33 on the 30th. She is still with us as of today.

The last sighting of Willow was on the 28th.

Maya is still at the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey platform. She flew in with a fantastic fish this morning at 0619. While many of the females have now departed, Maya raised three very large and strong female chicks with Blue 33. She is taking good care of herself so she is in good shape for migration. Normally we can expect to see her and her mate, Blue 33, back in the UK at the end of March. The first eggs and the first hatches!

Seren, Blue 5F, was with Dylan this morning at the Llyn Clywedog nest looking around their beautiful territory.

It appears that Mrs G from the Glaslyn Valley nest is now on her way south. Aran was on the nest earlier and one of the fledglings was shouting out for a fish.

At the Dyfi Nest, Telyn was last seen on the 25th of August. Pedran left before Mum, and Padarn was still at the nest today. Paith has not been seen on the 30th that I am aware of so it could just be the second hatch, Padarn, and Aran left at Dyfi.

Stephen Basly posted another great image on the Notre Dame Eagles FB Group of our Little Bit 17! It was the 25th of July and is such a great image. I think Stephen worked to get it cleaned up well for all of us. Thanks Stephen!

I have not been able to access Looduskalender today for updates on the Black Storks, Karl II and his family, as they migrate.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a gorgeous day here – I hope it is for you, too and that you have been able to enjoy being out in nature, if possible. Take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their tweets, videos, streaming cams, and blogs that make up my screen captures: NZ DOC, BBC News, Krzysztof Stasiazek, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, CIEL Rosie Shields, Cal Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Conservation without Borders, Dave McGrath, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, LRWT, CarnyXWild, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, and Notre Dame Eagles.

Remembering Lindsay…and more. It’s Friday in Bird World

26 August 2022

Amidst the joy of Peregrine Falcon eggs in Australia at both Orange and Melbourne, the loss of dear Lindsay, the eldest of the two siblings hatched at The Campanile on the grounds of the University of California-Berkeley, remains heavy – a real heartbreaker. From the news it is apparent that Lindsay died several weeks ago; her body just being found today. She was last seen on the Campanile on 5 August precisely three months after she hatched on 5 May. A life cut way too short.

Lindsay was one of a two-part miracle. Lindsay’s Mum, Annie lost her mate Grinnell when he was killed after chasing an intruder away from The Campanile. There was worry that there would be no chicks this season. Alden arrived in 5 or 6 hours hours (already a friend of Annie and Grinnell’s) and offered to help Annie incubate the eggs and take care of the chicks. We rejoiced at the love the two siblings had for one another, when they played, and when they chased moths. They grew strong and they flew. It is with such deep sadness that we say goodbye to Lindsay today. Fly high, Sweet Girl. Soar to new heights you never imagined.

Here is the full announcement from Cal Falcons. It appears that Lindsay’s death, from the evidence found from her body, was killed by another raptor.

It is heartbreaking. Lindsay had such potential and, of course, it is very possible that she was the last chick our beloved Grinnell fathered. She brought us such joy! I would like to share a few images of this remarkable falcon moving back in time from the last sighting of her on The Campanile on 5 August to the day she hatched.

Lindsay and Grinnell, Jr adopted many of the quirks of Alden including loafing. Annie has perfected it!

Annie and Grinnell, Jr playing together at The Campanile. The two siblings seemed to really enjoy playing with one another, something that I have not seen for a long, long time. It was refreshing.

Lindsay on the roof of the library on 18 June after fledging. Just look at this exceptionally beautiful juvenile. Stunning.

Do you remember banding day 27 May (on the right)? Lindsay was frightened but quiet. Alden would not stop being loud! Lindsay was still sit ting with a not so scared look on her face in early June.

Lindsay was also sitting in that same pose on 22 May.

Hatch day for Lindsay, 5 May. Grinnell wants to come and help. Annie is not sharing – yet – but she will and each of us will rejoice watching this wonderful family.

‘H’ just sent this press release on Lindsay. Thank you, ‘H’. Just made it before I hit send! Grateful.


From the Mailbox:

‘M’ writes: What do you think about this from Dyfi project? I am not sure I would pass off some of that behaviour as just “playing”, at least not based on how the smaller chick reacts. Wondered about your view, based on your study of third hatches.”

For transparency, I posted the information from Dyfi in one of my blogs. Emyr Evans has a long history with the Dyfi Nest in Wales. I have great respect for him but, in this instance, I choose to disagree.

In the UK Osplet deaths are generally attributed to either very poor weather in the early days after hatching or lack of prey, starvation not siblicide. There is little history of siblicide; there are so few breeding pairs and chicks compared to North America. This year, however, we did see it at the Loch of the Lowes Nest. It was rather horrific treatment of the third hatch that was killed by the eldest during a period of low prey delivery.

As you are aware, my research is on siblicide and, in particular, the success of any third hatch osplets vs the other two siblings. Because I track the juveniles long term this is limited to those that are ‘ringed’ and/or ringed with SAT tracking. My findings also rely on the good fortune of someone seeing the juveniles in the future and providing that information to various data bases! In my experience, the aggression shown by older siblings ranges from mild displays of dominance to more serious concerns that seem to taper off around the age of 26-28 days. Serious aggression often ends in the death of the smaller weaker sibling. There is much research to support the fact that it is not always about food. Sometimes it is just dominance.

‘M’ this, in my opinion, is not play. It is establishing the dominant bird on the nest. The dominant bird will eat first and if there is little food it will be the only chick that eats. Had food been scarce the treatment might have escalated but, thankfully, it didn’t. Gender may play significant roles also with the females requiring more food to grow 1/3 larger and feather a larger body. Thus, the females, especially if they are the first hatch, tend to be more aggressive.

Multiple times this year we have seen the third hatch killed by the eldest sibling and sometimes in conjunction with the middle one. As mentioned, this happened at the Loch of the Lowes this year when food was scarce. It also happened at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest amongst others. It also happens on eagle nests and other species. However, there appears to be a higher rate of siblicide among North American Ospreys than those in the UK. It is likely that these numbers reflect the higher population of Ospreys in North America. In addition, the lochs are full of fish and there are restrictions on many of them to prevent human intrusion during the breeding season.

Loch of the Lowes

In the News:

We are going to start with some fantastic news. When I lived in the UK, I studied in Leicester but lived in Lincolnshire and Belvoir (pronounced Beaver) Castle was a regular haunt for me – so close to where I resided. For the first time in 200 years, we have Ospreys breeding on top of Belvoir Castle! Oh, my goodness. I am delighted. Here is the BBC News report.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-62675910?fbclid=IwAR2oh_nwcQ04Sgqp9W2VubAHNIWEVdklHCduT0KiCfsp1lu7y_-92-kc-hI

There is more news coming in about the sad state of the White-tail Eagles on Mull Island — known internationally for the birds and their nests.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/mull-white-tailed-eagle-chick-dead-from-bird-flu/?fbclid=IwAR1dQ2AI_bU07KxyTS0T6CeKgHBU0FFA5bnjUFrTF1LOCudnRC2vPFJhjhU

Bird Flu is also killing Black Vultures. Deaths from migration, Avian Flu, human disturbance and killings, fires, habitat loss, lack of food…how many of our raptor friends will be left?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/24/bird-flu-has-killed-700-wild-black-vultures-says-georgia-sanctuary

There is a lovely documentary on YouTube on the return of the Black Storks to Germany in the 1980s. The cinematography is excellent as is the narration. So much to learn – 53 minutes. Find a nice quiet time to watch!

Nest News:

The 367 Collins Street Falcon Cam in Melbourne is up and running. So far there are 2 eggs!

Here is the link to the camera:

As you will be aware, the first egg of the season for Xavier and Diamond at their scrape in Orange was laid at 0713:48.

Diamond resting in the scrape after her labour and the delivery of the first precious egg for these two.

Diamond incubating the egg. How beautiful.

Xavier comes to the scrape to relieve Diamond. A short bonding ritual takes place before Diamond flies off.

Xavier scraping and trying to turn the egg as he settles down.

Xavier carefully rolls the egg.

Everything is alright with the world. Oh, what a joy to finally see the first egg for Diamond and Xavier. Let us all hope that their year is as successful as it was in 2020 with the hatch of the ever adorable Izzi.

Here is the link to one of three cameras for Xavier and Diamond:

I am so used to the Ospreys in the UK and the Dads bringing in a fish right before or when the sun is rising in the morning. That first fish delivery for SE29 and 30 at the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest did not come until 12:31 today. Thankfully the chicks were civil and it was not huge but was a good size.

