Bald Eagle nest coned, other nests destroyed…and more news on Wednesday in Bird World

14 September 2022

Good Morning Everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous beginning of the week. Here we are at the middle. My calendar tells me that thing are going to begin happening in Bird World soon. First up will be the Port Lincoln Ospreys who should have a hatch in 4 days. Then it should be the Melbourne Peregrine Falcons on the 27th quickly followed by Xavier and Diamond. By the time those nests have feathered osplets and eyases, we will be fledge watching for SE29 and 30. It is going to be wonderful!

Tuesday was a big ‘T’ day but that doesn’t stand for Tundra Swan but, ’tiler’. It was fantastic to see the floor tiles in the sunroom being grouted today with the news that tomorrow I can move back in and watch my beloved garden birds. Oh, how I have missed seeing them from that perspective. A new book arrived in the post, too. Having purchased Crosley’s Guide to Waterfowl – well, logically, it seemed to me that the volume would cover Shore birds but, no. Definitely not. The new book is The Shorebird Guide by O’Brien, Crossley, and Karlson and it is wonderful. Most appreciated are the excellent images of the plumage during the seasons. It still is missing the inclusion of the females in great numbers just like all of the other bird guides who continue to focus on the more colourful plumage of the males. Yes, I am growling. LOL. Quiet and monochromatic can be viewed as ‘classic’ beauty. It certainly is with many of the female Sparrows.

Just like the ducks, my mind has been taken over by the Greater and Lesser Yellow Legs and Willets at one of our local ponds. If I close my eyes I am transported to the marsh where the shore birds are tapping away at the mud with those long long bills. Incredible. If you stay quiet and don’t move, they will completely ignore you, going on with their deep quick probing for food. They are really quite lovely. Learning to identify them is going to take some time.

The Greater Yellow Legs from the other day.

The plumage on the Mallard is really lovely.

It is overcast and cold at 13 degrees C this morning. The Crows have been for their morning hotdogs, the sparrows are wanting a bath, the Blue Jay has been flitting in and out (only one), and the cat has already been chased once. Meanwhile Little Red has been running back and forth on top of the new fence which now meets up with that of the neighbour so he never has to get on the ground to get to his new home. Yes! Little Red has found a place to live since his penthouse was torn down. So thankful. The torrential rains this year and saturated ground meant that all of the trees literally tripled in size. He found a hole in the big tree and if I look carefully, I can see him going in and out. So relieved after feeling so quilty about the shed. With my chair back in the sunroom this morning, I can watch over them and hopefully get some good images of Dyson who is looking ever so healthy and fluffy these days. Gosh, that squirrel is quick. I wonder if the Crows frighten her?

In the Mailbox:

‘A’ writes that I have awakened a love of ducks for her. That is fantastic. They are often very unappreciated, like the geese, in my City but, there is nothing so peaceful as sitting on a clean bit of lawn or blanket and watching them go about their daily paddling and preening. This is wonderful news. Thank you for letting me know! In honour of this, I have used one of our favourite ducks for ‘From the Archive’ today.

Making News:

There is growing disillusion within the environmental and raptor groups in British Columbia, Canada at the decision by the Department of Forests and the University of British Columbia to cone a long standing Bald Eagle nest on the campus of the University. Their are ongoing campaigns to stop the coning which is due to take place today, the 14th of September.

https://www.ubcproperties.com/news/eagles-nest-and-wesbrook-place-development/

Also in British Columbia, this time in Surrey, the David Hancock Wildlife Foundation is attempting to stop the cutting down of a Bald Eagle nest on the property of a Costo in that city–or get the owner to agree put up a platform nest for the eagles.

British Columbia is home to more Bald Eagles than any other area in North America. Because of this their conservation status and threat is very low – often cited as an excuse to cone the trees or cut down the nests — some 140 Bald Eagle nests were destroyed at the Site C Dam project by the province this year. Of course, what is the real count? With Avian flu still with us and in Manitoba nests and eggs destroyed by flooding with few goslings, perhaps we should be re-thinking our approach to preserve. Declines can begin to happen and spiral.

