Zenit fledges and Tiny Little protects fish!

It is really, really hot on the Canadian prairies today. There are dire warnings of water shortages in small towns southwest of Winnipeg. And there are birds in the wrong locations. I wonder if they are scouts sent to check out new locations? Like the Spoonbill on the river near Highway 89 around Montezuma or the Wood Stork? Ferris has his Saturday tour and there will be some images from that tour on Sunday. But, in Bird World, there are some exciting things happening.

First up, Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest successfully defended its fish twice against big sibling 462. I was shocked when Tiny Little used its wings to great effect to keep her from getting its late night meal. You would have thought it was the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ Heavyweight Boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. I say that because it was the strategy of Tiny Little. He put the fish (finally) in a place where it was secure. He could eat and 362 could not take it off the back by pulling. Then he fixed it so that he could eat fast and watch 362 out of his right eye. When 462 started coming close, Tiny Little just opened those great big wings of hers and started flapping. 462 backed off. This is a ‘big win’ for Tiny Little. She took a fish off dad to have it stolen but today she successfully defended her food until she was finished and walked away leaving a nice piece and tail for sibling 462. Tiny Little is getting the street smarts that Tiny Tot had earlier. Give her a round of applause. It is what is going to work in her favour and keep her alive. Well done, Tiny Little. So proud of you. Those big siblings will no longer intimidate you!

Sibling 462 staring down Tiny Little’s fish.

462 using some of Tiny Little’s early strategies: stare down the sibling, move in closer, create a distraction.

“Ah come on and let me just have a little bit. Oh, please. I am sorry for all the horrible things I did to you when you were a wee babe, Tiny Little.”


I told you to get away! This is MY fish!

462 gives up and heads towards the perch.

Peace and quiet.

Tiny Little was able to eat comfortably after keeping sibling 362 at bay twice.

After eating for about forty minutes or longer, Tiny Little cleans her beak. 462 is watching and wondering if there is any fish left. Tiny Little did a great job self-feeding under that pressure. She left her big sibling a good portion of fish by the tail and the tail. It worked out well for both and both went to bed with fish in their crop.

At 20:12:26, 462 flies away with the piece of fish towards the parent tree. You can see her dark wings heading toward the tree between the nest and the tree. Looks like a black line on the fields. That took Tiny by surprise but no matter. You can see his crop is nicely full. You will have sweet dreams tonight Tiny Little. Congratulations. Every day you show us that you are learning to take care of yourself.

The second big event is that Zenit, the little Golden Eaglet, now a Big Golden Eaglet, has branched and fledged on the same day. This is so fantastic. I hope that its life is long and that it has a great nest to raise its own family near Bucovina. My concern is the prey and the spread of Avian Flu H5 N7. The Golden Eagles are opportunistic hunters and when prey is low they eat what is available to them including a domestic cat – which Zenit did on the 23rd of July. He has had fox, roe deer, buzzards, a kestrel, and other small birds along with a host of mammals and parts of other mammals.

Lady Hawk caught the branching and the fledge for us.

Now just to have you know how many fish a great Osprey dad brings in, Richmond had, as of yesterday, brought in 600 fish to the Whirley Crane Osprey Nest in San Francisco Bay. Rosie brought in a Halibut so big that it took the three 4.5 hours to finish it off! Today Richmond brought in a Golden Trout and one of the fledglings was on the nest and grabbed it and dad at the same time. This happened around 3:05 nest time.

Poor Richmond! My goodness. I never thought I would see a chick jump into the air to grab a fish out of the talons. Look at Richmond, how strong he is to hold the fish and the chick. Incredible. Richmond is holding them up with a couple of talons!

I understand from my virtual friend and reader ‘S’ that there have been two fledges at the Patuxent 2 nest – and she believes she got to see one of those happening live. Congratulations! Those chicks did really well. The rangers that decided to put two fosters on a nest with only one chick made a great decision. Everyone is thriving.

It is hot and smoky in Alberta. Mom is shading the two Bobs. Birds need clean air, too. I wonder just how much this impacts their lungs — the smoke from all those wildfires? We have some smoke in our city today but not nearly what it was a couple of days ago but it is hot. And the birds have been emptying the bowls that have been left in the shade and are just now coming to the ones on the deck. It is 5:30 and the shade is covering them now.

It is really hot down in Red Deer and Legacy has a hard time getting in the shade and being cool at all. She had a nice fish meal at 3pm nest time.

It is so nice to see fish on these nests on a hot, hot afternoon!

I am not so impressed with the Collins Marsh Nest. The little one has been on its own trying to find shade for what seems like most of the day. If there was a feeding earlier I have missed it. Sadly, over and over again, these nests remind me of Cowlitz. Now with the extreme heat and the drought and the height of this nest. Well, I wish for a good outcome.

The mother has shaded it a bit. I wonder if she is out fishing – that was what took the life of the last chick on the Cowlitz nest – heat stroke. It had a full crop. This chick, unfortunately, doesn’t have that.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is a hot day out in Bird World. I feel for these beautiful Ospreys as droughts set in areas where they have their nests. Let us hope that cool air will come! And rain.

Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Nest, Fortis Alberta Exshaw Osprey Nest, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann for the latest updates! This newsletter was fantastic! Tiny Little was amazing! I believe with her /his techniques used today that Tiny Little will be ok once she leaves(of course I hope that is a while yet too). She does remind me a lot of Tiny tot Tumbles at Achieva nest also! Way to go Tiny Little!
    Congratulations to Zenit! Branched and fledged the same day probably don’t happen very often!
    She/he is ready to explore. I’m so glad Zenit returned to the nest and wasn’t gone for good!
    I’m praying for little one at Collins Marsh. I read there was one feeding today so hopefully mom or dad will bring supper soon to keep little one hydrated as well as fed. 🙏
    I pray all the smoke from all the fires over a period of so many days doesn’t harm these ospets in the nests at Alberta. And all other nests as well. The heat is bad enough already.
    Thanks Mary Ann and looking forward to the next newsletter! Take care!

    1. Collins Marsh. Two fish tails with meat. Little one trying to self-feed. Could not do a PS. This is a tragedy unfolding. I wrote to the ranger. I have asked that they relocate the chick. He will probably think I am overreacting but one piece of fish was in there so long that it got hard. Of course, it is hot. Poor little thing is starving and wants to live so bad. But glad you are enjoying the newsletter and the other birds. Oh, my. All of us just begin to ache when things go wrong on these nests. Where is this mom? Something could have happened to her.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Thank you for contacting the ranger Mary Ann! This is a serious situation right now. Prayers going up for this little one. Let us know when you hear back. 🙏

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