Force 11 winds – up to 72 mph – hit Welsh Osprey Nests!

The force 11 winds that hit the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn has scared the pair. Indeed, it hit all of the nests in Wales. As I write this, it is Friday mid-afternoon in Wales and it is only at the Glaslyn nest of Mrs G and Aran that the wind and rain are finally letting up – for now. Just imagine, new born chicks need to be kept dry but they need also to be fed – they can last for a bit after hatching, some say 24 hours. How do you do this when you can’t stand up? and the water is too choppy for fishing? The weather forecast for the long weekend in the United Kingdom is that some areas will receive snow with temperatures dropping to -10. Please send wishes, warm ones, to our friends in the UK.

You could see the fear in the eyes of Telyn desperately trying to hold on to the nest. Idris’s and Telyn’s first chick hatched during the storm. They are both standing on the nest hoping to feed the poor little thing and then worrying that it would literally get picked up and tossed off the nest. Telyn is, as I write this at 9:40 pm on a Thursday night on the Canadian prairies, holding on as best she can.

Idris has brought in a nice piece of fish to feed the little one and Blue 3J, Telyn but the wind is blowing so hard the little one can’t raise its head. 20 May 2021
Telyn hanging on for all her might. She has one new hatch and two eggs under there she is protecting. 21 May 2021
Telyn is soaked. 2o May 2021

I cannot include the sound of the wind whipping this nest around. It is frightening.

Mrs G and Aran have faced the same horrible rain and force 11 winds but they are not as exposed as Telyn and Idris at the Dyfi Nest. It is finally starting to slow down for the Glaslyn nest bringing the hope that soon all of the Osprey nests will get a break.

Mrs G will be giving Aran an earful about not having a fish on that nest for when she can feed the babies! Or, just as likely, she will put him on incubation duties and she will go and catch it herself! I think she has a small fish tail under her with the two Bobs.

That same weather system is impacting all of the Osprey nests – the same system that brought the heavy rain earlier. Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey nest is also hanging on to the nest.

One can also imagine the difficult fishing conditions that this is going to present to the males who now have little ones who will need to eat in a few hours.

Maya hanging on with her beak and her talons to the nest protecting the Two Bobs. 21 May 2021

Blue 33 (11) showed why he is one of the great super dads in the world of Osprey – he made sure there was fish sitting on the nest for Maya the minute she needs it! I am really impressed. The waters around Manton Bay have been really choppy. These other younger males, such as Laddie, should be doing this. They know when the bad weather is coming albeit they might not be able to gauge just how bad it will be.

It is still really windy on the 21st of May. Maya is sporting one of the new punk hair dos.

The same treacherous winds are rocking the Poole Harbour Osprey Nest around. Blue 022, the 2019 translocated male, and CJ7 have been working on the nest and mating to the delight of hundreds. CJ7 waited for a mate last year and laid eggs here – not fertilized – that were taken by Ravens. Now she has a chance for a very keen two year old to bond with and create a family at her nest. I wonder, however, if it isn’t too late for the 2021 season? Would love to be proved wrong.

What you are seeing below is the work on the nest. You can not hear the ferocious winds or see that nest moving. Fingers crossed that this system moves out of the area quickly!

The unringed young man courting Blue 152 at the Loch Arkaig nest decided that it would be a good time to bond when the winds were whipping around – don’t think it worked out quite the way he was expected! He was blow off his lady!

Sometimes wind is welcome. There is nothing more stunning than seeing a pair of juvenile Red-tail hawks find the thermals and go soaring in the sky. I remember watching Big Red soar last year – it was so beautiful. I can still see J2 and J3 soaring together last summer. What a grand sight it was – the two brothers (or at least we thought they were two males) out having great fun together. J3 kept going that day, the little one, finding his way in the world while J2 came back down and stayed another week or so.

