Ervie, fledges and more – early Tuesday in Bird World

9 August 2022

First a correction! Shame on me for saying we know where Telyn winters. It is not Telyn but, the beautiful Seren from Llyn Clywedog that spends her winters in The Gambia. I knew that and wrote Telyn. Thanks, ‘C’ for alerting me. Much appreciated!

One other clarification that ‘CE’ caught that needs explaining. Osprey fledglings are the raptors that do not require their parents to teach them to hunt or fish. Others do. You will have seen the eagles and hawks showing their fledglings how to hunt prey! I bet Ervie did chase Dad around in his efforts to find some good fishing spots, though!

Ervie, dear Ervie. Port Lincoln posted images after I had sent out my blog last evening so our dear Ervie is up first. Thanks to ‘B’ for alerting me to these.

As so many of you are aware, Port Lincoln Ospreys is working hard to introduce our fish eagles to Southern Australia. They are getting attention from government agencies and, of course, the population is growing to love these birds – many because of our dear Ervie. Here are the latest postings from Port Lincoln and the beautiful pictures of Ervie out fishing with Dad by Fran Solly. There are more on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page. Head over and have a look. This is the place to continue checking on Ervie and his antics with Dad — or alone.

It is always good to see you, Ervie.

Is there room for you, Ervie??????!!!!!!

Remember when we worried that Ervie would only be able to catch puffers? Well, he has certainly adjusted to fishing without that other talon (I have not seen it fully grown in on the pictures but I would love to be corrected!). That is a beautiful fish. Well done, Ervie.

At the Black Stork nest in the Karula National Forest of Karl II and Kaia, Bonus, the adopted storklet of Jan and Janika, Bonus, fledged first today. He was followed by Volks who hears Bonus in the forest and flies off to the left.

Both returned to the nest. Ilks is looking at his reflection in the camera. Will you fly next? So funny when they find themselves. After fledging the Black Storks will stay at least a week around the nest being fed. If the food is plentiful they may stay longer before venturing out to find food for themselves and beginning migration.

As ‘B’ says, it is hard to beat the WBSE for cuteness. SE30 is a bit of a corker. When it was 2 days old, 30 beaked at 29. Not a good thing to do. We have all worried about 30 but unless there is an unexpected ‘something’, they should both be fine. SE30 gives as good as it gets and they both fool around with one another and then seem to stop before it gets too rough.

Chubby little bottoms. Their soft down on the head is giving way to pin feathers and the feathers are coming in nicely along the wings. They will begin to do a lot more preening as things get itchy. You can see their black talons and those big clown feet getting started. So cute.

Of the streaming cams in Australia, we now have the WBSE eaglets and the first egg at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge for Mum and Dad as of yesterday. We are awaiting the beginning of the season for Peregrine falcons Xavier and Diamond and the Melbourne CBD – 367 Collins Street. Xavier and Diamond are amping up the bonding in the scrape! Eggs before the end of the month?

The only chick on the Landscape Arboretum platform at the University of Minnesota fell off yesterday. It has not fledged. Here is the video of that incident. This could have turned out badly – and would have if not for the quick actions at finding the chick and getting it back on the nest. Thanks to all involved!

Boris and Titi (yet to fly) on the Janakkalan nest in Finland. 9 August 2022. Handsome!

All of the White Storklings of Betty and Bukacek have fledged. They seem to spend their time finding the parents and following them back to the nest for good feedings.

Look carefully. Bukacek is flying into the nest from the left (right above the grassy area at 930 on the nest).

All of the storklings came to the nest quickly so as not to miss a meal.

All of the UK chicks have fledged. This year the three at Foulshaw Moss did not get the best attention from me – in terms of publicizing the nest activities here on the blog. Last year I followed every move because of the third hatch – Blue 463 who survived and did extremely well. Waiting for her return next year! The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust have put out a very nice blog with an overview of the nest activities including some links to videos.

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/blog/alasdair-mckee/there-were-three-nest-and-littlest-fledged?fbclid=IwAR3EmfM6q7y1XNIqdvENXGlh8x4VhZve9AwmrsA4vAFcs_XRrvXubF76BhM

There appears to have been a fledge this morning at the Fortis Exshaw Osprey platform near Canmore Alberta. Thanks ‘H’ for the tip off! They seem to all be relatively equal – perhaps the others will fly today. You can see Mum looking on over the nest at her three beautiful chicks from the perch.

The fledge was a quick take off, fly around the nest and return landing on the right side.

