Wednesday in Bird World

Let’s start off with what is on everyone’s mind: Has there been a confirmed sighting of Yurruga? Yesterday, Dr Cilla Kinross was inspired by a very quick prey drop at the scrape. Diamond flew into the trees. Cilla was in the trees looking half an hour later – she only saw Diamond. Diamond returned to the scrape with quite a large crop also. Some believed they had heard Yurruga calling but, Cilla is unable to confirm that. So the answer is – we simply do not know. Yurruga has not been seen since last Thursday when he was on a building during a storm. We can only wait.

My goodness that little one was such a cutie.

October 20. Yurruga and Diamond

Diamond was really beautiful this morning as the soft glow of the sun worked its way through the fog.

Both parents, Xavier and Diamond, have been inside the scrape – scraping. They also had some bonding moments this morning at sunrise.

My heart aches for them.

The second question of the day is what is going on with Grinnell, the male Peregrine Falcon of the Campanile, mate to Annie, that was injured by a male intruder that is trying to cosy up with Annie? Here is the latest news.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers on Taiaroa Head are shutting down the streaming cam so that they can move it to the site of the Royal Albatross family for 2021-22. There are lots of guesses as to who the couple might be. The announcement is due tomorrow.

One of my favourite Bald Eagle couples, Samson and Gabby, at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville have been putting the finishing touches on their nest. They are perfecting the Spanish moss lining the nest cup. Now all we need are some eggs!

Gabby doing some final inspections this morning.

The three lads at the Port Lincoln all had fish yesterday. Falky had more than Ervie or Bazza. Falky has become a master at slipping the fish out of Dad or Mum’s talons. A magician.

There is a lovely shot of the PLO Mum. She has done an extraordinary job raising these three boys to fledge this year (with Dad’s good help). Yesterday she even spent some time feeding Bazza. He is definitely a Mum’s boy!

Bazza can be a bit naughty. I know that the banders were certain that there were three males. Someone looking at Bazza’s legs and that beautiful necklace in the image below might mistake him for a lovely female.

Bazza and Falky sleep with their heads tucked under their wings – adult style – standing on the nest. Ervie is sleeping over on the perch or the ropes. They are all doing well. I continue to pinch myself. This Osprey nest really turned itself around this year to fledge all three hatchlings.

There are many articles coming out in international newspapers and academic journals on the effect of warming oceans on the seabirds including the beloved Osprey. I picked one of those for you as some are frustrating. They allow me to embed the article but then want you to subscribe to read it! That is a major irritant to me – like Subarus are to Ferris Akel!

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/climate-change-threatens-survival-of-albatross-60906

It is a grey damp day, 3 degrees C. The snow is melting. There are lots of birds at the feeders. A large European Starling is sharing the peanut and bark butter feeder with some cute little House Sparrows.

The tiny suet balls called Bark Butter by our supplier are a really big hit since winter has set in. Junior has been around to get the corn while Dyson was busy elsewhere. Nice to see all of them.

One of my former students posted this today on FB. It is a perfect little giggle for all of us!

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and NE Florida Eagle and the AEF for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Was it Yurruga?

My goodness. It is just past 09:00 on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge and already there have been three fish delivered – one of those was really quite a bit one!

Ervie got the first fish that arrived at 06:16.

There was another delivery at 07:22 and Falky takes that fish. Falky is still eating when Mum flies in with a bit of a whopper. At the time of this delivery, Ervie is on the perch and Bazza is on the nest rail. Falky quits eating the old fish (not much left) and starts eating the big fish.

In the image below you can see Falky with that prize fish. That is a nice one.

Falky is still eating at 8:56! Bazza has given up and has gone down near the mancave to put in a personal request to the parents for breakfast. Ervie has found some leftover fish around the rim of the nest – remember he is really good at that. But I am also thinking that Ervie knows Falky is going to get full and stop eating that fish! He wants to be on hand when that happens.