If you are in Southern Manitoba, Wildlife Haven is having its annual Open House on 23-24 September. Tickets can be pre-purchased and space is limited. It was gorgeous weather last year and the event was sold out. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours on a fall afternoon than getting to meet the ambassadors, tour the new flight training buildings, and check out the great vet facilities. These are the people giving our wildlife a second chance.

Do you live in New York? do you love Bald Eagles? Here is a fundraiser event you might not want to miss.

Would you like to be an Albatross detective and help get a true worldwide count of these sea birds? Here is the information.

https://phys.org/news/2022-09-albatrosses-space-wildlife.html?fbclid=IwAR2f-pbgS3RwmaNjlKRkHTidHqeg3x3ugsiu2u1TRGNoXRCHw3Z4ljbt78I

Nest News:

The Bald Eagles have been returning. Yesterday it was Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida nest to Samson.

NEFlorida Eagle Nest

Samson and Gabby love to ‘kiss’ just like Alden and Annie.

Anna and Louis are back at the Kisatchie National Forest and now Mr President and Lotus are at the National Arboretum Nest in Washington, DC.

National Arboretum Nest

They are really coming home. If you see a return, send me a note!

Thunder and Akecheta were caught sitting together on the cliffs of the Channel Islands yesterday. Oh, goodness. What an incredible year we had with Ahota, Star, and Kana’kini.

Thunder flew into the West End nest with a super fish yesterday, too… Ah, it would have been grand if one of the kids swept in and took it! Everyone misses those three amigos.

Andor was at the Fraser Point nest. I haven’t seen any new updates on Victor. We can all presume that he is doing lots of flying and strengthening those wings!

The nest that our dear Little Bit ND17 grew up on had dwindled down to only a bit of mud and straw at the joint of the branches. Everyone has been concerned that the adult eagles would not return and rebuild – knowing that if they didn’t St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana, would not be moving the camera. Well, guess what? Dad has been caught returning to the nest! This should be a ray of sunshine for everyone. It will take work but each of us has marvelled at how quickly the raptors can whip a nest into shape. No, it will not be huge like a decade old nest but it will be a new beginning.

In the image below you can see what little is left.

It appears that Idris is finally alone to enjoy his fish and that Padarn has left the territory for her migration.

At Glaslyn, however, Aran is still bringing fish for Blue 497. It won’t be long, Aran!

497 is an incredibly beautiful osprey.

To my knowledge, Blue 497 is the only fledgling left on an Osprey streaming cam in the UK to migrate.

Did I mention mantling (when a raptor spreads its wings over its prey to conceal and protect) was one of the development stages coming quickly for the Sea Eaglets in Sydney? Well, guess which of the two was the first to demonstrate this stage of growth?

If you said SE30 you would be absolutely correct! Both eaglets held the prey down with their talons and pulled. Eventually they were fed but this is very good training. So proud of 30! Go baby. Don’t you just love the look on 29’s face? (squint)

The sea eaglets have been well fed and have been sporting crops on and off for a few days now.

Watching incubation and expecting a hatch in less than a week can be nerve wrecking.

The beautiful Mum at Port Lincoln. It is the 15th. Oh, so soon we will be having little osplets –. Cannot wait.

For Melbourne, mark your calendars for the 27th of September.

Xavier and Diamond will follow after Melbourne!

Migration News:

Into Hawks? Aren’t we all? Here is a new tool to follow the counts.

https://www.hawkcount.org/index.php?fbclid=IwAR3LRTBRBWRYUa0Fg8KoXz4OqH4Fz1t8COL4lIMb4qXRVz1F3LuxIyMcNAE

Some good news on one of the Tweed Osprey fledglings, Glen. (Sadly it appears that Kirk who had gone West and was in Ireland continued west over the Atlantic and is probably lost).

From Karl II’s family, the Estonian Black Storks from the Karula National Forest nest.

Bonus is really flying and remains in the same area he has been for several days now-the Prypjat River. He is safe. Relief as always.

Waba is at the Hrabarka River in Ukraine.

I see no transmission for Kaia or Karl II.

