Thursday in Bird World

12 May 2022

What a great day it has been- OK. I haven’t gotten to checking all the nests. There are way too many and I did get caught wondering what in the world is going on at the Hellgate Canyon Osprey nest of Iris. Then I had to check and see how the three chicks at the Manton Bay nest are doing. Was the one slapped by the fish still OK? The promised rain has not materialized as yet but the sunny sky is gradually turning grey again. It was a beautiful day to be outside. The grass is green and the leaves are beginning to pop out of the bud state. I can, of course, take the laptop outside but, you see, the garden birds start telling me that I am interrupting and in their space. You can hear them vocalizing a half block away. So trying to keep the neighbour’s friendly, I went for a walk and had a very sad chat with someone I have know for years from the Ukraine. She is passionate and optimistic. A lovely woman.

In the image below, Iris greets a male visitor.

They are actually a cute couple.

Iris is the oldest osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate Canyon by the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana. Iris had a wonderful mate named Stanley. Then Stanley died. Then Louis showed up. Now Iris is a cracker. She can out fish any of the male birds, she is beautiful, and she has an attitude. How she accepted Louis is beyond me. They had one chick survive and then Louis bonded with Star and they have their nest at the baseball park. Louis mates with Iris every year, she lays the eggs, and they get eaten by the Crows because she gets hungry. Louis has shocked everyone this year by bringing some fish to Iris. Did we have hope he would change his ways? Seriously, it takes a Blue 33 (11) or a Monty to handle two nests with two females and at least four or six chicks. Sorry, Louis, but I just don’t think you are up to it. Still, Louis has never let Iris have another mate because it is a ‘territory’ thing. So Iris does what Iris does, the eggs get eaten and she is free to have a leisurely summer. It is the same this year. But,…something seems to be happening. There is a male around. Iris let him land on the nest. Iris asked him to bring her fish. Strikingly Louis did not come and try to chase the male visitor away. In fact, I wonder if Louis would win that fight if it happened. The Montana Osprey Project video taped it. I had some stills but the video is better! BTW. The male’s name is not ‘Elvis’. If he were to stay around, Dr Erick Greene would give him a name.

Everything is just fantastic at the Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 and Maya. Blue has brought in two huge fish since the perch yesterday that was thrashing about. One of those monster fish today was another perch. The three nestlings have eaten well. Maya feeds them, on average, every 2 hours from the first light of the day til sometimes after dark. They are growing strong and there is no evidence now after about 36 or so hours that the wee one thumped by the fish has any lasting issues. At least not visible to the eye. All three are right up there, eyes open and beaks wide when it is dinner time.

Adorable. Everyone eats. All get full to the brim and they will sleep well. Enjoy the nestling cuteness. They change and grow so fast. I love their little wings and the soft down, the stripe through their eyes and down their back. Cute pies.

Every evening Blue 33 comes to check on the pantry to see what is needed for the morning and to say goodnight to Maya. Sometimes during the incubation period, he will sleep on the nest with her but not normally once the chicks hatch.

Every day I do check on Big Red and Arthur and it is astonishing how well those four little Red-tail Hawks are doing. They are now regularly all over the nest. Soon they will be jumping and flapping all over that metal grid ledge. They have done so well.

There is great raptor DNA running through the nests! Just look at the trio that Akecheta and Thunder parented. All I am going to do is say ‘Wow’.

Star (left) and Sentry (right) have dried off from all the rain that was pounding the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Liberty and Guardian yesterday. Gosh, we blinked. Do you remember waiting for them to hatch? and now look!

Sticking with California for a minute or ten, the trio of Osplets on the Venice Golf and Country Club platform have all done well despite early worries about the third hatch.

The Captiva Osprey nest had a 66% success rate this year. That is really good. Middle Little is still letting Andy deliver fish on the platform on the grounds of Lori Covert’s property. Middle Little is such a handsome bird.

So what about Little MiniO? Lori has been out kayaking and at the same time, keeping an eye on the birds. She has spotted the family together many times, the youngsters with parents Andy and Lena flying around the property and over to the island. The Windows for Wildlife chat has posted a link to an image that Lori took. Lori believes this is Little MiniO on her favourite tree. Stunning bird!

I don’t know if anyone reading this is interested in having their own Osprey and Bald eagle nests but Lori’s property at Captiva was for sale. It might have sold, I don’t know. But how grand. Sit and have dinner and watch the Ospreys!

Middle has a bit of a crop. I did not rewind to the beginning of the feeding but the positioning was good at 16:20, one chick on one side and one on the other, with Mum feeding Big a couple of bites to Middle’s one. I will take it! Middle is looking good. It is 26 degrees C, winds have dropped to 13 kph, and the barometric pressure is falling.

Nap time!

Mum has been spending more time on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge as of late. It is wonderful to see her. It is hard to imagine but her and Dad will begin working on getting the nest back in order after their triplets Bazza, Falky, and Ervie had all those dust ups on it last season!

A nest known for siblicide fledged three. Was it just because they were all male? Let’s wait and see what this year brings. Mum needs to enjoy that fish. Soon she will be busy feeding a nest of little ones. For those of you following Ervie he is still hanging around Port Lincoln. Calypso appears to be with a male and we hope that she has her own nest this year. Mum and Dad can be grandparents!

I sometimes mention fundraising that groups are doing. The Port Lincoln Osprey Project takes care of the costs of the streaming cam, the barge, etc that many enjoy. They also raise awareness about the needs of the Ospreys in South Australia and lobby to get the hydro poles change, etc. They are now wanting to build more platforms for the growing population of Eastern Ospreys in South Australia. If you feel so inclined, you can join as a member or make a donation or do both or neither! [Please note: I post the information to support the groups. I do not make a penny on any memberships or donations.]

Here is the information that was posted on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page today:

I want to close with something pretty special. It is a mid-air prey transfer between Alden and Annie. Quite amazing! These two are a great couple.

Thank you so much for joining me today. The one chick is still alive at Dahlgren Osprey Platform, all three are crackers at Manton Bay, the three at Venice are doing great, Middle had a crop – it couldn’t get much better than that. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Lori Covert, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, VGCCO, Friends of Redding Eagles, Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cal Falcons, LRWT Manton Bay, and Montana Osprey Project.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Mary Ann thanks so much for this wonderful newsletter with all the updates, photos , links that you send us.
    So glad to hear all are doing well today. And just the mention of Ervie brings a smile to my face!
    Have a great evening!
    Linda

    1. Oh, I adore Ervie so glad that you do, too. I wish he would come to the barge for another visit! But glad to know he is in the area and doing well.

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