The only time I have seen a sibling eat and eat so that a sibling could not get food – eating beyond the norm of comprehension – was sibling #2 at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida last year. #2 would eat and eat so that Tiny Tot Tumbles did not get anything or there was only a little left.

Ervie is smart. The third hatch survivor. Falky did finally get full and Ervie is now eating that Mullet. Bazza is still on the deck below by Dad’s cave.

It has been snowing in Northern Europe. In Durbe County, Latvia, snow is covering the nest of Milda. Still, her and Mr L have come home to the nest to check on it today. Liz caught it in a video:

There are some concerns about a thin red line on the right ankle of Mr L which you can see directly below the arrow to start the video. Here is another view. Milda needs for this to heal so that Mr L can provide for her this year and their chicks will thrive. Observers say that Mr L appears to be moving fine. Thank goodness.

Oh, it looks so dreadfully cold for the White-tailed Eagles. I hope there is plenty of prey for them that is not sleeping. There should be no worries about any egg laying until spring. It is normally timed so that when the chicks hatch the little animals are coming out of hibernation.

If you research the floods that are happening in Canada’s province of British Columbia or some of the flooding in the eastern provinces recently, there are many causes. In British Columbia the logging of old growth forests has proven to be tragic. In their discussions, Christian Sasse and Dave Hancock talked about the impact to the wildlife of these events. They also mentioned that some of the birds caught in the horrific heat during the summer of 2021 that survived and had trackers put on them —- those birds flew straight to Alaska. As the climate warms, the birds, including my beloved Osprey, will be looking for cooler temperatures where fish and their eggs are not dying from the heat nor are the larvae that the fish eat dying. Look north to Alaska and parts of Canada. These areas need protection.

An article has just appeared that discusses the Tongass National Park in Alaska and the changes in some laws that are coming in to place to make certain that the old growth forests are not logged. If you are interested, here is that article.

Last there is some confusing information coming out of Orange, Australia, about Yurruga. I had received an e-mail this morning from Cilla Kinross where she expressed her concern at not seeing Yurruga since Thursday, her worry and also her love for the wee one. This morning Xavier delivered prey to Diamond in the scrape and she flew out of the box quickly and into the trees. I have personally never seen Diamond eat prey in the scrape unless she was feeding a chick. While we all remember Izzi coming to the scrape, normally the prey deliveries and feeding would take place away from the scrape for the fledglings.

In the chat room, Cilla Kinross said of the delivery and departure, “The prey transfer looked hopeful; I couldn’t hear the calls. I need to get a new speaker.” Individuals have said that at 8:32:55-56 they believed they could hear Yurruga prey calling.

Here is the sequence of images related to that prey drop to Diamond. You can see the time stamp in the corner to understand why Cilla could be thinking that this is very quick and hopeful.

Diamond gets the prey.

In the image above that white spot between the trees right above the ‘s’ in the word ‘trees’ that I typed, is Diamond. Cilla has indicated that she knows the tree Diamond landed in and she is going to check in at work and then go and search that area.

I will bring you any news as I hear it. If you want, you can watch the camera and at least see the chat, if you go to this link. To access the ledge cam – for a better overall view – go to the link below this cam once you get on Youtube.

At 10: 33:55 you can make out a person walking among the trees. It could be Cilla or a helper. Chatters and mods are hoping that they walk further back as that is where they saw Diamond go. We hold our breath. It has been a sheer roller coaster.

In the image below you can see them – that bright white spot. You can see how tiny she is compared to the trees. If Diamond is like the hawk that visits our garden, they can be almost invisible sitting ever so still so as not to be seen.

The person is still looking at 10:49. She is in the whitish coat to the right of the green tree in the centre. Again, look at the height. If Yurruga is in a hole in the tree or somewhere on those trees with leaves it could be difficult to see him. I wonder if Diamond is still there?

We wait for word. That is all we can do. Wait, hope, send warm wishes and prayers. My friend, ‘T in Strasbourg’ reminds me that miracles do happen. Yes, they do. I hope this is one of them.

