Henlopen Osplets die of starvation and other late Saturday and Sunday news in Bird World

11 June 2022

UPDATE: THE DEATHS OF THE THREE OSPLETS AT THE CAPE HENLOPEN STATE PARK NEST IN DELAWARE WAS CAUSED BY INTRUDERS TAKING OVER THE NEST. THE FEMALE WAS LAST SEEN ON THE NEST ON THE 10TH. ALL CHICKS WERE FINE. BOTH PARENTS ARE MISSING AND THE BIRD ON THE PLATFORM NEST IS NOT EITHER PARENT.

Oh, Saturday was just such a beautiful day. We all must treasure them and get outside and listen to the birds singing and smell the freshly mowed grass and the flowers. Our summers are so short in Canada that it is such a pleasure just sitting and listening, sometimes. Today the wee rabbit found itself underneath the square feeder by the lilacs. It was certainly enjoying those Black oil seeds and millet that had fallen to the ground. Mr and Mrs Grackle have fledglings and they are very noisy if you go anywhere near the lilac bushes – and then there is Mr Crow who arrives demanding bread, cheese, and sausages. It was quite the afternoon. I will try and take my phone out and get some photos another day for all of you. My big camera doesn’t quite understand that when it is set to CQ mode it is supposed to be ‘quiet’ and instead the noise frightens everyone within ear shot.

Saturday was not, however, a great day for Little Bit 17 at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. But it was not all bad, either. In fact, there was so little food brought to the nest that for Little Bit to have a crop was a blessing. He spent various times through day working on a raccoon that had been brought into the nest. He started working on it once at 14:39 and was still eating on it at 14:58. It looks like he ate the entire head which would have had lots of meat and fat. There were two other times that he worked on it. A fish was brought in but the older siblings seem to have been fed all of it. At one time, 16 tried to hurt Little Bit 17. It is over and Little Bit is fine. Let us all hope that there is more prey tomorrow. The nest is really relying on road kill it seems. Perhaps the river is still too high with all of the rains and too murky for the eagles to fish. Last Sunday saw a lot of fish brought to the nest – will the same thing happen tomorrow?

16 (I think it was 16 because of their actions towards Little Bit) came up wanting some of the remaining raccoon.

Mum flew in and fed the two older siblings. Little Bit stood by the side rails hoping there would be a little left but, alas, no.

All spread out and sleeping with the turtle shells. Someone said that there are at least 50 of them somewhere in the nest. You can see Little Bit’s primaries growing and his tail. I wish his head feathers would grow back. Poor thing. Any sore spots seem to have healed, thankfully.

Wish for fish everyone!

And the fish came Sunday morning. Mom brought in a Walleye at 08:28:21. At 08:40:11 Little bit 17 steals that walleye from one of the older siblings! He takes it to the porch to eat it.

You can see Little Bit pulling that fish to the porch. There is no head and he is going to heat for several minutes (7 or 8) and then 16 is going to steal it back.

At 09:59:47 Dad brought in a Blue Gill. Little Bit 17 stole the whole fish. He took it to the porch and ate the entire thing!!!!!!!!!! All by himself. Can you believe this kid? Bravo Little Bit.

Little Bit ate all of the fish and returned to look out at the world while the older siblings are up on the branches. He flapped his wings – they are growing – and stopped. You can only get a sense of how big his crop is over by the edge but he is one happy full little eaglet this morning and I have tears rolling down my eyes. He has been super brave pulling that last fish right out from under the older sibling!!!!!!

Both fledglings at the UFlorida-Gainesville have been on and off the nest eating or hoping for a delivery. At one point it started raining (or was it hail?). Middle was trying to hover off the nest and was having difficulty – of course Middle you can’t fly in pouring down rain!!!!!!! Just look at those beautiful, beautiful wings! These osplets are simply gorgeous. The feathers are absolutely perfect. Oh, I wish Little Bit was as healthy as the two fledgling ospreys.

It is rainy and windy in Gainesville Sunday morning and Middle is on the nest thinking it is a good day to stay home.

Ferris Akel has wonderful Saturday bird tours around Montezuma, Sapsucker Woods and Ithaca. At the end of the tour today, everyone lucked out as the Ls and Big Red were quickly located. I cannot tell you which chick is which from these images – so just enjoy a basket of cute little hawks.

Big Red was over on the other light stand. An adult is always around close watching the hawklets. Arthur was not spotted. He was probably off hunting!

All of the storklets still remain on the nest of Bukacek and Betty in Mlade Buky. They are growing and growing. While there is a significant difference in the size between the oldest (front right) with the youngest (back left), each is holding their own and as I have mentioned several times, there appears to be no effort to do any brood reduction by the adults. Fish must be plentiful – wonderful news!!!!!

It was a feeding fest Sunday morning in Mlade Buky. Watch how the two little ones get in there to get those fish.

Karl II and Kaia’s storklets are also growing and are being very well fed. There appears to be plenty of fish at their source in the Karula National Park in Estonia.

Kaia has fish and is getting ready to regurgitate them on the moss so the storklets can eat.

They are grabbing them with their little beaks.

Just look at the little fish in their bills. So sweet. The moss nest keeps these babies so nice and white compared to the red iron soil of Mlade Buky. The eaglets are always looking a little dirty there.

Bywyd Bwyllt Glaslyn posted some information on the osplets of Aran and Mrs G today on their FB feed. Little Bob is certainly smaller than Big Bob at the front!

There is much sadness at the Henlopen State Park Osprey Nest. One of the osplets appears to have died. I did not see it move at all today. The other osplets are weak and very hungry. Mum came in with a tiny fish. I thought she would feed the other two and they did too but, she didn’t. I fear that all will die.

