Sadness at Captiva … and other Bird World News

15 March 2022

There are so many things happening in Bird World that it is impossible to keep up with the nests. There are also so many nests that have not even been mentioned in my blog. I will try to cover a few different ones, once in awhile. Hopefully you will discover something different and interesting. But I have to start with some sadness that could potentially grow to the entire nest.

This morning it was discovered that one of the three chicks on the Captiva Osprey nest has died. It is not clear which one it is yet as I write. Lori has asked permission to go to the nest and have the body removed so that it can be tested.

All of the chicks were alive at 07:43.

A fish came in and Little who had been up moving sticks was eating.

From what I can tell, it is the Middle chick that I have been calling Middle Bob that has passed. He did not come up to eat as quickly as the others but did try to feed at 08:33.

Andy came in with sea grass to cover the body of his baby.

How sad this is for these two lovely Osprey parents. They will not know what happened to what appeared to be a fully healthy chick. These two have tried so hard and lost chicks to Ravens but to have one die mysteriously is so tragic. My thoughts go out to Andy and Lena. I hope that this is not the avian flu and that Big and Little will be fine and fledge.

However, if this happens to be H5N1 the highly pathogenic avian flu all of these beautiful osplets could perish. We wait to see.

CROW has been given permission to remove the body and is on high alert over Avian Flu. Permission still needs to come from the USFW service. This is such a sad day. Condolences go out to everyone at Captiva who worked so hard towards a successful nest for Andy and Lena this year.

I will admit to not being happy when the Great-Horned Owls took over the Savannah Skidaway Island Osprey Nest. Not happy. The female hatched one chick that is affectionately known as ‘Little Grey’. I have to admit that wee one is cute and is always so happy when the Mum appears on the nest. It will go running for a cuddle. Here is a video of the Mum bringing a Barred Owl to the nest for lunch. Watch Little Grey when it sees its Mum and runs to her. Enjoy!

Some of you will remember that I wrote about Isabella Tree’s book Rewilding and the move at Knepp Farm in Surrey to turn away from modern agriculture practices and return their farm into a place where nature thrives on its own accord. They have set up the only streaming cam for White Storks in the UK. The birds are not always on the nest so be patient. I am hoping to see some eggs soon! You can find this new streaming cam here:

Are you a fan of the Dulles Greenway Eagles in Virginia? The nest is located in a wetland area. The first egg was laid on 1 February with the second on 4 February. Egg 1 hatched on 13 March at 08:18.

Oh, this little one is a real cutie pie.

Rosa is feeding the wee one some duck. What a beautiful nest.

There is no history of this couple at the nest. They arrive in 2021 and the information on the streaming cam suggests that Rosa is a first time mother this year. Whatever, congratulations Rosa and Martin on hatch 1! Hatch 2 should be happening soon.

Here is the link to their cam:

Normally Maya and Blue 33 are the first Ospreys back in the UK. To go along with that they usually arrive within half an hour of one another. The first this year was Laddie LM12 at Loch of the Lowes but, the second was Maya! She arrived officially on 15 March, today.

She is in remarkably good shape and begins immediately to work on her nest!

There is another female working with some fairly large sticks, too, and that is Rosie of Rosie and Richmond Osprey nest at the SF Bay Whirley Crane. The Ravens removed all of the twigs from their nest over the winter so there is a log of work today in California. Maya is a little luckier.

I started this blog last evening and to find one of the chicks at Captiva is dead is quite overwhelming. They were so healthy. It is not good to speculate what happened. There could be a number of causes. We normally think of birds having to come in contact with a sick bird or its feces. The chicks have only eaten fish. But, still, everyone is on high alert as this is a very contagious disease. Sadly, Andy or Lena might dispose of the body before it can be retrieved for testing. In the UK, studies have show that they take the body about 300 metres from the nest – if they do not leave it in the chick in the nest to become part of its history.

It is now after noon and Lena has stood over her chicks shading them from the sun including Middle. My heart just breaks for these parents.

On this very sad note I am going to end my blog this morning and watch the other two chicks and their behaviour.

