Harriet and M15 return to nest tree…and other brief news in Bird World

1 October 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is a super cloudy day on the Canadian Prairies and the bird feeders and baths are relatively quiet this morning. The visitors have been mostly the Crows who, for some strange reason, have decided they only want to eat the dried corn off the cob this morning – nothing else. No cheesy sandwiches. Nothing but dry corn. It is 11 degrees C as I write.

The big news in Bird World – and there is lots going on – is the arrival of Harriet and M15 back at their nest tree. Thank you bogs for getting images and posting them! With all the damage that the hurricane left behind, there should be no shortage of building materials even just on the Pritchett property. I know that all of you will be so relieved that they survived and this gives us great hope for Lena and the eagles over at Captiva.

Thank you Linda Russo for sharing your image and providing such relief and hope to everyone that the nest will be rebuilt!

Samson and Gabby are fine and they have been seen at their nest near Jacksonville, Florida.

Ron and Rita are back to their nest in the Miami Zoo. It is nice to see that they are also safe and sound. We wait to hear about Captiva – all the wildlife there – and Pink Shell Resort.

There were two and then there were three eyases at the 367 Collins Street scrape yesterday. Mum has done a great job feeding them – and herself – from a single pigeon carcass which appears to be depleted now. Everyone is wondering if her thwarting of male2 is because he is arriving empty taloned? Let us all keep a close eye today to see if she has new prey items. Let us all hope that the young male brings in a nice fat pigeon first thing.

Of course, there were tears and cheers when Xavier and Diamond’s had their first hatch of the 2022 season. What a fantastic falcon family!

For those of you just learning about falcons and hawks, I want you to look at the yellow eye ring, the cere (the part of the beak between the black razor sharp tip and the forehead) and the legs. Notice that deep rich orange-yellow colour. This is an indication of a super healthy bird. To me, Xavier and Diamond seem to be in much better physical shape this year than last.

This is Xavier who is delighted to get time with his newly hatched eyas.

Will there be another hatch at Orange today? We wait.

The Sydney Sea Eagles are still home! They are so big. Dad and Lady continue to fly from the branch showing the sea eagles a good spot to fledge from. Fingers crossed that the Currawongs leave our beautiful SE29 and SE30 alone! I know – it is wishful thinking but, gosh I wish they were otherwise occupied elsewhere when these two fledge.

That was some dust up between Big and Middle Bob at Port Lincoln yesterday. Poor Little Bob got caught, literally, in the middle of this spat for dominance on that nest.

Dad brought a nice sized fish to the nest at 1700 and Mum filled the trio to the brim. The cam operator gave us some incredibly beautiful close ups.

Little Bob was right up there and look at that nice crop before bed. Fantastic. None of the osplets seem to be the worst for the big battle, lasting more than six minutes, that occurred a few hours earlier.

Everything was fine at all four of the Australian nests when lights when out for the night. ‘A’ sent me a note to remind me – and all of us – that Daylight Savings time starts in Australia just about now! I also want to remind everyone that Big Bob is 14 days old today.

In other news, Scottish landowners who have grouse hunting estates continue to deny killing raptors even in the face of the evidence of the 9 found in bags at the Millden Estate. The movement to make Red Grouse hunting illegal continues by those that are concerned about the killing of raptors that are being re-introduced into the UK after being wiped out by shooting, egg collecting, habitat loss, and climate change.

Scottish Land & Estates still refusing to acknowledge extent of raptor persecution on grouse moors – Raptor Persecution UK

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. It is so nice to have you here with us. I will do a round up of the days happenings later today. For now, everyone should be sleeping in Australia! Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for the images and streaming cams which make up my screen captures: Linda Russo, NEFL-AEF, WRDC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Wednesday in Bird World

21 September 2022

Good Morning!

It is early (for me). The garden birds are very quiet. It is starting out to be a beautiful day as I work on getting to know this computer but, rain is to start today and be with us again on Friday and Saturday. It is always good to get the trees that have grown so much over the summer with all the torrential downpours a good soaking before frost.

One of the things that was lost were the images that I took yesterday at one of the ponds. So I want all of you to use your imagination. I could not believe my eyes. There before me were seven young ducklings just like the singular one at the nature centre. No feathers just fuzz on their bodies. They were all cuddled up together keeping warm. Today it is 10 degrees C. We are at the time of migration. All of the nature centres are opening up for special events as the birds from the north make their way to the wetlands and the big ponds enroute to their winter homes far south of us. Will the arrival of winter be late? What will happen to these wee ones? I have never seen small ducklings like this at this time of year. The spring floods and destruction of eggs has certainly caused issues. There are ducks that overwinter on our Assiniboine River near to where my daughter lives but…what about these little gaffers?

Making News:

Victor at his release. 19 September 2022.

For all of those wondering, the site where Victor was released is at the coast right across from the Channel Islands. Great choice! Let us all hope to see Victor near Fraser’s Point in a couple of years! Wouldn’t that be grand. It appears it was the best site for release like the Channel Islands but the closest point to his nest without breaking any regulations. Isn’t Dr Sharpe the best?

It seems that once we get a good population of birds established we then want to take their habitat away. This is what is happening in Albania wit the pelicans!

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/21/albania-dalmatian-pelican-colony-narta-faces-threat-vlora-airport-aoe

Nest News:

So far, there are still only two osplets at Port Lincoln. The third egg is 37 days old and there is still time for it. Some chatters are wondering if there is any movement inside. We will have to keep our eyes opened! The other two and Mum seem to be doing splendidly.

The streaming camers (3) at the SWFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Harriet and M15 will be going live during the first week of October.

Xavier brought an Eastern Rosella, well prepared, for Diamond who was excited and got off the nest. Xavier is a lovely! Hatch not expected til the first week in October but we are getting there…2 weeks?

Beautiful Diamond.

Xavier gets some ‘eggie time’. Yes! Can you tell how much I love this cute little falcon who is no longer in his prime but gosh, he is a fantastic mate and he loves his chicks. I sure hope this season turns out well for these two.

So many of you are marveling at the plumage colours of the little sea eaglets. They are gorgeous. A friend laughed at me for loving the feathering of the Red-tail Hawks. “Just wait til you see the Sea Eagles!” Oh, she was so right. It is hard to see the colours when the sun is at a certain angle but have a good look at them.

