Late Wednesday in Bird World

13 April 2022

The snow on the Canadian Prairies arrived later than expected – around 07:45 in my garden this morning. The wind roared and the snow blew and then, around 15:30 it calmed. We have been told that there will be several calm periods with rain and snow arriving again later tonight. The 27 European Starlings came. The woodpecker arrived for suet. Tens of dozens of Sparrows and seriously, I am not exaggerating, 350 Dark eyed-Juncos. We continued to clear paths on the deck and pour a line of millet and sunflower seeds – about 30 feet long – several times today. Everyone ate there or at the seed and suet cylinders and feeders. It felt good to help them. Many are arriving or returning to eat now that the snow has stopped. We received about 55 cm of snow. Thankfully the old snow had all melted. The whole of western Canada can use the moisture. We have had droughts for 4-5 summers. I hope that this lessens the wildfires during the summer.

The UFlorida Gainesville Osprey Nest was on ‘S’s list of top ten osprey nests to watch. I must find out more about this family from her. My interest is, of course, the fact that there are three little ones and how well this wee osplet can manage against the older siblings.

Little Bob at the UFlorida Gainesville campus Osprey nest is doing fine. He is growing. They all scramble about in the nest bowl and I really dislike the camera they are using but…all that matters is that he is doing well.

There is Little Bob on the far left.

The chicks at the Captiva Osprey nest are almost ready to fledge. They love to self-feed but, Lena being the great Mum that she is prefers to do it so that both get fish. Keeping it fair. I love it. Here are some images from today.

Chicks watching, totally focused. Such beautiful birds.

Lots of flapping. Look at those long legs! This osplet wants to compete with Idris at the Dyfi Nest for the nickname, ‘Daddy Longlegs’.

Those legs of Middle sure look a lot longer than Mum’s! Little continues to love looking out over the side of the nest rim.

Another nest on ‘S’s list is the osprey nest on the Narrow (Pettaquamscutt) River. Here is a view of the nest. No occupants yet! And a link to their camera in case you want to check later.

The Ferris State University Ospreys are also on ‘S’s list and there is an osprey on the nest but no eggs yet! The couple have been working on getting the nest in good shape.

Here is another view of the nest at Ferris State University in Michigan.

This is the link to their camera: https://osprey.ferris.edu/

In the UK, Louis has decided that he likes the nest that he shared with Aila better than the nest he had with Dorcha last year. As a result, Louis has convinced Dorcha to change nests. This is very interesting behaviour. It is such a gorgeous nest. Louis seems, by the move, to have accepted that Aila will not be returning. This will be her second season not to return from migration. Louis and Aila were an incredible pair. I am looking forward to watching Louis with his new mate this season.

The couple are settling in doing what Ospreys do when breeding season hits!

Dorcha is very dark and quite stunning. She reminds me of Mrs G at the Glaslyn nest.

Beautiful Iris has been on the perch and sitting in the nest today. It is a good place to get out of the wind. Gosh, she is gorgeous. Louis has, of course. been around doing what Louis does.

There always seems to be a train going through Missoula, Montana behind Iris!

Iris has a fantastic nest. In her time with Stanley she was a magnificent mother. No doubt, as I often say, she has earned the right to let Louis do his thing, lay the eggs, let the Crows get them, and then relax for the rest of the summer.

They are not friends to the Ospreys but, Northern Goshawks are incredibly beautiful medium to large-sized hawks. There are rare in my province. Those that live or breed head to the dense northern forests in the north. The adults have red eyes with a dark crown (the eye colour changes as they age). Their plumage is a gorgeous blue-grey slate colour with streaks on their pale breast and belly. They are known for grabbing chickens in farmer’s enclosures, rabbits, squirrels of all varieties, grouse, and Rock Doves. They have been known to lure Ospreys into the forest to kill them and to take their chicks- a sadddness which happened at the nest in Finland last year.

The numbers of nesting pairs has dropped considerably when there were 1000 couples to today when there are only between 400-600 pairs.

The images below are from a nest near Riga in Estonia.

This is some very interesting information about this nest and the hawk couple from Looduskalender:

“The nest of goshawks in this location in Riga has been known since 2016 – it is believed that the breeding couple moved here from another nest about 600 metres away. In the immediate vicinity of the nest there are both industrial objects, the sounds of which can often be heard, and private houses. The tree of the nest is located in a small wet area overgrown with weeds and shrubs. The nest is built in a black alder, which grows on the edge of a ditch. The goshawk has built his dwelling on the remains of a crow’s nest. The metal wires twisted in the nest still evidence that the crow was a supporter of durable building materials.

The nest was controlled during this time and the nestlings were ringed in it. This couple, and especially the female, is known among the ornithologists for their special character – she tends to behave particularly aggressively and attack people when they are just approaching the nest. On the other hand, birds are accustomed to people and equipment operating behind the fence in the nearby industrial facility and do not pay attention to them. Interestingly, at the time the female laid her first egg, very close, about 50 m from the nest, a crow couple were building their own nest. Crows are a common food item for Goshawks, but it happens that hawks do not touch other nesting birds near their nest, and they make use of this safety zone.”

This is the link to this Goshawk nest:

Mum is on the ropes at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge this morning in Australia. I wonder if Ervie will come and visit again today making it three days in a row? It is always reassuring and such joy when he visits.

Please help select the name for Annie’s new mate. He deserves a super name and Cal Falcons have narrowed the field down for you to select the finalist. (Go to the link for the names and their associations with UC-Berkeley)

This is just a quick glance at some new nests and a check in on the UFlorida triplets. Both of the eaglets, Jasper and Rocket, have now branched at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest. Avian flu continues to be a concern in many areas in the US and Canada.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, UFlorida Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys an Window on Wildlife, Angel, Twitch, Woodland Trust, Montana Osprey Project, RMC, Narrow River Ospreys, Ferris State University, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann thank you for these updates. So glad you’ll made it ok and all the animals were able to eat too! So glad to see Ervie every time he comes to the barge with his parents and his puffer fish! Hope and prayer for the third little Ospet at the Gainesville Florida nest.
    I think goshawks are pretty birds but I saw what happened at Finland last year to some Osprey family that I loved. It’s one thing to kill them for food to survive and give their own chicks but to kill
    The babies and just leave them is just horrible either way. 😢 the year before it happened at another nest there too. Killed all three and left them. It was so sad. Crows and great horned owls will do it too! Maybe others that I don’t know about too.
    Hopefully it won’t happen again this season. 🙏 prayers for all the nests that are near goshawks and crows and great horned owls. I love all birds
    And think they are very pretty but these scare me for the little ones sake. 🙏
    Thank you for the photos and links
    You posted Mary Ann.
    Have a great evening and take care!
    Linda

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