More sadness in Osprey Land and is L3 injured?

22-23 June 2022

As you know, I have been working on a list of all the feathered friends we have lost so far. I had hoped to have it tidied up last week but, the continuing loss of nestlings has, as I mentioned one day, gutted me. The one word that continues to haunt me is INTRUDERS. At the Cowlitz PUD, we lost 3 healthy osplets to a Bald Eagle predation. At the Cape Henlopen Nest, we lost 3 osplets to starvation because intruders had (most likely) killed the male and injured the female. Two Osplets drowned when their nest platform collapsed at the Patuxent River Park. Two died at Kielder 5A – one caught in the nest and the other from being unwell. One was starved and killed at Loch of the Lowes because Louis had to keep intruders away and could not fish. One died at Llyn Brenig from not being able to get to the fish while another got its leg caught in the nest and die at Loch Arkaig. That was within 7-10 days and those are just the ones I can remember in that period – all Ospreys. (My list includes other species but this count is just ospreys). Thirteen wee osplets lost.

Now there are another two. A freakish accident. It was very hot in the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado today. The female had covered her two healthy osplets who were really getting their juvenile feathers. There was an intruder. The nesting material got caught in the mother’s talons when she flew after the intruder. As a result she knocked her two babies off the nest. They were more than half way to fledging. A search party has gone out to see if they survived. I am not hopeful. It is a long fall. If they do not survive, then there are now 15 osplets lost in just about a week.

The female at the Pitkin County Osprey nest protects her two osplets from the hot sun while also protecting them and keeping her eyes on the intruder.

Just look at how beautiful and big those two are. They are quite healthy and their juvenile feathers are coming in all over.

Mum is panting and is very hot. She keeps an eye out for the intruder that is flying about the nest.

Mum flies off the nest taking the nesting material and her two chicks with her. They fall to the ground.

Mum returns and is looking. Where are my chicks?

This is the announcement re Pitkin County. The fishing line was not visible—how sad. We could have lost Mama, too. This is perhaps a reason that all Osprey platforms should be carefully cleaned and inspected during non-breeding time. I do not know if it would have saved the one chick – and we will see the status of the injured one later – but fishing line and any human debris in a nest should be removed!

Three of Big Red and Arthur’s fledglings are on top of the Rice Building waiting for a prey drop from Mum and Dad. Meanwhile, one of their siblings – believed to be L3 – is in the rehab clinic. There was a report of a downed Red-tail and Suzanne Horning and Woody responded immediately. — Big shout out to this couple that love the hawks and work at Cornell for their help. No blood and the wings folded nicely so nothing broken. No sign of a collision. I will include any updates this evening. Send positive wishes.

Richmond and Rosie’s osplets are about the same age as the two at the Pitkin County nest. This is a look at week 5 of their lives. These videos captured and edited by SF Ospreys are a super introduction or a reminder of the various stages of the osplets lives.

Early morning at the Mispillion Harbour Osprey nest and everyone at Delaware Bay seems to be alright. This is a nest that needs to be cleaned after the season – and monitored re harmful items like monofilament line. It is a good thing that Mum realized that the pretty yellow metal grid could be dangerous and she removed it before it could harm her chicks. There should be an understanding that all human items are removed by qualified wildlife rehabbers from the nests until a certain age of chicks when it might harm them more if they bolted from the nest. I don’t know if it would have saved those babies at the Pitkin Nest. Did anyone know there was fishing line there?

At the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest, Little Bit is really enjoying having a lot of the deliveries to himself now that both 15 and 16 have fledged. At 18:20 Mum flew in with a really nice fish. She goes about feeding Little Bit 17.

Mum has landed and Little Bit – the only eaglet on the nest – is mantling it.

Little Bit ate every bite of that fish!

Dad brought a second fish on the nest at 19:13:57. It was a big sucker. The parents were trying to lure 15 into the nest to eat – and it worked like a charm.

ND15, Little Bit’s buddy on the nest, has been eating and eating. He was really hungry. Flying does use up a lot of energy! Little Bit is just taking it all in.

15 could not eat all of its fish. Little Bit 17 must be full to the bald patches on his head because he is not interested in that lovely fish tail at all. Maybe he will want a snack later?

That fish tail is still there – not quite two hours later. My goodness Little Bit. It looks like Little Bit will sleep alone on the nest. 15 has already gone to his perch on the high branches and while we don’t know where 16 is – the parents surely do and have probably taken a prey drop to her.

It looks like ND17 Little Bit finished up the remaining fish and its tail from last evening show above. He came out of the porch in the early morning, around 06:08 with a very nice crop. I cannot see that any further prey items have been brought yet – it is 09:50 nest time now.

The earlier issues with intruders and lack of prey delivery to the Loch of the Lowes nest seem to have dissolved – thankfully. All is well there today.

A quick check on the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn. Idris brought in another huge fish today along with all the others. I am thinking he has entered some Welsh Osprey Fishing Derby! Three chicks will be ringed next week. If you haven’t gone to the Dyfi streaming cam and put in a guess for the gender of the chicks, please do. Have some fun and give Ken Gregory that is running the contest a shock with so many entries! You simply chose B for boy and G for girl. There are three of them from the oldest to youngest.

It is expected that the chicks of Mrs G and Aran at the Glaslyn nest in Wales will be ringed at the end of next week. Everything is fine on that nest – how grand.

There are three tiny osplets on the Boathouse on Hog Island, Maine. Dory is a first time Mum and Skiff is the male. The three chicks are Schooner, Slipjack, and Sloop.

Please be advised that the three chicks are so wee and Dory is figuring out how to feed them. We have to be patient and we will see if the third hatch survives. Fingers crossed. It looks like a fantastic spot for a nest! Here is the link to their camera:

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. I will be out of pocket for most of the day today – and again tomorrow – but I will send a late report on the nests we are watching. Take care everyone. Stay safe out there!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages, videos, etc where I got my screen captures: Pitkin County Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, SF Ospreys, Mispillion Ospreys and the DDNR, ND-LEEF, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Hog Island Ospreys with Audubon and Explore.org

2 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for these updates. It is so sad to hear about the little ones getting harmed from the nesting material and line in the nests. Prayers for the ones who survived that they will be ok and also for all the others that are doing well to continue to be ok 🙏🙏🙏🙏
    The poor Mom at Pipkin is really good. Every season she always shelters her little ones.
    See you soon and take care !
    Linda

    1. Fingers crossed. There is no update on the one in care. So tragic – just a very freakish accident but caused by an intruder and then human garbage. Ugh.

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