It is a tiny fish. In raptors, it seems that their first priority is the protection of their territory, then to keep themselves fed and alive, and lastly the offspring. Mum has to be strong enough to fish. I do not know what if any was delivered after the 8th in terms of fish til this morning. It was not enough to keep the osplets alive and the two surviving have very concave chests.

On Sunday all three of the osplets have died. What a tragedy. The poor Mum – she lost her mate and all her lovely once healthy chicks in a few days. Incredibly sad.

There appears to be no attempt by anyone to provide a fish table for this family. Just sayin’. Most of the issues related to getting fish or other prey to the nest including those at the ND-LEEF nest can be attributed to human interference in some way or another. Changing weather patterns causing torrential rains, floods, and mudslides is impacting the rivers so that the Bald Eagles and Ospreys cannot ‘see’ to fish. Most of you are very much aware of the impact that we have had whether it is habitat destruction, rising sea temperatures due to a heating planet, etc. There isn’t much that we haven’t caused so I will not accept the answer that it is ‘just nature’ not to help out these lovely raptors.

In contrast, we have the surviving three Black Storklets in Estonia. They are being well fed and taken care of and every aspect of their future well being has been considered. Please note that they do not see ‘human animals’ very often – just the decoy mother, the step-father who feeds, and themselves. This is so they will not imprint on others.

The smallest chick even had a private feeding to ensure that it gets enough to eat with the two much larger siblings. Just like at the size of its crop when it is returned!

Everyone has been talking about the Bald Eagles raising the hawklet in their nest on Gabriola Island. Here is a delightful discussion of another Bald Eagle adopting a Red-tail hawklet a couple of years ago. Here is the complete story from beginning to successful end. Please listen. This is such an informative discussion with live footage in the nest showing the eagles and the hawklet.

The Dyfi Osprey Project posted an excellent bit of information on their FB site this morning about Osprey growth.

These are the osplets that Dyfi is referring to – the three of Idris and Telyn. We should know their names soon! Over 200 suggestions – wow.

I often wonder if the change of the plumage and the itching makes the osplets crankier during the Reptile phase that then causes them to start pecking one another????

It has been very windy up in Alaska at the nest of Liberty and Freedom. The two little eaglets don’t seem to even notice! They are having a nice meal.

The winds are raging at Loch of the Lowes too. The wee chicks are calling for food as Blue NC0 waits to see if Laddie will have some luck fishing Sunday afternoon.

Dylan brought in a perch at 16:04 at Llyn Clywedog and Seren is happily feeding all of the Bobs. The weather does not look as windy – thank goodness. This nest in the Cambrian area of Wales has been wet for several days now.

The third hatch, Little Bob, at Glaslyn is really starting to catch up. Aran is bringing in lots of fish. No one is hungry. There is even a fish sitting on the nest waiting for the next feeding. That is Little Bob by the side of Mrs G.

Poor Dorcha. The Loch Arkaig nest seems to be getting all of the bad weather. It is rainy and windy. Louis, thankfully, prevails in getting fish on this nest in the most dire of times. He is literally amazing.

I want to leave you with something beautiful. Andris has come to the nest and he is feeding the small eaglet! Mostly the males do not do this so it is very special. Oh, such a sweet little fluff ball. Andris and Anna have their Lesser Spotted Eagle’s nest in Zemgale, Latvia.

Anna is feeding the wee eaglet later. Oh, how precious.

Grinnell Jr and Lindsay are sure keeping Annie and Alden busy at the UCalifornia-Berkeley scrape. They are running all over the place chasing any adult food begging – even if they are full – and are beginning to self feed. Adorable. Being the pests they are meant to be!

Grinnell Jr has a blue band and Lindsay has a gold one.

Last but the falcons are never least, the wee little peregrine at the Manchester New Hampshire nest, Colby, woke up watching everyone fly around. At 06:52:49, Colby fludged just like Clem. I am certain the volunteers will be out to make sure he is OK and perhaps he will be returned to the nest with Clem tomorrow!

The weather certainly changed on the Canadian Prairies. We had thunderstorms all during the night and much more rain. My garden is beginning to look like a thick forest – which is what I have wanted for years – a forest in the city! The sadness at Henlopen weighs heavy today.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. See you tomorrow!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, FB posts and video clips: ND-LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Ferris Akel Tours, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Henlopen State Park Ospreys, Christian Sasse, Dyfi Osprey Projects, Glacier Gardens Bald Eagles, Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, CarnyXWild, Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cal Falcons, Peregrine Network, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you Mary Ann! You really covered a lot today! Most are doing good and prayers for the ones who need fish and wish it was possible and legal to have fish deliveries when it becomes critical to these nests. So sad about the three little
    Osplets at the Henlopen nest. 🙏
    May they Rest In Peace. It’s extremely sad indeed. So happy for little ND17 to have still had the raccoon in the nest. 💕
    The photos you posted and all the videos and links are just great Mary Ann!
    Thanks Mary Ann and have a Blessed Sunday afternoon !
    Linda

    1. Yes, it is very sad. I think that there would need to be a gigantic change in attitude with all the fish and wildlife staff that are employed in the US for us to expect action at all the nests. Thankfully some like the Pritchetts just get on with it and get help! I decided to check and there are no ospreys at the Collins Marsh nest this season. So they either did not make it through migration or decided to nest elsewhere. I hope it is the latter and that they are successful. We also lost Louis and Dorcha’s third hatch not long ago today. Got its foot caught in the rails and was out in the cold cold wet and died of hypothermia. So sad. The weather is getting back like it was last year for all of Wales and Scotland’s ospreys.

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