Images from early morning to feeding.

Early morning preening of those itchy feathers.

Beautiful Lady listening and waiting for Dad to bring food to the nest.

SE29 and 30 watching Mum aerate the nest. Just look at how carefully they are looking at her every move. This will imprint in their mind’s and they will know to aerate their own nests.

Finally, a fish has arrived!

Things appear to be going good at the Port Lincoln barge except for Mum making cries for fish. On occasion Dad has flown in eaten more than his fair share while Mum is fish calling. He then delivers the remainder to her. Come on Dad! Dad is taking his turns incubating.

Oh, it seems so long until 19th of September – may the time pass quickly! There is nothing cuter than nestlings a couple of days old.

Checking on Kaia’s transmission. She remains in Belarus. On the 25th of August she flew 123 km. She is now near the village of Liaskavicy. It is in an area that is part of the wetlands of the Pripjat River. There is a national park and the area is considered to be quite safe for Kaia.

Karl II is looking a little tired. Thanks to Urmas the supply of fish continues so that he can feed the four Black Stork fledglings. Soon they will fly and hopefully Karl II will have some days to recover and gain some weight before he leaves. Of course, when they do depart we shall all be worried for them. I wonder if by some means Karl II and the children will meet with Kaia and decide another route to their winter home???

It appears that all of the White Storks from the nest in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic have left for their migration. It is raining heavily and both of the nests of Bukacek and Betty appear so lonely. Safe travels dear family.

Suzanne Arnold Horning has caught L2 on the Cornell Campus! So happy she is here with us. In the history of the nest, it seems that the 28th of August is the last day to see fledglings in the past. Enjoy these moments then with our first fledge of the year. Gosh, she is beautiful. We know that she is catching her own food – she was the second of the fledglings to do so more than a month ago. So all is well with L2.

It is Friday. A friend sent this to me to cheer me up because of Lindsay. I did giggle…love those sour worms. Thank you ‘S’.

Thank you so much for joining me today. If you have any questions, you can send them through the comments page or through e-mail. My address is maryannsteggles@icloud.com Have a fabulous Friday! Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, videos, and posts that form my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Berkeley News, Dyfi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB, The Guardian, BBC, 367 Collins Street Falcons and Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydeny Olympic Park, Looduskalender, Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlade Buky, and Suzanne Arnold Horning.

Monday morning in Bird World

22 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! The sun is out and it promises to be another hot day, 28 C. No rain forecast until tomorrow — and they might well change that. I am delighted to report that Dyson was seen in the garden this morning. One of the juvenile Blue Jays was screeching so loud – at Dyson – who was helping herself to ‘his peanuts’. The three juvenile Crows were in the garden on Saturday and again this morning. The little female was cooling her feet off in the bird bath.

I have also been out checking on the ducklings. Some are really growing!

Last week, there were 11 with this female. I am now counting 9.

This little sweetheart watched me quietly walk towards and around her. She never moved. How delightful.

If you are a duck and it is hot and humid, what do you do? Try to find some shade and/or a breeze. Duck Siesta time.

Then I found these two ducklings. They do not have their tails and are still sporting their downy fluff. Oh, I am going to worry about them and, hopefully, I can find them today or tomorrow when I am out checking again.

Update. There was some concern about the situation with AX6, Axel, at the Loch Garten nest. Yesterday, I posted that AX6 had not been seen on the nest and was feared to be ousted by the intruder, KL5, injured, or worse since 15 August at 0635.  Good news arrived from ‘DV’ who wrote to tell me “AX6, Axel, was seen on the Loch Garten nest this morning (Sunday), according to watchers.” Oh, fantastic. I checked on the Loch Garten FB page and they confirmed the time as 0835. Axel remained on the nest for 5 minutes. There is YouTube video confirmation. Thank you so much DV! Now has he been feeding the sole surviving chick from the nest 1C2 off camera? That is the question. He looks good!

The nest was empty later.

From the mailbox. There are several nests that many of you might have been wondering about. First up, Titi and Boris at the Janakkalan Nest in Finland. I have heard nothing since the camera shut down quickly and abruptly. I do not know why a decision was made to go offline at that time.

The streaming cams operate for many reasons but research and education/entertainment seem to be the main categories. The owners of the streaming cams often do not take into account the impact that watching a family of raptors has on viewers. Each of us has our favourite nests. Some may be the same for all of us but there are always nest surprises. We have our favourite nestling and we cheer them on and yell at the screen, fret when the weather is bad often staying up with them. We worry when there is not enough food. We clap and jump when they fledge and then we worry about where they are and if they are alright Sometimes (and it was a lot this year), we cry when one or another or all die.

For me the streaming cams have always been a way for us to connect with nature. They became particularly important during the pandemic as shown by Loch Arkaig having over 400,000 viewers watch Louis and Aila raise JJ5, JJ6, and JJ7 in 2020. Many have written to tell me that they are in hospital dying and it is the birds that are keeping their spirits up. One of my readers who became a good friend had cancer. Anyone on the Sydney Sea Eagle chat will remember Phyllis. The sea eagles and the chatters kept Phyllis going much, much longer than the doctors could ever imagine. The birds enrich our lives. I have had people say why not go outdoors and watch the birds, why on screen. I always tell them that it is like going to a sporting event or a Formula 1 race – you actually get a better view on the telly. Of course we go outside and see the birds if we are able! But where could you see up close an Osprey, an Eagle, a Peregrine Falcon raising their chicks? I surely couldn’t! They have brought us joy and touched our hearts so when that camera is suddenly turned off without an explanation or warning, we wonder why. It is shocking.

And so it was with Titi and Boris. They had lost their mother and their sibling. Dad continued to bring food and the goshawk was around. We worried about Titi who waited so long to fledge and then boom…nothing. We never got the opportunity to see if Titi would return to the nest. Some of you have written to ask the Finnish Osprey Foundation why did they turned the camera off so early. You have not received an answer. I have written to one of my Finnish contacts and readers to see if they know anything. I will certainly post any news here for everyone if I should hear.

My inbox has been full of letters about Malalam the little Red-tail Hawk adopted by the Bald Eagle family on Gabriola Island, British Columbia. When her nest mate turned sibling, Junior, was electrocuted on a pole owned by BC Hydro, GROWLS posted all manner of information so that a campaign could be directed towards BC Hydro. Many groups joined in. I carried their request to you. Malala is not ringed. The Red-tail Hawks and hawks in general are beginning their migration. Will we ever know what happened to Malala? is anyone watching the nest to see if she returns? She could be heard on the cam on the 30th of July. That same day, GROWLS FB said that the season was closed and the camera was immediately turned off. No information has been posted since. It felt abrupt especially after so many wrote to BC Hydro on their behalf after the call to do so on July 22, ‘Justice for Junior’.

I am fortunate to have a friend and former student in the area. They have confirmed for me that there are a number of red-tail hawks and without any method for identification no one will know unless they happen to see Malala at the nest or eating fish. If I do hear anything – or if you do – please let us know.

Many of you fell in love with this family and the story. That is the missing link in the streaming cams that I am trying to emphasize. If we are to try to make any positive impact in the lives of wildlife, then it would be good if the administrators of the streaming cams would agree to post any updates and warn individuals when and why cameras are being turned off. Annual maintenance is one of the biggest reasons and well established cameras with high traffic always warn their viewers. I am thinking of SWFlorida Bald eagles. In this instance so many of you wrote to BC Hydro and it would be reassuring if we heard that the pole that killed Junior had been made safe for any future fledglings. I would love to see a FB post about that and if GROWLS had their new camera. I think you would, too.


Just when we should be expecting the nests to be so empty, there continue to be surprises. Lancer visited the old Two Harbours nest and the cam operators were simply fantastic, getting great captures.

The Channel Islands just look like a perfect place for Bald Eagles to live. What a magnificent view of the water.

A video was put together of Lancer’s visit to the original Two Harbours nest. No one is sure why Chase & Cholyn decided to move their nest. Here you go:

Thunder visited the West End nest with a fish today, too. She must be lonely without any one of the three fledglings not rushing her to grab that fish out of those talons!