Audubon scientists are using data from hawk Mountain to monitor the places that raptors migrate.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/news/science/audubon-scientists-use-hawk-mountain-data-to-develop-a-new-method-for-mapping-bird-migrations

Here is the current data for Hawk Mountain in terms of this autumn’s migration.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

From the Archive:

I am not a cartoon character but, for many raptor watchers in Australia (and elsewhere), I am the most famous duck in the world. Do you remember me? What is my name? What kind of a duck am I? Whose nest did I lease? And do you remember what happened?

Thank you so much for joining me today and for your lovely notes. It is actually relatively quiet in Bird World but soon…so soon, there will be action in Australia – at Port Lincoln and Melbourne. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the antics of the little Sea Eagles who are jumping, flapping, and learning to mantle and eat their own prey. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their tweets, their posts, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles of Centreport, Albatross Space, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, Notre Dame Eagles, NEFL-AEF, NADC-AEF, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Conservation Without Borders, and Looduskalender.


From the Archive: Daisy is a Pacific Black Duck. She first appeared on the nest of the Sydney Sea Eagles in December of 2020. She attempted three clutches of eggs – all predated by the Crows, sadly. The last clutch in 2021 almost made it to hatch. We were all cheering! Daisy stole our hearts and taught us many lessons about the challenges the female ducks face in being both incubator and security guard. The couple came this year to check on the nest. Oh, it was delightful to see Daisy and her mate but, equally, there was relief that she decided to lay her eggs elsewhere in the forest. Did you know that less than 15% of all duck eggs laid make it to hatch?

Late Tuesday and Wednesday in Bird World

12-13 April 2022

We continue to shovel the walkways so that we can put down seed. Then it snows lots more and we do it again!

It is nearing 23:00 on the 12th of April. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) are closing all of the major highways in the province where I live. This is unprecedented and will actually be quite helpful in keeping people safe. For at least two days we have known about the historic storm that is due to arrive in a few hours and have been told to stock up on medicines, batteries, candles, food, etc. All of the schools are closed. As for me I am sitting back and waiting and watching the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest south of me in Minnesota to see how this system plays out with those eagles.

The nest is in a severe thunderstorm watch area. The winds were gusting earlier. I caught a few minutes of the nest as it creaked and swayed.

It is currently raining and the nest is still blowing about but not nearly as bad.

This is the nest Wednesday morning. They have gotten rain but not the snow that we are experiencing that is confusing many of the smaller birds such as the Juncos.

There have been two recent visits of Ervie’s to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest. One was 17:42 on the evening of the 12th (last night). The other was this morning, the 13th in Australia. Ervie arrived and then left and returned with a puffer.

In the image above, you can see the missing talon. Ospreys only have four talons. The image below has caused a lot of confusion. Does the nail on the right top belong to a different foot? or the one with the missing talon?

Is Ervie missing one or two talons? or is one curled under? Everyone is looking very closely at Ervie’s feet.

I wanted to do a quick check of many nests this morning so we can see how they are doing.

The rain from yesterday seems to have stopped. Both Big and Middle Little at the Dale Hollow nest are dry and there are large pieces of fish on the nest. Little Middle had a nice feed earlier, too. So all is well with those two!

This nest has settled down.

This is the Llyn Clywedog Nest of Dylan and Seren. It is gorgeous. Dylan is notorious for bringing back trout to the nest! Sadly, yesterday, a goshawk came and sat on this nest. Goshawks tend to like to lure the Ospreys into the forest where they attack. Fingers crossed that it will not return!

Aran and Mrs G together on the perch first thing on the morning of 13 April. Aran at the back and Mrs G with her really dark face at the front.

Handsome Aran with his fish on the perch at Glaslyn later in the day. Did he bring it for Mrs G? where is she?

Idris and Telyn on the perches at the Dyfi Nest. All is well.

Blue NC0 laid her first egg on April 12 at 18:35. What a beautiful nest at the Loch of the Lowes – so soft and comfy – and personally, one of the most gorgeous sites in all of the Osprey breeding areas.

Laddie LM15 comes to take his turn helping his mate Blue NC0.

CJ7 has been bringing nesting materials into the alternate nest at Poole Harbour. Blue 022 has been seen sky dancing all over the place. I hope he stays at Poole Harbour!

All is well at Rutland Water. Maya is incubating three eggs. Fantastic.

If you are following the UK arrivals, here is a good chart for you.