I am counting a fledge as a flight off the nest and a return. In my mind, the chicks jumping up or getting to the many perches is equivalent to branching for Eagles, not a full blown official fledge. The real question is how far away is the perch? It is too difficult to tell. Mum certainly looks small and if it is a distance, then it might be counted as a fledge. If that is the case, then there were two fledges at Canmore this morning so far.

Big Red, Arthur, and L2 have all been accounted for by Suzanne Arnold Horning this week. Excellent news. Still no recent updates on L3 or L4.

L2 in the top picture screaming for a prey item and Big Red and Arthur calmly relaxing in the second.

Everyone remains curious as to how Victor got so much zinc in his system that he almost died. The Institute for Wildlife Studies has indicated that there are fishing lures coated with zinc. Thanks ‘B’. Here is the posting on the chat at the IWS. The question still remains: how much zinc does a fledgling eagle have to ingest to almost kill it? I do not know the answer to that question but I hope to find out.

The posting of the images of Little Bit 17 prompted a lot of mail. Everyone is thrilled and so very reassured that it is our little tenacious eagle. So grateful to the boots on the ground for chasing after this family and sharing their photos and videos with us on the Notre Dame Eagles FB.

‘CE’ had a very interesting analogy that seems quite fitting given the sponsors of the camera and the university that they are associated with – Notre-Dame. CE noted that the image of Little Bit looks like a Franciscan Friar with his friar’s crown. He said, “In the 5th century, the tonsure was introduced as a distinctive sign. In the East, the Pauli tonsure was used (all hair was cut), in the West, the Petri tonsure (only the top of the head was shaved). This was also called Corona Christi (Crown of Christ). Since the 16th century, the tonsure of regular clerics has been reduced to a small circle.” Friar Little Bit. It sounds nice.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is lovely to have you with us and the birds. I will continue to monitor the nests during the day. Tomorrow I am heading north for two days to count and enter the GPS for the Bald Eagle nests in and around Hecla Island. That information will be sent to David Hancock whose foundation monitors bald eagle nests in Canada. I hope to get some good images of the adults and juveniles before they leave for their winter homes. There will not be a newsletter tomorrow morning but I will try my best to get some images out to you tomorrow evening. Please take dare. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

I want to thank everyone who wrote in and sent me news. I still have some of your images to post! Much appreciated. I want to also thank the following for their streaming cams and/or posts or their photographs that I used for my screen captures: Fran Solly and the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Suzanne Arnold Horning, the Notre-Dame Eagles FB, the Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, Fortis Exshaw, the Finnish Osprey Foundation, the IWS, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, Landscape Arboretum Ospreys, and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park.

Super Good News in Bird World

4 August 2022

It is a very early good morning to everyone- just past midnight. I am posting this newsletter early so that everyone will get to read the great news that is coming in – in case you do not already know. In the case of Victor and Little Bit, continued thanks to the wildlife rehabilitation staff that intervened and gave them a second chance on life.

My goodness, it is such a wonderful feeling as if you are floating on a cotton candy cloud when there is great news in Bird World. If you get emotional, I suggest you get the tissues out before reading further.

I want to thank ‘B’ and ‘L’ for alerting me to the special news about Victor in my inbox.

The Ojai Raptor Centre posted this announcement about Victor. When all of us were worrying he might not get well or he might not be able to feed himself ——– well, he is self-feeding and doing a grand job of it, too. He is in an outside enclosure not inside the clinic. Oh,, Victor, you have worked so hard to get well and all the staff at ORC have just being doing the best for you. Tears of joy, tears of joy.

Video of Victor self-feeding:

Video of Victor’s outdoor enclosure:

The other good news is, of course, Little Bit ND17. Images were taken and studied by several who go to the park on a daily basis to watch and photograph the Notre-Dame eagle family – Mum, Dad, ND15, ND16, and ND17 Little Bit. They have longed to get a good clear picture of 17 but wanted to be sure it was him. Here is the announcement in the Notre-Dame FB postings for today:

I was so skeptical when Little Bit was returned to the park without the ability to hunt his own prey. I am joyful to have been proven wrong! Notice the top right image. See how the hair kind of goes around in a partial donut shape. It reminds me of my late father-in-law who was bald but that circular band. It appears that some of the top is flat like strands of longer feathers covering up the places where feathers are missing. At the onset, I did not think he had a crop but, yes, that top right image appears to show that he has recently eaten. What a wonderful relief to see him looking and doing well. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to ensure Little Bit got a second chance on life and those birders on the ground who tried desperately to get images to reassure all of us. Thank you.

