Fishy Dreams and Fish Tails

Today, the Collins Marsh Osprey chick, Malin, had six fish deliveries. SIX! Feel free to correct me but I don’t ever remember this much fish on this Osprey nest. Ever.

In fact, there was so much fish with deliveries coming in on top of one another that Malin simply could not eat all the fish. There is a bullhead left – it is on the left below the light. Malin is sleeping on half of a bigger fish. What a grand pillow for an Osprey. He can have fishy dreams all night! And, Malin can wake up in the morning and not have to wait for a fish delivery.

Fish. It makes all the difference in the health and well-being of our Ospreys and Storks.

In the image below, the setting sun puts a soft glow over our little one. Please note that the big feathers are now beginning to cross. Malin is also standing and walking more and is flapping his wings much more often to get them strong for flying.

A month ago there was concern that Malin would not develop his plumage and would be unable to fly successfully off the nest. Now just look! Food – the right kind of food and the amount of it – makes all the difference in the world in Malin’s development.

Malin is miracle #3 for 2021.

Here on the Foulshaw Moss nest, Blue 463 or Tiny Little Bob, is eating the fish her dad delivered. White YW would have heard her several miles away screaming for fish. Blue 462 had gotten the earlier fish and Tiny Little wasn’t liking it. Dad came to the rescue! Indeed, White YW and Blue 35 should get a round of applause. They pulled off a nest of three fledglings this year. They did not lose a hatch.

The crows are hoping that Tiny Little will leave some bites for them! I don’t know. She is a bit like a nest vacuum when it comes to food falling between the twigs!

Tiny Little is miracle #2 and, of course, miracle #1 is Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. I am certain that there are others that will come to mind when I publish this newsletter. For now, however, these three were enough to cause lots of anxiety.

I did a Sunday hop-skip-and-jump through some of the UK Osprey Nests to see if anyone was home. This is the Dyfi nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn. On the nest is Ystwyth, their daughter. Telyn is on the nest perch and Idris is on the far perch.

Idris and Telyn together. How beautiful.

Does he need an introduction? The chick on the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Only Bob? Only Bob was so big when he was ringed that everyone believed him to be a large female. Nope. It is just all that fish that Dylen and Seren fed him. My goodness did Blue 496 grow.

He has spotted Dylan flying in with a fish. We are so lucky to see this. Indeed, to see so many of the UK fledglings on the nests today is fantastic.

That is a gorgeous fish for dinner. Only Bob looks pretty excited.

Watch out for your toes Dylan.

Only Bob learned well despite the fact that he was the only chick on the nest. He is excellent at mantling. But, stop, and take a look at that tail and the size of those wings. I would be ever so grateful if Malin’s was half that size when he fledges.

Oh, let’s just move this beauty over here so I can eat it!

At least one of the chicks on the Loch of the Lowes has a huge crop. It is so big, it looks like it could pop. The other is hoping for a fish delivery. Of course, neither is showing us their pretty blue bands.

NC0 and Laddie have done an amazing job raising these two. NC0 has really moved up to be one of the females that I want to watch. She is becoming super mom. She can fly and haul fish to the nest just like Iris – and she isn’t afraid to do it!

Grafs was able to find enough fish for two deliveries today. The first was a bunch of small fish at 15:29 and the second came at 19:41 with some bigger fish. The storklings are starving. They are already beginning to show the signs of malnutrition.

Grafs makes sure he moves around so that each one gets a little something.

It was mentioned that not only the sunken bodies but also the fact that the bills are turning a bright colour indicates starvation.

Once the people watching these nests realized what was happening, they became very vocal in their demands that the birds be fed. Everyone knows about the fish table that the two engineers set up for the White Storks in the village of Mlade Buky, Czechoslovakia. The people demanded that their storks be fed and the wildlife staff heard them. After seeing only one feeding by 15:00, Janis Kuze wrote the following on 15 August 2021: “It may be necessary to support the operation of the feeder – to bring live fish there regularly (once a day or two). I will write about it in the coming days.”

Liz01, the moderator of the looduskalender.ee/forum (English forum for the Latvian Fund for Nature and this Black Stork Nest) posted this notice:

“Due to the fact that the female has not been seen in the stork nest for several days, she has probably started migrating, opportunities are being sought to artificially feed this nest. Currently, the only feeder is the male, whose capacity is too small for the young birds to be successfully.
One way of trying to help the inhabitants of this nest is to set up an artificial feeder. There is one ditch near the nest where it can actually be done. Ornithologist Jānis Ķuze is ready to take over the management of this event, but he needs the help of the society. Therefore, we are looking for:
1) people on the Sigulda side who would help to set up a feeder,
2) human or fish feeders on the Sigulda side, which would be willing to donate and / or catch small fish (they must be still alive), with the possibility, to put these fish into the feeder, thus regularly
replenishing fish stocks in the feeder a third person or another link in the chain).
If anyone has the opportunity to help with this event, please send a message to Jānis Ķuze by e-mail: janis.kuze@ldf.lv.
This is currently the only real way you can still try to help the young birds in this nest survive and fly successfully! It is not known whether it will work, but we think it would be better to try not to do anything and just watch.”

Immediately, there were too many offers to help the Black Storklings and Grafs. Tears. People are so generous. All we have to do is ask.

If you wish to follow the discussion about what is happening at this particular nest in English, please go here:

When I have news of what is happening at the Estonian Black Stork nest, I will let you know.

You can watch the Black Stork Nest in the forest near Sigulda, Latvia here:

We all send our prayers and warm wishes to these beautiful birds and the people helping them. We need a miracle like that at Mlade Buky.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is wonderful to bring you such good news. Please send all your positive energy to Latvia and Estonia so that the efforts to save the Black Storklings from starving to death will be successful. It is heart warming to see so many people answer calls for help.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: The Latvian Fund for Nature, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest and CarnyX Wild, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Just a note. My newsletter will be posted late on Monday 16 August. Thank you!

1 Comment

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Hello Mary Ann Steggles and thanks for this newsletter! So happy to see Malin is having such good feedings! What a miracle indeed! This is definitely going to help with his growth !
    It is so good also to see that Tiny Little and the other Osprey nests are doing well and being fed with such great parents too. Many Blessings for them all as they get ready for their first migrations.
    But it is sad about the storks. I hope things will get better. There is a person to contact in the Latvia area and his name is Ugis Bergmanis. He is over the nests and owns a rescue center there I think. Prayers for these storks 🙏

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