Thank you for joining me. I am so sorry to bring you this sad news this morning. This was not the nest I was worried about! Dale Hollow is. I will check on it, too, later. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: LWRT Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Golden Gate Audubon and SF Bay Ospreys, Dulles Greenway Bald Eagles, and Cornell Bird Lab.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Oh Mary Ann I am in tears. They were all doing well yesterday and all ate. We were even looking at its little fat behind and how cute it was. I do pray that it isnโ€™t the avian flu ๐Ÿ˜ข. We never know from one day to the next and this is very sad. God Bless the others and the parents and protect them from whatever it is. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•
    Thank you for the updates and please keep us informed if you fine out anything.

    1. It is so so sad. This couple have tried so hard and well, the fish had picked up and everyone was doing wonderful. Just so difficult. The flu is unseen. But I have written to ask. It would be more difficult for Ospreys to get it because they have not eaten any birds. Right now the cause is a mystery. Some chicks have died from not being able to cough out a pellet. I hope they can get permission quick and be able to get body for testing.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Yes I have heard of that about the pellet too! Maybe that is what happened a few years ago at the nest I just wrote about. ๐Ÿ™. Bless their hearts.

      2. Often they just cannot get it out. They get scared but they are not used to casting them and choke. It is sad and probably happens more often than we know, sadly.

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Oh Mary Ann I just wonder if it had something stuck in its throat and lost its breath. I have read about that happening to an eaglet on an island we use to watch before the cam got knocked down. It could be a number of things but I so hope it isnโ€™t the avian flu. ๐Ÿ™

    1. Yes, it could have been a pellet stuck in its throat. It is not clear now if it was Big or the Middle one. It has been a very confusing morning. But, yes. As horrible as that is it is better than Avian Flu.

      1. Linda Kontol says:

        Yes I agree. It is horrible either way. But the avian flu would mean the others may get it and I pray itโ€™s not. ๐Ÿ™

      2. I am hoping that it is a stuck pellet like we talked about. Big has been removed from the nest and the other two have eaten. Such sadness when we lose any of them.

  3. Akane says:

    Thank you for the update.
    It was just my country night and I had just watched the channel before going to bed. I was filled with sadness. I saw that the chick that died had been trying to throw up several times since 7:46~ (nesting time).
    I was relieved to see that they were all able to eat these days… I am really sad.๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ’”

    1. Dear Akane, I do not like doing sad postings. What you saw is very important. I have wondered – because Big ate so much so fast – that if it wasn’t a pellet stuck in the throat. Have seen this before like you have. I hate losing one but far better it is that than the bird flu. The body was removed for testing by CROW (15:21 begins) and the other two have eaten at 15:40. We hope that Andy and Lena have two healthy ones to fledge. Thank you so much for writing, Akane. It is lovely to hear from you even under these very sad circumstances.

    2. In the mod report for the Captiva nest, Middle Bob (called Little on chat) cast a pellet at 07:48. It might not have been Big sadly.

    3. Dear Akane, I just saw the news of the earthquake rocking Tokyo and I hope that you are alright. Sending positive wishes for all.

      1. Akane says:

        Thank you Mary Ann, from the bottom of my heart.
        The cupboards opened up and it was hard to clean up but my area was only affected by a power outage.
        I am worried about the places where the earthquake was big. I hate earthquakes.

      2. Dear Akane, I am so happy to hear from you. The minute I saw the notification my mind went immediately to you and your safety. I have not checked today but I hope that no one was injured. We have only tiny little earthquakes in Canada. I cannot even imagine how frightening it must be to live in such a beautiful place that does, on occasion, have these big tremors. My thoughts are with all of you. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know that you are alright. It is so appreciated. Take very good care.

  4. Akane says:

    Unfortunately, two people died in the area where the earthquake was severe. I envy Canada. My cousin used to study in Vancouver. I would like to visit there someday too.
    Thank you for your concern. I was really happy that you cared about me and Japan. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

    1. I am always sad when people lose their lives and their homes. I guess one can only be grateful that the earthquake did not take any more lives. The British Columbia area is simply gorgeous, parts of Alberta, parts of Ontario, and then the Maritimes with their small fishing villages are beautiful. We are such a big country with so few people that each province is so different. I hope you get to visit one day just like I am hoping to be able to visit Japan one more time. In the meantime, I am glad you are safe.

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