The Sea Eaglets are doing just fine, too. The crops of both of them are simply about to pop!!!!!!!

An hour later, Lady is urging them to have ‘just one more bite’! They are growing and will have a rapid growth spurt. Full crops will be the order of the day. Look at how the wings are forming and each has a cute little tail.

The two osplets on the Osoyoos Nest are looking good this evening. The forecast was correct and it has cooled down some – of course, it is still hot, just not as blistery. The chat for the streaming cams appears to be down. Not sure why unless it is all the spam.

Soo had a big crop at 10:46.

Another delivery.

Looks like one of the chicks got the last delivery and is self-feeding.

One crop fuller than the other chick who is fish crying.

I cannot give you a fish count but it appears that both chicks ate today and so did Soo. Fantastic.

Ervie is out flying about and finding nice fish for dinner. He must miss hanging out with Dad on the barge and going to the nest to eat his fish. I wonder if he will try to return to the barge after this breeding season?

It is good to know he is safe – GPS trackers certainly help with that.

In the case of each of these nests or particular fledglings, it is so good to know that they are either improving in care or are doing splendidly on their own. There has been no word on L3 or L4. We wait.

I want to mention a book called Beauty and the Beak. How Science, Technology, and a 3D-printed Beak rescued a Bald Eagle. It is by a pair of talented women – writer Deborah Rose and wildlife rehabilitator, Jane Veltkamp. I first heard of the efforts to save this particular Bald Eagle when I was looking for information about the McEuen Park eagles in Idaho. The intended audience would be children ages 8-12 (I think) but I also enjoyed the gorgeous photos and learning about how science and new technology saved Beauty’s life. It is another fantastic book about positive interventions. If you teach science or know someone who does, I would highly recommend this book. (Cost in Canada is $11.46 for the glossy paperback).

It is a beautiful story of compassion and the commitment of Jane Veltkamp to help Beauty the Bald Eagle.

My regular newsletter that normally appears around noon CDT during the month of August will appear in the early evening on 4 August.

Thank you so much for joining me with all these good news stories. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their postings and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Notre Dame Eagles, Ojai Raptor Centre, Port Lincoln Ospreys and Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park.

Monday Morning in Bird World

1 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone!

Oh, one half of the sky is blue with cottonball-like clouds. The other side is a solid mass of heavy grey clouds. It is 22 C and more rain forecast for 1700. The Crows are already in the bird bath eating their ‘sandwiches’ and peanuts. Given a chance tens of sparrows gather in there after they have left. The squirrels are running about and the birds are flitting in and out. Dyson came to drink out of the bird bath yesterday and all the rabbits have been here. The weather is hot for here and having water out for the animals is, hopefully, helping them to cool down. It is so reassuring – just like when we check on the streaming cams and everyone is home!

The three young Crows are constantly with one another. Their flying is improving. The bird bath water is in constant change for one reason – everything is washed by the Covids. I wonder if it was to soften the shell of the peanut??

One of the fledgling Blue Jays waited its turn until the Crow departed.

This Blue Jay is yelling at Dyson! The squirrels do not wait in line – they just go and grab the peanuts. It is too funny. The juveniles are just getting their crests.

Poor Junior. He is moulting. If you see a Cardinal or Blue Jay looking scarce on top, they are not ill, just replacing their feathers.

Hello Dyson. Thank goodness the new bird bath is heavy enough that Dyson doesn’t go flying when he jumps up for a drink.

Adorable Hedwig. He spent about an hour eating the spilt seeds under the feeder. Hedwig was discovered under the Peony bush. He was such a wee rabbit. He never left the garden but ate the seeds as the birds flitted around him. He is never frightened by them. His burrow is somewhere else now but you can always count on his arrival around 1730 rain or shine, winter or summer. He’s an Eastern Cottontail.

Olsen really seems to have outdone himself on Sunday. As I begin to write this, there are two partial fish sitting on the nest. The chatters have been keeping close tabs and ‘H’ provided detailed time stamps. These are invaluable for viewers coming on line. Much appreciated. By 0900, Olsen had delivered 8 fish of varying sizes. Everyone was chock full of fish. It appears that there was some nibbling on the old fish (gosh they must be like dried fish now!) with another fish delivery at 18:33.

Soo has done a fabulous job keeping the chicks shaded. It is currently 37 C but rose to 40. Or 98.6 F to 104 F.

The nest still has horrific temperatures tomorrow. They seem to just keep adding on an additional day of heat. When did I ever believe I would say that 34 C was a welcome drop in temperature? The night will be welcome cooling off periods. The Osprey parents are doing the best they can and thank goodness those two chicks are feathered nicely this year.

