I had no intention of writing another blog today but, a behaviour on the Achieva Osprey nest that first happened this morning repeated itself and has prompted me to share it with you.
This morning, Diane, the female on the Achieva Osprey nest in Dunedin, Florida took a fish away from the eldest (1). She moved it up to the top rim of the nest towards the left and began to feed Tiny Tot. Tiny Tot (3) got enough fish this morning to give him a small crop.
At 6:53:41, 1 has another fish. In the image below, 1 has the fish in the middle of the nest front. Tiny Tot is at the back of the nest. Diane is at the front right and 2 is in front of her.
At 7:00:23 Diane is checking on the progress of 1’s self feeding and 2 has now taken an interest in what is happening. Look carefully in the image below. Tiny Tot is shifting his body to the left in subtle moves. Compare where he is in the image above with the one below. No one noticed Tiny Tot’s movements.
At 7:02:53 Diane has taken control of the fish just like she did this morning. She moves it up the left side of the nest. 1 is watching and 2 has moved up to the top rim of the nest. Tiny Tot realizes that 2 is near to him and he turns slightly to the left. A subtle shift.
At 7:02:55, Tiny Tot begins to make his move despite 2 being up by the rim of the nest. Tiny maintains a mantling position for protection. Go Tiny! Mom is waiting to feed you!
In four seconds, Tiny has made his way to mom and is being fed. He will get some nice bites. 1 and 2 will move over and want to be fed by mom also. Tiny maintains his position on the opposite side with mom between – a really smart move. Tiny Tot is a keen observer. His will to live is admirable.
At 7:10:38 Tiny Tot steals a bite meant for 2. Tiny’s head is a blur. In the image below you can see that 2 has its beak right by mom’s but her head is towards Tiny who has grabbed the piece of fish. Brilliant move by our little underdog.
Both 1 and 2 continue to be fed and so does Tiny. Here he is at 7:22:15. Also look. Despite the older sibs being right up by her, Diane continues to make sure that Tiny Tot gets some food.
Tiny is still being fed at 7:26:43.
The mother’s behaviour is very different today than previous days when she ignored Tiny Tot’s cries for food. Today, it looked like she purposefully took two fish away from 1 after 1 had been practising self-feeding. When she moved the fish, this allowed Tiny Tot to get on Diane’s right side away from 1 and 2 so that they could not harm it on both occasions. Despite 1 and, specifically 2, being up by her head, Diane fed Tiny Tot along with the bigger siblings.
Whether or not Diane will continue this behaviour tomorrow is something we will have to wait and see. Instead of being very hungry and ignored all day, Tiny Tot is going to bed with some food in his stomach. It is certainly hard to know how much fish he was able to get but, anything is better than not being fed at all!
I continue to hope that breaks like today come and that Tiny Tot will get stronger and grow some. It is worth remembering that food insecurity began on this nest on the 12th of March with 1 being extremely aggressive to Tiny Tot. Tiny Tot was only a week old at the time. Tiny Tot has had many days when he had nothing to eat. The time of inconsistent food at the beginning of a growth period in March have meant that there has been a slowing or a stunting in Tiny Tot’s growth. To what extent this has impacted his overall development is unknown. He is certainly clever and is mentally alert to everything that happens around him – two good traits for survival in the wild.
Thank you for joining me – and also sending warm wishes to Tiny Tot. He needs all the positive energy coming his way that we can muster. I have checked on all the nests and everything appears to be fine. The only exception is a real snowy time in Colorado at the Fort St. Vrain Bald Eagle Nest. I will bring updates on all of those tomorrow. And last, if you are watching the NCTC Bald Eagle nest, the children of Shepherdstown Elementary School have named the two eaglets. E5 is Talon and E6 is Spirit. Great names and fantastic to involve the children. The future of our planet and the care of our wildlife will be driven by decisions they make.
Here they are: Talon and Spirit. Look at the size of those crops. I wish so much that Tiny Tot would have a crop like that tomorrow. All of us would be delirious with happiness.
Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union and the NCTC Bald Eagle nest for their streaming cams. That is where I grab my screen shots.