Adventures in Ospreyland and other bird tales 16 July 2021

Imagine that you have one child. Everyone is happy – it is easy to provide for the one. Then imagine one day you blink and think you are seeing double. But you aren’t. There are two children. Now imagine that you are away from home and return to find three. Osprey families have the same difficulties in providing for multiple children just like humans. The adults at the Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Osprey nest number 2 now have that challenge! The pair had only one chick of their own and are now fostering two chicks about the same age as theirs.

Cathy Cohen of the Jug Bay Natural Area posted the following image on the park’s FB page today of the mom and the three chicks. The first foster chick was placed on the nest on 30 June. Nest 2 was chosen because the foster chicks are about the same age as the one hatched on the nest. There they are. It is incredible. They look like a perfect match. How wonderful to give those two lucky ones another chance. Intervention can be a good thing.

The foster Mom was said to have welcomed the chick who had fallen from a barn silo with open wings yesterday! Here she is looking over the babies while they are sleeping (or supposed to be sleeping).

And here they are this morning. It is getting warm and the new babies are getting shade.

Most of the time if I say the name ‘Iris’ everyone knows who I am talking about. If you don’t, here is a mini-bio. Iris is an Osprey. She is 26-28 years old. This makes her the oldest Osprey in the world. Iris has her nest at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. The platform was put up for her and her mate, Stanley, to save them from getting electrocuted on the hydro lines. When Stanley did not return from migration, Iris bonded with Louis. They have only had one chick survive. That was a female, Le Le, in 2018. The reason for this is that Louis has another mate and another nest at the ballpark. For years, people have watched Iris perfect the renovations on her nest, catch magnificent fish, mate with Louis, lay her eggs and then either have the ravens steal and eat the eggs or have the chicks die because the female cannot protect them and fish at the same time. Individuals are very vocal in their support of Iris. They want her to have another mate and to be able to raise chicks. I have always thought maybe she could retire with dignity and just take care of herself during her summers in Montana. At the same time you know just seeing her work on the nest and the fish she brings in that she would be an amazing parent. The issue is one of territory. Iris’s nest is in Louis’s territory – according to Louis. Louis has protected Iris on a couple of occasions this summer from intruders. Iris has also managed on her own to thwart them. She is strongly independent.

When someone posted an image of Iris sitting on a branch with another Osprey on Twitter 15 July 2021, people got excited.

The notion that Ospreys mate for life is not consistently true. When Blue 5F, Seren, got tired of laying a nest full of eggs only to be abandoned by Aran because he also had a nest with Mrs G at Glaslyn, she left Aran’s territory and found another mate, Dylan, at Clywedog. According to Google Maps, Seren moved a distance of 67.4 miles. Seren and Dylan are the proud parents, this season, of fledgling Blue 396 otherwise known as Only Bob.

It will be very curious to see how things develop over the end of the summer.

We all worry about Tiny Little. It is easy to forget looking at Blue 463 that at one time his older siblings kept him from eating and were quite aggressive. Because of that Tiny Little is hesitant to engage with the older siblings and, in particular, Blue 462. So there are worries that he will not get enough to eat. Today White YW brought in a fish and within about 15 minutes he brought in another fish. Blue 35 took that one and fed Tiny Little while the other two were eating fish pieces. What a beautiful image of Mum and her three chicks on the Foulshaw Moss nest having a nice meal of fish.

People have been asking if Tiny Little has been flapping. OH, yes, he flaps those wings all the time.

If you want to join in the fun watching Tiny Little prepare to fledge, this is the link to the Cumbrian Wildlife Osprey Cam:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

Erick Green with the Montana Osprey Project posted some images of chicks who were entangled with baling twine. They saved three chicks a week ago but sadly one had died. Another chick had twine cutting into his right leg to the bone. Dr Green reported today that the chick is doing fabulous today. In his posting I learned something interesting. He says, “One thing that seems to work in their favor is that ospreys (and all birds) have very high body temperatures – about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. These high body temperatures help birds fight off many bacterial infections.”

Only Bob, Blue 396, has gotten really good at flying and zooms in when Dad Dylan does a food drop. Poor Seren might have to discuss Dylan bringing in an extra fish for her. Only Bob can finish them off pretty good! Look at how big this fledgling is. Wow. Dylan delivered the fish around 13:09.

At the Dyfi Nest, Idris and Telyn are waiting for Ystwyth to fledge! So is her brother Dysynni. He is sitting there urging her to come on and join in the fun while the parents are up on the camera perches watching. Ystwyth was getting some really good height to her hovering and she will go soon if not today. She is 53 days old.

Here is Ystwyth hovering. Isn’t she great?

Other nest news:

There is sad news coming out of Taiaroa Head, NZ. One of 33 Northern Albatross chicks died yesterday. The chick was not gaining weight and the NZ DOC rangers gave it a supplementary feeding. When the chick died following this it was discovered during the necroscopy that it had a piece of charcoal stuck in its trachea. As Sharon Dunne notes, charcoal floats on the surface of the ocean and it can easily be taken in by the parents when they are out fishing for food for their chick. I never imagined charcoal! Everyone is distraught. The rangers do such an excellent job taking care of these parents and chicks. Condolences go out to all of them including the albatross parents.

Our little Golden Eagle, Zenit, has had a prey delivery – a bird – and is beginning to stand really tall and strong on its legs – adult style. All good news! The Golden Eagles eat the bones – absolutely every part of their prey so Zenit will have something later. Still, having lots of meat is what this young eaglet needs right now. Excellent news.

Ferris Akel has posted a nicely edited version of his tour on Wildlife Drive on the 14th. The editing is well done and there are discreet bird names in case you do not recognize what you are looking at. There are some really nice shots of a Black Tern. Here is that short clip.

My friend, ‘T’ tells me that there is a stork with an injured food that is getting a prosthesis. Will try and find out all the news on this incredible intervention.

And speaking of storks, there are still three White Storklings on the Mlade Buky nest in Czechoslovakia:

That’s a short morning round up of happenings late Thursday night and early Friday morning at some nests. Remember that Ferris Akel does his tours on Saturday. He begins at noon NY time and ends up at the Cornell Campus. It is a great opportunity to see the Red tail fledglings in action. They have now moved from flying near to the nest to other buildings farther away. Big Red and Arthur do this with prey drops gradually to expand their territory. It will not be too long til they are down by the barns at Cornell. Always fun. You can search Ferris Akel Livestream on YT. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots or add their videos: Ferris Akel Live Tour, Patuxent River Park Ospreys, Montana Osprey Project FB Page, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyX Wild and Llyn Clydewog Osprey Cam, Capi Hnizdo- Mlade Buky, and Asociatia Wild Bucinova.

4 Comments

    1. Hi Linda, The one sitting there at the rim of the nest at the back for some time was Blue 462. She is the big bad sister that used to almost throttle Tiny Little. She has gotten a little slimmer because of all the flying and I don’t see her on the nest as much. 464 fledged first. It is supposed to be a male but it is awfully big. 462 fledged second. ——- I made a cake in celebration. I wish I had the patience to decorate them nicely like so many do. Thought we needed a bit of a celebration for this little one. So glad Mum came and fed him. These two – 462 and 462 (TL) sure could use some instruction in opening a fish! 464 is doing really well.

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