Middle and L1 Fledge and other news in Bird World

8-9 June 2022

Oh, what a day Wednesday was and Thursday is starting out to be just as exciting. We have two fledges so far. Middle at UFlorida-Gainesville and L1 at Cornell!!!!!

First, Big threw a hissy fit on the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. It was so unexpected that even Mum was shocked at the oldest siblings response to Middle wanting to take her fish! Of course, we have seen this before but, in particular I am thinking of the Port Lincoln Lads of 2022. They were so polite on the nest before fledge and then after all had fledged the competition and the dust ups started. Middle is yet to fledge but he could – just needs to be ready to do it.

The action came at 16:39:45. I am grateful to ‘R’ for sending that time stamp to me. A fish arrived. Big got it – Middle wanted it. Big wanted it more. Mum couldn’t believe what she was seeing!

At 07:03:59 on 9 June Middle took his first flight off the left side of the nest!

Congratulations to Mum, Dad, and Middle and a big thank you to ‘R’ who sent me the time stamp!!!!!! Way to go Middle!

There is excellent news coming out of Lewes, Delaware. The female Osprey at the Henlopen Nest has been fishing since her mate has gone missing. It has been a couple of days now and there was concern that she might not fish. The first time she went out she came back empty taloned. But nevermind. This Mum has demonstrated very clearly that she can provide for her osplets! Today she delivered five fish to the nest. The three osplets were stuffed beyond being stuffed. Their crops looked like they would pop all afternoon. I really hope that Mum had some fish for herself, too. It is hard work playing all the roles. Fingers crossed for this family.

Here comes Mum with a really nice fish. Everyone was hungry.

Five fish. That is possibly a better delivery rate than most males.

Here is another one. Some of the osplets still have crops from the earlier feeding.

Mum must be very tired.

As the sun is setting just look at the crop on the chick that is still eating. The others are full and have walked away. No one is going hungry.

Well done Mum. I felt so sorry for her. In the evening she was calling and you could imagine that she might have seen an osprey and thought it was her mate. So sad for her. Let’s all send good wishes to this nest! And I will remind myself to check on them every day for everyone.

Little Bit 17 has been on a roll for the last few days. I often call him warrior but Lightning would be more appropriate. He is that quick to steal prey. At 21:05:17 for at least the third time today, Little Bit stole from one of the older siblings.

But first. At 19:46:16 Little Bit 17 has a nice crop. Still easy to spot with the feathers missing on his head. Squint. That crop is there!

At 21:05:02 an adult lands with a very nice fish. Little Bit is on the left and a big sibling on the right. It looks like the big sibling has the fish. But do they?

There are wings everywhere!

Middle ate for a full 7 or 8 minutes before 16 – the sibling that beaks Little Bit – took the fish from him.

Little Bit ate well today. He managed to snatch and grab several key pieces of prey showing his great skill. When he wasn’t doing that he was searching the nest cleaning up every flake of fish on it that the others had dropped. A survivor.

Checking on a sometimes neglected nest (shame on me) – Barnegat Light. Just look at those two with their mouths open wide for that fish! Cute.

If you missed it, Lady and Dad have their first egg for the 2022 season at the Sydney Olympic Park. It happened yesterday at 17:15. This is really exciting but I wished they had waited til all of the hawklets of Big Red and Arthur are all fledged. Normally they do. I got a lovely note from ‘F and M’ explaining to me that Lady and Dad are actually two weeks early laying this first egg! That is, indeed, very interesting. I wonder if the other nests in Australia will also be early? Diamond and Xavier at Orange, Mum and Dad at the CBD-367 Collins Street in Mebourne, Mum and Dad at the PLO Barge?

I find this early laying very interesting. Andy and Lena have struggled to have successful hatches and failed due to predation at the Captiva Osprey nest in Florida. This year they laid their eggs one month early and beat the Crows who normally eat their eggs. Is there a reason Lady laid these eggs 2 weeks early? could it be to avoid the Currawongs chasing their eaglets out of the forest? or is it going to be extra hot in Sydney? We wait to see if we can find out.

At the West End Bald Eagle nest, Ahote (the youngest) fledged six days ago. He has finally returned to the nest yesterday and has since been flying around. Everyone thought it would be Kana’kini that would go first. Now it is Sky that is hovering high.

All three Amigos lined up on the nest rock. Will Sky be the next to fledge?

This is also interesting. We know that Kana’kini is a big female like her Mum, Thunder. At the Red-tail hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, anyone watching the nest believed that L1 was definitely going to fledge first. In the end it was L2. That got me to thinking. Normally the large females do not fledge first. I want to do some data crunching in the next couple of days and see how many times in the last ten years the first hatch fledged first at Big Red and Arthur’s nest.