Our eagles are approaching their 10th week. They are still growing some feathers under their wings. Their wing flapping and jumping around is going to continue to get every more vigorous. Just breathe. They can scare the wit’s out of you when they start jumping on and off the rim of the nest and the branches . In week 11 you will see them gain some real height in their hovering. They will begin to sleep more and more with their head tucked into their wings rather than duckling style although fledglings also prefer duckling style on occasion. It must be much more comfortable! Self-feeding is getting better.

We do not want to talk about fledging but, after 70 days it is possible. And we are at that point. So spend your time watching these two and the hatches at Port Lincoln. SE29 and 30 will be gone in a blink and the osplets will be growing and changing so fast it will be hard to recognize these sweet fuzzy babies in a week!

Victor Hurley is going to post a pre-recorded session where he answers your questions about what is going on at Melbourne on Thursday, Australia time. That will be in a few hours. If you have questions, you can submit them on the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers FB page. Dr Hurley asks that you read the PDF that he posted on the top of the FB site before submitting questions.

We are all very curious to see what will be happening. The second male does some quick on and off mating which – well, we are now nearing hatch which should be 5 days away. Mum’s hormones will not be in breeding but incubation and caring for young. It appears that the old male continues to provide food for Mum. Oh, I hope that this clutch makes it but we are going to just have to wait and see.

Migration News:

Checking on the Black Stork family from the Karula National Forest in Estonia. There has been no transmission for Karl II since the 4th of September. Bonus and Kaia were still in their respective areas with their last report coming in on the 20th of September. Hopefully this evening there will be some new news.

Birdmap is showing tremendous progress for the Ospreys and, one, in particular, flew across Europe to Spain instead of going directly South. Brilliant! The Ospreys are already heading into central Africa! You can go to BirdMap and get the animated version of their journeys.

Did you know:

How long do Bald Eagles live?

https://birdfact.com/articles/how-long-do-bald-eagles-live?fbclid=IwAR28ZeEq0BVJMgSX852wOBP7kcICCL6iKHdzvl0FIB7TUUxGNZSliJdQBFk

Thank you so much for being with me today. We are looking forward to the third hatch in Port Lincoln but, for now, in the night, Mum is getting some much needed rest! Take care of yourself and I will look forward to seeing you again real soon.

If you are sending me e-mails (which I love), please use this new address: maryasteggles@outlook.com Thanks so much!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Ojai Raptor Centre, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, and BirdMap.

Tuesday in Bird World

20 September 2022

Good Evening or Good Morning to you!

I hope that this newsletter finds you in good spirits and good health. I continue to appreciate your good wishes and today, I can tell you that I am back to 90%. Was its Victor’s release that caused my system to soar? One will never know but, I did get out for two walks at two different ponds. To be able to do this at the end of September, without there ever being a frost, is ‘different’ and, of course, harks at changes to come.

At the first pond the temperature was 17 degrees C but the wind was blowing at 23 kph. There were not a lot of birds around it seemed. Then I heard their call – the Greater Yellow Legs. There were two of them in the marsh area flying out to the shore.

Please note. I had to switch to the lowest quality of image as my card was filling up! So even my non-wildlife photographer images are not as crisp as they could be when blown up. You can see the normally mirror-still pond’s waves lapping.

Across the road, in this industrial area of our city, the recent rains have created two other water areas and there were a few geese and a couple of ducks – one in each pond! No sharing there.

So what are they? There is a distinctive white eye ring, a long sloping forehead and grey-blue bill. a gorgeous rusty head with a mottled back. I was unable to see the colour of the legs but its eyes are brown. The sloping shape of the forehead to the beak is very distinctive and what appears to be a white eye ring could be throwing me off a quick ID. It appears to be a Canvasback.

There it was on page 160 of the Crosley! Crosley says it lacks a forehead. Yes, he is right – the head just slopes into the bill. The shape is a wedge. Don’t forget it! Those south of me will see these gorgeous waterfowl flying by. Crosley calls the colour of the head and neck ‘chestnut’ – what a lovely word for that description. The eye should be a vivid red if it is a male but either the camera did not get that or it was the angle of the light or this is a female fooling us because of her not pure white back or a juvenile. I will keep you posted!

I will bring you news of the other pond later. My laptop decided to emit smoke and I have kindly been loaned another computer so I can finish the blog today. What troubles me about the second pond is that there are no less than 8 small fluffy ducks – with less feathers than the small one at the nature centre. So, if we have no frost and it is now 19 degrees C – do these ducks have a chance?

Making News:

I cannot tell you how fantastic it was to see Victor released by Dr Sharpe yesterday – and from the mail pouring in – he touched all of our hearts. We will never forgot those adorable images with Lillibet, when Victor could not stand to eat and the entire eagle family tried to comfort him, to his rescue, to his walking in a towel with holes held up by a staff member at the Ojai Raptor Centre, to his release. What a time this juvenile eagle has had.

Images provided by the Ojai Raptor Centre FB this morning:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307133153_10159085394581453_2304853790248402682_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307341384_10159085394606453_8936664518710999867_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307309290_10159085394726453_8147611667506775357_n.jpg

One of the letters in the mailbox was ‘Where is Hollingsworth Ranch’. Here it the information on where Victor was released:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2022-09-20-at-11.36.39-am.png

The Hollingsworth Ranch

This is the Ventura River running through the rugged mountainous area. Those in California might know its status better now because of the droughts the last few years. I hope it is the same. It looks like a great place for an eagle named Victor.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2319878242_ba63a50a55_b.jpg
Ventura River, one” by …-Wink-… is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Every day there are thousands of raptors – and other wildlife – saved by the wildlife rehabbers. I often say the streaming cams get all the glory (and donations) because they are the first place we learn to leave these bird families but it is the rehabbers that love and care for and put the birds back together if they get into trouble. Their time, effort, and expenses often last years.