I decided that perhaps there might be some luck checking on the other nests. There was no one to be seen at the Fraser Point nest of Andor and Mama Cruz. I have had quite a number of letters asking about Trey and what happened to her after Mama Cruz winged her. I have heard nothing and there seems to be no mention on any of the normal sites associated with the Institute for Wildlife Studies. This time it would seem that no news is good news – she has gone on her way. If I should see or hear anything otherwise, I will definitely let you know. I will also add that this is not the first time that Trey -who hatched and fledged from the Fraser Point nest – has returned home. She fledged on 6 June 2019. Her first return to the nest tree was 15 July 2021. She returned again on 25 July 2021 and then again this year on the 16 August 2022.

There was no one about the other nests in California that I could see. I then went over to Florida to the nest of Samson and Gabby at Jacksonville and got a pleasant surprise – it was a Red-shouldered Hawk having a rest.

Migration has begun, of course, and there will be many raptors (and other birds) stopping to rest along the way. What a beautiful, beautiful hawk this one is! And what a delight to get to admire the gorgeous plumage for a bit.

Karl II is still feeding the four Black Stork fledglings at the nest in the Karula National Forest. Bonus was there so all four are still around and have not left.

Meanwhile Kaia remains in Belarus near the fields and marshes near Lake Veluta.

If you are a fan of the Kielder Forest Ospreys, here is a full up-to-date report on each nest! It was joyful reading that Mum had managed to fledge her two chicks after losing her mate, YA. They flew on 9 and 13th of August. She remained another 11 days fattening up for her big trip.

Dorcha has not been seen at the Loch Arkaig nest for several days. I am presuming that she has begun her migration, too. Louis is keeping Willow and Sarafina satisfied with fish — as he always does. What a fantastic mate he is. Louis delivered a fish to both this morning.

At the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria, Blue 35 and fledgling Blue 480 have not been seen for a number of days and, like Dorcha, are believed to be in the midst of their migration. White YW is supplying fledglings Blue 481 and 497 with fish at the nest.

Dylan is delivering nice trout to the Llyn Clywedog nest…and the fledglings are not always holding on tight enough and oops…off it goes. As long as the fledglings are around, Dylan, like all the males, will continue to bring fish to them. Then they will feed and go on their way to their winter home. Seren Blue 5F was still seen fishing on the 21 August.

Mrs G is still at the Glaslyn Valley nest she shares with her mate, Aran.

It is a little soggy at the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn. The information below the camera states that Telyn was last seen on the 20th. As it happens, however, Telyn was seen on camera at 16:08 today and there were great views of the second hatch, Padarn.

Here is a lovely video of Telyn bringing a Mullet to the nest with Padarn and Paith doing some loud fish calling!

It is raining with some wind at the Mlade Buky White Stork nest in The Czech Republic. I have seen only one stork on the second nest that Bukacek built. Awaiting confirmation that Betyhka has started migration along with the four fledglings.

In the UK Raptor Persecution news, the Moy Estate in the Scottish Highlands has lost its license (in an appeal) for the poisoning of a Red Kite on its estate.

There will be more and more prosecutions of estates where grouse hunting takes place and when the wildlife estate managers kill the raptors that the UK is working so hard to reintroduce. Indeed, there is a growing movement to end the practice of grouse hunting.

Dad brought Lady and SE 29 and 30 a nice big chunk of fish yesterday. All ate and then, surprisingly, Lady decided to brood the chicks. This nest appears to be doing very, very well this season.

Waiting for eggs at the scrape of Xavier and Diamond. The rejected Starling in the corner appears to be ‘past its sell-by-date’. If the amount of mating that these two have been doing is any indication of the number of eggs, this scrape should be full from top to bottom and side to side. I am hopeful that we might have the first egg in a few days!

367 Collins Street in the CBD (Central Business District) of Melbourne has not gone live so no eggs there yet either.

It is pouring down rain in Port Lincoln this morning. Mum is really tucked in so those precious eggs do not get wet.

It’s a wrap! Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that the start to the week is a wonderful one for each of you. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, posts, and videos that form my screen captures: Loch Garten RSPB, GROWLS, Explore.org and IWS, NEFlorida-AEF, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender, Kielder Ospreys, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, CarnyxWild, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Ospreys, Mlade Buky, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, UK Raptor Persecution, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Featured Image: Thunder at the West End Bald Eagle nest, 21 August 2022.

Bird World News – Early Tuesday

16 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Everyone has survived the torrential rain from last night but all the plants were pelted down by the heavy rain and I wonder if that is the same for the crops in the farmer’s fields?

I am reasonably sure that everyone reading my blog this year is aware of the ‘rain’. We had a 4-5 year drought and then the skies opened in the spring and never closed for any extended period of time. The dehumidifier cannot keep up and tonight the skies opened again! It is raining so hard you cannot see and the sky is charcoal-gray.

This is an image shot on the highway and sent to me about 30 minutes before the system hit Winnipeg last evening.

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There it is on radar.

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What does this have to do with raptors? or wildlife? Well, in Manitoba it has a lot to do with them. It means that the rangers at Hecla Island/Grindstone Provincial Park will not be able to check the shore line where the eagles used to make their nests. It means that the lake will rise even higher. It will be good for some of the shorebirds! For others they might have difficulty finding food.

Thankfully the new baby Hedwig came to eat under the bird feeders at his usual time and beat the storm. I try to not let him see or hear me which means the images are always compromised. He is really growing. Sometime between the 20th and 30th the new fence will be going up. Then the bird and pollinator friendly area will be planted. The fence builder already knows that the fence has to be raised so that the rabbits can come in. Sadly it also lets the feline domestics in the garden, too. (Just like the reintroduction of Goshawks in the UK means that there will always be predators for the Ospreys now). The floor of the sunroom will be tiled on Wednesday, cure until Friday night and finally on Saturday if all is well, I can move back in. I need to figure out how to remove one of the screens as it really stops me from being able to take photos of the garden friends without disturbing them. It also means that the juvenile Crows will see me and stand on the roof screaming and pecking when their cheesy dogs need replenishing. It is interesting – no one can ‘see’ into the sunroom but if the birds get close enough they can – and, of course, their hearing is top notch. Still, I try to be invisible.

I am very fortunate and honoured to be able to take care of them, this little enclave of nature in the middle of a big and growing city. While I cannot turn back the heating of our planet, I can make the lives of the animals that bring me such joy easier. It is the least I can do. They used to burrow and fly in this area – free. As my City grows out instead of building up in the interior, their habitat gets more and more compromised by large housing developments with no trees and the houses so close together. It is easy for humans to become estranged from nature and that is the opposite of what we want.

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Little Hedwig III

My goal this summer was to not only take care of the animals and birds but to coddle the old roses that were on this property in 1902. They are climbers and had been neglected when I arrived and well…I am guilty of also neglecting them. This year the area was cleared and supports were put in place. With all of the rain they have flourished. This is just one tiny cluster. They have been blooming since June and there are new buds every day as long as I pick off the old ones — which I need to do on this bunch. I wish I could put the scent on this page for each of you. If it could be bottled you could pull it out and smell the roses of summer at any time. They bring such joy.

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I am shocked every time I go to the park because there are new ducklings. It is August – the middle of August! There should not be ducklings!

My camera is ‘smarter’ than I am and reacts badly if I happen to not check all the bells and whistles. I did not set it for ‘Movement’. This little duckling was moving. It was so tiny and still fuzzy. I have really cropped and blown up the image. What will happen to this little one? Will it grow fast enough to migrate in October? Why are so many ducklings hatching during the last week? They are all, by the way, Wood Ducks save for a couple of Mallards. The numbers have shifted this year. The Wood Ducks arrived late and are bountiful. At one time in early June I could not find a single Wood Duck!

These images are not great. Thankfully I am not trying out for wildlife photographer of the year — they would send me out of the room quickly!!!!!!!

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If you haven’t guessed by now, I love Wood Ducks!!!!!!! I think they are my favourite duck ever.

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There were a few older Mallards. I could see no Mallard ducklings at this particular pond.

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I was, however, shocked/annoyed/angry that there was a party at a duck pond with balloons. On the drive out of the park there were more balloons attacked to trees! Signs can be used instead of balloons. They need to be banned from the park and the public needs to be educated as to what the reasons are.

This one had broken lose and had blown over to the edge of the island in the pond where the ducks and geese rest and lay their eggs. Will it pop and will one of them consume it?

I seem to be venting but clearly notices against balloons must go up at the parks just like the feeding signs.

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There they were – piles and piles of them. Celebrations should be fun and safe ——–for everyone and everything – including our dear ducks.