Thank you to Friends of Loch Arkaig FB Page for posting his chart.

Moving back to North America, the three osplets at the U of Florida at Gainesville continue to do well. Little Bob is still with us! And that is a good day.

Strong winds took out the camera at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta on the 12th.

Calmer winds are forecast for the Channel Islands today. That is fantastic. Looks like the view is pretty good from Two Harbours already. That wee one of Chase and Cholyn’s looks so tiny in that huge nest!

Andy has delivered fish. Little (or Mini) is calling for fish in the image below while Big flaps its wings.

Gosh, those chicks of Andy and Lena’s are sure beautiful. They will surely pop the corks when these two fledge! It has been a good year for Captiva Ospreys.

Mr President and Lotus’s chick has a nice big crop this morning. That little fuzzy teddy bear of a shape has sure changed over the past week! No signs of bad weather at the National Arboretum Nest in DC.

It is a little wet and windy in Iowa at the Decorah North nest. I wonder if they are going to get any of the system that is impacting us?

This is an image of Majestic, the Ambassador Bald Eagle for Wildlife Haven, our local rehabber. She has been part of a fund raising campaign because of the Avian Flu. She has been moved indoors where she will be safe. Everyone loves Majestic!

The Manitoba Wildlife Federation is sponsoring a virtual talk/discussion on what is being done about Avian Flu in our province on 19 April at 7pm. Here is the link to sign up. It is free. Since it is virtual and if you are wanting to learn more about Avian Flu, why not sign up?!

Hancock Wildlife in British Columbia is having a GoFundMe drive for nests for Bald Eagles. David Hancock is ‘the eagle man’ in Canada. Most of you probably know him. He reminded me today that when he was sixteen years old and living at Blaine Harbour, you would see white buckets on the fishing boats with eagle legs. Yes, the legs cut off. They would be shipped to Alaska for $2 a pair. That was 1954. Sadly, David says that the same attitude of neglect towards the Bald Eagles continues.

Thank you for joining me today. We are busy trying to take care of the birds that come to our garden as best we can. The squirrels are tucked up warm and no where in sight. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, MN-DNR, DHEC, CarnyxWild, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi, Scottish Wildlife, Poole Harbour, Rutland Water, UFL Ospreys, Explore.org, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, NADC-AEF, and Wildlife Haven.

Wednesday in Bird World

Oh, gosh, golly. Just when you think the day is going to be quiet, Missy at the Berry College Bald Eagle Nest in Mt Berry, Georgia, has a pip. The announcement of the pip was posted on FB this morning.

I just took this image a few minutes ago. The chick is making good progress! That is not a video. That arrow just shows up when you try to take a screen shot on their camera.

Speaking of cameras, Berry College has three – an approach one, one above the nest, and one closer to the nest. If you want to see thee action on hatch, I think the camera closer to the nest is the best. Their cameras are not on YouTube.

https://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/nest2

What spells Bald Eagle Fluff Ball better than cute? Be prepared to melt. Anna and Louis’s 15-hour-old chick is adorable.

Oh, the fluff balls grow too quick and get pin feathers in a blink. Soak them in when they are like this. So precious.

Bald Eagle parents work on instinct. There isn’t a manual on eagle parenting tucked under the nest. This is only Anna’s second chick. Last year I almost had a sore throat yelling at Anna to get closer to Kisatchie to feed him and for Kisatchie to turn around, face Mum (or Dad, Louis feeds his babies), and open that beak wide. Anna and this little one are struggling too. The little one is ready to eat and opens its beak wide and tries the grass in the nest! It has its back to Anna who is trying to feed it. She gets closer and the little one takes its first bite. This will only improve as Anna remembers and the little one figures out its part in the feeding-eating process.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinics work on donations and the sweat, tears, and love of volunteers. Our local clinic, Wildlife Haven, put out a call for donations to help a Snowy Owl in December. Today they were joyful in sending out a short video on its release. So happy to have been a small part of this success story!

There is currently no pip at the Captiva Bald Eagle nest. Waiting for Friday!

There is also no Daisy the Duck on the Sea Eagles nest in Sydney and that is a good thing!