Another little eaglet made the rehab news because it was released, too, by the Raven Ridge Wildlife Centre in Pennsylvania. I love the pictures. They give you a real behind the scenes look at what goes into caring for a wee one who is well but has no nest or family. Notice that stuffed eaglet plush toy. When you are clearing up and you look down and see the stuffies that you have collected – and you don’t know what to do with them – the wildlife rehab centre is your answer!!!!!!!!!!!! They bring comfort to the birds.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2022-09-20-at-11.18.12-am.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307100274_462926395870708_8776787193193903584_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307298605_462926412537373_1788372428230233508_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 306992135_462926399204041_1110098907117793956_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307089140_462926695870678_2502442713803080517_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 306331071_462926599204021_2504802476909499040_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 306834287_462926619204019_5814899631025685081_n.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 307094035_462926765870671_3635125037051743098_n.jpg

http://ojaihistory.com/the-hollingsworth-ranch/embed/#?secret=jzkIzleQDS#?secret=NzEkoT3MUb

Nest News:

This will be short with a longer analysis of what is happening tomorrow.

The second male at the Melbourne nest has been trying to mate with the Mum while she is incubating the eggs. She is having nothing to do with him but, the old male is holding back providing food. I wish the young male would leave and allow them to raise this clutch but his ideas are otherwise. We are 6 days from hatch!

We are still waiting for the third hatch at Port Lincoln as the sun is rising soon. It was raining in the middle of the night – not much but, Mum kept those chicks nice and snug. No doubt #2 is going to be hungry and up there to eat today. I wonder how #1 will treat its sibling? Fingers crossed. It seems they do not get too rowdy until day 8.

At Orange, the hatch dates range from 36-39 days so we are not expecting any action until after 1 October. We have a ways to go. Melbourne is ahead. Xavier has been getting Diamond out of the box with prey and getting some good time with the eggs. This scrape is very stable, thank goodness. But not this morning. Xavier brought a Starling, Diamond left without it and Xavier took it away minutes later. Diamond is extremely picky – poor Xavier. I hope the parrot population is good this year!

They have been together for a long time. Xavier probably is over feeling completely dejected by Diamond when he brings her breakfast. She does much prefer the fat already plucked and prepared pigeons too.

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are simply marvellous – what an incredible civil nest. Two females? Two males? Let’s watch their size as they leave their 9th week and into the 10th. It is refreshing not to see discord on a nest – no, the word is sheer relief. Last year’s breeding season was horrific. It was NOT at this nest. Last year and the year prior were fantastic. Lady and Dad are doing really well. Other nests did not fare so well.

Let’s keep an eye on Melbourne and, of course, Port Lincoln for this third hatch. I hope it comes soon! I am now off to investigate and agonize over what new computer to get. I use one all the time as you know but I like portability. You don’t get the lovely big images I am looking at with portable though!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street at Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Raven Ridge Wildlife Centre.

Victor is Released!

19 September 2022

Fraser Point eaglet, Victor, who had suffered from acute zinc toxicity and had been in care at the Ojai Raptor Centre in Ojai, California has been released today!

Absolute tears. Thank you to Dr Sharpe, his team and the great folks at the Ojai Raptor Centre for returning this amazing eaglet to the wild.

A special thank you to ‘B’ who sent me the wonderful news!!!!!!

Thank you to the Ojai Raptor Centre for their posting and video on their FB page where I took my screen captures.

Iris is still here and more news on Tuesday in Bird World

13 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It is 11 degrees C (51.8 F) and will only rise to 17 C (62.6) – a great day for a long walk! As the temperatures begin to fall and the summer clothes make way for sweaters, it is a reminder to enjoy every moment outside that we can – here on the prairies of Canada. Winnipeg has been known to actually be colder than Mars in the winter so every precious minute outside is a gift.

Oh, it was a nice day yesterday. The best treat was I found the little duck. It is the tiniest wild duck I have ever seen in my life. There is still a lot of down and its wings seem ‘small’.

5 September:

12 September. The head is larger and it appears that some more feathers on the back have grown in. The little one was so busy scooping up what looks like confetti made out of leaves. It is called Duck Weed and is not the best thing to have growing on the ponds but – the ducks love it!!!!!!! In fact, ducks will eat whatever food is in front of them including pondweed, sea weed, reeds and flowers as well as berries and seeds and we have seen them eat frogs, too.

The Canada Goose couple that had lost one another the other day and were honking up a storm had taken possession of the only island in the pond. It seems that the water level is rising due to the staff at the centre draining one area to move the water to another. The geese were sharing with some Mallards but they were not moving and giving up their lease!

Aren’t they a gorgeous couple?

In past years there seem not to have been as many juvenile American Coots. They are everywhere at the nature centre – hiding in the reeds, riding on pieces of branches, or just standing quietly around a corner this year and I have seen others at ponds around the city.

You can see how thick that duckweed is on the pond. Someone of it should be cleaned with a filter – and maybe that is what the staff are doing.

Over the years the Mallards have just gotten more beautiful to me. They are common and often over-looked because of it. So many sweet little females around the edge of the pond.

Most looked nice and full from their foraging. It was bottoms up everywhere!

Oh, look at those beautiful primary and secondary feathers. Let us all hope that our wee one will have as many by the end of October.

In the Mailbox:

No questions just outpourings of love for Izzi who was the subject of yesterday’s archival photo. Oh, what a character he was and each of us that watched Xavier and Diamond’s scrape and Izzi so intently has so many stories of his antics.

Making News:

A Bald Eagle death in Canada attributed to Avian Flu. This is very sad. It was believed that the H5N1 was slowing down. Now it might be spread again by migratory birds.

The EU is being heavily criticized for not protecting marine life from overfishing. Why is this in a bird blog? Well, the birds that eat fish need them so the setting up a moratorium for fishing for human consumption might help.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/12/eu-slammed-over-failure-to-protect-marine-life-from-destructive-fishing

One of my favourite books, Goshawk Summer, has won the Wainwright Nature Writing prize. James Aldred spent the early part of the pandemic in the New Forest. His assignment was to document the life of a Goshawk family. Written like a daily diary, Alden captures the solitude of the forest and the magical experiences of the chicks. “The wood holds its breath, the only sound the begging of the chicks and the gentle breeze through trees. The forest hasn’t been this peaceful for a thousand years.” Despite Aldred being a wildlife photographer there is not a single image of the Goshawks in the book but, they are not necessary. Through his words their presence is evoked as clearly as a newly cleaned window.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/sep/07/wainwright-nature-writing-prize-goes-to-inspirational-goshawk-summer

Two lucky Bald Eagles were helped in Maine when they were relieved from being entangled with one another. They were mid-air and crashed into the water. Both could have died with out the help of the kind couple.