Thank you for joining me. It is a been a day full of up and down emotions. That is the only thing for certain about this Tuesday – or Wednesday – depending where you live. Take care everyone. If I hear anything at all, I will let you know. Pardon any serious grammatical or spelling mistakes. I am writing this quickly so you will know what is happening on the ground in Orange.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, the Latvian Fund for Nature, and Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross.

Little Yurruga

As many of you are aware, Yurruga has not been seen since last Thursday. Cilla Kinross saw him on the top of a building in the pitching down rain and later, university workers also saw Yurruga on the same building. Cilla sent me a short note this morning because I had written to her earlier about Yurruga’s 2nd right tail feather still being contained by the quill. The local vet did not think this was a problem but, like Cilla Kinross, was concerned about a lack of feather development on the little falcon. What impact this might have had will never be known. Cilla has looked and looked in all the places Yurruga might be and others but she is concerned and has posted a note that has been placed on the FB Page for the Orange Peregrine Falcons. I was very touched because she referred to Yurruga as a ‘poor little lamb.’ Every day is a test for our birds. Even the strongest have challenges. It is difficult enough for fledglings but compounded with unkind weather for numerous days, well. Yurruga should be flying around screaming at his parents for food and the conclusion is that he is no longer with us.

The parents, Xavier and Diamond, had an extremely long – fifteen minute or more – bonding session in the scrape yesterday morning at 05:15. This is simply not something that would normally happen with a fledgling needing prey and training. Considering the work of Marc Bekoff (Emotional Lives of Animals), Jane Goodall, the observations of Hob Osterlund with the Laysan Albatross, the bonding behaviour of Xavier and Diamond should be considered alongside grief. While we have only a limited view of the falcon’s behaviour, it might be assumed that the couple have now grieved for their wee one and are, with the weight of that loss, reconfirming their love and commitment to one another. We cannot do a brain scan on Diamond’s hippocampus (area of brain in human animals for emotion) to see if it lights up, Barbara J King in her book, How Animals Grieve, would tell you that the investment in the mating, the making of the egg, the care and incubation, the care and feeding after and training, she says that ‘grief comes from love loss.’ There have been roadside funerals of Crows, Ospreys who have mourned the loss of their chicks by predators. Other bird species and drowned themselves after the death of their mate. And, of course, all of you reading my blog, will know about Arnold and Amelia, the two Canada geese. Arnold and Amelia lived at the pond on the grounds of the clinic (fortunate for them!).* Arnold had one of its digits severed by a snapping turtle and required surgery. Amelia went to look for Arnold and watched through the glass, finally sharing a meal and a pen til Arnold was released.

So, today, we grieve with Xavier and Diamond over the loss of little Yurruga.

It was a beautiful morning when little Yurruga flew for the first time.
Diamond and Yurruga bathed in the golden glow of the sun the morning Yurruga flew.
Xavier feeding his baby.
Xavier brings prey for Yurruga.
Diamond and her baby.
Xavier feeding Yurruga. Xavier loved getting a chance early on to feed his little one.

What an adorable little eyas. Fly high little one. Fly high.

I am so sorry to bring this terrible news to you. We join Xavier and Diamond, Cilla Kinross and the team at Orange in their mourning.

Thank you to Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross for the streaming cam where we get to share the joys and the sorrows – and where I took my screen shots of this lovely Peregrine Falcon family.

  • I say this because many do not consider the mate when one is taken into care. Arnold and Amelia were extremely lucky.

Monday in Bird World

There is news coming this morning from everywhere so this blog might feel a little disjointed.

In Canada, Prince Edward Island veterinary surgeons at the Atlantic Veterinary College will be the first to try and replace a broken spinal column in a Bald Eagle!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-bald-eagle-surgery-1.6263782

A Eurasian Hobby has been seen for the first time in Australia. The tiny raptor is similar to the Australian Hobby. The bird has been named Hubert and is the care of a veterinary due to a wing injury. Raptor specialists believe that the arrival of this bird is associated with climate change.