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Our City banned the use of glue strips as of 1 July 2022. So why are our big box DIY stores still selling them???????!!!!!!!!!!!! (Screaming at the computer!)

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This will be a long term stay at the centre – feathers must moult and regrow. The wee one will need to learn everything in order to live in the wild. Wildlife rehab clinics, their vets, their student vets, their volunteers are the angels behind in the scenes in helping give our raptors a second chance at life from the harm that we do to them. Remember that you can help, too. That help comes in as many different forms as each of us is different – clean old towels and sheets, a bottle or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid, bleach, items for enrichment, volunteering time, holding a garage sale and giving some or all of the proceeds to the rehabber of your choice – the list is endless.

BirdCast has an active map showing migration in the US. Here is how to access it:

https://birdcast.info/migration-tools/live-migration-maps/embed/#?secret=jEQFPNj636

Kaia, the mate of Karl II, who is now migrating towards Africa turned back from the Ukraine yesterday and flew back into Belarus. Kaia has remained in Belarus today in a forested area. Some reported that she is in the Ukraine – this is not correct.

Many articles on how the war in the Ukraine is impacting wildlife, both residents and migrants, will be part of Wednesday morning’s blog on migration challenges.

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At the White Stork nests of Bukacek and Betty in The Czech Republic, the adults are enjoying some quiet time together – bonding and working on the two nests. The fledglings seem now to have left the area to join other groups of other fledglings as they begin their mass migration together.

Stephen Basly who posts photos and videos of the Notre Dame fledgling eagles watched Little Bit 17 successfully defend his perch against 16. Isn’t that wonderful news?! The kid has confidence and we know he is tenacious and resourceful. Sounds like a great beginning to independent living for this survivor. If the images come out, SB will be posting them on the Notre Dame Eagles FB page.

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In Senegal News, Jean Marie duPart reports that there are 31 young Ospreys in good form and finding large fish counted in Langue de Barbarie Park. Jean-Marie and his team keep us updated on Osprey counts from the beginning of migration period (yesterday) to their departure in the spring.

Young raptors can get trapped in trees. They still cannot land very well and often the twigs and the thicker of the thin branches stick through their wings and they are trapped….waiting to die. If you should see a raptor in precisely the same place, they probably need help. Check with your local wildlife rehab rescue. This Red-tail hawk is very happy that someone stopped to care for it!

https://fox8.com/news/see-red-tailed-hawk-trapped-in-dead-medina-tree/?fbclid=IwAR0QXV7cLEeMR0cBXpCbfGe3bTs0Sf1KXy-YUKc8w6EFNp-nBM-uTX4AoNk

The osplet on the nest at the National Arboretum platform in Minnesota has been scared off the nest at least three times this season by human activity. It is time that the institution put a fence around the area during breeding season like Montana Osprey Project does for Iris in Missoula. Sadly the chick is missing this time.

Are you missing Thunder and Akecheta? I sure am! Thunder was calling to Akecheta from the nest last evening as he flew around. He listened and joined her. So nice to see the two of you.

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Missy and Pa Berry were working on their nest yesterday also…and remember, Samson is waiting for Gabby to return. We have not even seen the fledglings off and the adults are starting to think about ‘spring’! With the changes in temperature, it will be interesting to see how many nests maintain their traditional egg laying schedule or who, like the Ospreys at Captiva, begin a month early.

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CJ7 and Blue 022 are making sure that their sole surviving fledgling, 5H1, is truly ready for migration. Look at the good condition this bird is in! 5H1 is a very important Osprey in the history of the reintroduction programme in the UK. He is the first osprey to hatch in more than 200 years and he has survived! (Let us hope that the goshawk that caught 5H2 off guard does not come around).

5H1 is really telling Blue 022 that it is time for the afternoon tea to be delivered!!!!!!!

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The youngest of the three osplets at the Boathouse platform in Maine is Sloop. ‘H’ tracked this bird all day yesterday and the days prior. Sloop is yet to fledge. The other two are 58 and 59 days old. Thanks ‘H’. So it is fledge watch for this third hatch of Dory and Skiff.

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There is still one osplet to fledge at the Osoyoos Osprey platform in British Columbia.

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Fledgling BC still comes to the nest for fish. So happy for Soo and Olsen. Despite losing one chick who fell off the nest, they managed to raise two in remarkably difficult conditions.

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Everything looks OK with Dad for yesterday at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. He is really wanting to do some incubating so there are lots of changing shifts. He even came in the late evening, 2202, but Mum sent him packing.

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Everyone is sound asleep in the Sydney Olympic Forest. SE29 and 30 are too big to tuck under Lady so they have made a little cuddle puddle.

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That is it for early Tuesday in Bird World. Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Osoyoos Ospreys, Audubon Explore, Poole Harbour, Berry College, Explore and the IWS, Arboretum Ospreys, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Capi Mlade Buky, Looduskalender, Bird Cast, and Bald Eagles 101.

Ervie, fledges and more – early Tuesday in Bird World

9 August 2022

First a correction! Shame on me for saying we know where Telyn winters. It is not Telyn but, the beautiful Seren from Llyn Clywedog that spends her winters in The Gambia. I knew that and wrote Telyn. Thanks, ‘C’ for alerting me. Much appreciated!

One other clarification that ‘CE’ caught that needs explaining. Osprey fledglings are the raptors that do not require their parents to teach them to hunt or fish. Others do. You will have seen the eagles and hawks showing their fledglings how to hunt prey! I bet Ervie did chase Dad around in his efforts to find some good fishing spots, though!

Ervie, dear Ervie. Port Lincoln posted images after I had sent out my blog last evening so our dear Ervie is up first. Thanks to ‘B’ for alerting me to these.

As so many of you are aware, Port Lincoln Ospreys is working hard to introduce our fish eagles to Southern Australia. They are getting attention from government agencies and, of course, the population is growing to love these birds – many because of our dear Ervie. Here are the latest postings from Port Lincoln and the beautiful pictures of Ervie out fishing with Dad by Fran Solly. There are more on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page. Head over and have a look. This is the place to continue checking on Ervie and his antics with Dad — or alone.

It is always good to see you, Ervie.

Is there room for you, Ervie??????!!!!!!

Remember when we worried that Ervie would only be able to catch puffers? Well, he has certainly adjusted to fishing without that other talon (I have not seen it fully grown in on the pictures but I would love to be corrected!). That is a beautiful fish. Well done, Ervie.

At the Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest of Karl II and Kaia, Bonus, the adopted storklet of Jan and Janika, Bonus, fledged first today. He was followed by Volks who hears Bonus in the forest and flies off to the left.

Both returned to the nest. Ilks is looking at his reflection in the camera. Will you fly next? So funny when they find themselves. After fledging the Black Storks will stay at least a week around the nest being fed. If the food is plentiful they may stay longer before venturing out to find food for themselves and beginning migration.

As ‘B’ says, it is hard to beat the WBSE for cuteness. SE30 is a bit of a corker. When it was 2 days old, 30 beaked at 29. Not a good thing to do. We have all worried about 30 but unless there is an unexpected ‘something’, they should both be fine. SE30 gives as good as it gets and they both fool around with one another and then seem to stop before it gets too rough.

Chubby little bottoms. Their soft down on the head is giving way to pin feathers and the feathers are coming in nicely along the wings. They will begin to do a lot more preening as things get itchy. You can see their black talons and those big clown feet getting started. So cute.

Of the streaming cams in Australia, we now have the WBSE eaglets and the first egg at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge for Mum and Dad as of yesterday. We are awaiting the beginning of the season for Peregrine falcons Xavier and Diamond and the Melbourne CBD – 367 Collins Street. Xavier and Diamond are amping up the bonding in the scrape! Eggs before the end of the month?

The only chick on the Landscape Arboretum platform at the University of Minnesota fell off yesterday. It has not fledged. Here is the video of that incident. This could have turned out badly – and would have if not for the quick actions at finding the chick and getting it back on the nest. Thanks to all involved!

Boris and Titi (yet to fly) on the Janakkalan nest in Finland. 9 August 2022. Handsome!

All of the White Storklings of Betty and Bukacek have fledged. They seem to spend their time finding the parents and following them back to the nest for good feedings.

Look carefully. Bukacek is flying into the nest from the left (right above the grassy area at 930 on the nest).

All of the storklings came to the nest quickly so as not to miss a meal.