Nest News:

I wasn’t quite sure where to put this wonderful news. Many of you will have already heard that Iris – thought, perhaps, to have migrated from her spring and summer home in Montana – was eating an enormous fish she had caught on the Owl Pole today in Missoula. The oldest Osprey in the world looks magnificent.

Here is a 4 minute video of this magical event.

12 September is a very special day. It is the day that Gabby normally returns to her nest near Jacksonville, Florida that she shares with her partner, Samson. Out of 4 years, 3 of the returns have been on the 12th of September. How incredible. Samson has been waiting and looking and bringing in some sticks. Gabby did not disappoint! She arrived today!!!!!!!!!!!!! The couple got busy working together getting ready for the wee eagles this year. Oh, it is so wonderful to see you home, Gabby.

Good night Samson and Gabby. All is well with the world. See you tomorrow.

Lady Hawk caught the reunion on video!

Padarn appears to still be with Idris at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales.

Blue 497 is still on the nest at Glaslyn and Aran delivered a really nice fish for tea time.

Did you know that both Padarn and Blue 497 hatched on the same day? It was 26 May. 497 is the oldest and Padarn is the middle chick. Both, as we can see, are still at home.

Idris brought a flat fish later and is looking around for Padarn. Is she gone?

Everything seems to be fine on the Sea Eagles nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

The eaglets had an early breakfast. Looks like one of the Silver Gull chicks from the old barge down the Parramatta River.

Even with a great big nest SE29 and 30 prefer to snuggle together. Lady keeps watch.

A lovely family portrait.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum has been rooting around in the nest and rolling those three precious eggs. It is the 14th of September in South Australia. Is it really possible that in 4 more days we could have a hatch? At times it felt like it has taken forever and on other days it seems like we just had the last egg laid. Does it feel that way to you?

At the 367 Collins Street scrape, Mum got up to stretch her legs. Gosh these birds must get stiff sitting on those eggs for so long —- yes, I am projecting human needs on them! If they had a little buzzer to remind them to stand up and get the circulation moving it might help. Oh, she made me ache as I watched her raise off those eggs. She was hardly gone…someone played a trick on this female. They told her that she had to do all the incubating herself. Hopefully she will give Dad some more time.

Oh, just when you say the birds eat off camera, someone brings a nice juicy pigeon and there you go – eaten on the nest! It is like having a sick child and taking it to the doctor and your little one is immediately well on arrival!

Migration News:

Just imagine 428 million birds making their migration flights tonight.

Remember it is time for lights out. If you want to check your own area of migration, go to this link and put in your postal code or the name of your city – sadly lower mainland US only.

Karl II’s family migration – Waba is still around the area of Manachyn and has flown a short distance south where he has discovered a little lake.

Bonus is still in the wetlands along the Prypjat River south of Makarichi.

Kaia is still around the Desna River. So all three appear to be doing well. What a glorious relief. No news from Karl II.

From the Archive:

Do you know my name? I was the only eaglet on an enormous nest. My parents names are Liberty and Freedom. When I branched and started jumping and flapping my wings, your got very worried.

I hope that your day is as lovely as ours on the Canadian Prairies. Thank you so very much for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their blogs, tweets, videos, and streaming cams that make up my screen captures: Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Wreckhouse Weekly News, The Guardian, Bangor Daily News, Montana Ospreys and Cornell Bird Lab, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, BirdCast, Looduskalender, and Glacier Gardens.


The eaglet was Kindness who hatched in Glacier Gardens, a large botanical garden within the Tongass National Park, Juneau, Alaska. The year was 2021.

Early Sunday in Bird World

11 September 2022

Good Morning!

I hope that you had a lovely Saturday – and welcome to Sunday!

How many of you have used eBird ID? I would love to hear from you. I was so hopeful in finding an ID for the waterfowl below but, Merlin ID said they were Crows. Is Merlin serious?

After consulting many books and looking and looking at these birds, they are juvenile American Coots.

Every nook and cranny might just have a duck or two at our nature centre! Only when someone walks by on the boardwalk do they come out of hiding – sometimes.

The reeds are so tall and thick and abundant. They are making excellent hiding places for the ducks, the Coots, and the geese. You can see that some of the foliage is turning colour. Autumn is upon us. Our temperature dropped to 7 degrees C Saturday evening. The coolest it has been in a long time.

This one scurried out of the reeds.

This Mallard was feeding near to where I saw the baby duck the other day. I looked and looked and could not find the wee one today. Hopefully I will spot it sunning itself in the next couple of days.

There are geese everywhere.

This little fella was flitting around the trees. It looks like a juvenile Least Flycatcher with its dark pointed beak and the white circle around the eye. The wings should show two white bars. They do not just feed on flies – all insects and flies are welcome.

This female Downy Woodpecker was working very hard to try and get some peanut pieces out of this feeder! She had them all to herself!

Making News:

Ospreys are making the news in the UK as re-introduction efforts continue.

NZ vets see huge rise in storm weary sea birds arriving at their clinics.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/300676591/massey-vets-see-rise-in-sick-and-exhausted-stormblown-seabirds-this-winter?fbclid=IwAR2ko10AwxyY4RfvoxYNR6XxOggK9nfKIYZMvMoqGQK0XQwDykT4L6o-dYQ

The Dyfi Osprey Project announced they would be shutting off the live streaming cam and chat today at 8pm nest time BUT they have changed their mind and will leave it on until Padarn and Idris are gone from the nest.

A group of White Storks escaped from a zoo and went to the beach – they were rescued.

https://www.birdguides.com/news/white-stork-flock-rescued-from-devon-beach/?fbclid=IwAR21k3ssMsNc-c3771J1QFVNznkM93j00-DIjfo20z4uHGrIiywLaGTbQlA

Nest News:

The Sydney Sea Eaglets are walking stronger and working their wings – just like they are supposed to be doing right now. It is nice when they turn back to the centre of the nest with all that jumping. Your heart can fall out if they get near the edge!