Down at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Ervie is on the nest crying for a fish delivery. Twice now he has flown off the nest as if he saw an adult with a fish. He returned quickly the first time. Let’s see if he comes back with a fish the second time. No, empty taloned!

In Durbe, Milda and Mr L have returned to the nest to move around some sticks. There is still lots of snow in Latvia, just like Manitoba! I am really looking forward to Milda laying eggs and having a successful fledge of chick or chicks this spring. That would be so wonderful. Losing her long term mate, Raimis, last spring just sparked more and more sadness.

Just like Milda and Mr L, Annie and Grinnell are hanging out on The Campanile. Their scrape box is ready and waiting for those precious eggs in a couple of months. Cal Falcons posted this on their Twitter site today. So happy it will be Annie and Grinnell. The interloper has not been seen for a month! Yeah!!!!!!!

Annie is still there several hours later. Can you see her by the camera, perched on the pipe?

For other baby eaglets, it looks like it is fish dinners in Miami-Dade County and over in Fort Myers. R2 and R3 really seem to enjoy the fresh fish that Dad brings in. There have been several other varieties of prey items including a parrot and a coot. Did you know that Bald Eagles fish in both fresh and salt water?

E19 and E20 are also having fish. It is so hard to tell them apart. There is a white line under the cere of one of them but E20 does not seem to be that much different in size from its older sibling, E20. It is difficult to tell who is who sometimes. I ‘think’ it is E19 at the bottom of the screen and E20 in the middle.

Oh, tomorrow, the chick at Berry College will have fully hatched, the little one at the KNF nest will be stronger with its eyes more focused, and then there should be a pip coming at Captiva. Goodness.

There has been more snow on and off all day on the Canadian Prairies. There were 57 European Starlings in the Lilac Bushes and back trees this morning. They are still here. The feeders were filled twice. It is now 16:08 and it will not be long til every bird goes off to roost. It is normally dark here by 16:45. It is now 16:25 and all the birds are gone. It is absolutely still in the garden as new snow falls.

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

A big thank you to the following for their streaming cams, Twitter, or FB pages where I took my screen captures: KNF Bald Eagle Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Berry College Eagles, Cal Falcons, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, WRDC Bald Eagle Nest, SWFlorida and D Pritchett Bald Eagle Nest, Wildlife Haven, Bald Eagles Live Nest Cam News, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

Thanksgiving Thursday in Bird World

Our wildlife rehabilitation clinic has seen a 21% increase in patients in the last week. If you live in Manitoba and have the finances, send them a donation, however small or large. They receive no government funding. Everything is done on a donation basis – as is the case with most wildlife rehabilitation clinics. They have a long list of items they need on their website and all monetary donations are tax deductible.

I know that many of my readers live elsewhere but if this is happening here then perhaps it is happening all over.

There was a very sobering article on that cute little Korora (Tiny Blue Penguin) that is doing well in NZ. Its sibling died because the parents have to go so far to feed. For those that love those New Zealand birds such as the Royal Albatross at Taiaroa Head and wildlife that depend on the oceans to survive, what they are seeing is warming waters which mean the fish move or even die (like the trout did in Montana when the Clark Fork River got too water). It is time we demand that governments get serious and take radical steps to try and stop the situation from getting worse.

I want to remind everyone of Ferris Akel’s tours. You can go to YouTube, search for Ferris Akel, and hit the subscribe button to the live stream. He has lots of archived video tours as well. They normally take place on Saturdays at noon, Ithaca NY time. Ferris is out at Sapsucker Woods today for Thanksgiving and he has just found a beautiful juvenile Red-tail hawk that is hunting.

Notice the ‘eyebrow’ that helps to keep the glare away from its eyes when hunting. Oh, isn’t this a beautiful raptor?

Ferris just caught a Belted Kingfisher close to the RTH. There have been other birds this morning included Canada Geese and maybe another Kingfisher.

In the summer and fall, Ferris finds lots of shore birds and in the winter there will be owls! You can leave Ferris on like a radio if you are busy or you can watch as little or as much as you like. There is also a chat function with great people who can answer questions.

I am so thankful for Ferris Akel and his tours and his generosity in allowing us to share his images. I have learned so much from him over the years just wish I had a better ear to know which birds are out there by their beautiful voices.

