Nest Hopping on the Summer Solstice

Today in the Northern Hemisphere we are celebrating the Summer Solstice. In the Southern, it is the Winter Solstice. My friends in Australia are finishing up their gardens, eating the last of the tomatoes and clearing up the vines, enjoying the first of the cabbages. It is even time for them to light the small fires that keep them warm. For the rest of is it is the beginning of summer officially. A time for school to be over in Canada and people to start thinking what they will be doing to enjoy themselves for the second summer of the pandemic, living under various restrictions.

There has been a lot of action in Bird World this past week – some good and some tragic. We lost the two seemingly healthy Ospreys chicks at the Urbaidai Biosphere Nest. The staff believe the cause was hypothermia. There had been lots of rain and the nest was wet. It is so sad because those chicks were quite large and doing so well. Now at the Golden Eagle Nest in Bucovina, Romania, the beautiful little Golden Eaglet has not had a good meal since the 16th of the month. Today it was so hungry that it had to eat one of the leg bones from the deer brought on the nest. The father had been helping with prey – hunting and then doing an exchange with mom. I wonder if something has happened to him. The female brought in only a small bird since the 16th. It is so frightening because this nest is beginning to feel like a repeat of the absolute horror at Spilve’s nest in Latvia last year. Spilve’s mate died and then her beautiful Klints, almost ready to fledge, starved to death. Spilve could not get enough large prey for Klints to survive. That said there is a difference. A human frightened the male provider while putting up a camera. Spilve’s mate was injured or died. Think about it. This is the reason that no one should go near an active nest once the birds are there. The question is this: does the individual who put up the camera have a ethical obligation to provide prey for the Golden Eaglet?

The eaglet had a crop but I believe it is only from the eating of the bones. I want to be wrong. My friend T sent this picture to me and we both hope he had some real food.

Just now the mother has brought in a very small bird for the eaglet. It is 17:28 nest time in Romania. Eaglet had seen her and started food calling. Oh, I hope that nothing has happened to the father so that larger prey can come on to this nest!

There has been a lot of sadness at various of the nests this year. K2, the middle hatch of Big Red and Arthur, is having some issues. No one knows specifically what the matter is. The beak appears to be layered with dried food that did not get cleaned off. The eye issues could be compounded by the chick’s scratching. It was a good day for a fledge for K1 and K3 but that did not happen. Big Red fed all three chicks on the nest tonight – including K2 who ate well. Big Red knew that heavy rain was coming and she kept those babies on the nest. Oh, she is such a wonderfully experienced mom!

K3 is the one facing towards the street standing in front of the light box. If you look carefully you can see the accumulation of dried prey on the beak. I am hoping that is all that is the matter with her beak and that antibiotics, fluids, and TLC will have her fit to release. I say her. I actually believe K2 is a he. If K2 goes into care they will surely do a DNA test and we will find out – boy or girl.

Around 9:26 this morning Arthur brought in prey for Big Red and the Ks. These parents are being very attentive to their three hawlets as the time comes closer for them to fledge. Already this morning K3 has taken the spot on the fledge ledge. It will be 80 degrees and sunny. A nice day to fly for the first time!

There were three fish deliveries that I am aware of on the Cowlitz Nest today in Longview, Washington. That is wonderful. There continues to be food insecurity and competition on the nest. The smallest chick is very feisty, just like K3, and does take advantage of that when feeding time arrives. I do not know how soon this will stop but I do hope that Wattsworth will bring more fish to the nest so that these two can begin to grow and thrive. Chick 1 hatched on May 27th making it 23 days old and chick 2 hatched on May 29th making it 21 days old today. They are physically behind in their development but that might not be a bad thing unless they are not ready for migration when August or September arrive. It would be like having a child who is either small for their age that they are at the bottom of the chart or, likewise, one that is really big for their age. I was happy to see crops on both the chicks today and also to see a pair of fat little bottoms. Hopefully they will be fine but they need consistent fish brought to the nest for that to happen! Wattsworth!!!!!!!

You can just see the coppery colour starting on their heads. They still have the white stripes on their back and their dark charcoal down as infants. It looks like their spider legs are beginning to fill out a bit but the little bottoms today – at least – are plump and round. These kiddos have been a bit of a worry because there is no rhythm to this nest. All you have to do is look at the nest where the chicks are thriving and see the dad bring in a fish first thing in the morning – it is there just as dawn is breaking – and at tea time or before bed. And, of course, in between. Wattsworth is not regular. It makes for so much insecurity – and hunger – which leads to rivalry.

There they are those sweet little kiddos with their little tails coming in. Oh, you keep every morsel of positive energy you have going the way of these two. They cannot help who their father is – I just hope that for them Wattsworth will continue to provide more and more fish. They can get over it. Just look at Tiny Tot! But they are going to need lots of fish as they should be entering their biggest growth period.

Jack brought in two fish to Tiny Tot at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. The first of the day was actually the tea time fish at 4:52:33 and the last was at around 7:50. Tiny gets so excited when he sees fish coming in – he food calls and starts mantling – always backing up on the nest so that dad has a place to land.

It was a really quick hand off. Tiny is great – can you tell in the image below that he has a fish in those talons? I couldn’t for the longest time.

In the Karula National Forest in Estonia, the Black Storklings are thriving. Karl II and Kaia have done a wonderful job parenting the three of them. This is the nest where Karl’s former partner typically laid 5 or 7 eggs and then would toss the smaller chicks off the nest. I am hoping that Kaia only lays three eggs every year so that all can survive – providing there is enough food. Food insecurity triggers the elimination of the smaller chicks.

So much on these nests – every nest no matter the species – depends on a regular supply of prey. Any nest can change in an instant if something happens to the amount of prey or the weather turns cold and damp.

Aren’t they adorable?

I do not know if the community is still feeding the storklings in Mlade Buky. You will recall that their mother was electrocuted and Father Stork was going to have difficulty protecting the little ones and getting food for them. The community chipped in little fish and various other small mammals for both Father Stork and the storklings, feeding them three times a day. Those generous caring people made it possible for these three to grow strong and fledge. When I check now, it is Father Stork who is feeding them.

Here is father stork feeding them just after 10pm last night in Czechoslovakia.

And today you can see how big those storklings have grown.

It is morning in Scotland. There is a beautiful golden glow falling on NC0 and the Two Bobs. Look how big they are? At one time I worried so much for the Little Bob and NC0’s feeding ability but she has proved herself to be an excellent mother.

There is a bit of mist as the sun breaks in Wales at the Dyfi Nest of Telyn and Idris.

Let us all hope that the golden glow that falls so beautifully on NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes will bless all of the nests this week so that everyone is well.

Thank you for joining me. You stay well, too!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, and the Bucovina Golden Eagle Cam.

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