Here was Big Red feeding L4 tonight. The other two are still ion the nest just at the other end. And if you are wondering and I am certain that you are, at least one prey drop if not more were made to L2 on top of the Rice building. Big Red does not like to feed the eyases on the nest after they fledged. Last year she did feed them because of K2 who was not well. K2 is the only chick that has not fledged in all of Big Red’s mothering – what 17 years? That is a lot of little hawks out in the world by this amazing Mum.

At 09:26:24 L1 flew!!!!! You could only see her on cam 2. L3 is watching as L1 leans down.

She is off. You can just see the wing under the light box.

L1 landed in the Fernow trees across the street.

L3 and L4 look on with amazement. Congratulations L1 – you are a fledgling. Well done Big Red and Arthur – two down, two to go!

Big Red comes in and feeds the two remaining chicks on the nest.

The Dyfi Osprey Project zoomed the camera in nice and close and we can really see the difference in appearance between Middle Bob and Little Bob. Middle Bob is in the Reptile Phase while Little Bob is losing the down on its head and you can see that the dark feathers are only starting to come in. Big Bob ate earlier and is in a food coma while these two enjoy this really nice fish Telyn is feeding them.

It is just getting light in The Czech Republic. Bukacek and Betty’s five storklets are quickly growing. The little one is very, very smart. He gets into the center of the group when there is a feeding and he gets lots of little fishes. Fingers crossed for no brood reduction here.

Karl II and Kaia have three beautiful storklets at their nest in Estonia.

You will remember that Urmas Sellis retrieved the three surviving storklets and the one deceased one when Jan did not return to the nest with his mate, Janika. A full report has come in and this is the text that was posted in Looduskalender, the English Forum for the Black Stork nest. This is very informative and you can see what good care is being given to the storklets and why it was necessary for an intervention.

Have a read:

News about our Black Storks chicks by Delfi
“The three storklets of the stork pair Jani and Jaanika, who became famous in front of the nature camera, were taken to the animal clinic of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, where they are taken care of by Madis Leivits, a veterinarian dedicated to wild animals. Despite the shock caused by the loss of parents at such an early age, birds recover nicely and have the prospect of living their future lives in the wild. Exactly what happened to the missing male bird is still unclear.

Last week, the male bird, Jan, disappeared and the female, Jaanika, had to take care of the storklets alone – it is customary in stork families for the male to take care of the food side and the mother is responsible for warming the storklets’ nests.

As the weather was not warm in the summer either, Jaanika’s attempt to leave the nest was fatal for the third storklet and it died. “The pattern of behavior of the female bird became exceptional. Instead of keeping the storklets warm at night and looking for food in sunny weather, she did the exact opposite,” explained Madis Leivits, a veterinarian at the University of Life Sciences, who has been taken care of the three surviving storklets with the help of the Kotkaklubi.
According to him, the male bird has a very responsible role in the family of black storks. “The father is a language of weight, the diet of the sons depends on him,” Leivits said. “Even if the female bird leaves the nest, the storklets will not be able to maintain their body temperature in the rain. What exactly happened to the male bird, we can only speculate.”

However, considering all the circumstances, the surviving storklets are doing quite well. “The two largest ones are growing visibly and have already gained more than a hundred grams in a few days. The third, the smallest, is a bit more passive,” Leivits described. “Of course, it can’t be called great, because a person can’t be as good a parent to an animal or a bird as they are to their own.”

He added that storklets are fed with a special decoy stork
– a decoy that resembles a black stork to make it safer for the storklets. They mainly have fish on their table. “Black stork differs from white because it finds its food mainly in water – fish, frogs, aquatic,” he explained. The path of the three storklets will probably lead to an artificial nest, where they will be gradually prepared for independent living and the natural environment. “Fortunately, they are quite early sons, they have high hopes for themselves,” said Leivits, who said that sons born later in the second half of the summer tend to be prey for birds of prey and predators. “Under artificial conditions, we can also feed them strong enough.”

On 7 June Ervie’s tracker reported that he was flying out further into the ocean from his normal Port Lincoln, Australia haunts. You may recall that it was believed that the lack of a talon on that right toe of the right foot might only allow Ervie to catch Puffers – he brought a much larger fish to the nest shortly before Mum booted him off the barge. Here is Ervie’s 7 June report.

In other Port Lincoln Osprey Project news, the platform for Turnby Island is being erected. It is hoped that Calypso (2020 PLO hatch) and her mate might make this their nest. It certainly looks sturdy! Fingers crossed. Wouldn’t it be grand? We could watch one of Mum’s chicks begin her own family.

This has been a very long newsletter. So very much is happening! Thank you so very much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or their FB posts where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender, ND-LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell RTH, Dyfi Osprey Project, Mlade Buky, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Barnegat Light Ospreys, and Henlopen State Park Ospreys.

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