Those Ks look too small to start thinking about fledging but we know the time is coming. Big Red is showing them where to stand on the fledge post for their first flight. She is leaving hints on where to go with those oak leaves, and the other day Arthur started his aerial flying demonstrations for the three of them. Gosh, they look too little to fledge. Did I say that twice?! They don’t have all of their feathers on their heads even! But get your worry beads out they are hopping and flapping.
I don’t think K3 appreciates all of this – oh just wait, K3, you will be flapping soon.
This video was posted by Rebecca Alexander on the Cornell Red Tail Hawk FB page and there was a ‘share’ button. I shortened her original version to fit on this blog. Enjoy.
They may be getting big but those Ks still like it better when Big Red feeds them.
Arthur delivered a chippie – gosh it is good to see chippies on this nest instead of Starlings – but K3 told the others if they waited and left it Big Red would come in and feed them before bedtime! K3 is guarding it in case it runs up the light box like one did last year for the Js. Seriously. If you didn’t see it there is a YouTube video. I will find that and post it at the bottom. It is so funny!
Tiny Tot has been on and off the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. Jack brought in two fish this morning. Oh, Tiny was hungry! And he left and he returned to the nest at 1:52:44.
Just stop for a minute and look at that form. Beautiful. He will nail that landing.
Someone wrote to me wondering if the parents were teaching Tiny Tot to fish. The answer is: No. The Osprey instinctively know how to fish. The precise programme of how to hold their feet, fit their wings together in that beautiful delta profile and go down head and talons first is in their long, long history – more than 50 million years of it. That doesn’t mean that Tiny is going to go in and catch his first fish easily! Nope. They say on average it takes 15 tries. That could be tiring. I assume the choppier the water the harder the fishing. There are some super star osprey, like Blue 33 (11) who seem to always get their fish on the first try but most don’t.
Everyone is already missing Tiny Tot and he has not left the nest yet. There is a sadness that comes over all that love him just thinking about it. Certainly by September the Ospreys in the north – Canada and the northern US – will get that twitch that calls them to migrate – even for the first time. It just happens. I love the description in Belle’s Journey:
“Higher and higher she climbed, making big circles in the sky. As she turned south and faced the ocean, she could feel the earth’s magnetic pull. Something told her that she should go toward the ocean. Soon the water would get cold, and the fish would go down too deep for Belle to catch them. her instincts told her she had to go south, where it would be warm during the winter and food would be abundant.”
Belle had a satellite tracker that showed her migration from Martha’s Vineyard to Brazil. But it doesn’t get cold in Florida like it does farther north. Florida is, in fact, a place where many osprey stay the entire year. Neither Jack or Diane are ringed. They do not have trackers. We do not know if they stay or go. Or one does and one doesn’t. Richmond stays in the San Francisco Bay area – always has. Rosie migrates. They meet at the nest around Valentine’s Day! How utterly sweet.
One thing that is known is that males return to the territory of their natal nest to raise their families. Many take over the nests of their fathers. We do not know if Tiny Tot is a male or a female. Both males and females have necklaces. In fact, Blue 022 on the Poole Harbour Nest has a pretty nice necklace! There he is in front flapping his wings.
If Tiny Tot is a male, I have said that I want to draw and log images of his head. His body will change but not the markings on his head. I want to recognize him if he returns. And, as I am always grumbling, those chicks were not banded! Drives me nuts.
But back to Tiny Tot. Breeding season is a long way off. The only thing that will cause Tiny Tot to naturally move off the nest is his instinct or the parents shifting him off. But since the parents won’t be using the nest again until 2022, they have a free security guard in Tiny Tot. Who knows how long he will be on the nest. Who knows when he will leave. Enjoy every moment he is there – it is all we can do.
And last but not least, if you are missing or thinking you are going to be missing your favourite bird, you can get a fridge magnet. I had one made of Tiny Tot by our local photography store. They are reasonably priced everywhere.
I can talk to Tiny every time I open the fridge!
Thank you for joining me. The birds give me so much joy and there are so many it is hard to keep track. Right now my focus remains on Tiny Tot and Big Red and her family. Then I will be switching to some of the Ospreys that will be fledging soon – and then to the lovely Royal Albatross Cam Chick as she approaches fledge.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, and Cornell Bird Lab and the RTHs. I also want to thank Rebecca Alexander for the video she posted that I have shared and to Lady Hawk for keeping me up to date on the owls and the pigeon.