Jean-Marie Dupart has provided his Osprey count along the coast in Senegal and the word he used was ‘incredible.’ 950 Ospreys have been counted for the month of November along the coast and marsh.

Chris MacCormack at the Royal Albatross Centre on Taiaroa Head announced that 29 eggs have been candled and all are fertile. Seven more to go!

Most of you will be aware of the flooding – and the continual flooding – in British Columbia, Canada. It is also flooding and tearing up highways and rail lines in parts of Eastern Canada. Mother Nature is not happy. Yesterday I listened to a conversation with Dr Christian Sasse and Dave Hancock, Hancock Wildlife, about the flooding and its impact on the wildlife. I tried to embed that link and the system that Christian is using will not allow me to do that – or even post it! So I will give you some of the highlights – they are very enlightening and sobering.

Sumas Lake was the largest wildlife area in Northwest North American prior to the nineteenth century. Millions of birds stopped at Sumas Lake coming and going from the Arctic. One of the attractions was the intense number of mosquitoes which were food for the wildlife but were highly annoying to the people of the area. The Indigenous Population lived on stilt houses because they recognized that the area flooded from time to time.

Wikimedia Commons

The area flooded the Fraser Valley before 1894. There was another huge flood that came down the Fraser River in 1948.

Wikimedia Commons

Sumas Lake was drained and pump stations installed so that people could build on the flood plain. In 1990 and now in 2021, the main highway connecting Canada, the Trans-Canada or number 1 highway, has flooded. Dave Hancock was unequivocal: The Sumas Lake wants to be Sumas Lake! The flooding this year was compounded by the waters from the US flowing into the Fraser River. The Nooksak River.

Today 35-50,000 Bald Eagles winter in the Fraser Valley. They are in dire straits. They have lost their supply of food, the salmon, because of the flooding. The large land mammals could walk out (perhaps) but the smaller mammals and rodents which many falcons and hawks live on were drown in the flood waters. Dave Hancock is proposing that the carcasses of the dead cattle that are normally sent to Alberta to be burnt in the Tar Sands be kept in British Columbia. He is suggesting that half a dozen feeding stations be set up with these carcasses for the Bald Eagles. Hancock reminds everyone that the eagles are clever and will find the feeding stations. He also said that once the flood waters are pumped out the eagles will also find the carcasses of the salmon.

I like Dave Hancock. This man loves wildlife and the Bald Eagles and he doesn’t hold back any punches. He says the balance of nature has been lost in the area. The heat that the region experienced in the summer was just another indication of the impact of climate change. He says as it continues to warm the bird and fish eggs will not be viable. They are really susceptible to the slightest change in temperature. He reminded everyone that heat stress killed many raptors during the summer of 2021 as did the raging wildfires in the same area as the flooding. Several raptors were saved. Hancock Wildlife Foundation put trackers on them. He said once they were out of rehab they flew straight north to Alaska. Hancock wonders if they will return to British Columbia. It was a very sobering conversation and one that continually emphasized how human degradation of the environment is causing a huge shift to the extreme weather conditions impacting the birds and animals. Christian Sasse asked Dave Hancock if he had a solution and Hancock said, ‘It is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.’ He continued, ‘There are far too many people in the world. Human animals need to stop breeding.’

This is the link to the Hancock Wildlife Foundation. (He is Canada’s equivalent of Roy Dennis!). You can find the tracking information and the live streaming cams that the Foundation supports.

There has been an update by Cilla re Yurruga:

Nov 29: “No sign of Yurruga today. I looked for him at the roost trees this afternoon after seeing a raptor (possibly Diamond) there earlier (too far for photo). I’ve looked every day, but he’s not been seen since last Thursday when spotted on a roof. It’s of concern, but he might simply be well hidden.”

Speaking of Peregrine Falcons, their range is expanding and they are returning to upper New York State. Some of you, if you have gone on Ferris Akel’s tour, will have seen the Peregrine Falcons roosting on the Bradfield Building near to where Arthur and Big Red normally roost. Here is a great article about this change.

