Malin’s Soul is Soaring

On Thursday, 19 August, 2021 the nestling Osprey, Malin, had a forced fledge.

Malin hatched either the 16th or the 18th of June. His parents were Collins and Marsha. The smallest chick died on 28 June and the larger of the two surviving died on 14 July. The body of that bird was not removed so the cause was never determined.

For the three weeks prior to Malin’s forced fledge, so much had improved on this nest. The heat of June had dissipated. The tiny fish that came to the nest were slightly larger. The deliveries became more frequent. They were so frequent that Malin often turned away from being fed he was so full. Malin began to grow. He stood and walked more and was flapping his wings. This is a video from 9 August of little Malin exercising:

Still Malin’s development was behind. His tail had just grown to reveal six dark bands on the day of the forced fledge. The earlier concern over his missing or delayed feathers was disappearing. There was great hope, because of the food deliveries, that Malin would fledge successfully. He just needed additional time and he would also require no less than a month on the nest to hone his skills while the parents provided him with food. Then an intruder enters the air space of the nest on top of the fire watch tower, 120 feet up, on 19 August in the late afternoon.

Some claim that this was a perfect first fledge. But Osprey experts who have worked for more than 50 years in the field say it is anything but. This was a forced fledge. In normal fledges, the bird goes a short distance. The bird returns to the nest. The fledgling will be lured back to the nest with food – just as Collins and Marsha tried with Malin. This is what is happening with Kindness, the Bald Eagle fledgling up in Glacier Gardens. The fledglings spend, on average, 36 days being fed on the nest while taking flights, getting its wings stronger. It is well known that if there is a forced fledge then the bird needs assistance. It will be on the ground. Time is of the essence!

This is Malin on 14 August. Oh what a beautiful bird.

It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm that our beautiful Malin died. The circumstances of Malin’s death are not clear but I believe that he was alive until the time when the parents quit going to the nest. Their last visit was in the afternoon of the 21st.

My concern is always the bird. When there is a forced fledge it is imperative that individuals in charge act immediately. An excellent example is when ‘Silo Chick’ fell off the Patuxent Osprey Nest #2. The park had closed but help was notified and they responded quickly. The chick was saved and back on the nest within 2 hours. That chick is alive today because two people who were off work for the weekend got their canoe and drove out to the park and found the chick. It really is that simple.

I want to thank each and every one of you for caring for this little Osprey. I have received so many notes from you telling me how much Malin meant to you. Malin will always be our strong little warrior.

Malin’s soul is soaring.

My screen shots and video clips were taken from the Collins Marsh Streaming Cam.


  1. Salliane says:

    I grieve for Malin. I was watching the live cam and turned to do something for a minute and when I returned my gaze, he was gone! I had to scroll back to see what happened because I just saw mom on the nest looking agitated.

    Malin was on his way to being a beautiful osprey and needed extra time because he was underdeveloped. I am so sad. Thank you for your post.
    Malin’s soul has journeyed to “just this side of Heaven…a place called Rainbow Bridge. Whenever a bird dies,that bird goes to the Rainbow Bridge…at the Rainbow Bridge there are meadows and hills and beautiful trees of all kinds where our special friends can fly…play…and singing together. There is plenty of good food…There is crystal clear water in brooks and springs are filled with water….Those who were hurt or maimed or ignored…are made whole and strong and free of fear again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by.”

    So soar high, beautiful Malin. No worries now because you will always have a fresh supply of fish to fill his crop.

    Thank you for your touching tribute, Mary Ann. He will be terribly missed by all.

    1. He was much loved, Salliane. I am so grateful to everyone who cared for Malin and I am glad he will not suffer and will be with all of his friends at the Rainbow Bridge. I find the reality of Malin’s death more difficult to deal with today because the rehabber was denied access to the tower to look for Malin for a full three days – with no explanation as to why! You would have thought that the individuals at the Collins Centre would have wanted this lovely bird found and cared for. The ‘I don’t care, it is nature attitude’ is worrisome. Thank you for loving Malin so much.

  2. Diana Vandiviere says:

    I have several questions about this affair………..stated rehabber found two birds, one dead, one alive, were they both ospreys, and if so, what happened to the ‘live’ one? Also, was Malin found in vicinity of nest? How was ‘Malin’ identified? I have followed your posts about this brave little bird, and so much appreciate your efforts to find out more. A sad day.

    1. Dear Diana, It was a sorrowful day yesterday. Thank you so much for your concern and love for Malin. He was truly loved by so many. I have not included all of the information on my blog. I needed to step back and not compromise ongoing investigations on the ground about why the wildlife rehabber was not allowed on Thursday to enter the tower to look for Malin. She was not given permission to do so for 3 days. When allowed, she located Malin within 30 minutes. If she had access on Thursday, she would have located Malin, and he would be alive. She was given access 3 days later, and that is when she found his body near the nest in 30 minutes with her binoculars. There are some serious issues to address here, and people on the ground are finding ways to deal with this. I want to be careful and not compromise those efforts. Malin was very loved and precious to so many. The other birds are unrelated to the issue of Malin. Photographs of all the parts of his body and comparisons to wingtips, tail length etc., reveal it to be our lovely little warrior.

      1. Diana Vandiviere says:

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply. This has been a strange nest, with a mostly inattentive mother, and small fish. I had messaged Neustadter Nature Center a couple of times, and got replies from ‘James’ assuring me Malin was just fine, and that it was a ‘normal’ fledge. This little bird that sat in the nest, day after day, mostly alone, unprotected for the most part from blistering sun or rain just captured our hearts for his bravery and persistence. I now accept the sad fact that he is gone……..but not forgotten. I hope there are answers forthcoming to address your questions, and mine.

      2. Malin did capture so many hearts for the reasons that you state. I believe that person/s need to be held accountable.

    2. Linda Kontol says:

      This is very sad about Malin. We all loved Malin. May He Rest In Peace. I also would like to know where is the live chick and was it an Osprey? Were they together? I wonder if we will ever know.
      Thanks for the beautiful photo of Malin on the nest and all the info.
      May God Bless all birds and animals who need help and May they always be in the right place to get that help 🙏

  3. Akane says:

    I always enjoyed reading your blog. I am very, very sad. Thank you for the information. It is raining in Collins Marsh, but in Japan it is called “rain of tears” and is considered to be rain that falls in times of sorrow. I hope from Japan that the nest environment will improve. I sincerely pray for the repose of Malin ‘s soul.

    1. Your response to Malin’s passing has caused enormous tears to pour. I thank you for the love that you had for Malin and the prayers for his soul. Thank you for writing about how much Malin meant to you. I am glad you are enjoying the blog. It was so difficult to write about Malin because his death might easily have been avoided. Humans need to dig deep in their souls and care for all things – as you know from Japan, everything has a soul and deserves respect. It is lovely to hear from you Akane. Thank you for telling me about the rain. It is so appropriate.

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