Send positive thoughts, please. Soo and Olsen deserve success. In 2020 they lost a chick and one fell out of the nest and in 2021 the three died in the heat dome that stayed over the area. This year we have had one fall over the nest so let us keep fingers crossed. I think Soo and Olsen will succeed this year.

It is now Monday morning and Olsen has already brought at least five fish according to the chatters and here he is at 0656 feeding his babies fish number six!

I do not know if you have read the history of this nest but it is one of those great cooperative measures. FortisBC worked with the Town of Osoyoos put up a separate de-commissioned hydro pole for the Osprey and also donated the funds for the camera – the nest and streaming cam you are watching. They were proactive – indeed, it is in their best interests not to have the local power knocked out but, grateful, so grateful.

It is cooler at the Fortis Exshaw Nest in Canmore, Alberta. Mum and the trio are doing very well it seems.

Because it is in the same heat warning area, I have been checking on and off at the McEuen Park Osprey platform in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

There were two of the fledglings on the nest when I popped in.

With all the heat warnings, it is nice to have something to laugh at and it is provided by Bukacek and the adult only nest. You might well remember that Bukacek had built a second nest for him and Betty. Having four large White storklets on the natal nest gets a little crowded. Now that the storklets are flying – they have taken over the new nest! Bukacek will have to build another!!!!!! Betty meanwhile lures them back to their own nest with food. Perfect. Ooops….they ate and left. Oh, goodness.

Beautiful Betty.

There has been some concern about a blood spot near the wing of SE30 on the Sydney Sea Eagles nest. What was the cause? Often the eaglets get fish blood or bird parts on their body but this does not seem to be that. It looks instead as if some feathers have clumped together either with fish juice or ps and they were, perhaps, pulling and it annoyed the eaglet who pulled them out and left a small bloody spot. The eaglet appears to be fine.

You can clearly see the spot on the right wing- and that enormous crop of SE29’s. 30 is eating well. No worries. Lady sometimes feeds it so much that 29 gets itself in a little knot. With the amount of prey coming on the nest there is no need for food competition – and even with feedings spreading a bit, everything should be fine. The eaglets are getting older. Getting ready to get some really itchy pin feathers soon. As long as food continues and Lady keeps up her remarkable feeding schedule..these two are going to grow and fledge.

There will not be any ringing or DNA tests unless one or both wind up in rehab after fledge. But I might be already inclined to guess that we have a really big sister in 29 and a little brother in 30.

We can always use good news in our lives. Here is another story of an eagle rescue that will warm your hearts! Thanks, ‘L’, much appreciated.

Our beautiful Victor. I love this photo of him standing on a low perch. You are progressing, Victor. Keep up the good work!

Since the rescue of Victor, some of us have been more than perplexed about where the zinc came from that poisoned his body. I have rattled my brain with several of you – flakes coming off of anything galvanized, warnings on garden hoses about zinc, the shale in the area contains zinc, etc. I really do not think our dear Victor sat and ate pennies knowingly. ‘C’ sent me the findings of a study by a Brazilian researcher. It has been translated by Google from the Portugese. If you are interested in how Victor might have gotten the zinc and how our contamination of the planet spreads to birds 10,000 miles away even…have a read.

Thank you, ‘C’. Much appreciated.

Title: “Not even the “end of the world” is free from human-caused pollution”

Animals that live in the waters of the Kerguelen archipelago, 3,000 km from the nearest inhabited region, are contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury.

Not even the “end of the world” is free from the pollution generated by humanity. Located in the south of the Indian Ocean, 3,300 km from Madagascar, the nearest inhabited region, the Kerguelen archipelago, formed by about 300 islands and islets, is contaminated by metals such as cadmium and mercury, copper and zinc. The observation is made by Brazilian researcher Caio Vinicius Cipro, a postdoctoral fellow at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IO-USP), in two studies he carried out at the University of La Rochelle, in France, in partnership with scientists there.

Of volcanic origin, Kerguelen is 4 thousand kilometers south of India and 2 thousand kilometers north of Antarctica. The archipelago belongs to that country and is administratively part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). There is currently a scientific station and structures associated with it. “There is also fishing activity due to France’s exclusive economic exploitation zone”, says Cipro. “Biologically, there are countless species of birds and marine mammals that have established colonies on the island and many others, in addition to significant amounts of fish and invertebrates thanks to the high primary productivity of local food. There are also several species introduced by humans, such as mice and reindeer, and some plants.”