All of the UK chicks have fledged. This year the three at Foulshaw Moss did not get the best attention from me – in terms of publicizing the nest activities here on the blog. Last year I followed every move because of the third hatch – Blue 463 who survived and did extremely well. Waiting for her return next year! The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust have put out a very nice blog with an overview of the nest activities including some links to videos.

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/blog/alasdair-mckee/there-were-three-nest-and-littlest-fledged?fbclid=IwAR3EmfM6q7y1XNIqdvENXGlh8x4VhZve9AwmrsA4vAFcs_XRrvXubF76BhM

There appears to have been a fledge this morning at the Fortis Exshaw Osprey platform near Canmore Alberta. Thanks ‘H’ for the tip off! They seem to all be relatively equal – perhaps the others will fly today. You can see Mum looking on over the nest at her three beautiful chicks from the perch.

The fledge was a quick take off, fly around the nest and return landing on the right side.

I am counting a fledge as a flight off the nest and a return. In my mind, the chicks jumping up or getting to the many perches is equivalent to branching for Eagles, not a full blown official fledge. The real question is how far away is the perch? It is too difficult to tell. Mum certainly looks small and if it is a distance, then it might be counted as a fledge. If that is the case, then there were two fledges at Canmore this morning so far.

Big Red, Arthur, and L2 have all been accounted for by Suzanne Arnold Horning this week. Excellent news. Still no recent updates on L3 or L4.

L2 in the top picture screaming for a prey item and Big Red and Arthur calmly relaxing in the second.

Everyone remains curious as to how Victor got so much zinc in his system that he almost died. The Institute for Wildlife Studies has indicated that there are fishing lures coated with zinc. Thanks ‘B’. Here is the posting on the chat at the IWS. The question still remains: how much zinc does a fledgling eagle have to ingest to almost kill it? I do not know the answer to that question but I hope to find out.

The posting of the images of Little Bit 17 prompted a lot of mail. Everyone is thrilled and so very reassured that it is our little tenacious eagle. So grateful to the boots on the ground for chasing after this family and sharing their photos and videos with us on the Notre Dame Eagles FB.

‘CE’ had a very interesting analogy that seems quite fitting given the sponsors of the camera and the university that they are associated with – Notre-Dame. CE noted that the image of Little Bit looks like a Franciscan Friar with his friar’s crown. He said, “In the 5th century, the tonsure was introduced as a distinctive sign. In the East, the Pauli tonsure was used (all hair was cut), in the West, the Petri tonsure (only the top of the head was shaved). This was also called Corona Christi (Crown of Christ). Since the 16th century, the tonsure of regular clerics has been reduced to a small circle.” Friar Little Bit. It sounds nice.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is lovely to have you with us and the birds. I will continue to monitor the nests during the day. Tomorrow I am heading north for two days to count and enter the GPS for the Bald Eagle nests in and around Hecla Island. That information will be sent to David Hancock whose foundation monitors bald eagle nests in Canada. I hope to get some good images of the adults and juveniles before they leave for their winter homes. There will not be a newsletter tomorrow morning but I will try my best to get some images out to you tomorrow evening. Please take dare. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

I want to thank everyone who wrote in and sent me news. I still have some of your images to post! Much appreciated. I want to also thank the following for their streaming cams and/or posts or their photographs that I used for my screen captures: Fran Solly and the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, the Notre-Dame Eagles FB, the Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, Fortis Exshaw, the Finnish Osprey Foundation, the IWS, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Landscape Arboretum Ospreys, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park.

Migration woes and daily threats to our feathered friends

5 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It is a hazy day on the Canadian Prairies. The birds have been up early feeding as temperatures are set to rise to 29 degrees C today. The plants in the garden are looking a little droopy despite watering – we have been lucky to have all that rain. Some areas are really struggling. It is now a little after noon and the Crows and Blue Jays are reminding me that they need more peanuts and want their water changed! They are so smart. Wonder if I could teach them how to use the water hose?

I hope that you enjoyed seeing those beautiful pictures of Brooks back on the nest with Mum and Dad, Rosie and Richmond, at the WWII Whirley Crane. HE is well and beautiful. In case you missed it, Brooks (Blue XA) arrived back to the nest yesterday in the late afternoon and DNA testing has confirmed that Brooks is a male. Molate was also confirmed to be a male. This is a photo of him. He is very handsome.

Richmond does not migrate but Rosie does. Wonder which Brooks will choose? It is much safer to stay put!

Rosie has brought Brooks a lovely fish. Welcome home, Brooks.

Fish hooks and monofilament line are dangerous for all birds that eat fish like Ospreys and eagles. This is a reminder that things on nests can happen quickly — and for us to clean up our environment! Join a riverbank of lake clean up. It will make you proud that you have helped.

As we get ready to begin the great autumn migration, it is perhaps best if we take a deep breath. Migration is extremely dangerous especially for first year fledglings but it is becoming increasingly difficult for ‘seasoned’ birds as well.

I was surprised when I brought home a book from our nature centre, Atlas of bird Migration. Tracking the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It has good solid information on species with maps, information on the difference of gender in certain species as to migration —– and, hold on, out of 176 pages, four are devoted to “Threats and Conservation.” Out of those four, two pages had large photographs. The book lists: water (they show an oil spill), field and forest (they show fires), hunting and caging. Can you think of good current examples of these that will impact the birds we love heading to their winter quarters? what are they missing? Send your ideas to me and they will be included in a special blog on migration next Friday, 12 August.

Do you live anywhere near Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania? You can visit but, you can also take part in the annual count. Here are the dates that the birds fly over. Even if you didn’t help with the count what a special time to see the birds flying with the thermals, soaring over the mountains on their way to South America.

Hawk Mountain has kept track of spring and autumn migrations since 1934. You can go to their link and see population shifts. It is an eye-opener in some cases.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/resources/migration-data

Each of the nests below has faced or is facing challenges like many others. If you looked at the picture of the nest could you come up with issues they have faced? Try it before reading my text!

The two osplets at the Osoyoos Osprey nest have not fledged yet. They are working on some wingersizing. Caught them enjoying an early fish from Olsen this morning. Today will be good but by Sunday the temperatures at the nest will be 36 rising to 38 on Monday and 40 on Tuesday. Extreme heat has been an issue at this nest for several years with the temperatures continuing to rise and rise.

Thanks to the lovely people who live around the Notre-Dame Eagle nest we have more pictures of ND 15, 16, and Little Bit 17. It is always so funny…Little Bit seems to love to hide behind the small branches with leaves. So grateful to all those keeping track of the trio!

Hi Sweetheart.

The Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour have some significant toxins in the water that impacts the fish eaten by the sea birds.

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.

It is unclear what impact this is having on the White-bellied Sea Eagles who are at the top of the food chain along the river. Despite research being carried out, the direct implication to these WBSE is not normally discussed. If you know of a study with results, please let me know.

Lady with WBSE 29 and 30. They are filling up the nest cup!

Karl and Kaia missed each other by a flap of a wing. The fish basket has been replenished! Karl II rains down fish on the storklets. You can see the fish on the nest in the image below and then in the video. So grateful for Urmas and his fish baskets that have kept this family in good health. Areas where the Black Storks used to fish is becoming too developed and it is becoming more difficult to find fish – so grateful for the intervention. I continue to question whether or not it would work -in nests impacted by human action such as Osoyoos – to place a fish basket for the Ospreys? Would they use it? We are constantly told that the temperatures we are experiencing now are not going to alter but will get hotter. We need to work on plans for the birds.

Kaia has also been collecting fish for the four.

The four were stuffed after the feedings from both Karl II and Kaia. They will not fledge in rainy weather nor will they fledge when they are so full.

Urmas posted this note on Looduskalender yesterday. It has some information about what will happen once the storklets fledge.

The storklets now have names. Bonus will keep his name. The other three are Voog, Wada, and Iks.

The three storklets of Karl II and Kaia are Voog. This is Voog standing up

Waba is on the perch.

Iks is preening Waba. So there are the three!

Last year Kaia left for her migration on 11 August. These storklets should have fledged last week but they have not. Recent heavy rains have halted this or large feedings. The longer they stay on the nest and eat the stronger they will be.

The storks will travel to the centre of Africa for their migration. Have a look at a map and remember that that they often stop west of Odessa at a nature reserve. What particular issues will they face during migration?