I am not seeing any other updates on raptors we have been monitoring this Monday morning.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my images: Jean-Marie Dupart FB posting, NZ DOC Royal Albatross Centre FB, and Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday in Bird World

Are you having Peregrine Falcon withdrawal since the Collins Street kids and Yurruga fledged? Did you know that there are a pair of falcons living in Baltimore, Maryland that do not migrate? Their names are Barb and Boh. Barb will lay her eggs in March (normally) but for now the camera is live every day! The history of the scrape is located on the web cam page.

Urban hawks are very fascinating as are the amount of wildlife that exist in the very large urban parks such as Central Park in NYC. I always recommend this site. There are some good videos on Cedar Waxwings and the Peregrine Falcons as well as the RTH’s. The blog is run by Bruce Yolton who is extremely knowledgable. Check it out if you are interested in how wildlife survives in some major cities like New York.

https://www.urbanhawks.com/

There is also an Osprey streaming cam in Maryland that you should have on your radar. It is the home of Tom and Audrey 2 on the property of The Harrison Family.

This Osprey family, Tom and the original Audrey, were the subject of a book full of wonderful images, Inside An Osprey’s Nest. A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season. The images and text are for year 2015 when Tom and Audrey became adoptive parents – twice! The story is as good as the images showing the arrival of the two chicks to the nest and then, a little later, another chick lands on the nest and wants to be part of the family.

The eggs of Tom and Audrey are determined to be non-viable. The eldest two nestlings are removed from a nest with four chicks. Imagine Audrey’s surprise when she returns to her nest from a break to find not three eggs but two chicks and an egg. It is a very heart-warming story!

One of our readers asked if I would share some information from that big book on Australian birds of prey – and the answer is definitely yes! It is too difficult to find that volume and too expensive to purchase but, oh so wonderful to share! We will work our way through Australian birds of prey!

The latest news on two peregrine falcons that we are watching – Grinnell, the mate of Annie at UC-Berkeley’s Campanile – and Yurruga, the recent fledge at Orange is no news. The last posting from UC Falcons is that the interloper male appeared briefly on the ledge and was greeted by Annie. It was raining in Orange. Diamond and Xavier were about but Yurruga was not seen. He could be in the trees staying quiet out of the weather. Perhaps he will be spotted today.

The boys at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge are doing fine. Bazza decided to be a little aggressive when he received one of the morning fish deliveries from dad. Afraid that Ervie might steal his late breakfast, Bazza decided to mantle and then thrust himself at Ervie just to make sure Ervie understood.

Bazza was very quick to protect its fish and mantle Ervie. The mantling is not the problem it is that beak. They can do a lot of damage to one another if they decide that is what is necessary.

Bazza finally settles and goes back to eating his fish.

Later. All is forgotten. Simply beautiful fledglings. Falky is on the right, Bazza with his great crest is on the left and Ervie is behind with his sat-pak.

Someone said that Falky had a wing or feather injury but I can see nothing to indicate that in these images. Falky is definitely one beautiful elegant bird. He has really come into himself in terms of flying. I also hear rumours that Ervie is trying his hand at fishing. Wonderful!

Just beautiful. Sometimes I just stare at these three boys. What joy they gave to us this year. I wish each had a sat-pak because we get so attached to them and then – poof. Nothing. What happened? Rather than think things are well, I like to know. If something happens, then we need to deal with it. Like Solly’s electrocution. Put the protectors on the poles. It is simple.

As we prepare for Bald Eagle season, I want to stop and say that there are so many many nests. You have your favourites and I have mentioned mine in the last few days. Some of the first eggs that will hatch belong to M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Eagle nest in Fort Myers on the property of the D Pritchett family. Those eggs are set to hatch from the 25-28 of December. They are an experienced family with little trauma – the GHOW being the exception. If you are after an eagle family to watch, SW Florida should be your first go to this season. There are three cameras. You can find the others on YouTube.