He says that the idea for the study came during a period when he worked as a guest researcher at the University of La Rochelle. “My supervisor at the time, Professor Paco Bustamante, had told me about a dataset he had obtained years before, which he began working on during his own doctorate, and whose publication he never had time to pursue,” he says. “I volunteered to carry out the task and write the publication.”

Cipro then went on to study the occurrence of four chemical elements (cadmium, copper, mercury, zinc and selenium) in more than 30 species of invertebrates and fish, most of them at a lower trophic level (of the food chain). The objective was to understand how the concentrations of these inorganic pollutants behave at these lower levels that will influence organisms above them in the food chain.

Cipro’s first study was carried out in 2014, shortly after he arrived in France, on samples that had been collected by Bustamante’s team in the southern summers of 1997 and 1998. The Brazilian scientist analyzed metal contamination in a species of bird, the black shearwater petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis). “We found contamination by cadmium, copper, mercury, selenium and zinc”, he says. “An article about the work was published in 2016 in the scientific journal Polar Biology.”

The second research was carried out in 2018 and yielded another article, published in the same journal. “In this case, we analyzed the levels of contamination of the same metals, with the exception of selenium – there were no conditions at the time to do this with this element in the laboratory at the University of La Rochelle – in 18 species of fish and 11 of invertebrates”, explains Cipro . The result of the work also pointed to the contamination of animals by metals.

According to Cipro, what can be concluded from the results of his research is that in this specific case of Kerguelen, cadmium values ​​varied much more than mercury values ​​(four orders of magnitude against one) and depended more on specificity in food ecology. and in the habitat than at the level of the food chain plain and simple.

In other words, the results of the studies showed that, contrary to what happens in most cases, the concentrations of pollutants found in animals depended little on their position in the food chain, but more on specific mechanisms of physiology and exposure, in such a way that predators from lower trophic levels could be more subject to some contaminants than others from higher positions.

This means, according to Cipro, that work with species of higher trophic level or sentinels needs more in-depth food ecology studies before reaching certain conclusions and that the food chain by itself does not mean much in this environment. “Furthermore, my research provides solid foundations on the exposure to which predators are subject, as in most cases this discussion remained on hypothetical terrain due to lack of field data,” he explains.

The work also showed a possible influence of a local secondary source of contaminants, probably the bird colonies themselves, a hypothesis confirmed in the Antarctic environment during his current research project. Going into more detail, Cipro explains that the analyzed metals have natural sources, but human activity certainly plays a bigger role than them in general. For mercury, for example, current emissions are estimated to be three to five times higher than before the industrial age. This element can reach the Kerguelen archipelago from dumps made by factories located 10,000 kilometers away.

Nevertheless, locally, in addition to bird colonies, some other natural sources may be significant, such as certain rocks and fossil fuels. “In the case of bird colonies, some studies that I proposed suggested and later confirmed their role as a local and relevant source of some elements and also of organic pollutants”, says Cipro. “In Kerguelen, we raised this hypothesis, comparing mussels from inside and outside the Gulf of Morbihan, and it seemed to be confirmed by the results obtained.”

The Dad at the Janakkalan Nest, Red CCL, continues to deliver the fish. The chatters have nicknamed the pair. Boris is the oldest and Titi is the youngest. The fish are so big that they take turns with no need to squabble. Titi is on the left. He has not figured out – yet – to hold the fish down with its talons.

Dad arrives with another fish at 1805. Titi is in the back with the huge crop from eating the fish in the image above. Boris is going to claim this one and Titi is absolutely too full to care! Lovely. Thanks, Dad.

The four Black Storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia are really wanting a food delivery. While they wait it is raining – they shake off their feathers, flap about, and jump on and off the perch. Kaia arrives with food at 16:58, the last image.

Just look at this beautiful juvenile Red-tail Hawk, L4. Stunning. L2 and L4 will probably be soaring in the thermals soon and leaving the Campus. Every moment with them is special as it is with Big Red and Arthur.

The latest update on L3 from the Cornell Lab:

L3 is gorgeous. Looking forward to her release when she is all healed.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is wonderful to have such good news in Bird World. To my knowledge, all of the UK Ospreys have fledged. They will be eating and gaining weight as will their mothers for migration. Soon these flights will be charted. In the meantime continue to enjoy them. The same with the storks! Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, websites, and postings where I took my screen captures: Osoyoos Ospreys, McEuen Park, Coeur d’Elene, Idaho, Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, Cornell Bird Lab, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Mlade Buky Storks, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Ojai Raptor Centre, and Fortis Exshaw.