Little Yurruga, the Peregrine Falcon fledgling at Orange, has been seen on top of a building so it is flying alright. Xavier and Diamond have been seen taking food in and out so she/he ? is being provided for. Isn’t this wonderful?!!!!!!

Below is the image that Dr Cilla Kinross took the day Yurruga fledged. She placed it in a tree. What a lovely little falcon you are, Yurruga.

This appeared on the FB Page of the Orange Peregrine Falcons today.

Have you ever wondered about the colour morphing of birds? The Audubon Society has a nice ‘Ask Ken’ article on that very topic! Thanks BM for letting me know!

The NZ DOC rangers at Taiaroa Head are deciding which Royal Albatross couple will be the Royal Cam family this year. There are 36 eggs and they believe that is all for this year. The favourite couple, WYL and BOK, who have made us so happy with their cuddles have not laid an egg – maybe next year! Will keep you posted!

It is a quiet day in Bird World and that is something to be very thankful for – no drama, nothing horrible happening.

Take care everyone. Have a marvellous day. To those having Thanksgiving, enjoy. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures or their FB pages: Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Ferris Akel Tours, Orange Peregrine Falcons FB page and the Cornell RTH FB Page.

A fun and educational morning at Wildlife Haven

Today was the first day of a four day event held at our wildlife rehabilitation centre, Wildlife Haven, in Ile des Chenes, Manitoba. While Thursday morning was slow, the early afternoon and the rest of the three days are booked solid. It was wonderful listening to the volunteers, the veterinarians in training, and staff talk about the ambassadors as well as giving everyone tours of all the facilities. It is one chance that our not-for-profit centre has for donations and to recruit new volunteers. With the exception of a couple of big donors, the centre is run entirely on donations from people like you and their volunteers, and the generosity of several institutions that provide food for the animals.

Since 1984, Wildlife Haven has been rehabilitating injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. The goal is always to return the mammals and birds back to the wild. To date, more than 44,000 wildlife have received care at the facility. In addition to the wildlife that are given a second life, others live at the centre permanently. They become educational ambassadors. Volunteers use them to educate the public on the challenges that wildlife face and how they can help.

Once the large raptors have gone through several stages of rehabilitation, they are placed in these very large – and long – structures to re-establish their flying and hunting skills. Only when they can fly and hunt on their own will they be released back into the wild.

Wildlife Haven is fortunate to have two of these areas where the large birds of prey can train for their return to a life in the wild.

Scattered around the property are other buildings where the raptors spend time before reaching the final test – flying and hunting.

There is a Great Horned Owl in the structure below strengthening its wings by flying around the enclosure. It was blocked off so that visitors would not cause it stress but you could see the shadow of it flying through the material.

Smaller birds of prey are in the structure below.

In the enclosure below are two beavers. They really demonstrated the term ‘busy as a beaver’. The two spend their entire day taking logs into the water to soak the bark. Then they strip the bark off the log and eat it. In fact, the primary food of a beaver is wood bark. Then they spend their time chewing away on the logs. Once a week the water is cleaned. Beavers have to have water in order to defecate. The logs are replenished once a week or as needed. The tour guide said they were lucky to have a large piece of property with lots of trees so that the beavers can be ‘themselves’. The pair will be released back into the wild at the location where they were captured.

The meal prep area! Want to know where some of those old oranges wind up from the grocery store? Perhaps they get donated to your local wildlife rehabber. Local gardeners also donate surplus veggies.

The University of Manitoba donates mice and rates to Wildlife Haven. They go through a lot of meat because many of the patients are raptors. There are also a host of raptor ambassadors. Majestic, the Bald Eagle who is unable to fly, eats approximately 400 grams – not quite a pound – of good meat a day.

There is a lot of work for staff and volunteers. Visitors got a giggle out of the last item on the list. Cinnabun is a rabbit who is also an ambassador. Apparently Cinnabun loves getting out of her cage and even though the door is locked she is often found wandering around the building when staff arrive in the morning.

Besides raptors there are a lot of water birds such as Pelicans and, currently, there are 44 Canada Geese receiving treatment. There are snakes and turtles amongst the gang as well. The centre does not treat skunks or large animals such as deer, moose, or elk. Skunks require specialist centres because of their spray and its smell but also because they are one of the main carriers of rabies.