Ithaca, New York is the same temperature as the Canadian prairies today, 0. Yes, it warmed up and the sun is out! Ferris Akel’s tour is live at the moment. He is on Wildlife Drive and it is snowing but he did find some beautiful swans.

If you are reading this at the right time you can still join the tour. On Thursday Ferris found Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus. Maybe he will do the same today!

I am also happy to report that so far, knock on wood, Dyson has not found the new feeder for Little Woodpecker! Yippee.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you have a marvellous Saturday. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Ferris Akel.

Friday and Australian Raptors

The FB of the Orange Australian Peregrine Falcons posted an interesting article with the vocalizations of Peregrine Falcons. Want to understand what those falcons are doing or saying?

When Victor Hurley did his Q & A session about the Melbourne Collins Street Falcons, he mentioned a book. That volume, Australian Birds of Prey by Penny Olsen is one of the most informative and beautiful books. Published in 1995 most of the information remains relevant today. The statistics on how many birds exist will change but the information on all of the falcons, size, ID, brooding, etc remain the same. One of the things I love about it are the drawings of the raptors.

Note: Do not be fooled by books of a similar name. Check and make sure it is Penny Olsen 1995.

Images from old print collections. In this instance it is the Wedge-tailed Eagle, the largest raptor in Australia, in a hand coloured drawing from the early 19th century.

The stories of how these early drawings came to be made just wrenches your heart especially when foreigners to Australia would injure the birds and hope to take them back to England. This bird managed with a wound to claw its way through a rope and escape, thankfully. Our ideas of the rights of animals are changing but we still have much much more to do!

The image below is of a Hobby. Olsen comments that young raptors spend much more time lying down than they do standing. The photographer has caught this small falcon resting. What a lovely capture!

The Hobby is also known as ‘The Little Falcon’ or the ‘Little Duck Hawk.’ It is a member of the Falconidae family of diurnal, day time hunting, raptors.

One of the things that I like about the book are the tables that compare the various raptors in Australia to one another and the topics that cover everything from ecology (habitat, dispersion, , mortality), predators, reproduction, health, raptors and humans as well as conservation.

This is an impressive book and if you can get your hands on a copy – there are no reprints – it is, as Victor Hurley says, ‘essential for a library’.

Continuing on with the raptors from Australia, Cilla Kinross posted a video of a bonding session between Xavier and Diamond. Listen for the vocalizations (after you read and listen to the first article today).

There is no current update on Yurruga. He was seen day before yesterday on a roof. It rained hard and steady yesterday and Orange and I imagine our wee fledgling was hunkered down somewhere wanting to stay dry. Not good to try and hone your flying skills in a down pour!

I have not seen any updates or sightings of the 367 Collins Street fledglings. If something comes up I will let you know! It is still bittersweet looking at the four of them and the wee male not making it. But, on the brighter side, we could have lost all of the eyases this year. “Be thankful for what we have and don’t wish for what we don’t” was a common mantra of my grandmother.

The season in Australia is winding down as our lads on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge continue to get stronger and stronger and will become more independent and learn how to fish soon. It is wonderful that we will be able to follow Ervie on his adventures with his sat-pak. Let’s see if PLO has posted anything today!

This is the last posting when Ervie flew over land on 23 November. To the surprise of many, Solly also flew over land and into the interior a bit which will go a long ways to informing the power companies where they need to put those protectors on the hydro poles.

All three are sleeping adult style, standing up with their head tucked under a wing.

As to the situation with Annie and Grinnell and the interloper, the interloper male flew in to the Campanile and was greeted by Annie. UC Falcons have not seen Grinnell and Annie together as yet. Challenges and conflict over territory could happen. Fingers crossed.

As things go quiet in Australia, I will begin to list some of the Bald Eagle and Osprey nests in North America that you can watch. If you have a favourite, let me know and tell me why you like it so I can pass that along to others. Thank you!

Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Orange, Australian Peregrine Falcons, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, 367 Collins Street Falcons by Mirvac, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

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.

WBSE Release

Here is an image of WBSE 27 being released last week. It was determined by the scale lines in her toes that the bird was in fact, 27 not 28. So happy that ID was solved! The day the bird was released was the first day that the parents were not at their River Roost. I hope the three connect! There is a video of the release and it shows 27 as a really strong bird. I hope she thrives in the wild for eons. What a gorgeous bird.

The following was posted on the FB page of the Sea Eagles:

Here is a news report:

https://www.9news.com.au/videos/national/incredible-moment-sea-eagle-returns-to-wild/ckwd1mylj000n0go2tpq6dkcs?fbclid=IwAR1LEfr-N1vKUIgUAawVmy477RlTUb7sTU0yFDQwedhjs2gAW9t_FQQJva0

The Kakapo Recovery are doing their annual fundraiser. As many of you know, we started out the pandemic with 208 Kakapo in existence. There are now 202. Dedicated individuals do wellness check ups which mean they have to find these elusive non-flying parrots. The only way to do that is with a transmitter. The transmitters and batteries require check ups and replacements (batteries) on a regular basis. Medical treatment, etc. If urgent and life threatening, the bird is flown to Dunedin, NZ for veterinary care.

Many are considering doing one special gift on behalf of their family to help wildlife and the planet (as opposed to fast fashion that winds up stacked in the deserts of Africa). The Kakapo Recovery is hoping you might choose them.

Last year we adopted Rangi! He happily lives in the living room plants when he is not cuddling up with Pippa the Albatross or Big Red the Red-tailed Hawk!

It is something everyone needs to think about even if it is $5 to a streaming cam that you love. It can make all the difference. You can also adopt other types of birds. Last year there was a huge rush to help Aran and Mrs G at the Glaslyn Bywyd Gwyllt. You might recall that two horrific events came together in the perfect storm at Glaslyn. A heavy rain storm with cold temperatures hit the area when the chicks hatched and Aran got in a territorial fight and injured his wing and he could not fish. The community came together and provided a fish table for the family. Sadly the chicks did not survive but Mrs G and Aran did and Aran got his strength and migrated on time. To help that cause many went to the website and adopted Aran and his family.

You will have your own list as well. Other ways that you can help is to check with your local wildlife rehabilitation clinic. They often post a list of items that they need. You would be surprised but clean old towels are usually at the top of the list! So next time you are looking at a pile of towels and old sheets, think of your local clinic for wildlife! It doesn’t cost anything but getting the items there and often the clinics have volunteers that pick up for them.

Books for children and teens on how to help wildlife thrive are, of course, invaluable in building the next generation to care for our beloved birds.

Holly Parsons posted an update on Yurruga on the FB page for the Orange Australian Peregrine Falcon:

“Post from Cilla approx. 5pm 24 November:I haven’t seen Yurruga since I placed him in the tree, but I’m pretty sure he is still there as the parents have been coming and going with prey and giving me warning calls if I approach too close. I only check once a day and the foliage is really thick so hard to find him if he’s quiet.”

That is great news coming out of Orange! That is the kind of news I wish were coming out of Sydney with WBSE 27 – that the parents have been feeding it. Fingers crossed.

This is a short update. It is extremely quiet in Bird World now that the falcons and ospreys and WBSE in Australia have fledged. Eggs are happening in the Bald Eagles nests in the US and there will be lots of action around the holidays in December.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my information: Orange Australian Peregrines FB, Kakapo Recovery FB, and Sydney Sea Eagle Cam.

Diamond, Xavier, and the eggs

Whew! It was a terrifically busy day yesterday in Bird World and it was all good. To recap Yurruga did a beautiful fledge at 6:03:54 Monday 22 November (camera time). Bazzy officially flew a little over three hours later at 09:25:45. If that was not enough, Cornell’s Red Tail Hawk couple, Big Red and Arthur, were spotted on a branch together at BeeBee Lake. It was all together amazing. Bazza did cause a search party to go out but, in the end, he returned safely to the nest at 10:24:48. Ervie had left quite a large piece of fish and Bazza was very happy to finish it off.