The migration threats to the White Storks of Mlade Buky in the Czech Republic are similar to the ones that Klepetan faced when he migrated back and forth from Croatia to South Africa. He would visit his mate, Malena in Croatia for the breeding period. The person who cared for Malena was particularly concerned with the White Storks passing over Lebanon? S Vokic even wrote to the Prime Minister and President of Lebanon. Do you remember what his concerns were?*

Dad continues to provide fish on the Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland. I have not seen Titi fly.

He can fly. He just does not know it and he has no mother like Nuppu to encourage him. As such he continues to be a target for predators. It is good to remember that Ospreys talons are for holding fish – getting them out of the water and transporting them – not for fighting. They are too curved inward.

Despite concerns over migration or intruders, the birds on the nests are doing fine. Their health appears good and food is coming in on a regular basis – even at Osoyoos where Olsen brings fish in early on the hottest of days and late in the day. Once the birds fledge they can also cool off in the water. Keep sending them your warmest wishes. Life is getting ready to get difficult as they fly, perfect their flying, and set off on their own course in life.

There is some great news coming out of Yorkshire! More firsts for the UK Osprey population. Fantastic.

Sharon Dunne posted an update on when the Royal Cam chick will be banded. They ran out of time yesterday. Here is the announcement:

The Albatross face particular threats that some of the other migrating birds do not face. QT chick will fledge in September. When she flies off Taiaroa Head she will head out to sea where she will spend 4-6 years before ever returning to land. Then she will return as a juvenile with wobbly legs for a bit partying it up with the others hoping to find a mate for future years. What could happen to these lovely birds on the high seas for all those years?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the lovely sea birds around the UK continue to die from Avian Flu. They thought it was over and it has come back with a fury. Dutch scientist, Thijs Kuken says the solution for future outbreaks is to stop the factory farming of poultry. So far the Ospreys in the UK seem to have not fallen victim to the latest outbreak.

https://theecologist.org/2022/aug/01/avian-flu-outbreak-killing-wild-birds?fbclid=IwAR1erpdLzQUUobsxWqc5oQM5e9hURsLjGxXpP0vVS1Eu7HzmlSDPbLXIc1E

Thank you for joining me today. Remember do your research on threats to our feathered friends due to migration. Think about it. Send me your findings by Thursday of next week. That would be 11 August on the Canadian Prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!

  • If you said shooting for sport you would be correct.

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, and the Osoyoos Osprey nest.

Is it really Little Bit 17? and other Sadness and Gladness in Bird World

3 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

I was out almost all day yesterday and returned to find some sad news. We will get this over and move on to all the good news!

The situation at the #4 Osprey nest in Finland turned darker. An intruder appeared and the chicks ‘fell or flew’ off the nest. The youngest who had not as yet flown was predated. This is also the chick that was so vigorously attacked by Mum the other day. So sad. Thank you ‘N’ for letting me know. This is 81 lost so far in the past 13 months on streaming cams.

The Mum and the surviving fledgling on the #4 nest. Keep them in your warmest thoughts.

Ervie. Bazza Hockaday was doing some photography for a client and found Ervie, too. Can you spot Ervie on top of the pine tree? This park is across from the barge – so Ervie is staying close. (Magnifying glass almost required!)

Meanwhile Mum and Dad are making sure that Mum is quite comfortable on those eggs – they are lining the nest with a Silver Gull, one of the favourite foods of the Sea Eagles.

Everyone wondered if anyone would be keeping an eye for Little Bit ND17. It seems that lots of people who loved the eagle that fought so hard to live continues to have a loyal fan club. This evening on the Notre-Dame FB page, the following was posted. It looks as if our Little Bit has been very resourceful and is doing fantastic. Tears, joyful tears!

SF Ospreys have not received the DNA results from Brooks and Molate. Brooks continues to enjoy herself at the other nest and the visitor seems right at home. He is certainly a lovely Osprey – and talented.

The ‘visitor’ at the nest of Richmond and Rosie has done something very special – it caught a Spiny Dogfish (Shark) that lives in the Bay. (Reminds me of those brought to the nest at Mispillion Harbour in Delaware – bet it is just a slight difference in name from one region to the other but the same fish). The juvenile very proudly brought it to the nest. SF Ospreys say this is highly unusual. They have only seen a juvenile do this once. Round of applause!

Here is the video clip:

At the Black Stork nest of Karl II and Kaia, Karl was busy flying back and forth to the fish basket. He delivered 3 big meals to the storklets. Kaia delivered 1 on the 2nd of August. There was some concern that Karl II’s GPS was not working but it seems to be fine now. Thank goodness. I do worry about them all the time for some reason – storklets not yet fledged and requiring much food before migration.

Bonus has been standing on the curved perch with 1 leg. Great balance. Bonus is the oldest of the four. He is 72 days old on 2 August.

The four storklets of Betty and Bukacek are doing fantastic. The female- Fifinka- often spends time on the nest of the adults and then flies to the natal nest when food arrives. Sometimes she holds back from the bigger males but she wastes no time getting there if she is hungry. In the image below she is at the top flying in.

There is no reason for it other than sheer dominance at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. Lady feeds SE29 and 30 at least every hour if not sooner. Things were going relatively well until 0911 when 29 decided to not be nice and attack 30.

Three minutes later 29 is going into a food coma and 30 is being fed (0917 below).

SE30 keeps its head down to protect it.

Notice how 30 is slinking around the back ready to move forward and eat when 29 calms herself. Very clever tactic.

SE 30 is still being fed four minutes later. All is right with the world.

Mom and Dad on the nest of the Port Lincoln Barge early on 3 August.

Did you fall in love with Louis and Anna at the Kisatchie National Park Bald Eagle cam? couldn’t believe your eyes the day 18 fish were on the nest? did you melt and worry when Kisatchie fledged? when Kincaid hatched this year? Well, Cody and Steve have more fun for everyone. You will be able to watch 2 Bald Eagle nests from the Louisiana! Here is the announcement:

Humans and wildlife rehabbers helping another juvenile eaglet so that it has a second chance at life. These stories are always welcome!

The fish have been arriving in various sizes to the Osoyoos nest. ‘H’ sent me a note this morning saying the tally was at least 13 yesterday. Olsen is keeping up the numbers and some of them had to be good a good size. Sometimes the chicks are full and sometimes they aren’t. The last fish for 2 August was delivered at 20:01. Dad brought it in and Big Chick (BC) grabbed the tasty little twiddler. Dad rooted around and found an old piece of fish and fed Little Chick (LC). The family is nourished and hydrated. They have a break in the weather for a few days. This is all good news.

Here comes Olsen! BC rushes over to get the little prize.

Fortunately for LC, Dad found a piece of fish and is feeding him while BC works on the twiddler. It is all good.

The fish started arriving at the Osoyoos nest around 0523. The first was a small one but it seems to have changed possession at least 6 or 7 times. BC has been grabbing and self-feeding. Soo got into the action so that her and LC had some breakfast too. It is starting off to be another great day at this nest with 7 fish before 00700. Thanks Olsen!

Beautiful Iris. She continues to work on her nest. Precious are these moments – every year we wait til she leaves and wonder if she will return in the spring after migration. 29 years?

There are no updates on L4. It is now presumed that it was another window strike on the Cornell Campus. That would mean that of the four eyases – three struck windows at Cornell whose Bird Lab is one of the world leaders. Of those three, two are in care and one died. It is time Cornell made its windows bird strike proof like all of us try to do. I have not see at this time 1052 CDT an image of the head of the juvenile believed to be ND17. Elsewhere things seem to be steady but that could change as I hit the word ‘publish’.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, postings, videos, etc: Osoyoos Ospreys, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Mlade Buky, The Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Center for Wildlife, US Forest Service at the Kistachie NF, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and SF Bay Ospreys. They have been turned into my screen captures.

Monday Morning in Bird World

1 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Oh, one half of the sky is blue with cottonball-like clouds. The other side is a solid mass of heavy grey clouds. It is 22 C and more rain forecast for 1700. The Crows are already in the bird bath eating their ‘sandwiches’ and peanuts. Given a chance tens of sparrows gather in there after they have left. The squirrels are running about and the birds are flitting in and out. Dyson came to drink out of the bird bath yesterday and all the rabbits have been here. The weather is hot for here and having water out for the animals is, hopefully, helping them to cool down. It is so reassuring – just like when we check on the streaming cams and everyone is home!

