Oh, Tiny Little…and other tales

More rain has come to the Canadian prairies and that is good. There are wonderful things happening at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, too.

Earlier today 462 was eating on the flounder that came in. Tiny Little wants some and she is doing her usual wing flaps and playing with sticks, even pulling on the tail of the live fish to get at it. What a character. The two older siblings have become very tolerant of the ‘little one’ that isn’t so little!

It is Tiny’s usual look towards the tail before getting back there and pulling on it. Gosh, these birds are gorgeous.

Tiny Little has been moving sticks getting back by the tail and pretending to give it an accidental yank once in awhile. Too funny.

Tiny Little takes over from 462 eating the fish. 462 flies off the nest and 464 is quietly waits in the wings.

Tiny Little is really doing a great job of that self-feeding. She has been working on that flounder for quite awhile.

White YW flies in and delivers another flounder to 464 who begins mantling and telling the parent how happy they are.

Of course, 462 sees all the action on the nest and decides to come and check it out. They don’t want to miss anything — especially a parent on the nest to feed them. Yes, even the older ones love to still be fed by mum. But mum is not doing it. This is tough love Osprey style.

Tiny Little will not be distracted! And 464 is holding on to its flounder as best it can. Gosh those heads are hard to open. Wonder if 462 will get this one later?

These kiddos are pretty polite. I am glad that White 35 has stopped rushing in to feed Tiny Little. That might sound cruel but TL needs to become really good at self-feeding to survive. These are terrific parents. 462 has eaten earlier and both TL and 464 along with 462 will have nice full tummies for nite-nite.

Earlier Tiny Little did some great hovering.

After Tiny Little finished all of the flounder she could eat, White 35 flew in quickly and took it to the parent tree. Those adults have to be watching everything these kids do – like a hawk! The removal of the fish inspired Tiny Little to do more great hovering. I thought she was gone! If not, tomorrow. Tiny Little is now inspired to self-feed and fly. The confidence is really growing.

Tiny Little also seemed to enjoy the hovering and looking down – the fear from earlier days seems to have dissipated.

I just checked and 464 is still working on its flounder. Tiny Little is staring 464 down and 462 is simply waiting. These three are so funny. Did I tell you that 462 actually fed Tiny Little some bites earlier she begged so much!? And if I told you twice, laugh twice. That is just a hoot.

No one is rushing 464 anymore. Tiny Little and 462 have decided to become ducklings and wait!

There is a lot of worry about the Collins Marsh Reservoir Osprey Nest in Wisconsin. It is hot there. They are now experiencing some of that relentless heat that hit the Pacific NW a couple of weeks ago and the Canadian Prairies last week. It is close to 45 degrees in the nest. That could easily account for the deaths of the other two chicks. The little one was fed at sometime. I rewound the tape. I could not see the mother protecting that chick from the sun. I really hope that this is not another Electra-Wattsworth scenario! There are some Osprey parents that are ‘the greats’ – Monty and his mates Nora and Glesni, Blue 33 and Maya are up in the super strata. There are others who are normal average and some who, are not good parents. Maybe they came from a nest where food was not brought in regularly. Who knows what is the difference. Some of us believe it is good DNA. The Cowlitz nest is an example of a nest that is not that good. If taking care of your family and fledging chicks who survive migration and return to breed is the measure, Cowlitz fails. Sadly, we cannot expect every nest to be like that of Blue 33 at Rutland. Maya and Blue even fledged a nest of four chicks in 2018. Some of the others can hardly keep up with two. Still. we all want to help if we can.

There have been any number of questions about intervention to save the chick at Collins Marsh. At the present time the archaic laws of the US – those of 1948 – do not allow for interventions unless it is something clearly caused by humans. Think monofilament line in the nest. That said I will go over some interventions this year. In the early spring, the two eaglets of E17 and E18 on Harriet and M15s Bald Eagle Nest got conjunctivitis. There were probably more than a 1000 people who called in about the eaglets and their eyes. Action was taken. CROW retrieved the eaglets with the help of Joshua Tree and they were off the nest for 5 days. They returned well. Conjunctivitis is not caused by humans. At the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest, CROW removed a monofilament line. However, when the two eaglets ate a rat that was brought to the nest that had eaten rodenticide, the youngest died and the oldest lived until they were flapping and jumping and broke a blood feather and bled out on the nest. Help did not come for the eaglets when the first one looked ill. Citizen watchers warned of the rat on the nest but there was nothing happened. It was extremely frustrating. Both of the eaglets died. This was not the fault of CROW. You need action by the bodies that govern the nests. Lately a number of chicks have gone to foster parents which is also an intervention. A chick was rescued that fell into a river. That is an intervention. Laws are applied differently by different people. The laws need to be changed and brought up to date. There should also be laws against lead in hunting and fishing equipment and Minnesota is taking that on. Every state should ban the use of these because that lead is killing the birds or making them severely ill. Every day there are examples on the rehabbers sites. Hawaii just passed a law banning helium balloons because the albatross get entangled in them. Then there is the entire issue of rodenticide – which kills wildlife as well as domestic pets. Research shows that raptors kill more mice and rats than poison. Perhaps the answer is to begin at the State level with copies of appeal letters to the Under Secretary of State for the Department of the Interior.

I checked on Kindness and her dad had fed her and within fifteen minutes he was flying back in with more food for his little girl. It might seem lonely but there are benefits to being an only child on a great nest. Freedom and Liberty are fantastic parents at the Glacier Gardens nest. It is a wonder Kindness did not pop her crop today.

I have really watched Tiny Little closely today and just popped in to the other nests. The only other news I have is that the Albatross is still at the RSPB Bempton Cliffs in the East Riding of Yorkshire as reported by Sally White on the FB page. Maybe that Albatross isn’t lost. Perhaps they know something we don’t!

Thank you so much for joining me. Great progress has been made at the Foulshaw Moss. It is wonderful to see Tiny Little getting some confidence. Our rain has stopped but everything is green! It’s a good day. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Reservoir and Neustadter Nature Center, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, and Glaciers Gardens Bald Eagle cam.


  1. Salliane says:

    Hi Mary Ann
    Another great and informative newsletter.

    I checked in with Collins Marsh and rescrolled backwards. The chick was fed twice in the morning. Mom was gone for several hours in the afternoon. She returned with a small carp/goldfish around 459pm (Central time) and fed the chick.
    It is 528pm and mom (surprisingly) is still at the nest while the chick lies in front of her. I think it is still hungry as it chirps toward mom for more food

    I think the couple at this Collins Marsh nest are not bonded well or are not in sync with one another. I hope the heat wave has ended at this nest…one less issue for this chick to deal with.
    Hopefully the dad will come with a fish for dinner soon as sunset is 835pm.

    Appreciate your findings about interventions. Good to know.

    I did mention to you about Albatrosses on Kauai. Cornell Ornithology aired a live view … I think it was in 2018. It was a lot of fun watching the couple and the chick fledging.

    Good to hear you have rain!! Hope it continues.


    1. Oh, Salliane. Thank you for letting me know that the chick at Collins Marsh had 2 feedings this morning and another snack later on. Hopefully another good feed before bed. It has to be really hot there. The warning I saw was for 2 days – so today and tomorrow. Hopefully some relief. People (not all sadly) can have a fan or mister or AC. I love how the NZ DOC mists the Albatross chicks when it gets too hot. Yes, you did mention the ones at Kauai. We were talking about hurricanes! Hob Usterlund runs the Albatross Recover there. If you ever get to Kauai, go and see her. She is a really great artist and she wrote the book, Holy Moli! It is fantastic. They were translocating some from Midway to Hawaii, too. There are millions so I guess the stretch to get to Mexico is looking for more places. The site on Kauai might not be able to support that many. Thanks again for all your concern and for letting me know about how this chick is doing. They could certainly be out of sync. Let’s hope it makes it!

  2. Mail! says:

    Oh Mary Ann that was a hoot for sure!   Lol. Tiny Little had a great day and the self feeding and hovering is good to see!  They a really beautiful!  Their markings and lines are so unique too!Kindness is such a sweet baby eaglet.  ❤️🦅 Love watching the calm and loving moments there.I hope everything will be ok with the little osprey at Collins Marsh too.  Praying for this little one 🙏❤️I may not have known about the albatross but I will try to look at it too.  Thanks for all the updates and great photos Mary Ann! Enjoy your evening Linda

    Sent from AT&T Yahoo Mail for iPad

    1. Hi Linda. Oh, you are welcome. This nest is getting to be such a hoot. All three are looking out for one another it seems! Sallianne says the Collins Marsh chick had 2 feedings this morning and a snack came in later. Hopefully something for dinner. Their heat is to go on for another day according to the local weather report there. Fingers crossed and warm prayers they make it.

  3. Salliane says:

    Hi Mary
    I found a link that shows where the Collins Marsh osprey nest is located:

    This site (so far) cam remains on throughout the year,,,,summer features ospreys and winter are the snowy owls.

    I am beginning to wonder if tht is too high for dad to reach LOL
    That is a far drop for the chicks!!


    1. Dear Salliane, I wish I had known you when I was a professor with research grant money. My goodness, you are great at finding information. I wanted to tell you that – it is a gift you have. That is very, very high! 18 x ? I am glad to hear dad has brought in food. Let us hope that the weather does break after tomorrow! Thank you. I am always learning something from you.

  4. I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

  5. Caryl Hisman says:

    This is a topic that is close to my heart… Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?

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