Tonight on the Achieva Osprey Nest, the wind was also gusting. Tiny Tot has, of course, been doing more wingersizing and has started hovering. This evening that seemed to take on a new intensity in part because sibling 2 was on the nest. It is easy to forget that sibling 2 was responsible for Tiny Tot not eating, sometimes for three days at a time. I can still see, if I close my eyes, the two instances where Tiny Tot went into a rage and went for sibling #2. I am sure he felt he had nothing to lose – he was already going to die if he didn’t get some food. It was the second instance that I believe Diane took some notice because it was that day or the morning after that she brought in a big catfish and made sure Tiny Tot ate its fill. With that little bit of background, it is easy to understand that there is a higher level of competition between the siblings now that #2 is returning to the nest for food.

Synchronized wingersizing. Tiny Tot and sibling #2. 20 May 2021

Tonight, around 8:15 Tiny Tot put on a performance. He let the wind hit his wings and he flapped and he hovered jumping all over part of the nest. You could almost see him saying, ‘See, I can do it, too!’

I hope that the presence of sibling 2 does not encourage him to fledge – although, Tiny Tot will fledge. Let us all quietly wish that he knows to fly out and return to the nest, exploring his surroundings for several weeks while still being fed by mom.

Wheeeeeee. Look at the height that Tiny got on that hover! Of course, he’s a bird and flying is what he lives to do.

At one time it looked like he was flapping a lot so he would irritate sibling #2 and he would get off the nest!

Oh, Tiny Tot. When the wind takes you away, remember to come back – stay with us a little longer and get your bearings. You are certainly equipped to survive and if only 1 out of 3 does survive, my money is on you!

What a gorgeous bird you have become!

It was soooooooo nice to wake up and have Tiny Tot still on the nest this morning!

Switching gears quite a bit, you may recall the two White-tail eaglets at the nest in the Matsula National Park in Estonia. EE1 and EE2 died within approximately 24 hours of one another. When the chicks were removed from the nest for the post-mortem, many felt that it had been poison consumed by a prey item that they had eaten. They thought they had died of secondary poisoning. The results have come in and both of the little ones died of Avian Influenza Virus (AIV).

There are many subspecies of AIV and the posting did not specify which one the eaglets had. We commonly think of ‘bird flu’ with caged chickens, geese, and other water fowl but AIV is also found in raptors. They can ‘catch it’ from eating infected carcasses. The virology journals have a large number of studies on the transmission. While it is very sad that the little ones died, there was absolutely nothing that the parents, Eve and Eerik, could have done to prevent the deaths. They are opportunistic hunters and take what food they can get – the prey isn’t labelled contaminated with bird flu virus or rodenticide. It is very sad but there is great hope that the parents are large enough and strong enough to overcome AIV – because they would have eaten the same carcasses. I do hope Eve and Eerik are alright.

I want to leave you with a few images of Big Red and Arthur’s Ks. They are growing so fast and are sooooo cute.

It is really going to be a hot one for Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks. The temperatures are heading up to 31 degrees C. Yesterday, in the image above, Big Red provides shade for the Ks. She positioned herself in different areas of the nest so that the little ones would not get over heated.

It is noon and the shade is still on the nest. The Ks are having their lunch, lined up nicely just like Big Red teaches them to do. She will remain vigilant in keeping her wee ones cool as she can. I wonder if these high temperatures are impacting Arthur’s hunting?

The weather is raking havoc for many bird families – from the high winds and rain to unseasonable snow and -10 degree temperatures forecast for much of the UK nests to the heat in the US.

At 4am on 21 May 2021, snow began falling on the nest of Iris in Missoula, Montana. The eggs were exposed. If there was any thought that they could have been viable, they definitely are not now.

Snow begins to fall on Iris’s eggs in the early morning hours of 21 May 2021.

I think just about everyone is having a long weekend. We may call it by a different name but, for those working, it is a chance for an extra day not to be at the office. So, please enjoy! The much needed rain has come to the Canadian prairies. The leaves have burst and my garden is green and full of Brown Thrashers thumping the ground. It is cool and winter socks and sweaters are the order of our Friday!

Thank you to the following streaming cameras and their sponsors where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Scottish Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Brwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, and LRWT Manton Bay.

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