The three young Crows are constantly with one another. Their flying is improving. The bird bath water is in constant change for one reason – everything is washed by the Covids. I wonder if it was to soften the shell of the peanut??

One of the fledgling Blue Jays waited its turn until the Crow departed.

This Blue Jay is yelling at Dyson! The squirrels do not wait in line – they just go and grab the peanuts. It is too funny. The juveniles are just getting their crests.

Poor Junior. He is moulting. If you see a Cardinal or Blue Jay looking scarce on top, they are not ill, just replacing their feathers.

Hello Dyson. Thank goodness the new bird bath is heavy enough that Dyson doesn’t go flying when he jumps up for a drink.

Adorable Hedwig. He spent about an hour eating the spilt seeds under the feeder. Hedwig was discovered under the Peony bush. He was such a wee rabbit. He never left the garden but ate the seeds as the birds flitted around him. He is never frightened by them. His burrow is somewhere else now but you can always count on his arrival around 1730 rain or shine, winter or summer. He’s an Eastern Cottontail.

Olsen really seems to have outdone himself on Sunday. As I begin to write this, there are two partial fish sitting on the nest. The chatters have been keeping close tabs and ‘H’ provided detailed time stamps. These are invaluable for viewers coming on line. Much appreciated. By 0900, Olsen had delivered 8 fish of varying sizes. Everyone was chock full of fish. It appears that there was some nibbling on the old fish (gosh they must be like dried fish now!) with another fish delivery at 18:33.

Soo has done a fabulous job keeping the chicks shaded. It is currently 37 C but rose to 40. Or 98.6 F to 104 F.

The nest still has horrific temperatures tomorrow. They seem to just keep adding on an additional day of heat. When did I ever believe I would say that 34 C was a welcome drop in temperature? The night will be welcome cooling off periods. The Osprey parents are doing the best they can and thank goodness those two chicks are feathered nicely this year.

Send positive thoughts, please. Soo and Olsen deserve success. In 2020 they lost a chick and one fell out of the nest and in 2021 the three died in the heat dome that stayed over the area. This year we have had one fall over the nest so let us keep fingers crossed. I think Soo and Olsen will succeed this year.

It is now Monday morning and Olsen has already brought at least five fish according to the chatters and here he is at 0656 feeding his babies fish number six!

I do not know if you have read the history of this nest but it is one of those great cooperative measures. FortisBC worked with the Town of Osoyoos put up a separate de-commissioned hydro pole for the Osprey and also donated the funds for the camera – the nest and streaming cam you are watching. They were proactive – indeed, it is in their best interests not to have the local power knocked out but, grateful, so grateful.

It is cooler at the Fortis Exshaw Nest in Canmore, Alberta. Mum and the trio are doing very well it seems.

Because it is in the same heat warning area, I have been checking on and off at the McEuen Park Osprey platform in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

There were two of the fledglings on the nest when I popped in.

With all the heat warnings, it is nice to have something to laugh at and it is provided by Bukacek and the adult only nest. You might well remember that Bukacek had built a second nest for him and Betty. Having four large White storklets on the natal nest gets a little crowded. Now that the storklets are flying – they have taken over the new nest! Bukacek will have to build another!!!!!! Betty meanwhile lures them back to their own nest with food. Perfect. Ooops….they ate and left. Oh, goodness.

Beautiful Betty.

There has been some concern about a blood spot near the wing of SE30 on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. What was the cause? Often the eaglets get fish blood or bird parts on their body but this does not seem to be that. It looks instead as if some feathers have clumped together either with fish juice or ps and they were, perhaps, pulling and it annoyed the eaglet who pulled them out and left a small bloody spot. The eaglet appears to be fine.

You can clearly see the spot on the right wing- and that enormous crop of SE29’s. 30 is eating well. No worries. Lady sometimes feeds it so much that 29 gets itself in a little knot. With the amount of prey coming on the nest there is no need for food competition – and even with feedings spreading a bit, everything should be fine. The eaglets are getting older. Getting ready to get some really itchy pin feathers soon. As long as food continues and Lady keeps up her remarkable feeding schedule..these two are going to grow and fledge.

There will not be any ringing or DNA tests unless one or both wind up in rehab after fledge. But I might be already inclined to guess that we have a really big sister in 29 and a little brother in 30.

We can always use good news in our lives. Here is another story of an eagle rescue that will warm your hearts! Thanks, ‘L’, much appreciated.

Our beautiful Victor. I love this photo of him standing on a low perch. You are progressing, Victor. Keep up the good work!

Since the rescue of Victor, some of us have been more than perplexed about where the zinc came from that poisoned his body. I have rattled my brain with several of you – flakes coming off of anything galvanized, warnings on garden hoses about zinc, the shale in the area contains zinc, etc. I really do not think our dear Victor sat and ate pennies knowingly. ‘C’ sent me the findings of a study by a Brazilian researcher. It has been translated by Google from the Portugese. If you are interested in how Victor might have gotten the zinc and how our contamination of the planet spreads to birds 10,000 miles away even…have a read.

Thank you, ‘C’. Much appreciated.

Title: “Not even the “end of the world” is free from human-caused pollution”

Animals that live in the waters of the Kerguelen archipelago, 3,000 km from the nearest inhabited region, are contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury.

Not even the “end of the world” is free from the pollution generated by humanity. Located in the south of the Indian Ocean, 3,300 km from Madagascar, the nearest inhabited region, the Kerguelen archipelago, formed by about 300 islands and islets, is contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury, copper and zinc. The observation is made by Brazilian researcher Caio Vinicius Cipro, a postdoctoral fellow at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP), in two studies he carried out at the University of La Rochelle, in France, in partnership with scientists there.

Of volcanic origin, Kerguelen is 4 thousand kilometers south of India and 2 thousand kilometers north of Antarctica. The archipelago belongs to that country and is administratively part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). There is currently a scientific station and structures associated with it. “There is also fishing activity due to France’s exclusive economic exploitation zone”, says Cipro. “Biologically, there are countless species of birds and marine mammals that have established colonies on the island and many others, in addition to significant amounts of fish and invertebrates thanks to the high primary productivity of local food. There are also several species introduced by humans, such as mice and reindeer, and some plants.”

He says that the idea for the study came during a period when he worked as a guest researcher at the University of La Rochelle. “My supervisor at the time, Professor Paco Bustamante, had told me about a dataset he had obtained years before, which he began working on during his own doctorate, and whose publication he never had time to pursue,” he says. “I volunteered to carry out the task and write the publication.”

Cipro then went on to study the occurrence of four chemical elements (cadmium, copper, mercury, zinc and selenium) in more than 30 species of invertebrates and fish, most of them at a lower trophic level (of the food chain). The objective was to understand how the concentrations of these inorganic pollutants behave at these lower levels that will influence organisms above them in the food chain.

Cipro’s first study was carried out in 2014, shortly after he arrived in France, on samples that had been collected by Bustamante’s team in the southern summers of 1997 and 1998. The Brazilian scientist analyzed metal contamination in a species of bird, the black shearwater petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis). “We found contamination by cadmium, copper, mercury, selenium and zinc”, he says. “An article about the work was published in 2016 in the scientific journal Polar Biology.”

The second research was carried out in 2018 and yielded another article, published in the same journal. “In this case, we analyzed the levels of contamination of the same metals, with the exception of selenium – there were no conditions at the time to do this with this element in the laboratory at the University of La Rochelle – in 18 species of fish and 11 of invertebrates”, explains Cipro . The result of the work also pointed to the contamination of animals by metals.

According to Cipro, what can be concluded from the results of his research is that in this specific case of Kerguelen, cadmium values ​​varied much more than mercury values ​​(four orders of magnitude against one) and depended more on specificity in food ecology. and in the habitat than at the level of the food chain plain and simple.

In other words, the results of the studies showed that, contrary to what happens in most cases, the concentrations of pollutants found in animals depended little on their position in the food chain, but more on specific mechanisms of physiology and exposure, in such a way that predators from lower trophic levels could be more subject to some contaminants than others from higher positions.

This means, according to Cipro, that work with species of higher trophic level or sentinels needs more in-depth food ecology studies before reaching certain conclusions and that the food chain by itself does not mean much in this environment. “Furthermore, my research provides solid foundations on the exposure to which predators are subject, as in most cases this discussion remained on hypothetical terrain due to lack of field data,” he explains.