Lunch arrives for these two hungry eaglets.

Padarn is still on the Dyfi nest keeping Idris busy bringing in some fish. She is breaking records everywhere in the UK for the longest lingering female Osprey (or any Osprey). She hatched on the 26th of May. She is now 108 days old. How many days will she stay on the nest?

Enjoy this beautiful gal.

Blue 497 remains at the Glaslyn nest also. Aran continues to bring in nice fish – the boys and Mrs G have left the area.

Let’s go back to Australia. That is where the action is!

The new female at the 367 Collins Street scrape is sure not giving the cute little male much time on those eggs this year! Perhaps she doesn’t know too or maybe she is like Diamond and reluctant at times. Hopefully it will all work out with a chick or two.

At Port Lincoln, it is less than a week til hatch watch!!!!!!!!

L4 seems to be enjoying being back on the Cornell Campus after 5 weeks in the rehab centre. It is lovely to see her flying so strong and doing her own hunting. Suzanne Arnold Horning caught her this morning looking out on the territory. L4 has a lovely necklace, just like her Mum, Big Red.

Migration News:

Loch Arkaig appears to be empty with Sarafina on her way to the south for her migration.

News for Karl II’s family: Karl II has not sent any tracker information since 4 September. He is in an active war zone near Kherzon, Ukraine. It is not expected that we will hear any reports form Karl II for 5-6 weeks form that date as per his normal behaviour and time staying at this location during past migrations.

Waba is still in Ukraine.

Kaia is still in the Desna River area of Ukraine.

Bonus remains in the Prypjat River area of Belarus.

From the Archive:

Who is the eaglet? Gold stars if you can name the nest and the parents! Hint: This was the natal nest of the eaglet’s dad.

The eaglet grew up into this beauty.

There is not a lot going on in Bird World. We are seeing migratory birds moving throughout the UK some landing on nests for a rest. There are still Ospreys at Dyfi but all of the other birds from the streaming cams seem to be gone now. Incubation continues at three of the Australian nests. Hatch watch is coming up for Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Some of the Bald Eagles are returning to their nests in the southern US. Avian Flu is still about as owners of factory poultry farms continue to cull birds. The latest was 3 million.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope all of you are well and that you got a chance to see the beautiful harvest moon last night. The skies cleared on the Canadian Prairies just in time to enjoy it rising above the tree tops.

See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, photographs, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: sea eagles@Birdlife Australia, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Tim Mackrill, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Looduskalender, NEFL-AEF.


Answer to From the Archive: The nest is the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest that once belonged to Romeo and Juliet and passed on to their son, Samson. Samson and his mate Gabrielle (Gabby) had one hatch in 2020. The eaglet’s name was Legacy and she was a beauty.

Early Sunday in Bird World

4 September 2022

Oh, Good Morning Everyone. I hope this newsletter finds you well and happy.

It is a beautiful holiday Monday on the Canadian prairies. The sun is shining bright but the temperature is not going above 24 C today – a great day to go out and continue checking on the ducks and geese. Autumn is one of my most favourite times of year despite the fact that it leads us directly into winter and is often too short!

Yesterday the Cormorants and American White Pelicans were enjoying time in the shade near the dam at Lockport, Manitoba. The image below is one tiny section. There were more than 60 pelicans and 45 Double-crested Cormorants swimming and drying off in the sun.

If you live in or around Winnipeg, Fort Whyte will begin staying open Wed-Sunday beginning 21 September so that you can watch the Canada Geese arrive in the thousands at dusk. It is an amazing sight. There will be food trucks or you can bring your own picnic. The cafe might be holding its Goose Flight dinners but this is uncertain due to the same staffing shortages that are hitting the hospitality industry worldwide.

From the Mailbox:

‘H’ writes to ask me if I am familiar with moon_rabbit_rising on Instagram? Oh, yes, I am and if you love the Cal Falcons then you need to head over and see Bridgette Ahern’s incredible – and I do mean incredible – images of Annie and Grinnell and their family and now Annie and Alden and their family.

‘D’ wrote as did several others following my UK Osprey postings and information about the female departures: “Are the Dads usually the last to leave the nest?” Yes, the males are normally the last ones that leave the nest. The females usually depart about two weeks prior to the fledglings leaving and then the male stays, eats well getting his strength back, and then departs. There are always exceptions to the rule! I just had a couple of notes from ‘N’ who comments that the nests she normally watches generally have the males leaving first! It is a very poignant moment when the male arrives with a fish and waits – and waits some more – and no one comes to collect it. By now, Louis is wishing that Sarafina would fly in the same way that Idris would like to see Padarn off the nest.

Making News:

There are many times that I am proud to be a Canadian and today, it is so reassuring to see that the people in Callander, Ontario care about their Bald Eagle and its nest!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/callander-bald-eagles-1.6568714?fbclid=IwAR28VsUDKWDWjy5S-uop8h2WKVcyL8DVLdS-cV5llN-id623Kb0QHuE-hvg

If you missed the video that Ojai Raptor Centre posted of Victor flying – here it is. It is also worth a second or third viewing. Victor is doing so well.

Another juvenile eagle – this time caught up in fishing line is saved!

https://www.uticaod.com/story/sports/2022/09/03/eagle-rescue-canadarago-lake/65470809007/?fbclid=IwAR1CnT1OpPF1U68N8_S3q017q5b8WjnF56qr1ElgZt-RgvVTg9E0JePjfpk

The citizens living in the NE of England are demanding answers from the government on why hundreds of thousands of lobsters, crabs, and sea birds wound up on the shore dead.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/03/we-just-want-the-truth-british-coastal-towns-fight-for-answers-over-mystery-sealife-deaths

Raptor Persecution UK is calling out Natural England as being compromised in the handling of the killing of Asta, the Hen Harrier. This is their description of the crime:

“The level of depraved brutality involved in this crime is quite shocking, even to those of us who have become hardened to the relentless illegal killing of birds of prey in the UK. It’s virtually impossible not to look at these images of Asta and imagine the horror she faced at the hands of her killer.