There is a Turkey Vulture Ambassador. Its head will turn red when it is an adult. Right now it is just a baby!

Adorable. This young vulture came to the clinic this summer and they hope to release it next summer once it passes its flying and hunting skills testing.

Oh, I could take this beautiful female Red-tail Hawk home in the blink of an eye. What a beautiful bird. She is a permanent ambassador at the centre and reminds me so much of Big Red who lives on the Cornell University campus.

We were introduced to the amazing layer of feathers of a Great Grey Owl. These owls live year round in the forests of Manitoba. Their hearing is so good they can hear the faintest sound of a mouse beneath 60 cm (or 2 ft) of snow. Their enormous layer of feathers with their round tips means that the own glides silently from its perch to get its prey, hunting at dusk and dawn mainly. They range in height from 60 to 84 cm (or 24-33 inches).

Great Grey Owls hunt for voles, mice, lemmings, and shrews.

It is a great fund raiser for the Centre but, for anyone attending one of the tours, they learned so much. I urge you to see when the wildlife rehabilitation clinics in your area has their open house. Go – take a friend. Make an outing of it. While you are there, think about how you can help. Every centre has a long list of items that they use all the time. It is surprising to see what is on those lists. Maybe your pet has died and you have unopened tins or bags of food. Those are great to donate as are veggies from your garden. What about those old sheets and towels? Do not put them in the garbage! Wash them well and put them in a clean bag. They would be very useful. Maybe you want to get more involved and help transport injured animals to the centre. There are a hundred ways to help. Ask the staff for all the possibilities and see if there is something that suits you.

It was a gorgeous day in the country. I wish I could share the murmurations of the Red-winged Blackbirds as they flew off the sunflower fields. Simply stunning the patterns they made in the sky.

Thanks so much for joining me. You take care of yourself. See you soon!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving from my garden to yours

It is 17 degrees C, clear blue skies, and the birds are chirping their heads off. After two days of grey damp rain, everyone is happy to celebrate and we are all thankful for the wonderful weather.

Thanks to the birds or squirrels there are sunflowers popping up around the planters. The Vermillionaires are for the hummingbirds, and the Cosmos for the bees and butterflies. The thicket in the back of the garden is a favourite place for hiding or cooling off.

I am thankful to each of those that live in or visit our garden every day. There are three different Blue Jays, one Red Squirrel (Little Red), three Grey Squirrels (Baby, Scraggly, and Monk), Mr and Mrs Wood Pecker (he is missing from the images today), Mr Chickadee, and Hedwig, the garden rabbit.

The joy they bring is immense. The Blue Jays have been demonstrating the many ways to clear the kernels off their corn cobs before Scraggly takes the entire cob. Everyone else has also had special seed or suet over the weekend to thank them.

It seemed that half of our City was at the local park today enjoying the beautiful weather and having picnics instead of big elaborate dinners. You could hear laughter all around the pond. Sadly, there was one female Mallard that has a broken wing. I am waiting for someone to bring me the proper pole with netting and we will be out to attempt a rescue to Wildlife Haven.

Of things to be thankful for today, is not only the joy that all of the birds have given me but also for those that dedicate their lives to trying to mend them and get them out in the wild again. Wildlife Haven is certainly one of those!

The trip had been to check on the little Wood Ducks. The one below is an adult female in her summer/fall plumage. Note her striking white eye patch and the yellow line around her eye. She does not, however, have the red iris of the male. She has white streaking on her breast. You can see the blue secondaries.

Indeed, it is very difficult to ID the Wood Ducks at this time of year because there are so many variations occurring.

We know this to be a male because of the red Iris. There is stunning secondaries. In this instance, they look iridescent green at this angle. This is a first year male in his winter plumage.

I was looking for the adult male. The last time I checked he was almost finished his moult and it would be so nice to see him in his magnificent plumage before they leave the pond for their winter homes. He is sleeping up on the bank of Duck Island on the left. You can get a glimpse of how gorgeous he is. Indeed, most of the wood ducks were having a nap. Perhaps they do not like all the people walking about, laughing, having fun.