Cilla Kinross posted this news about Yurruga.

Dr Kinross also posted this video of the event.

Everyone has been concerned about Diamond and her eggs. It seemed the closer Yurruga came to fledging, the more broodier Diamond became. We know that one egg was unviable. There is indication that the other egg had a chick that tried to break out of the shell but was just not strong enough as evidenced by the egg-tooth make a hole in the shell and seeing the beak.

Diamond used up a lot of her good health making those three eggs. She would have depleted her calcium and lost about 20-30% of her weight. Now that Yurruga has fledged it is time for Diamond to get herself back into tip top form.

Around 11:47, Dr Kinross removed the two eggs from the scrape box. She is going to check to see if the National Museum would like them for their collection. Diamond was not happy hearing voices inside the tower.

It seemed each time Cilla tried to get one of the eggs, Diamond would come calling loudly. Cilla tried to shooo her away. In the end both eggs were retrieved. Diamond returned to her scrape now devoid of eggs and began ‘scraping’ the area.

It is difficult not to feel sorry for Diamond. Her chick has fledged and she is still feeling the urge to mother.

Even Xavier has returned today to the scrape box to look for the eggs.

It is very sad trying to understand what Xavier and Diamond are feeling. I am busy reading Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff’s Ten Truths and Bekoff’s The Emotional Lives of Animals. Can the actions of Diamond and Xavier be anything but a sense of confusion – where did the eggs go, they were here? and sadness. They were ‘potential chicks’.

Decades ago there was a guinea hen that arrived at the little acreage in Southern Manitoba. Having not see her in the attic of the barn for some time she was found incubating at least two dozen eggs. She had made a nest cup in the grass. There was no mate; the eggs were infertile. She would have risked her health or life as she was broody. They had to be broken. This past spring we witnessed Milda, the White-tailed Eagle in Durbe County, Latvia try and incubate eggs after her mate, Ramsis, had not returned. For eight days she remained much to the detriment of her health. It is with delight that Milde is back with a new mate Mr L working on her nest.

This is the latest report on Annie and Grinnell. It is from the Instagram Feed for Cal Falcons:

Oh, I so hope that Grinnell will come to the scrape. He might not feel 100% secure in taking on the interloper. Only time will reveal what will happen with this love triangle. I am reminded when I say that of the very happy Bald Eagle Nest on the Mississippi River with Star and the two males, Valor I and II. For several years that nest has benefited from having three parents. I wonder?????

And with that thought I am off. It is a horrible grey white day on the prairies. It is -8 C.

Thank you so much for joining me. I will continue to monitor the news on both of these peregrine falcon nests. Take care everyone. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and the Instagram account for Annie and Grinnell.

Yurruga Fledges

It was a beautiful flight. Xavier was outside taunting Yurruga. Diamond was at her side. Then Diamond flew. Yurruga was watching everything. She took off like a pro with perfect form. It was a beautiful Monday morning in Orange, Australia. 06:03:55.

Diamond and Yurruga are watching Xavier. That beautiful golden glow of the morning sun touches the scrape.

Diamond is off!

Yurruga joins her parents flying around the water tower. It was brilliant. No fludge for this young man or lady.

She has perfect flying form.

Yurruga leans down and out she goes. Magnificent.

This is the view of Yurruga leaping out to chase her destiny from the ledge cam. Look at Yurruga go! Beautiful and strong legs.

Fly safe, Yurruga!

Diamond returns to the scrape box ledge. Her job is mostly over.

Diamond watches from the ledge cam. Xavier and Yurruga are flying by. Xavier will teach Yurruga to fly and hunt along with team teaching with Diamond.

Congratulations to Dr Cilla Kinross, the lead researcher on the Peregrine Falcon Project, to Diamond and Xavier bravo! You did an amazing job. May Yurruga bless you with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!

Thank you to Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.