Our thoughts go out to all that are being lashed about by tropical storm systems and hurricanes.
It is a quiet drizzly grey Saturday morning in the garden. Little Red has been eating at the solid suet cylinder and the Blue Jays are pecking away at the cob of corn left for them. The sparrows have not really been around much. I hope to have some photos of Little Red cleaned up for tomorrow. But, so far, the gang is all here – Junior and the 3 fledgling Blue Jays and the 3 fledgling Crows plus Little Red, Dyson, and Scraggles. Dyson’s two from the summer come and go as well. There has been no sightings of Little Hedwig and the neighbours and I are beginning to fear the worst about those cats. Fingers crossed we see a bunny shortly.
The temperatures are dropping at night. All of the Grape tomatoes have been picked and will turn green in the lovely Birch basket. All of the plants to come inside are here but one which means a trip to the garden centre today for soil. Even so, we have not had a hard frost in the garden and this is absolutely remarkable considering it is now the 24th of September.
In the Mailbox:
The other day I was asked if non-parental male peregrine falcons could harm the eyases in the scrape. I told a story of an Osprey that had kicked the eggs out of the nest when he suspected they belonged to another male. Today, a cartoon that Chloe Baker did of Odin and EJ showed up on FB.
It was Loch Garten, 2013, and here is the video of that egg being kicked out of the nest. Odin waited til EJ went for a break! (not HD) I wish some of these great old videos could be cleaned up. They are fantastic. Of course, Odin was not the only male. Some of us waited to see if Aran would go after Mrs G’s eggs this season but, he didn’t. Presumably they were his and not the Pont Cresor Aeron Z2.
This also happened at Dunrovin a couple of years ago – much clearer image.
And here is another a couple of years ago. There are many examples. We do not know what will happen if the young male totally ousts the old male at Melbourne. Indeed, we do not even know if that will happen this year. My fingers are crossed that he goes and sits and waits til this breeding season is over! But, we also have to prepare ourselves for the worst. It is much better when the males get rid of the eggs.
Some additional images were released of Victor taking his flight to freedom. He sure must have been so excited to be back in the wild. Victor is a magnificent eagle! Thanks to Paul K for cleaning these up!
It is all about life lessons at the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. The parents are deliberately branching, demonstrating how to ward off the Currawong, and then how to eat a fish. It is really a privilege to be able to watch the daily lives of these amazing raptors.
Xavier looking at the eggs. Hatch watch is 1-3 October! Xavier is one of the most devoted male Peregrine Falcons that I know. This is an incredible nest to watch and there are several cameras and a chat.
Xavier has been doing some of that enfluffing in the scrape.
I wonder how many of you are counting the number of fish flakes that Little Bob is getting at Port Lincoln. Big Bob is bigger and will need more and Mum is smartly feeding it several nice helpings before moving on to Middle and Little Bob. Dad, for his part, brought in a whomping size fish that will last the day.
Oh, Little Bob you are going to have to push and figure out how to get to the front with Big Bob in the front line!
Little Bob got himself in the right position for the next feeding at 10:50. Big Bob has a super crop and Middle is laying down. Little is going to get some really nice bites.
The camera operator gave us some fabulous close ups of the three after the 1415 feeding so we could see that each had a nice crop. Little Bob is holding its own. You can really see the egg tooth of each of the osplets – that hard piece of white beak used like a pick axe to get out of the shell. Enjoy this soft fluffy down. We will not realize it but time passes quickly and soon they will be in their reptilian phase.
Incubation continues at the 367 Collins Street scrape box. It is now the 25th in Melbourne and we are on hatch watch for the 27th.
For everyone who cannot wait for the Bald Eagle nests to be full of little eaglets, the first on streaming cam mating of the year occurred at the Northwest Florida nest of Samson and Gabby!
Do you know about EuroBirdPortal.org? It tracks all of the European Ospreys movements during the migration period.
I will be checking on Karl II and his family for tomorrow.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Little Bob is doing well. He isn’t our Ervie – no one could ever be Ervie but, I hope he holds his own against Big Bob and thrives. Mum and Dad are doing a great job. I fear that when Dad is late with fish it is either the wind or the gulls. Let’s blow those gulls away! Take care of yourselves. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams that form my screen captures: Chloe Baker, Loch Garden RSPB, Dunrovin, Castnet, Bald Eagles 101 and the Ojai Raptor Centre, The Wonderful World FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Charles Sturt Falcons, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Port Lincoln Ospreys, EuroBirdPortal, and NWFL-AEF.
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?
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!
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?
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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?
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:
One of the letters in the mailbox was ‘Where is Hollingsworth Ranch’. Here it the information on where Victor was released:
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.
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 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.
Oh, goodness. The sky is the most beautiful blue this morning without a single cloud. The tree tops have been kissed and they are all turning slightly golden but, we have not yet had a frost. Decades ago, there was always a frost in August and people lost their tomatoes still growing in the gardens. This year the mint has eclipsed its pot and the tomatoes are still growing and turning red. Thankfully, my three-year old neighbour loves those little grape tomatoes – there were 1000s this year!
Dyson has already arrived along with the Blue Jays who let me know that there are absolutely no peanuts to be had. It was the first time that I really examined those nuts. No wonder the Jays are picky eaters. Some of those nuts are not good – dry or with only one peanut. I don’t blame them for giving them a shake to find the fullest heaviest one.
Scraggles loves peanuts and always tries to take two! Notice her tail. It is growing back after she used part of it for her nest this summer.
Dyson looks great. Her tail has grown in and it is so nice to see her in the garden every day. Dyson stayed and ate quite a few nuts before leaving with a couple. It is so good to see her looking so well. It is hoped that by providing good food and water the animals might live better and longer.
In the Mailbox:
A number of you have asked: “What happened to the old Mum at 367 Collins Street?”
That is a question on probably hundreds of mines watching that scrape. The old Mum had a really formidable face but she was a great female and raised many eyases. Mum and Dad had been there since 2016 so, like Dad, she was at least 8 or 9 years old with the average life expectancy of six years according to Victor Hurley. So let us rewind for a minute. Last year the camera went off right when the 4th chick died of trichomonosis.
Trichomoniasis is a disease that is transmitted between birds through direct contact and therefore can spread relatively easily. One characteristic of this disease is the lesions that will present on your bird’s crop and esophagus. Trichomoniasis is a disease caused by the protozoa trichomonas gallinae. This condition is highly contagious among birds. There is a loss of appetite and general inability to eat, they have difficulty standing and keeping their balance, etc. This year we saw the female at the Janakkulum Osprey nest in Finland contract what was believed to be trichomonosis and probably died. Luckily her two chicks did not contract the disease. I mention this disease because it is possible that the Mum did get trichomonosis.
The other possibilities include dying naturally from old age, severe injury or death caused by the urban environment, severe injury or death caused by the new female or another female.
Sadly, the camera was off and we have no clues. Indeed, what happened to the female might have taken place on the other side of Melbourne. We miss her and Dad together and the stability on the ledge. The life of an urban falcon is difficult at best and even more so when we have grown to love them as individuals.
“What is going to happen to the egg shells at Port Lincoln. Why doesn’t Mum get rid of them?” This certainly is a question on a lot of people’s minds as we sit and wait for the third hatch. It is a very good question, too!
The females make the egg shells using calcium from their bodies. As a result, their calcium levels are lower. Some females eat the egg shells to help replenish their stocks while others will kick the shells out of the nest or just allow them to break up and become part of the nest. At 0:40:40 Mum at Port Lincoln is seen eating some of the small pieces of egg under the chick.
In the News:
‘N’ sent me a lovely article and it is so appropriate – the challenges that urban raptors face appeared in The New York Times. It is a good read and continues to remind us of the importance of the wildlife rehabbers that care for the raptors we love after they leave the nest. I wonder what the gender % is at wildlife clinics? The ones where I live are more than 90% women, like those in this story. Thank you ‘N’ for sharing with us.
A Scottish Osprey, Glen, misjudged GPS for migration and wound up on two ships!
The second osplet hatched at 19:11:32 at Port Lincoln. The third is working on making its appearance. Here are a myriad of shots from yesterday. It is amazing just how strong the first hatch is. I have not counted how many feedings that chick has had. Mum is hungry and Dad is getting the fish to the nest. Adorable Dad. He has gotten to see the babies and Mum looks tired. Perhaps it was only because she went without any fish for so long while Big Bob was hatching.
Dad was drying off after being out fishing. Thanks, Dad, for all the fish!
What a beautiful picture with the sun shining down. It is lovely to see Dad and Mum on the nest with the new hatch. I guess Dad has news for Ervie now!
Oh, this first hatch always wants to eat. I sure hope it is nice to its siblings and shares.
Snug as bugs in a rub those two osplets are!
Rumour has it that Little Bob is making good progress. Oh, I hope so. Big Bob has eaten so much s/he will be twice as big by the time little one gets out of that shell.
‘A’ writes that SE30 has managed to get the good prey items but has, in turn, shared with 29. Fantastic. What a wonderful civil nest this has turned out to be – very similar to the last two years. I do have a warm spot for those Sea Eagles. Lady and Dad have done a fantastic job with these two!
While the little sea eaglets were having their breakfast, Xavier was trying his best to get Diamond to get up off the eggs so he could have some time and she could have her breakfast. Diamond was buying it! Poor Xavier went off to the ledge dejected.
I really hope that all is well at Melbourne. This morning, if you listen, you can hear one of the males calling from the ledge out of view of the camera and I saw a feather fly into the air. Breakfast for Mum is being provided by someone — and I hope it is old Dad. It would be good for him to raise his eggs!
I wish I could capture the feathers flying.
A male flies in to relieve Mum. I have not been able to get a good look to see which it is.
He will give us no clues. I hope that someone grabs a quick look when he leaves. But let us all send warm wishes to this nest for a successful outcome. We are a week from hatch.
On the Bookshelf:
This book is from Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkemp who brought us the book, Beauty and the Beak. The pair combine the stories of raptor rescues into moving tales. If you are a science teacher or have children aged 7-11 both of the books are for you. They are filled with information and amazing images – really good ones – along with stimulating ideas for students at the end. This one is about a nest that was blown down and the fostering of two little osplets from Idaho where Veltkemp has her practice. Thinking of holiday book gifts already? This is a good one!
Thank you so very much for joining me today. Everything appears to be going splendidly at the nests. Port Lincoln is going to be busy today. Remember the feedings occur almost every hour so you will be in luck during the daylight hours whenever you sign on. Take care all.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: The New York Times, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.
The rain has not really stopped. Perhaps I realize it more now that I am literally living in a glass room (and loving it). My neighbour corrected me as I referred to ‘the sunroom’ being nearly finished with a smile – ‘conservatory’. Yes, of course. Mr Blue Jay and the Crows would not be able to stand above me – smiling – telling me that all of the peanuts are now gone if that was a solid roof. I knew the peanuts and cheesy sausages were sparce as one of them picked through the leftovers – it was Little Red! Little Red has come to get peanuts. You have no idea how absolutely happy that makes me feel…having felt guilty for months for tearing down his penthouse so I could have this lovely space. I wish I could share photos – between the heavy rain and the window screens it is impossible.
Avian Flu is not going away anytime soon. Farmers are calling for a vaccine for ‘the invisible enemy’ in this article in The Guardian.
Virologist Thijs Kuiken would say that it is the factory farming of poultry that is the case and that the solution is to not farm animals. Dr Kuiken graduated with his PhD from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon and is now with the University of Erasmus at Rotterdam. He is a world authority on Avian Flu and I met him when the two White-tailed Eagles in Estonia contacted H5N1 in the spring of 2021. This is an article that he wrote to help non-scientists understand Avian Flu – its origins and consequences for humans.
The Ferris Akel Tour is early this Saturday. Ferris is at the Cornell Open House at their raptor centre and guess who was there?!!!! E3. One of Big Red and Ezra’s eyases that was injured from 8 years ago. She is a beautiful ambassador!
There was a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon ambassador.
And a lovely owl…
You can tune in to Ferris Akel’s tour. The ambassadors are at the beginning. There are Blue Herons and Green Herons, too!
The big news of the day arrived in my inbox a second ago from ‘H’ – there is a pip at Port Lincoln at 20:53:40!
The pip in the back egg is larger and it is possible something is happening in that front egg closer to the screen. We wait.
Mum is sleeping. She is going to get terrifically busy after incubating these eggs – soon!
View of the eggs: pip, 21:32, 22:03, 22:19, 22:43, 22:57, 23:42, 23:54, 00:01, 00:10, 0:20 so far.
You can catch the action at Port Lincoln here:
I cannot think of a better shorter blog this morning than the hatch watch now at Port Lincoln. I couldn’t wait to tell you so you can tune in and watch some of the action as we wait for Ervie’s siblings to hatch!
Thank you to The Guardian, Ferris Akel, and to Port Lincoln Ospreys for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures this morning.
Thank you for joining me. I will be back either later today or tomorrow from Toronto. Please take care. See you soon!!!!!!!
Thursday was a gloomy day on the Canadian Prairies with delightful periods of sunshine popping in and out – like the squirrels and the Blue Jays gathering peanuts to store for the winter.
One visitor, in particular, managed to let me get her photo – Dyson. It is difficult to tell if she is still nursing babies but, she is in good form. So grateful.
I do not know where her nest is precisely. It used to be in the century old Maple tree in the front of the house until the City cut it down this summer. Now she runs along the back lane to the West. Her tail is beginning to grow out.
Squirrels are like the Blue Jays. They can also let part of their tail break away if they are being attacked in order to survive.
One of the other garden surprises today was the visit by at least two different Blue Jay fledglings and Junior. Everyone is stashing peanuts. It is said that September is the month when the Jays do the most gathering. As a result, the pile is always large. Some Blue Jays over winter while others migrate. Will wait to see what happens.
It’s Junior. How can we tell? As the adult, he is the only one of the Jays moulting as the three youngsters only hatched in the spring. Notice that he is just getting a hint of his new crest and he does not have all of his tail feathers. The feathers that he has are nice and healthy, brightly coloured. Blue Jays can live to be 7 years old. Junior is now about 5. His parents are not longer with us as of this year. He has a mate and they were so lucky to have the 3 fledglings – they outsmarted the Crows and the Cooper’s Hawk!!!!!!! And even the GHOW. Their nest is across the line in a Maple tree. Like Samson, the Bald Eagle, Junior took over his parent’s nest.
The Sparrows find the 17 degree C a little chilly. There is a nip in the breeze and many perch on the ends of the lilac branches to get warm in the sun.
And here it is Friday mid-morning and it continues to rain. The trees and plants are loving it – the birds not so much! I see only two brave souls at the bird bath…oops, no…about 60 now!
Ervie was flying close enough to the barge this morning to say ‘hi’ to Mum! Oh, cheeky Ervie. You just wanted Mum to remember that you are a year old now. Oh, and you were thinking she would invite you home for a fish dinner?? Oh, poor Ervie. You almost have brothers and sisters. Mum is busy. Hopefully you can have some fishing time with Dad.
The Ojai Raptor Centre reports that our beloved Victor continues to make progress and his zinc levels are normal. Oh, gosh. Isn’t that wonderful? Look how handsome this Two Harbours fledgling is!
A new subarctic seabird is breeding on the Diego Ramirez Islands. Have a read — oh, and they are using the Grey-headed Albatross’s nests!!!!!!! Thank you to Holly Parsons for posting this on the Albatross Lovers FB Group.
With Idris having departed the evening of the 13th and not seen since, the staff at Dyfi Osprey Centre will turn off the streaming cam in just a few hours. Here is that pastoral view.
The view at Glaslyn
At Loch Arkaig.
At Loch of the Lowes.
One of my friends in the UK said that it is best if we start knitting Osprey toy lookalikes until the end of March or beginning of April when the Ospreys return. That would actually be a great charity idea!
Travel safe and always with full crops our dear UK Ospreys. Full crops over the winter and safe and swift winds home in the spring.
Well, SE29 has been getting the fish deliveries on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest but, Lady, always keeping a watchful eye makes certain that SE30 gets some! Lady has blossomed over the past four years into a fantastic Mum.
The sea eaglets jumping and flapping at 0644 in anticipation of breakfast arriving.
Look at how clean the eaglets feet and talons are compared to those of Lady.
Attempts at self-feeding will continue until these two will remarkable appear that they have always been able to hold the fish down and pull with their bodies to get the flakes off. Early days of training.
SE30 waits very patiently. Remarkably civil these two. Both females? Both males?
Lady lets SE29 try and then feeds both of her babies so that each gets a good start to the day.
The second male at the 367 Collins Street Peregrine Falcon nest in Melbourne continues to make his presence felt by continuing to land on the ledge but, is he actively wanting to be involved in the raising of these eyases? or is his presence going to harm? It remains unclear as we are now 11 days from hatch watch.
His presence is clearly causing the older male whose scrape box this was to be reluctant to incubate the eggs. So what will happen when prey is needed for the eyases and Mum needs a break in feeding them? Who is actually protecting this Mum and the scrape box?
This is an image posted on 367 Collins Falcon Watchers of the two males. The original male – father of the clutch we believe – and the visitor on the right. Don’t worry! It is the camera angle that makes the one on the right appear larger.
Our cute little dad has very large yellow circles around the eye. The oneon the right does not and has a line on the right of black on white. Note: Most male Peregrine Falcons have a prominent yellow eye line like Dad 1 here and Xavier.
A close up of beautiful Mum has been posted accompanying a link to the tracking data for the nest if you are interested.
Let us all hope this works out well.
It is raining and about 11 degrees C in Port Lincoln. Rain is good but let us all hope it dries up before hatch watch on Monday!
Diamond was busy rolling the eggs before the IR camera came on Friday evening. Less than 2 weeks!
The Bald Eagles in Florida and the SE US are working on their nests – Pa Berry and Missy have been doing so for over a week now, Samson is happy Gabby is home – and those on the Channel Islands are busy, too. Oh, and I thought we would have a break after all the Ospreys migrated. BUT not all the Ospreys have migrated. ‘H’ caught Dory on the Hog Island nest in Maine! So Dory, Skiff, and at least Sloop are all still at home with no hint of starting their flight south!
‘H’ and I both think Sloop is a female from all her behaviour over the year. She can join the club of being kept home and fed well so that she is fully developed like Sarafina, Blue 497, and Padarn.
In the image below, Dory has flown onto the nest in the late afternoon on 15 August. Sloop has also been fishing – seen returning to the nest empty taloned but wet twice. Thanks ‘H’ for keeping us up to date on this nest. Much appreciated.
One of the Finnish Ospreys has spent a week in Ukraine and has safely departed. This is a good sign. Warm thoughts for Karl II and his family who continue to be feeding at various parts of the country.
Bonus remains in Belarus near the Pripyat River. He must really be getting a lot of nice fish and frogs there.
This is an image of the area that Bonus is fishing.
Kaia remains near the Desna River in Ukraine. No word from Karl II.
From the Archive:
I am ‘the most’ famous Red-tail Hawk in the world. Who am I? Where is my nest? Who is my current mate? and do you know how old I will be in 2023?
Thank you so very much for joining me today. I hope that each of you is well. Please take care. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you to the following for their posts and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, Ojai Raptor Centre, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, People’s Postcode Lottery, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Wildlife Trust, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, 367 Collins Street Falcon Watchers, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Audubon and Explore.org, LAJI-FI, Looduskalender, and Cornell Bird Lab.
I am Big Red. My nest is on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. My original mate was Ezra and my current mate is Arthur. I will be 20 years old in 2023. I was banded as a juvenile at Brooktondale, New York only 7.5 miles away form my nest now in the fall of 2003.
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.
I had a lovely time at an industrial park in the city again Sunday. There was the Great Egrets, the Great Blue Heron, the fast little shorebirds, some ducks, some gulls, and a lot of Canada Geese. As the Egret was flying away, a couple stopped on their bicycles and chatted with me for a long time. After they made me feel rather good by saying they watched and noticed that I did not get near the birds but rather used that long lens on my camera so as not to frighten them. (I was 250 ft away). I was very humbled. I have seen people find out there is an owl and take their children running and practically land on the raptor or people using fishing poles with line and a mouse to try and get that perfect ‘shot’ of the owl flying directly at the camera person. To me, those are not ‘birders’ they are a special irritating ilk of photographer. At any rate the couple told me about another lake not that far from where we were standing and we talked about how the city planners required the area to keep 30% of the land for nature. It is certainly a beautiful green area in the middle of gravel pits!!!!!!! Yes, I am serious. I also got a tip about a cemetery with a Cooper’s Hawk family. That was so nice.
Decades ago I looked at the world through the eyes of a ‘human’. Oh, I can hear you laughing, I haven’t turned into a hawk yet!!!!!!! Or have I? At that time I considered golf courses and cemeteries as wastes of precious land — and that was a time when I was researching British cemeteries on the Indian subcontinent! Today, the view from my eyes is very different. As humans eat up all the land they can with bigger houses and ever expanding amounts of land, the golf courses and the cemeteries are places of refuge for the birds and the raptors. The geese fill the newer cemeteries that only allow flat markers while the Crows and hawks make their homes in the older ones with the mausoleums and large head stones. If I could increase the number of golf courses and cemeteries I would! And that is a 180 degree change in thinking. (Of course the golf courses should not be using rodenticide!)
From the Mailbox:
‘L’ writes: I don’t see the male at Melbourne bringing prey to the female. Do you know what is happening?”
What a really good question because we often see Xavier bring prey directly into the scrape box at Orange for Diamond. It seems, at Melbourne, that the male has hidey-holes on the other ledges and behind some of the architectural features of the building. He will have a stash of food there for the Mum and for her to feed the eyases. You might have seen Xavier put prey in the corner of the scrape at Orange. Rest assured, she is eating and the amount of time she spends incubating, she is not catching it but the little male is doing the hunting. He is also a very good hunter from previous years – if prey stocks remain good.
Just a note about Melbourne. ‘A’ wrote and asked what was on the nest fluttering around and then answered her question. A white plastic bag had made its way up to that scrape! That is so worrisome. The Mum got it off by tearing it but oh, we humans need to pick up after ourselves.
Making the News:
There is a webinar today on migration. I just saw this posting on the Cornell Chatters FB page. Apologies for not knowing about it earlier. I hope that they will post the webinar on YouTube after. Fingers crossed.
Six more Golden Eagles were released in the UK as part of a reintroduction programme.
The bird photographers of the year have been announced….It is so sad to see that some of the images of the urban birds are around human garbage but that is their reality. Indeed, many of the European storks – and those Adjutant Storks in India – spend their time in the landfills trying to find food. I was chatting with my granddaughter this afternoon about the need for dead but not diseased animals to be taken to a specific spot for all the birds that eat carrion. It would be a tremendous help. Instead of running big incinerators using energy and pouring ash into the air, the animals like Bald Eagles, Crows, and Vultures would have food.
The winners are shown in this article of The Guardian:
This beautiful Golden Eagle gets a second chance at life because of the Audubon Centre and now she has a new home!
Thanks to ‘J’ I was able to go and see the Magpies attacking the two little sea eaglets on the streaming cam. Thank you ‘J’.
A number of years ago I was mortified when I saw the Magpies and Currawongs swooping at the little sea eaglets. My heart sank to my feet and my palms got sweaty. It is a difficult thing to watch for the very first time… maybe even the second. Far more enjoyable are the visits of the Rainbow Lorikeets! I did not see Lady or Dad to the rescue today…another learning experience for these two eaglets who are now in their 8th week. Soon they will have to contend with these aggressive little birds alone – even without a sibling – so best they get used to them and honk those wonderful horns of theirs.
The Sea Eaglets will be the top dogs wherever they take up residence like Lady and Dad are in the Sydney Olympic Forest. For the remainder of their lives, the smaller birds will be annoying – sometimes even downright dangerous – because they have nests with babies, too and they don’t want the big Apex Predators around them. We see it with the Mockingbirds attacking Big Red all the time. The older the eaglets get the more they will ignore the smaller birds but, for now, this is good training. I caught it on video for you.
The Sea Eaglets were fed early. You sure miss those hourly feedings when Lady was giving those wee ones little bites. Now it is so long between meals.
The adults were in the nest tree looking about for pesky intruders around mid-day.
Cornell has been busy posting images of L4 since her release from care as well as other members of the family including L2. It is so good to see the four of them – Big Red, Arthur, L2 and L4 out in the wild doing what hawks do. Cornell has said that it is working to improve the areas where the hawks might get injured – let us hope they get to it fast!
The two posts below are from Cornell’s Twitter feed.
They were not together long-Idris and Padarn. The moment reminded me of Iris and Louis on the Hellgate Canyon Osprey platform in Missoula, Montana a week plus ago. There was Idris with his daughter, Padarn, on the Dyfi nest in Wales. Idris wasn’t looking straight at the camera but Padarn was – and it gave me that same feeling of ‘goodbye’ like that eerie image of Iris and Louis. Stunning image of father and daughter – Padarn looks even more like Mrs G with ‘that look’.
BTW. Some of you will remember a question about which gender migrates first. I had used the Dyfi statistics which were colour-coded. My good source tells me that the first hatch, Pedran (2022), who was identified as a female at the time of ringing, is now deemed to be a male by Dyfi. Is this from mouth swabs? or because Pedran migrated so much earlier than Paith and well…Padarn is still with us, bless her heart. She is one healthy and robust Osprey who is well taken care of by Dad. Just look at those legs – short and stout.
Blue 497 is still at Glaslyn with Aran. It started raining last night and looks a little miserable this morning, too!
Something has caused Xavier and Diamond to leave the eggs and check on their territory at Orange.
There was a lot of alarming and looking at the sky but nothing could be seen on the ledge or tower cams. There is work, however, going on somewhere near the tower. You can hear the machinery in the background.
It was, however a great day for Xavier to have some time with the eggs. He had a two hour incubation!!!!!!!! Couldn’t hardly believe it.
Alden and Annie have been bonding and doing their little kisses in the scrape box today. Oh, isn’t it fantastic to get to see them together outside of breeding season?!
At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, Mum had had enough of that pesky piece of pine bark and was moving it. While she did, we got a good glimpse at those precious eggs that are due to hatch at the end of the week. Can you believe it? We are finally getting there!!!!!!!
It could be my imagination but things seem to be settling down a bit at the Melbourne Collins Street scrape. The new Mum does not give Dad a lot of incubation time which he has really enjoyed in previous years. So far today, though – and it is only mid-day (1335), the eggs have not been left for long, long periods of time (like hours).
What a gorgeous view!
It appears that Sarafina is on her journey. It is unclear if Louis has left Loch Arkaig. He might well be eating and resting up after feeding his daughter well into September!
Checking on Karl II’s Black Stork family. Waba remains in Ukraine in an area around Manachyn.
He is fishing along the river bank.
Bonus remains in Belarus around the Priyapat River.
There is no transmission signal for Karl II. In the Kherzon region some of the villages are only now getting their cell service restored. No transmission that I can see for Kaia either.
From the Bookshelf:
Jonathan Elphick is no stranger to birds. Just Goggle his name and you will find a long list of titles by this wildlife writer and ornithologist. Birds. A Complete Guide to their Biology and Behaviour is the first title of his on my bookshelf and what a great addition it is. The book begins with a look at birds and their relationship to dinosaurs and moves quickly to bird anatomy. Anything and everything you could possible ever want to know is in this detailed chapter. The chapter on ‘flight’ was one of my favourites with its intricate drawings of the wings with the feathers labelled as to their correct names. How different birds fly, their speed, discussions on wing loading are all there along with hovering and energy saving flight. Further chapters examine food and feeding, birds as a group or society, breeding, where birds live and migration. It is, in effect, an excellent reference book filled to the brim with the most beautiful imagery. I was particularly interested in the discussion on birds and humans and was not disappointed. Elphick starts with the earliest assaults by us on birds and continues to the problems of today including human overpopulation and climate change. There are also surprises – I learned a myriad of things from each page. We listen to the duets by the White-bellied Sea Eagles at Sydney but did you know that there are actually 44 distinct bird families that sing duets? The Eastern Whipbird and the Common Swift are two. There is an excellent index and a good bibliography. Highly recommended if you are looking for a comprehensive book on all aspects of our feathered friends — including some of their quirky behaviours.
From the Archives:
Everyone fell in love with me. I have the loudest voice of any eyas! I kept the researcher fully fit walking up the stairs to keep putting me back in my scrape box. Who am I? Who are my parents? and where is my scrape box?
I have seen no recent updates on Victor or tracking information on Ervie.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters, The Guardian, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Hawks, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cal Falcons, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, and Looduskalender.
I am Izzi. My parents are Xavier and Diamond and I hatched in 2020. First I fludged – fell over the edge when I was sleeping. Cilla Kinross climbed the 170 stairs to put me back in my scrape. Then I fledged but hit a window and went to rehab and was taken back up the 170 stairs by Cilla Kinross. Finally, I fledged! But Mum and Dad couldn’t get rid of me. Finally as the 2021 season approached, Diamond blocked my way into the scrape which is on the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Aren’t I the cutest little falcon you have ever seen?
Friday morning turned out to be a fantastic day to go and check on the birds in a pond in one of the industrial areas of the city. There had been a Great Blue Heron spotted there according to eBird and I hoped to get a glimpse. That beautiful bird and the Lesser Yellowlegs, the Canada Geese, the Mallards, and the gulls did not disappoint.
Then as I was driving around the other side to leave I looked over and saw something ‘white’. It was a beautiful Great Egret wading in the water fishing.
What a lovely way to start the morning! I feel blessed. It is always good for the mind and soul to get out into nature, however long or short one can, and if, by chance, we get to see these beautiful creatures then it is doubly wonderful.
It is also the full moon. Around the world people will be looking up and hoping for clear skies. It is known as the Harvest Moon and is a time of thanksgiving. Many years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to be in Kyoto during the Tsukimi or Moon Viewing Festival. Moon Viewing has been practiced in Japan since the Nara Period from 710-794. One did not look at the moon directly but, rather, observed the moon’s reflection normally in a beautiful pond. Many residences of the aristocracy had moon viewing platforms. Poems were written. Auspicious gifts placed on the tokonama while the flowers, the incense, and the hanging were changed to reflect the move to autumn. I recall stacks of mochi and vases with beautiful sheafs of grain. ‘A’ also reminds me that it is a time for eating dumplings – which we will do later this evening while watching the rabbits pound the mochi in the moon!
Yesterday I reported that Big Red and Arthur’s youngest hatch for the 2022 breeding season had been released on the Cornell Campus. Here is the YouTube video of this fantastic event! Please note that L2 is still on campus and has not left- as believed- and hopefully these two will hook up. They were always best friends.
L4 was spotted on the Campus this morning. She has made herself right at home! Suzanne Arnold Horning got a shot of her with her phone.
The raptors really need our help to spread the word. Making the news today is an Osprey with a balloon tangled around its legs. Don’t wait to get to the state that I am in – chasing after every loose balloon I see – but help educate. Tell everyone you know and ask them to tell 5 friends and family. Soon, the web of knowledge will grow and the birds will be safer.
If you live in this area, please keep your eyes open for this bird. Thank you.
It is sadly that time of year. The Bald Eagles and other birds of prey that eat carrion get lead poisoning because our governments will not outlaw the use of lead in any hunting and fishing equipment! They need to ban the manufacture, remove the supplies off the shelves, and stop this senseless pain, suffering, and death. We know the solution. Tell your elected officials. There are alternatives. ——— Of course, as you know, my alternative is to end the recreational shooting of animals – it is barbaric.
Idris brings his daughter, Padarn, a flat fish for her evening tea. What a fantastic dad he has been to this healthy and robust female that will soon, should the winds blow in the right direction, head off on her migration leaving Dad some time to recuperate from what has to have been a tiring summer with three girls and Telyn to take care of!
Padarn was on the perch for the night.
She was still there on Saturday!
The sun was setting on Loch Arkaig. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if Sarafina is still with us! But there has been no activity on the nest today.
On Saturday Louis was seen on the nest. The last time that Sarafina was seen on the nest was at 0634 on the 9th of September. There have been no visits and no nest calls by Sarafina on Saturday.
Who is home at Glaslyn? It looks like it is Aran and 497. The boys and Mrs G are gone!
Aran is over in the Oak Trees.
497 has been in the nest and on the perch. Aran did not seem to be responding! 497 has had a hard time with siblings and Mrs G around to get some of those fish. Perhaps a few days longer will get this little one in shape to fly if Dad obliges with a nice big breakfast tomorrow!
Talk about beautiful. You can sure tell she is Aran’s offspring. She may have the glare of a female Osprey, but that lovely head turned…that is Aran. Until you see the dark necklace – then Mrs G comes in.
Her dark necklace she gets from Mum, Mrs G.
The nest was empty at dusk.
497 was there on Saturday and Aran was busy bringing her fish!
Xavier convincing Diamond that it is time for her to have her breakfast so he can get some eggie time.
You can see a big change in the Sea Eagles at the Sydney Olympic Park nest. They are standing more on their feet and walking about the nest more. SE29 is really flapping its wings and investigating the branches! Yesterday, SE29 got the fish that Dad had brought to the nest but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Lady took it and fed both!!! ‘J’ wrote that she thought this was the cutest part of it – 29 trying to figure out what to do with the fish! I am grateful she mentioned those moments. You might have seen that instance. I am certain SE30 was delighted when Lady fed both of them.
Look at those nice strong legs. Great wings, too! Developing those muscles. These two are simply precious.
It is fascinating – looking at the nest – how the branches help to camouflage the eaglets.
SE29 will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. What to expect for the next couple of weeks in their development? Their wings will begin to get heavy and you will notice that they will begin to sit with them drooping. There will be more hopping and flapping of their wings and by the end of week 9 they should be able to mantle, hold their food and tear off pieces to eat. They will begin sleeping upright with their head tucked into their wing like the adults. Their feathers will continue to develop all over their body. Watch at the end of the two weeks to see them standing on one leg!
Dad on the ropes and Mum on those three eggs at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. It is the 11th of September in Australia. Do you know what this means? We could be one week from hatch!!!!!!!!!!!
Incubation continues at 367 Collins Street in Melbourne! But there are strange things going on…I wonder how this will turn out.
Mum departed around 0856. Dad came and stayed on the eggs after they had been left for an hour. He stayed about 15 minutes. The eggs were left uncovered for another 43 minutes…and then Mum finally comes and settles down after 2 hours. She then leaves again briefly a little later. This couple appears to have trouble getting their rhythm going…let’s hope it is all worked out by hatch.
Mothering is not always easy, especially the first time!
There are still chicks on one of the Finnish Osprey nests.
CROW provided a really good post today especially with regard to birds and window strike. It is migration season…have a read. Tell your friends and family to turn off their lights and also tell them how to help stunned birds. Thanks so much!
Continuing in our tracking of the Estonian Black Stork family of Karl II, there is no tracking or transmissions for Karl II today.
Bonus remains in Belarus in the same general area of the Priyapat River he has been feeding at. The fish and frogs must be plentiful!
Kaia is still feeding near the Desna River in Ukraine.
Waba is near the Makachinsky Hydrological Reserve which is also in Ukraine like his parents Kaia and Karl II.
Maya and Blue 33’s first hatch of the 2022 season, 1H1, has been seen in Portugal.
From the Archives. Two images today!
First: Can you name this nest? Do you remember the names of the chicks? It was 29 September 2021. Gold stars for anyone who can put the name with the right osplet!
Second: Do you remember the circumstance where these two images were taken?
Thank you so much for being with me today. I hope that you have a wonderful start to your weekend. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their tweets, posts, and streaming cams that formed my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, Suzanne Arnold Horning, A Place Called Hope, Raptor Educational Group, Dyfi Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Port Lincoln Ospreys, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Ospreys, BirdCast, CROW, Looduskalender, LRWT, and Cape Wildlife Clinic.
Answer to From the Archives:
First. It is the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. Mum is feeding Bazza (top), Ervie (middle), and Falky (bottom). You can see that the osplets have lost their soft down and are in the Reptilian Phase – looking like dark black crude was poured over them.
Second. This is Arnold and Amelia the bonded pair of Canada Geese. Arnold had its foot injured by a snapping turtle and had to have surgery. It shocked the vets when they heard a tapping on the glass door. There was Arnold’s mate. The vets realized that the pair had to be together. Amelia was allowed to share meals and whenever Arnold was moved outside she would break into the pen to be with him. This was a really learning moment if every wildlife rehabber paid attention ——–do not take one Canada Goose into care without its mate. Many times volunteers pick up the injured one and whisk it off tens of miles away. The remaining one of the couple is ‘lost’ and depressed and sometimes does not eat.
Big Red and Arthur’s fourth hatch of the 2022 season, L4, has been released back into the wild after being in care.
Please go to Twitter to see this great event in video and to see the sibling L2 – who was believed to have migrated – join L4 again! They were always best buddies. So happy.
This is wonderful news for this youngster who was the first of the fledglings to catch her own prey. You can see she was released at the Cornell Campus so L4 should be on familiar territory. More information is pending!