Gosh, what a day it has been with the hatch of the first known albino Osprey chick at the Urdaibai Biosphere Park in Spain. Let us hope that despite the challenges that being an albino faces in the wild, that this little one thrives!
And surprise. I often just check in on nests that are thought to be vacant after the juveniles fledge and lo and behold, look what is on one of the branches of Legacy’s natal tree – an Osprey! It isn’t Legacy our beautiful ebony plumed juvenile Bald Eagle but hey, it is a bird and a nice surprise!
It has been raining in Wales and that means it is wet on the nest of Mrs G and Aran. Since there are no chicks to brood, the pair more than likely come to the nest to retrieve their fish, eat them on the perch or off camera, and perch and roost in nearby trees. They need to still protect that valuable nest of theirs for next year’s season and we already know that there are two year old juveniles sniffing around.
The Glaslyn Wildlife Centre has received so many questions that instead of trying to answer each one individually or go on FB with postings, they wrote a detailed blog titled, ‘The Not So Perfect Storm’. I was impressed with the range of subjects they covered and the detailed sound information provided. The topics ranged from Why Did Mrs G Stop feeding the chicks? to What will happen to the Glaslyn pair now? to describing how Aran and Z2, Aeron, who occupies the PC nest with Blue 014, worked together to drive a male osprey away that had intruded at both nests. Wow! Cooperative territorial patrols. I like that. If you would like to read this very informative document, please go to:
I posted this image so you could see the change the plumage of these two little ones. Bobby Bach is 9 days old and still retains his light grey natal down and hair on its head. Bob, the oldest, is changing plumage and as their Twitter feed said, “now resembles ancient theropod lineage of the Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago”. Bob’s hair on its head is ‘thinning’. He is getting coppery coloured feathers around its head and neck. The body plumage will be getting quite dark.
That is the stage that Big Bob is currently at. He is the eldest chick on the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest and he is beginning his Reptilian Phase.
Then the little ones will begin to be covered with their beautiful feathers. Have a look at the pair at The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island. Aren’t they gorgeous? They have retained some of that peach on their heads or necks and look at those gorgeous dark white tipped feathers on their wings and back. Stunning. The eldest at the Landings nest is started to self-feed a tiny bit.
In the image of the Two Bobs at the Rutland Nest today, they are just leaving the reptilian phase and starting to get their gorgeous juvenile plumage. Look at them and look at the ones above at The Landing. In a couple of days the Rutland chicks will look like them! They change so quickly.
It has been raining off and on in Ithaca, New York. Big Red’s Ks have wet feathers. It is a good way to see the changing plumage from K1, the eldest, to K3, the youngest.
In the image below, K3 is causing everyone to hold their breath as it looks down from the light tower ledge. Look at the beautiful dark feathers with their peach on the other two siblings. K3 is just getting its juvenile plumage on its wings. Both of the older siblings still have some down that will be covered soon.
Here they are standing up. Note the beautiful peach on the one on the left. If I could get the middle K to turn around you would see they have some peach, too. They look like they are wearing medieval costumes complete with pantaloons, vest, and morning coat. Quite dignified. Big Red is a very dark Red -tail Hawk with Arthur’s plumage being quite light in comparison. Big Red has a magnificent dark apron.
In terms of plumage that beautiful apron or low necklace of Big Red’s is a stunner. Also note her head, neck, and shoulders.
Here she is from the back. The Ks will not get their red tail til after their first year moult.
My friend in Maine spotted the bleeding from K1’s ear over a week ago and was worried. This is today and there is still some blood there. The ears are not protected until they get their feathers. Big Red works on them to clean them. One of the reasons for the greenery – especially the pine – which is a natural insecticide – is to keep away the insects that could lay eggs in the hawklets ears. In avian studies, they have observed no ill effects to the bird.
Here is a link to a very good and not so long article about parasites in birds including their ears:
Tiny Tot has been on and off the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest in St Petersburg on and off today. He had a nice fish delivery early this morning and is probably hoping for another!
I want to memorize the way this juvenile looks but it will be little help to me if I try to track him down as an adult. Perhaps he will return and take over his natal nest in 4 years time! or maybe he will be a little precocious like the 2 year old juvenile male at Poole Harbour and we might see him scraping with Jack in a couple of years.
Here comes Tiny, the extraordinary, our Super Hero! He will do a perfect landing on the perch pole.
And there it is. Bingo. On the top. No fumbling around.
All those feathers have grown in for our incredible flyer.
And there he is ready to take on any intruders that might want to come to this nest and take his fish today.
There are, as we have all been noticing, other birds that intrude on the territory of others. Then there are people. There were people close to one of the osprey nests in Wales and more recently, the staff put up a camera at the Bucovina Golden Eagle nest in Bulgaria. Golden Eagles are very rare. The couple has one chick on the nest. The camera spooked the male and he left the nest for several days. This meant that the female wound up being a single mom like Spilve and Milda. She had to hunt, feed, brood, and protect the nest. Thankfully, the male returned to the nest yesterday, 1 June. It is a good lesson to everyone. The slightest disturbance can have catastrophic implications for the birds. Some are more sensitive than others to human presence.
You can see the chick below and this video shows the joyful return of the Dad to the nest after many days.
I will close with a beautiful image of the Dad Stork and the three storklets earlier today. The villagers in Mlade Buky Czechoslovakia are feeding then after the mother was electrocuted on power lines. Such generous caring people. Look at the crop on that one standing! They are doing very well, don’t you think?
Thank you so much for joining me today. Please stay safe and take care.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Mlady Buky, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Bucovina Bulgaria, Dyfi Osprey Project and Montgomeryshire Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Trust, LRWT, Achieva Osprey, NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, and Association Wild Bucovina.