The calculated deviousness of whoever committed this crime deserves the full attention of the statutory regulator, Natural England, and widespread publicity about the lengths these criminals will go to hide their ongoing, appalling violence towards this species and other birds of prey.” After 18 months nothing has been done and birds of prey continue to be killed over the grouse moor hunting estates. It is not just the brutality of the killing of this single Hen Harrier but also the other 72 that have been killed and the lack of accountability that is worrisome.

Along this same theme, the Countryside Alliance is waging an all out campaign to get Chris Packham removed from the BBC because of his views about ending grouse hunting and thus, the illegal killing of raptors. If you live in the UK and have a view on this matter, please make it known.

The raptors are moving and Cape May, New Jersey likes to call itself the ‘raptor capital of North America’. See what is happening and why people are getting excited.

A win for all the sea birds comes as a South Africa court refuses to give Shell permission for offshore gas and oil drilling.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/01/south-african-court-bans-offshore-oil-and-gas-exploration-by-shell

Nest News:

It is the 10th anniversary of the Bald Eagle nest at Berry College. Who didn’t love Ma Berry? and who of us did not lose their heart to B15 this season? The Bald Eagle experts take you on a trip down memory lane with the Berry Eagles but, you have to go to the Berry College FB page. They will – despite saying I can embed the link – well, it doesn’t happen! Regrets.

Suzanne Arnold Horning posted some great images of our lovely Red-tail Hawks on the Cornell Campus over this past season on the FB banner! I have not seen a new update on L3 or L4 and in this case, no news is good news.

This is one of the last shots Suzanne took of L2 before his/her migration. L2 has not been seen in a week and so she/he is off to find their own spot in the world. L2 was the first to fledge and the second to catch her own prey. Often noted as being a ‘mini’ Big Red. Beautiful hawk. Soar high and always have a full crop!

Following Karl II’s family on their migration:

Waba is in Ukraine where he has been exploring the banks of rivers for food.

Kaia remains in Ukraine in des Desna near Vovchok. She only flew 47 km – around the area feeding.

Bonus is still in Belarus in the Prypjat wetlands near Makarichi.

There is no current tracking news for Karl II.

Thunder visited the West End Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands at 10:38 Saturday morning. Listen to her calls. You will notice another bird flying around – you can just see the silhouette.

The Sydney Sea Eagles did not have to wait until afternoon for their breakfast today. I caught several feedings for these fast growing eaglets. Notice how well behaved they are!

It had rained and Lady is offering some comfortable out of the rain for SE29 and SE30’s heads. Poor things. They are too big to fit under her.

Dad brings in a nice fish. Lady jumps down from her parent branch to feed the wet youngsters.

Dad comes in with another prey item. It looked like a small bird but I am not entirely sure.

Ranger Sharyn posted the following information for viewers of the Royal Albatross streaming cam on Taiaroa Head, NZ after the fledgling of the Royal Cam chick QT yesterday.

It should be relative quiet while birds are incubating eggs but yesterday, there was an intruder at the scrape on the Charles Sturt campus in Orange. Cilla Kinross caught it in slow-motion:

Xavier has spent some time on the ledge protecting Diamond and their eggs.

At Port Lincoln, all is well. Mum is sleeping and incubating the eggs and Dad is down in his shed, a place he spent having some good old’ chats with Ervie. It is the 5th of September with hatch expected in a fortnight (2 weeks).

It is quiet in Melbourne at the 367 Collins Street scrape. Where is Dad you ask? He will be perched nearby – sometimes on the camera.

The amount of detail that people keep on the UK Osprey nests is truly impressive. If every nest in the world had a dedicated group keeping every single detail for each season what an impressive amount of information we would have on the breeding and behaviour of Ospreys. Llyn Clywedog just posted the number and type of fish and what this means in comparison to average deliveries elsewhere. Well done, Dylan!

Peace and Love, the two fledgling Bald Eagles of Liberty and Freedom at the Glacier Gardens nest, were on the natal nest this morning watching the traffic along the road. How lovely to see them.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and their posts that made up my screen captures today: moon_rabbit_rising, CBC, Ojai Raptor Centre, Cape May Hawkwatch, Cornell Hawk Chatters and Suzanne Arnold Horning, Looduskalender, Explore.org and IWS, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, NZ DOC, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Llyn Clywedog Ospreys, and Glacier Gardens.

Featured image is L2 taken by Suzanne Arnold Horning.

An inspiring wildlife photographer, Little Bit 17 and more…Bird World on Saturday

3 August 2022

There is not a lot happening in Bird World right now other than some of the last ospreys leaving their nests in the UK, the just perfect fledge of the QT Chick off Taiaroa Head in New Zealand yesterday, and perhaps a season’s goodbye from Iris and Louis at Hellgate Canyon. Birds are flying and each of us has that ’empty nest’ syndrome. At the same time, there are a few Osprey dads in the UK that might wish their darling daughters were on their way!

I paid a visit to a couple of the local ponds yesterday afternoon. It was not so hot and many of the birds were quite active compared to what they had been in days prior.

Wood Duck, female
Immature American Goldfinch
At the feeder: American Goldfinch (breeding male), American Goldfinch (non-breeding male), Black-capped Chickadee

The local Egrets fooled everyone last night choosing to stay at another roosting site and leaving photographers dismayed!

One flew over the pond. Noticed that no one else was on the roosting tree and took over for another pond about a kilometre away.

Meanwhile, I found one of the little ducklings – oh, the tiniest little things last week – in the water yesterday. There were originally two. I wonder if the other is hiding under the board walk. This one was out diving and eating. You can still see the downy fluff. It is also hard to tell from the image but the duckling is about 15 cm long or 6 inches.

In the evening, the geese were flying over in their perfect ‘V’. Did you know that the leader changes positions when it gets tired and moves to the back allowing another to take over while it rests at the back?

From the Book shelf:

The book stack is growing. I am so excited to introduce you to a wonderful wildlife photographer, Oliver Hellowell. Do you know him? Born with Down Syndrome, his mother was told that Oliver would never be able to accomplish anything. Thankfully, Oliver’s mother did not listen to the doctors and she created opportunities for him in sports, taught him sign language, gave him the gift of the love of reading. His Mum has worked tirelessly from the time Oliver had his first open heart surgeries, to find new ways for Oliver to communicate. She never gave up and her believe and the support circle that grew around this young man are inspirational in that they show us what ‘defying the odds’ really means. When he was 11, his stepfather put a camera in his hands ——-Oliver never looked back! The introduction of the camera changed Oliver’s life giving him a wonderful way of communicating with the world. Oliver is now 25.