From my garden to yours, I hope that like us you have family, friends, and critters who delight you and for whom you can say ‘thank you’ every day! Wildlife is wonderful.

Thanks for joining me today. Wish us good luck in getting that female Mallard out of the pond! Take care everyone. See you soon.

Third Egg for Diamond and a Rescue

Saturday Morning. I don’t think that this Swainson’s Thrush knew that he would be spending so much time with me. I suspect that he did not know that he was in for an adventure and a car ride.

Indeed, it is unclear how this little one wound up behind my kitchen in the grass. There were no window strikes. He turned around and faced different directions and thinking that it was simply stunned, I waited for 45 minutes. Still nothing. It tried to fly but that wouldn’t work so…….into the comfort of the transport box on soft, soft sheets and away we went to Wildlife Haven. It was still alive on arrival. Thank Goodness.

As I answered all of the questions by the intake helper, it was a reminder that it is migration season – something we have been talking about for several weeks. Juveniles are finding themselves in trouble all over the place – so what do you do?

  1. You should have the phone number of your nearest wildlife rehabber in your contact list. Check and see if you have that and it is current.
  2. As much as you would like to, please do not feed the wildlife anything – anything. It could cause the to be worse. No cow’s milk, no baby formula! You can offer them a very shallow bowl of water – think saucer actually so they don’t drown.
  3. Do not pet them. The bird or animal is stressed enough. Any undue stress could cause them to have a heart attack.
  4. Keep them in a quiet, dark place. I have a large box that my organic groceries come in. On each side are holes for handles. This is good for the air circulation and allows the box to stay warm and dry while at the same time they are not seeing you.
  5. Don’t let your pets around the injured bird or animal.

Swainson’s Thrush does, during migration, often find itself in back gardens and parks. It often gleans for food on the ground. In our case it could also have been at any one of the feeders or on the ground where the other birds kick off seed. Something, however, had caused it not to be able to fly. It wanted to but just didn’t have the battery power. I hope that it does well in rehab and is on its way to its winter home soon.

Speaking of wildlife rehabbers, they love donations. Many of the raptors like to play with toys. Did you know that? It helps them from being bored. I cannot imagine being a Red Tail-Hawk imprinted on humans that cannot be allowed to fly free. The rehabbers are always in need of food including rabbit and cat/dog kibble. Many rehabbers post a list of wanted items on their website and, of course, they are happy for donations no matter how big or small. So when you think of gifting, think of these folks that are not for profit and survive on donations, please.

Our wildlife rehabber also has one other concern for people who feed the birds. “If you feed the animals in your yards, they may learn to depend on the availability of food from you and may not store for the winter months. So if you are going to feed later in the fall, it is best to continue feeding until the spring months.”

There is very little news out in Bird World. Birds are flying or sitting on eggs. The only ones that seem to be feeding little ones are the White-Bellied Sea Eagles and that continues to go well. Those babies are getting big. Look at those beautiful juvenile feathers coming in.

WBSE 28 can give as good as it gets. This nest has turned around for the good.

Tiny Little’s dad, White YW, is still in his territory as of this morning.

Aran still remains at the Glaslyn Nest. Mrs G was last seen on Sunday, 29 August. Aran does not normally leave til the middle of the month so his presence is not unusual. I need to check on the dates for White YW.

Can you see Aran?

Another male that is still at home is Louis up at Loch Arkaig. In fact, Louis is still feeding Aspen and Alder. I am not sure when it was that Dorcha left on her migration. This makes Louis’s fledglings some of the last to migrate. Here they are sunning themselves on a branch. — You will recall that Louis’s mate, Aila, did not return from migration this year. He made a nest with his new mate, Dorcha, away from the old nest with the camera. Louis is simply a fabulous dad. He even fishes at night if the family needs food. We wish them all the best when they do leave and look forward to their safe return next spring.

Last but never least, Diamond, the Peregrine Falcon in the scrape box on the ground of Orange University laid her third egg this morning around 06:29. Will she lay 4 eggs like the female in Melbourne? or will this be it and she will start the hard incubation. We wait and watch.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB Pages where I took my screen shots: The Falcon Cam Project Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Friends of Loch Arkaig FB Group, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Sea Eagle Cam@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre.