Late Sunday and early Monday in Bird World

11 July 2020

Dr Sharpe has posted that he will arrive at the Fraser Point nest between 12-2 nest time. We wait.

It is always a hard day when a chick dies on a nest but to lose a beautiful little Osprey to starvation/siblicide is very difficult. I am speaking of the third hatch at the Janakkdan nest in Finland. There is various speculation about what is going on at the nest. Is the female injured in some way? Another chick is lethargic on that nest and it is feared that all three will be lost and then, also, perhaps the breeding female if the injury is acute. Some are asking if this is H5N1, the highly pathogenic Avian Flu. That could only be determined by testing and so far it is believed that Ospreys would be more immune because they eat fish almost exclusively. Whatever is happening it is very sad and it causes one to feel helpless.

There was also Victor with his injury wanting to jump and fly with Lillibet to only go tumbling to the ground, well…gosh. It can take the wind out of your sails. It will be a long wait for Dr Sharpe to get to the nest. He will have to get to the boat, get to the island and then get to the nest. Will this require a very difficult climb? I do not know the terrain he will be going through but, I trust Dr Sharpe. If anything at all can be done to give Victor a second chance, Dr Sharpe is the person who will pull this off. But, for now we wait and it is going to be agony until we know that he is on the ground and has Victor. Then we wait again. You can be assured that Dr Sharpe will give Victor an exceptional meal and maybe some fluids – Victor cannot help but be dehydrated.

There is sadness across the Manitoba Peregrine community this morning. The resident male, Hart, was found dead. He was 10 years old. The Manitoba Peregrine Recovery Project works diligently to return the numbers of these beautiful falcons in our community.

Here is the link to the blog with information about Hart and the falcons that live in my community. the text narration gives you an idea of the struggles that happen with all our feathered friends. Condolences go out to everyone associated with the MB Falcon Recovery Project.

Heartbroken

Most of the birds that I write about are big birds of prey. I love them. At the same time, the Albatross pull at my heart strings, ducks make me laugh out loud, and well, I have really come to adore storks. Today Hob Osterlund posted a really touching image of a Laysan Albatross male and his chick.

Continuing with the mantra of Margaret Mead, “Never Doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” – Hob Osterlund works tirelessly for the Laysan Albatross. Osterlund had a dream and because of it she moved to the island of Kauai. She was overcome with the love of the Laysan Albatross on her arrival. Osterlund is the author of Holi Moli: Albatross and other Ancestors, is the Founder of the Kauai’ Albatross Network, has worked to relocate albatross from Midway Atoll to Kauai’, is an artist, and many more things to thousands of people. She did the illustrations for A Perfect Day for an Albatross by Caren Loebel-Fried.

Moli is the word for Laysan Albatross. They are revered spirits on the island of Kauai’. For the people of Hawaii, their ancestors can take the form of birds or animals. This is ‘aumakua’. Laysan Albatross are among the aumakua.  

Do you know who Wisdom is? Wisdom is the oldest known banded bird in the world. She still raises a chick and she is now at least 71 or 72 years old. She laid an egg and raised a chick in 2021. (Albatross often take a year off between laying eggs so that their body can be in good shape).

Wisdom’s breeding grounds are the Midway Atoll. Wisdom and her mate, Akeakami, return every year to the same nest site. This behaviour is known as nest fidelity. Millions of birds have nest fidelity at the Midway Atoll and there is a race on to figure out what to do with rising sea levels. Wisdom has hatched 40 eggs and outlived many mates. Albatross normally return and find mates at 5 or 6 years and return later to make a nest. Her 2011 chick – banded N333 – that survived the tsunami on the island, has returned and Wisdom now has a grandchick. How special. That year 110,000 chicks were killed by the raging waters of the tsunami covering over the shore. Wisdom’s chick survived because her nest was located inside a protected dune area.

Invasive species such as rats and mice that were killing the birds were dealt with in 2020. It is a problem around the world on small islands where birds nest – particularly albatross. Teams of scientists and volunteers work tirelessly to try and rid the islands of rats and mice that humans have brought on to the land. Climate change is another extremely serious issue with rising seas. Some translocation work has been done between the Midway Atoll and the island of Kauai.

Wisdom and her wee little moli.

This is Wisdom’s 40th chick Kukini hatched in 2016. Kukini means ‘Messenger’.

Here is a lovely article on this magnificent Laysan Albatross – Z333.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/worlds-oldest-bird-just-turned-70-why-so-special

To clear my head, I went to sit with the ducks. I came away delighted. There are ducklings of every age!

Before I begin, there are goose eggs bobbing about all over the water. The spring floods that hit our region made the water level in the park pond rise and rise covering all of the nests of the Canada geese, the Mallards, and the Wood Ducks. It was a very, very sad time. The birds laid more eggs and it rained and rained and rained again. What I am seeing is that at this particular pond, the majority of survivors or second clutches are ducklings.

This Mallard mother seemed to be in charge of about eleven little ducklings.

It is incredible how well behaved the ducklings are. There they go – right behind Mama Mallard. They have really grown since I first saw these four about 8 days ago.

Mama Mallard is incredibly beautiful.

It was equally sad not seeing one gosling today. The reflections from the trees on the water was very painterly and this Canada Goose really stood out with all that chartreuse.

Because the male Wood Ducks get all the attention, I tend to take more photographs of the females. They are incredibly gorgeous but so overshadowed by the bright colouring of their mates.

Wee Mallard keeping an eye on me but not giving up his spot!

Mother Duck has all the little ones – and they are tiny – hiding in this type of clover grass on the edge of the pond. You can just see their wee heads.

This one looks like he has had a great feed. There are so many insects darting over the water and to see these little ones just quick as a flash grabbing and eating them – it is amazing.

This wood duckling is getting her ‘pin’ feathers. You can see them pushing out of the shaft or the quill.

This is Mama Wood Duck. You can tell the female by her white tear drop eye patch.

To my delight there were Wood Ducks everywhere around the island – on it, around the shores but, always on the north side. At the start of the season there were no Wood Ducks at this park and I was truly heart broken.

Are you a fan of Mrs G and Aran at the Glaslyn?

Raptor Persecution UK wrote a blog about the history of Mrs G today. She is the oldest breeding Osprey in Wales. She has raised 41 chicks to fledge. At least 5 are breeding in the UK and she has 3 grandchicks. I will post a link to that blog if you are interested. There is also a fascinating family tree included.

I am extremely grateful for ‘S’ who has supplied me with links to various cameras, wonderful historical and current videos, and all information to keep me learning about the Finnish nests. One of the fun things I learned is that the Finnish word for Ospreys ‘saaksi’ , when translated by Google, means ‘mosquito’. We have so many mosquitoes in Manitoba – I wish they were Ospreys. I will be including some of these for you if you are also not as familiar with the Ospreys of Finland. What beautiful countryside to have a nest! Yesterday I needed some laughs – like everyone and there was that chick on nest #3. What a character. ‘S’ describes him as a teenager without brothers and sisters to fight with so he has to fight with Mum. I am not sure you saw this video the other day when I posted it but this will give you some insights into this little character! Thank you ‘S’ for your kindness.

This little video shows the chicks in nest 4 having received their rings and some fish being left on the nest. The female returns and stares at the two nice fish wondering where in the world they came from! Enjoy.

I will bring a round up of the nests this evening. For right now, however, all eyes are on Fraser Point and Janakkdan nest. Please send all your positive wishes for Dr Sharpe, his team and Victor and for the Osprey family in Finland for the Mum to recover and the surviving two chicks to get healthy.

Thank you for joining me this morning in my attempt to move your attention elsewhere. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or blogs or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Hob Osterlund, USFWS, The Peregrine Chick, and the Finnish Osprey Foundation.

Tuesday in Bird World (updated)

Redwood Queen is keeping an eye on that egg. If this is a successful hatch – and there is no reason to think it won’t be – it will be the first chick for Redwood Queen and her second mate, Phoenix. The egg is believed to be laid between 26 February and 3 March. What a wonderful event for this giant Redwood scorched with Iniko, Redwood Queen and Kingpin’s chick from 2020, inside. Both of the parents of this fortunate chick have survived major fires in the area. We know that Redwood Queen survived the Dolan Fire last year and Phoenix survived the Basin Complex Fire in 2008, the year he hatched. Redwood Queen is much older, having hatched in the Los Angeles Zoo, in 1998. She might have survived other fires. Let us all hope that the entire population of Condors – a little over 500 – is safe from any wildfires this year.

The Ventana Wildlife Society issues the following statement on 26 April:

“Redwood Queen and Phoenix are still incubating and we are hoping their egg will start hatching any day now. The hatch date of 4/24 was our best “guesstimate”, we could be off by as many as 2-4 days. We first observed the egg on March 3rd and estimated the egg was laid on 2/26. This was based on radio telemetry data and movements of the pair from the week prior. If Redwood Queen actually laid closer to March 2nd, which is possible, then the egg wouldn’t start hatching until April 28. So we have a 3-4 day hatch window.”

Speaking of eggs, an intruder eagle came to the nest of Milda and broke her remaining egg and made a mess of her nest. It is one of those blessings in disguise. It is believed that the egg in the nest was the first one that Milda had laid on the 12th of March and that it was non-viable. I am not an expert and cannot tell. The intruder eagle ate most of the insides of the egg. Now Milda can forage for food for herself and build up her strength. She is not a mate of Mr Chips (Cips) yet – they did not mate. I hope that she finds a really extraordinary mate and that she will have a successful clutch next year.

Grinnell has his hands full today. It looks like the little fluff balls of his and Annie’s are growing so fast that they will not fit under him anymore. Look how they look at their dad. Grinnell, you are so cute!

Isn’t Grinnell handsome? 27 April 2021

And talk about cute – have a look at this adorable little Moli waiting for its parents to come and feed it. This is a special Laysan Albatross chick. It is the 39th chick of the oldest banded bird in the world – Wisdom. Wisdom is 71 years old and her band number is Z333 (Red and White). Her mate is Akeakamai. Her baby has a temporary band so it is easy to recognize and that number is 33 in honour of its mother.

A bit of relief over at the Savannah Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island. The dad has brought in a fish and both are getting fed. Maybe this will ease the food competition and let these two get on to growing and enjoying one another’s company.

Yesterday it was a feast on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida. Today it is hot, 29 degrees C, and there has been only one delivery. That came at 7:02:16. Tiny Tot got enough of that fish that he had a nice little crop. Still, he is at the quick growth stage and he needs more food more frequently. It is 4:30 on the nest. Fingers crossed for a couple of late night deliveries.

Tiny is grabbing the shade from Diane around 10am in the image below and Diane is calling. Chicks thought it might have been a delivery for a bit.

You can still see Tiny Tot’s little bit of a crop.

At 13:38:31 on 27 April 2021, a mysterious stranger with a metal band on its right leg landed on Iris’s nest at Hellgate. Well, now. This could get interesting.

I am going to say ‘he’ in the hope that ‘he’ might be a fantastic mate for Iris and claim this part of Louis’s plot.

Everything is just fine on the Red Tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell University Campus of Big Red and Arthur. There are three eggs being incubated and we are heading into hatch watch.

Thanks for joining me today for a peak at the nests. All of the Osprey Nests are doing grand in the UK except for the Loch Arkaig Nest. Hope that Aila will return from her migration to raise a family with Louis is quickly dissipating. Louis has been bringing fish to another female on platform 1 and they have been mating. It is an arduous migration. Many hope that if Aila did not arrive in Scotland that she settled somewhere else – she was loved by so many. And there is news that there are now three eggs on the Osprey nest in Urdaibai, Northern Spain. Take care. I hope it is nice where you are. The weather is grand on the Canadian Prairies and it is time to go and take care of the birds in my garden. The water bowls need filling. Everyone is enjoying a good bath today.

Thanks to the following streaming cams: Ventana Wildlife Society, Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab and Red Tail Hawks, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, UC Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, and the Latvian Wildlife Fund. Thanks also to the Midway Atoll FB Page where the image of Wisdom’s Moli was posted.

N24 has a name – Legacy!

Several environmental and wildlife researchers believe that if you give a specific bird a name, people are more invested in its welfare. They will, therefore, transfer the caring from the named bird to wanting to create a more sustainable environment for them and, thus, all wildlife.

I am not totally convinced that a ‘name’ makes a difference (but if it does, I am all for it!). Those who watched White-Bellied Sea Eaglet 26 (WBSE 26) hatch, grow, and overcome her physical challenges to fly would not have cared any more for her if she had a name. It has been six months since she died and all it takes is for one of ‘our bird group’ to simply say ’26’ and we ‘see’ her. Maybe it is when she was with Maggie the Magpie honking at the Pied Currawongs. Or perhaps it is the little bobble head with WBSE 25. Maybe it is the last image of her with the sun gently caressing the side of her face. I will argue that it would not have mattered more if 26 had a name and not a number. The donations and the strong feels of wanting to help in some way came regardless.

Many successful birds are known by a number or band colour or a name or – all three. Followers of Wisdom, the oldest banded Laysan Albatross in the world, know she wears a red band with the number Z333. They also know her by her name. It is equally true that we might not know the other Laysans whose nests are near to Wisdom’s on the Midland Atoll and that is because Wisdom or Red-Z333 is special. She is the oldest living banded bird in the world and at the age of seventy, she just hatched another moli.

If you have any thoughts one way or the other, I would love to hear from you.

“Wisdom incubating her egg, December 2018. Photo credit: Madalyn Riley/USFWS Volunteer” by USFWS Pacific is marked with CC PDM 1.0

One of the ‘Name the Bald Eaglet’ contests has just ended. At the time of its birth, the eaglet born to Samson and Gabby in 2021 on the Northeast Florida nest was given a number – N24. Today, N24 received a name —- Legacy.

The public were invited to submit potential names. Out of those the list was narrowed down to six. Then members of the American Eagle Foundation voted for their favourite name on the list. 266 people voted for Legacy over the other five names. It is a good symbolic choice for this nest. Legacy is the grandchild of Romeo and Juliet. That mated pair were first seen on this very nest on 3 September 2009. The couple raised nineteen eaglets to fledge – they were 100% successful. During the 2018-19 season, Juliet was injured by an intruder and left the nest area. Romeo was ultimately unable to do the work for two even though he tried very hard to succeed. This included incubating the remaining egg, hunting for food to feed the one that hatched and himself, and the protection of the nest. When Romeo was away hunting, on Christmas Day 2018, a female intruder snatched the just hatched eaglet from the nest and ate it. Romeo consequently left the nest area. Neither Romeo or Juliet have been seen since and it is presumed, by many, that both are dead.

Legacy sitting next to its dad, Samson. 7 March 2021. @NEFL and AEF Eagle Cam

Samson is the son of Romeo and Juliet. He was born on this same nest on 23 December 2013. Samson returned to his natal nest on 26 August 2019, taking over the territory his father, Romeo, once ruled. Samson was ‘courted’ by many females but he chose his current mate, Gabrielle or Gabby for short. Their first breeding season was 2019-20. The pair fledged N22 and N23 – Jules and Romy – named after the grandparents. This year only one of two eggs was viable. The eaglet was given the number N24. N24 carries on the legacy of Romeo and Juliet. It is a sentimental choice but a very good one out of the other possible six choices.

The other news is that Legacy has overcome Avian Pox. The lesions are almost completely dried up. Pin feathers are coming in all over the little one’s body and it spends much of its time preening. Those feathers must be awfully itchy!

Another sweet little eaglet is waiting for a name. This one resides in the KNF – Kisatchie National Forest in Central Louisiana. The public submissions of names is now closed. A committee will narrow down those to a list of three. I understand that a number of individuals have suggested names associated with Caroline Dormon, the woman who led the reforestation of the area after all of the trees had been cut down for timber early in the twentieth century. Voting for the final name will take place from 11-16 March with the announcement of ‘the name’ on St. Patrick’s Day.

This little eaglet has grown like a bad weed. Once the chick was no longer bobbling its head and learned to grab food hard with its beak and once mom figured out how to hold her beak (sideways), there was nothing stopping this little one from growing. That growth is helped by a dad who simply cannot stop catching fish and delivering them to the nest. Someone counted twelve today! Twelve fish. Not just for the baby – mom likes to eat, too! There must be a fabulous source of food nearby for this lucky family.