Oliver’s book and a packet of cards arrived yesterday morning. It was a delight to see the postmark from the UK.

Oliver Hellowell’s book, Birds, is one of the nicest coffee table books I have handled. The cover and the paper are first-rate, the images are crystal clear and amazing. Oliver loves water and he often captures the finer water droplets on a shore birds beak or wing. Each bird is identified often with a comment by Oliver on what it was about that particular bird that interested him. He loves gulls and wrens!

Oliver has his own website where you can meet him and see his images of birds and the landscapes where he has traveled. There is also a ‘shop’ section. If you are looking for beautiful cards that fit in their envelopes, different from those on the racks at your local shop, check out the ones that Oliver has for purchase. I picked a landscape pack and have no regrets! Keep Oliver Hellowell in mind if you are looking for a special holiday or birthday gift for a birding friend.

You can find Oliver’s books and cards at his website and I have also included a BBC article about this very talented young man who is living his dream to be a wildlife photographer.

https://www.oliverhellowell.com/

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-29107894

Making News:

As more and more wildlife become extinct, researchers in Hawaii are working hard to keep the K’auai Creeper -who is predicted to go extinct because of mosquitoes carrying Avian Malaria – alive.

Nest News:

Stephen Basly continues to post the most wonderful images of Little Bit ND17 on the Notre Dame Eagles website. So grateful to him and all the birders on the ground who continued to chase after our adored Little Bit supplying us daily with information when he was near the nest territory. These images now are of course so welcome – fly high, Little Bit. Stay safe. Eat well.

These are just beautiful images. Thank you, Stephen!

One of these is going to be a magnet on my fridge. Several years ago, my Sea Eagle contact, suggested that magnets are a way of remembering those special birds. Of course, at the time, I swore that there would not be bird items all over my house…who was I fooling? The magnets are fantastic. I still say good morning to many including Legacy, Big Red, and others. Room will be made for Little Bit and Victor this year!

Checking the trackers from the north of Europe and Bonus is still in Belarus. No check in from the others. Salli, the Finnish Osprey, is in Ukraine. Some have suggested that the birds might be safer flying through a war zone than being shot over Malta and Lebanon deliberately. That person has a point.

At the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn, Idris continues to deliver fish to his daughter, Padarn who joined the 100 day club today. What is the 100 day club? Well, normally, the mum and fledglings are all departed by 100 days leaving Dad to gather his strength for migration. But some of them – three in fact – have been slow to leave and have made the ‘Century Club’ at the Dyfi Nest. They are Berthyn in 2019 who stayed 101.4 days and Dysnni who stayed 100.1 days in 2021. Padarn looks pretty comfy with Dad bringing her good meals. Maybe she will stay the longest!

No signs of leaving in the late day. Idris can hear her fish calling down at the Dyfi River!

Aran is still chasing after the chicks and sometimes Mrs G, too, at the Glaslyn nest.

Dear Louis at the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest is still providing nice fish for Sarafina, too. I think Sarafina is a bit like Padarn – they love being the ‘only ones’ in Dad’s life!

That is it for Saturday. The Australian birds are still napping. Every nest seems to be fine – looking forward to hatch at Port Lincoln in 2 weeks…oh, let us hope the time does fly.

Thank you for joining me today. Please take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their posts, videos, or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Oliver Hellowell, The Birding Project, Notre Dame Eagles and Stephen Basly, Laji.Fi, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, and Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust.

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.

Ervie goes fishing, Egg 2 for Diamond and Xavier and more…Sunday morning in Bird World

28 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone. I hope that each of you had a lovely Saturday. Thank you so much for joining me today!

From the Mailbox:

‘A’ asks: What is the average time difference or gap for Peregrine Falcons to lay their eggs? Diamond looks like she is ready today. Thank you, ‘A’. That is a very timely question as we sit staring at Diamond’s bottom for her tail feathers to begin to go up and down when she is in labour. In the nest notes that Cilla Kinross, the researcher at the Orange Falcon cam compiled, it says that the average time difference is 56 hours. As I write this, the time in Orange is 13:21 on Saturday. That egg is due anytime.

‘L’ asks: What is the purpose of molting? The feathers of our bird friends get damaged just like our clothes from normal living. They break and get tears. Moulting is the annual replacement of the feathers. In fact, think about it. Feathers are so important to birds – they keep them warm and dry and, of course, are needed for flying. They should be in tip top shape which is why birds spend so much time preening. Some birds begin to moult in the spring. Others wait until nesting has finished. Moulting is really hard on the birds and it is normally done when there is an unusually high level of prey so they can keep their energy up.

‘C’ writes: “I’m glad I helped with that information about galvanized steel that contains zinc. But in stainless steel, the component is chromium. Is it also bad for the health of birds? I searched very quickly, and in a very superficial search, I didn’t find anything that chromium is also bad for.” The information you provided was very useful. As one of our other readers ‘L’ writes there are some uses for zinc that are also helpful such as in ‘Zinc Ointment’ for baby rashes. I do not know a lot about chromium. It is also used in ceramics to make certain shades of green glazes and is highly toxic in its powdered form. It is not toxic after the pottery has been fired to a specific degree, however. — We assume that the things that we use for cooking are all ‘safe’. Sometimes it is only later we discover that there could be connections to specific ailments. However, if I had a beloved bird that lived in a cage – the cage wires would be stainless. We have a metal shop in our city that made all the SS backings for my kitchen and my island top. I am certain there are similar facilities in other cities where they could make the wires. I am still finding this whole zinc toxicity that impacted Victor very curious. I wish I knew more!

In the News:

The UK is still celebrating the arrival of more than 100 Hen Harriers.

The New York Times published the following article about how climate change will impact the birds we love and which are more likely to go extinct first. The cover shows the Kakapo and my readers know that the Kakapo Recovery Group is working hard to make sure that the flightless parrots survive. Today there are 205 of them on a couple of mall islands of New Zealand.

