I wasn’t expecting to do another posting this evening but I found myself checking to see if a fish had wound up in Tiny Tot’s talons. I kept doing this every so often and then, all of a sudden, that intruder bird is on the perch pole and Tiny Tot is in the nest. Keep in mind that the last meal that Tiny Tot had was last night – 24 hours ago. He chased the adult intruder out early today and then brow beat a juvenile that came on the nest and took the fish that was supposed to be his! He is hot, hungry, and fed up.
And then there, perched on the pole is the intruder. Again. Now Tiny Tot is clever and he knows that if there is going to be a fish delivery it will be coming soon. And if he can do anything about it, he is going to get that fish. I grinned as I was watching Tiny Tot. Laura Culley is a falconer and she says that “food is a great motivator”.
So, at 8:25:55, Tiny Tot flies off the nest. You can see the intruder on the perch. I watched the footage four or five times. It seems that Tiny somehow hovered and reversed in the air. Tiny Tot’s flying prowess is increasing daily.
Then he sort of reverses and turns 45 degrees toward the perch. It reminded me of the men with those little carts that are hooked to the nose of airplanes and help them turn. Tiny didn’t have any help – he just did it.
He is doing a rather complex series of movements to turn around and get behind the other bird on the perch without flying forward off the nest.
OK. Tiny is aiming for the back of the intruder.
He flies up and gets on its back!
There he is flapping his wings and landing on the intruder at the same time.
He is hanging on the intruders side and is pushing him off by flapping his wings.
Down they go. Tiny Tot chases the unwelcome guest across the road. Hopefully that bird will not be back again tonight.
Tiny Tot returns to the nest. And at 8:35:12 Jack arrives with a fish for Tiny Tot. Oh, this is a well deserved fish. I hope it is a whopper.
Tiny is really hungry and he is gobbling the fish. I think he realizes that sometimes you just have to eat that fish fast so another bird doesn’t come along and steal it.
Tiny was finishing up and cleaning his beak at 8:54:54. Wow. That fish didn’t last very long.
Sleep well, Tiny Tot. We are all so proud of you. You defended your nest valiantly.
Thank you for stopping in to check on Tiny Tot. He will always be close to my heart but I know that he is loved by so many others. I am glad that his bravery and confidence – plus his knowledge of how to survive – is growing every day. As I have always said, if only one out of three survives in the wild – my money is on Tiny Tot.
These times with Tiny Tot are precious. There is no certainty that he will be there tomorrow so every day is a gift.
I want to close with an image of Iris’s nest at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. If you are familiar with early 20th century American artists, you might know the work of Edward Hopper. For some reason the lighting and the emptiness remind me of Hopper’s images.
Now that Iris’s eggs have been taken and eaten by the Ravens, she has no need to come to her nest. She can just be out fishing and enjoying herself. But, on occasion, she stops by to say hello.
Thank you Achieva Credit Union and Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project for your streaming cam. That is where I get my screen shots.