The work also showed a possible influence of a local secondary source of contaminants, probably the bird colonies themselves, a hypothesis confirmed in the Antarctic environment during his current research project. Going into more detail, Cipro explains that the analyzed metals have natural sources, but human activity certainly plays a bigger role than them in general. For mercury, for example, current emissions are estimated to be three to five times higher than before the industrial age. This element can reach the Kerguelen archipelago from dumps made by factories located 10,000 kilometers away.

Nevertheless, locally, in addition to bird colonies, some other natural sources may be significant, such as certain rocks and fossil fuels. “In the case of bird colonies, some studies that I proposed suggested and later confirmed their role as a local and relevant source of some elements and also of organic pollutants”, says Cipro. “In Kerguelen, we raised this hypothesis, comparing mussels from inside and outside the Gulf of Morbihan, and it seemed to be confirmed by the results obtained.”

The Dad at the Janakkalan Nest, Red CCL, continues to deliver the fish. The chatters have nicknamed the pair. Boris is the oldest and Titi is the youngest. The fish are so big that they take turns with no need to squabble. Titi is on the left. He has not figured out – yet – to hold the fish down with its talons.

Dad arrives with another fish at 1805. Titi is in the back with the huge crop from eating the fish in the image above. Boris is going to claim this one and Titi is absolutely too full to care! Lovely. Thanks, Dad.

The four Black Storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia are really wanting a food delivery. While they wait it is raining – they shake off their feathers, flap about, and jump on and off the perch. Kaia arrives with food at 16:58, the last image.

Just look at this beautiful juvenile Red-tail Hawk, L4. Stunning. L2 and L4 will probably be soaring in the thermals soon and leaving the Campus. Every moment with them is special as it is with Big Red and Arthur.

The latest update on L3 from the Cornell Lab:

L3 is gorgeous. Looking forward to her release when she is all healed.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have such good news in Bird World. To my knowledge, all of the UK Ospreys have fledged. They will be eating and gaining weight as will their mothers for migration. Soon these flights will be charted. In the meantime continue to enjoy them. The same with the storks! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, websites, and postings where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, McEuen Park, Coeur d’Elene, Idaho, Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Bird Lab, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Mlade Buky Storks, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Fortis Exshaw.

Did you know falcons kiss? and other stories early Friday

29 July 2022

Good Morning everyone. I hope that you are all well. Bird World appears to be quiet although it might not be…there continue to be intruders at nests. ‘N’ expressed some concern about nest #4 in Finland. I will keep an eye and see if there is an intruder there. The visitor is still with Rosie and Richmond and Brooks is living on a nest about a mile away. In my lifetime my home has been the place where the children of my friends or my children’s felt they could come for a ‘break’. Some stayed a night, others a month, and some 18 months. It helps me to understand what is going on with the ospreys in SF Bay. It is fantastic that they take good care of one another’s little ones. Enlightened. So many academic journals speak to the notion of cooperation instead of competition and that in the end, cooperation is better for all of the raptors. We are certainly seeing it played out on the nest of Richmond and Rosie.

Serious romance is happening in the Cal Falcons scrape…Bird World might be relatively quiet but….wow…there are fireworks between Annie and Alden!

Despite areas around Osoyoos being 44 C today, Olsen managed to deliver fish and quite honestly that is all that matters. The chicks are looking food and it is Friday! There is – oh, let’s for once have a correct forest – cooler weather coming after Sunday. Soo has done the best she can do and Olsen is working as best he can…good work everyone. Just look at those two beautiful chicks.

The heat warning for Osoyoos and this beautiful family has now been extended to run through Monday. Oh, goodness.

Olsen has already been out fishing and that is fantastic.

So far the two osplets – one has fledged -on the Janakkalan nest in Finland are doing so well. The second has yet to fledge. We hope that the goshawk that visited the nest two days ago does not return. These two need to eat and build up their strength for migrating south – what a dangerous journey for them it will be.

Only one on the nest at Loch Arkaig as the light begins to cast such a beautiful glow on the valley and loch below. Yesterday this chick was flapping and hopping and today could be fledge day. Hoping you get some wind, Sarafina.

Dawn finds one fledgling on the Manton Bay nest at Rutland of Blue 33 and Maya. Waiting for a delivery of fish by Dad no doubt! But look at the crop..was there something already on the nest??? I wonder.

At the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn, there appear to be three fledglings on Dad’s perch – not on the nest!

Kielder Forest is celebrating the fledge of the 100th chick from its osprey platforms since they started in 2009. That lucky chick was Fourlaws, a female from nest 6. Of those 100, Mr YA from Nest 1A was responsible for 26 of those. Sadly, he is not longer with us but Mrs YA gets several gold stars. She brought in 3 large trout today! I do not know if you knew but Nest 1A originally had four beautiful osplets. 440 Farne fledged but he has not been seen since and is believed perished like his father, YA.

The four fledged. that is a tremendous undertaking. Mrs YA is really amazing taking on all parenting roles now.

Victor is at the end of this short video clip about the sound Bald Eagles make. No new news but we all hope that he is doing splendidly in the great care of the Ojai Raptor Centre.

Oh, I haven’t mentioned the California Condors for some time. Shame on me! The chick in Tom’s Canyon (parents are 462 male and 846 female) is doing fabulous. Huge hopes for this one.

This is the link to the camera:

The storklets of Bukacek and Betty are doing fantastic. They are so white now compared to when they were younger and it was raining. They looked like they had rolled in soil rich in Red Iron Oxide.

Betty is calling to Bukacek who is in the ‘adults only’ nest in the background.

Look at how beautiful the four storklets are. Oh, my goodness.

Karl II has brought in lots of fish for the first meal for the four Black Storklets on the Estonian nest.

‘H’ caught the two fledglings at the Mispillion Harbour platform doing a great tug o war over a fish. Super shot. The oldest won but no fear. Dad or Mum will arrive on the nest or out on some of the perches with something for the youngest. What a great nest this one turned out to be and few people watch it. Definitely one to put on your list for next breeding season.

Notice the already nice crop on the one in front and the long legs of the fledgling behind. Beautiful birds. They are, of course, doing what they need to do to flourish on their own — fight over food and win!

I had a note from ‘N’ yesterday with a question about an osprey platform in Idaho. It is not a nest that I knew about and I have written to the parks manager to find out more because it seems this nest had four fledglings! Four. It is rare as we know. All survived. There is no rewind and there were only two on the platform this morning. Yesterday when I was watching there were three birds on the platform.

There are three cameras,, not all of them are on at the same time and there is no rewind but the clarity is excellent.

Here is a map of the location. The area looks like it would be great Osprey territory with all of the lakes. It is also in the region of the heat wave that has been hitting the area. Osoyoos is actually directly north and just a wee bit west.

This will give you an idea of the area.

Sure enough…this area is going to be even hotter than in Osoyoos. Keep all of these ospreys in your thoughts until we can get the end of Monday finished then there is hope for cooler temperatures.

Here is a link to McEwan Park Ospreys, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

There are few Bald Eagle fledglings that we can catch coming to the nest. Thankfully Lilibet is one of those – I wonder if she is still missing Victor? Hopefully we will get an update on his improving condition this week. For now, Andor and Mama Cruz are providing really well for their girl.

Lisa Yen caught this great capture after Lilibet had consumed several fish and a bird about a week ago. Goodness…that is a crop.

Just a couple of images of the Sea Eagles nest in Sydney. One of my readers ‘C’ says it is a hard nest to watch. It is! Yesterday SE30 had a really good feeding when 29 was asleep. These are going to help it. It seems a long way away but this nest really should be settling down in another week. My suggestion is to simply watch another nest…check on this one in a day or two or even three. As long as the food continues to come on the nest and there are feedings every hour or so, I am not thinking there is going to be a problem. But, as always, we know that nests turn on a dime and anything can happen.

The ‘official’ word coming out of Sydney is that the nest is doing fine. No worries.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Unless there is a major incident or announcement about a bird in care, I will begin what I normally do during the month of August and write only one blog a day until we have some more nests with eggs in Australia. Almost every osplet has fledged in the UK. Sarafina at Loch Arkaig should fly today. I will continue to monitor the nests that are suffering from these extreme heats caused by climate change. Please keep them in your thoughts. It is so very tough for them. Take care everyone. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and/of streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Cal Falcons, Mlade Buky Storks, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Explore.org and IWS, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and ‘H’, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, McEwan Park Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab, Dyfi Osprey Project, Kieldner Forest, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Google Maps, and LRWT.