Nest News:

Chase showed up with a nice big fish and waited and waited on the Two Harbours nest for Lancer on Saturday morning around 10:38. Lancer never showed up. What a change it must be for the parents from nearly getting their talons torn off to sitting quietly to see if anyone will arrive. If you have left the territory, Lancer – soar high, be safe and always have a full crop!

Such dedicated eagle parents. Did you know that Chase & Cholyn have been together for 19 years?

Ferris Akel had a terrific tour on Saturday afternoon around Ithaca, New York. I was listening and doing other things until he got to the Cornell Campus where he caught Big Red, Arthur, and L2 on camera. Oh, it is lovely to continue seeing L2. According to Suzanne Arnold Horning, the latest a juvenile has been seen at the Cornell Campus is 28 August. L2 looks pretty comfortable. I wonder if she will shatter that record?

Arthur was hunting.

L2 could see Big Red in the distance when she was on the pole and was prey crying really, really loud. Since L2 was the second juvenile to catch her own prey in June I am imaging that Big Red’s answer to that is: “Get your own!”

Big Red looks a little ‘rough’. She is moulting. Like other Red-tail Hawks, Big Red undergoes a complete moult once a year. Normally, hawks begin their moult in spring and every feather has been replaced by September or October. Big Red, however, appears to begin her moult after the eyases fledge.

Xavier has been bringing Diamond some extra special treats during Sunday to help Diamond keep her energy up for the egg laying. One was an Eastern Rosella which is a very colourful parrot and the other was a nicely prepared pigeon. Diamond was excited for both!

The arrival of the Rosella meant that cute little Xavier could have some time with ‘eggie’.

Diamond had a very large crop when the pigeon arrived but she certainly wasn’t going to turn her nose up at that special food gift.

It is 13:57 in Orange and Diamond is sitting on the ledge of the scrape box while we wait and watch for an indication that the second egg might be arriving.

Diamond is back on the egg at 1400.

Diamond is very focused and she looks ‘heavy in the rear’. Egg 2 could be coming shortly. Diamond normally lays 3 eggs. For the past two years, only one egg has been viable each year.

Diamond laid egg #2 at 17:27. Yippppppeeee. Why am I so excited? Well, falcon eggs do not always hatch and for the last two years Xavier and Diamond have had only 1 out of 3 eggs hatch so it makes the chances better of having a successful hatch.

Xavier arrives at 17:33 to see the second egg and to bring Diamond her dinner. Notice that Diamond is being very careful. Falcons lay their eggs standing up. She is protecting the egg while the shell hardens in the air. The gap between eggs is 57 hours.

Diamond did not want to eat. She had already had two big meals. She remained in the scrape box. During the night she would sometimes incubate or, alternatively, stand above the eggs protecting them. Remember the Currawong know there are eggs in that scrape and they will eat them if the opportunity arises!

The Melbourne couple seem to be finished with three eggs and each takes turns incubating. Dad was very anxious to demonstrate that he was well seasoned in incubation. The Melbourne crew even made a video of the persuasion.

It is a very short and cute clip. Oh, do you ever wish you could speak falconese?

Friends of Osprey have posted some photographs of Ervie near the Marina where he had dived and caught the lovely fish he is eating. They were taken by Alex Ditton. Oh, goodness. It is always such a joyous occasion when someone shows us that Ervie is doing very well indeed! Check out the Friends of Osprey for more images of Ervie.

Kaia remains in Belarus around the Priypat River. This is what the area looks like where she is resting and fishing.

Bonus, the only surviving storklet of Jan and Janika that was fostered with Kaia and Karl II has begun his migration. His tracker tells us that he traveled 109 km and is now in Latvia near the village of Vietalva.

Travel safe dear Bonus, fly high, stay out of the war zones, always have a stream full of frogs and fish — prosper.

There should be more news but it appears that all might have left for their winter homes from the Karula Forest nest of Kaia and Karl II. I will confirm this tomorrow.

Bonus was always a very special Black Storklet. He would not have survived without the intervention of Urmas and Dr Madis and his team. They would have died on the nest. Urmas’s foresight to provide fish baskets meant that everyone had lots of fish. A special thank you to all who donated towards the food for the nest.

The Dahlgren Osprey nest in the US has announced that the male, Jack, has not been seen for a few days so that now Harriet, the female, and the sole surviving fledgling from the nest in King George County are on their journey south.

No one has been seen at the Loch of the Lowes since yesterday. Laddie LM 12, Blue NC0 and both of the fledglings appear to also be heading south.

It was another successful year for Ospreys in Wales and John Williams gives us the run down in his last blow of the season for Llyn Clywedog. The numbers of Ospreys in Wales are growing. There are now 7 ‘known’ pairs who produced 17 chicks this year. John catches up with all the nest news.

John also produced a chart for all the chicks hatched at Llyn Clywedog – noting that there is simply too much grey. Were those chicks ever seen or not? Sometimes they do get missed.

Handsome Aran on the perch at the Glaslyn nest this morning. He remains bringing fish to the nest for the fledglings. Mrs G was still home as well today.

Handsome, Aran.

Emyr Evans has provided us with the data of the fledges at the Dyfi nest asking the question: what happened to Pedran? Emyr is great with statistics and this is a good read about migration and young fledglings.

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/pedran-what-has-happened-her?fbclid=IwAR2nZUelKdPCJFEW-3PIjKlcohXunU9JSBevJA8wFl4XpT1ICR9H8O8bepA

Rosie was still on the perch at the SF Bay Osprey nest this morning! Brooks has not been seen at the nest for some time now – this is not alarming. She is out exploring!

Congratulations to Glacier Gardens. Both Love and Peace have fledged. Here is a video of that moment on 25 August when Peace took to the air. Congratulations for another successful year Liberty and Freedom!

Thank you so very much for joining me this beautiful Sunday morning. I hope that you are doing well and I will look forward to having you with us again in Bird World.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, their posts, and their videos that form my screen captures: The New York Times, Explore.org and IWS, Ferris Akel Tours, Charles Sturt Orange Falcon Cam, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Friends of Ospreys, Looduskalender, Dahlgren Ospreys, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, John Williams and The Clywedog Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon.