Osplet over board at Osoyoos, Little Bit 17 in care and other news in Bird World

30 June-1 July 2022

There are reports coming out of the Osoyoos Osprey Nest that moss and baling twine were brought into the nest at around 0531 and that sometime later, at 0645, a chick fell off the edge of the nest onto the ground below. Dr Greene has been warning people of the perils of bailing twine use – certain kinds – because of the impact on the osprey nests in Montana. This is all I know. The closest rehab is in Oliver, BC and today is a national holiday in Canada. I have left a message for them and will keep you posted if I hear anything. Additionally, two locals appear to be going to also check.

We are all very joyous today that Little Bit ND17 is in care – finally. It is unfortunate that those who were giving the park staff advice did not realize that he was sitting in the bushes starving to death. We can never assume that the adults are feeding their eaglet when it is off the nest. You must have a scope or a long lens camera and actually see them feeding and take the date and time. You also have to check frequently to see that they continue. Do not assume that Eagles feed young off the nest – never. Thunder and Akecheta made Ahote get himself back up to the nest! Little Bit 17 could not fly. There is a whole lot of difference. In the future if you see or hear of a situation like Little Bit’s, please recommend care. It never hurts the birds to be checked. ——What a relief though. I hope he had an entire plate of quail last night. He certainly deserves it.

Remember if you want to help your local wildlife rehabber clean old towels are always needed. Look what is in Little Bit’s enclosure! Save them and drop them off or ask someone to do it for you. They also need donations of laundry detergent, etc. Most have wish lists on their websites.

So far the clinic with Little Bit has over $1800 in donations. Thank you to everyone for showing your love.

My plan is to write to the clinic. There was an incident this year with a WBSE fledged from the nest in the Sydney Olympic Forest – WBSE27. Found starving and emaciated. Taken into care. Released when strong. Then found starving and emaciated and being attacked on a public sidewalk. It is essential that these fledglings be taught how to fly and how to hunt. This takes quite a long period of time. It is not weeks. So fingers crossed for our baby that he is being given the best care and love he could possibly have.

The ND-LEEF nest continues to fall apart but there is a fledgling up there waiting for a feeding!


One of my readers, ‘c’ reminded me today that the Lobby that is against Nature is huge. It is! But that does not mean we cannot have an impact or that we should back down in our care and concern. No matter how big or how small, never give up working for the betterment of those who cannot – in my case, I am talking about our beautiful feathered friends. Thank you for everything that you do — and if you are reading this, I know that you are concerned and doing whatever you possibly can. Just spread the message.

There is a big intervention experiment happening in Estonia. You might remember the Black Stork nest of Jan and Janika. There were five storklets and then Jan disappeared and is presumed dead. Janika could not get enough food for the storklets – two died. In an effort to save these rare and beloved birds, Urmas, the senior ornithologist for Estonia, worked with Dr Madis Vialis at the Estonian Veterinary College at EMU. They removed the three surviving storklets and placed them in the clinic where they had a decoy mother and a step father Toto who delivered fish.

This experiment appears to be successful. So Urmas has now tried something else. He has introduced the largest of the three storklets from the clinic to the nest of Karl II and Kaia in the Karula National Forest. He did this when he ringed the storklets two days ago. The 4th storklet is named Bonus!

This is bonus in the nest around 17:45 on 30 June with his step siblings. Bonus is the large one to the left – that is not a parent!

It is now Friday morning and the sun is rising. Karl II and Kaia have seen their new off spring. On the first day in the nest, Bonus is treating the adults, Karl II and Kaia, like intruders and is hissing! You might recall that Little Bit ND17 also hissed when anyone came close to him in the bushes. They also raise their wings.It is a natural way of trying to protect themselves.

At the first feeding with Kaia, Bonus has his wings raised like Kaia was an intruder but life on the nest is much better and reports say this behaviour by Bonus is diminishing.

This second phase will also allow the smallest and the middle storklet in care to grow larger because they will have more fish. It also solves another problem. Urmas and Dr Madis wanted the storklets to be in a real nest in the forest. Fish would be brought but there was no one trained that could do that work – and it would take a lot of effort. It will be interesting to see how this works out but – what we have to remember is that they are trying to make the lives of the storklets better so they can be free and live in the wild. (Thank you ‘T’ for clearing up where Bonus originated!)

Bonus is eating along with all the others!

He also ate well when Kaia brought food today and this is excellent. After eating some are resting, some are preening. Bonus is standing but he has rested on the nest in a clump with the step siblings. By the end of 1 July perhaps he will not react to the adults at all!

There are also four storklets on the nest of Betty and Bukacek at Mlade Buky in The Czech Republic. The red iron rich clay makes such a mess on their beautiful feathers and legs. It has been raining but I hope that some nice new straw might by some miracle show up for them!

I find Lindsay and Grinnell Jr fascinating. Cal Falcons caught them playing at night! Remember Alden hunts at night – how much more of Alden’s behaviour is going to influence the behaviour of the two fledglings?

I wonder how many reading my blog saw the efforts of Daisy the Duck to hatch her eggs and have ducklings? in the White-bellied Sea Eagle nest of Lady and Dad? Daisy took me down a rabbit hole and when I came out of it — I loved ducks and all manner of water fowl.

Out of all the long lists of waterfowl I want to see a Loon. Seriously I have never seen one! There should be Loons all around me but, no. So part of this summer will be a hunt to locate these loons. In the meantime I have found a Loon nest in Central New Hampshire. They are attempting to restore Loon populations to the state. The information under the streaming cam states, “LPC’s mission is to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons throughout New Hampshire; to monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and to promote a greater understanding of loons and the larger natural world.” LPC is the Loon Preservation Committee.

The nest has two eggs – laid on the 17th and the 18th of June. Hatch should be about the middle of July. The amount of information about the nest and its challenges is under the streaming cam images. LPC also keeps an archive and has their own YouTube channel so if you miss something you can go back and see it. I am impressed. So many have nothing as ‘H’ reminded me yesterday.

Here is the link to the cam if you are interested:

You might just want to ‘listen’ to the sounds from the nest area. It is incredibly relaxing. Here is a very short clip of a female Wood Duck and her duckling visiting the nest two days ago.

The size of Idris and Telyn’s largest female is almost shocking. She is the largest female in the history of the Welsh nests. Just look at Paith! She is also the youngest and weighed 1830 grams at 32 days. Incredible. We often worry about the third hatch being brutalized and being much smaller but..not in this instance.

It is a good thing Idris is such a good fisher — or is it because Idris is such a good fisher that she is so big? Some people are joking that they won’t be able to fledge they will weigh too much!!!!!!!!

I promise not to show it again but this image of the three of them and those amber eyes of the juveniles is simply stunning. Juvenile ospreys are incredibly beautiful – their plumage is magnificent. More so than their parents. I wish they could keep it!!!!!!

I want to stay with the Dyfi Osprey Project in Wales for a moment. If you are reading this blog, you not only care about wildlife but you also care about the environment. How environmentally friendly is your nearest nature centre? (I must find out). This is the report from Dyfi – it makes for really really interesting reading and a positive change for the environment.

In terms of Osprey nests, the Boathouse Ospreys on Hog Island are being watched. It is unclear how much food the third hatch is getting. Fingers crossed for this new Mum, Dory.

The Fortis Exshaw chicks in Canmore, Alberta appear to be doing fine. The concern is the nest – there is a very deep nest cup and most platforms are not solid on the bottom.

Oh, the joy of Little Bit in care and now the worry of another gone overboard. It has been a very challenging year.

Thank you for all you did to help Little Bit. Keep sending good wishes his way. 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: Humane Wildlife Indiana, ND-LEEF, Explore.org and Audubon, Osoyoos Osprey Cam, LPC Loons, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Fortis Exshaw.

16 Comments

  1. B says:

    That Alden seems to have quite an influence on the Cal Falcon kids. Yesterday, Lindsay and Junior are out playing in the middle of the night, and today Lindsay spends half an hour in the middle of the day doing some serious “loafing” . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ9ElKN9T1c

    1. Yes, and with the bonding now I am sure we are in for lots more chicks doing loafing and moth chasing ———–and it is wonderful!

  2. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks for these photos and updates Mary Ann!
    Sorry about the little one who is overboard. Hope it will be ok 🙏
    Lindsay and Grinnell Jr are so lovely!
    Prayers for all the nests that need and
    Hope for an update on the little overboard osplet soon!
    I like the loons too! I am watching some on utube sometime and I’ll check. It might be the same ones
    Linda

  3. Ann-Marie says:

    Hello Mary Ann,
    I went to the nest in Osoyoos and found the chick on the grass about 95ft away from the nest. Chick was already dead, he fell around 06:45. Of course it’s the morning I didn’t check in on the camera until 10am (I am so heartbroken I didn’t check earlier) I arrived at the nest just before 11am. At the nest there is a slope about 10ft down to the ball park where I found the little one. With the traffic, Canada Day parade and road closures it took over an hour to arrive at nest. I was prepared with gloves, carrier cage, towel and cell number for OWL raptor rescue in the event chick was alive. Regrettably the chick was not alive. I found a quiet shady spot nearby and laid wee one to rest not far from the nest. Rest In Peace sweet one.
    I feel saddened that the chick got caught in the bailing twine and so wish I had gotten there much sooner, why today of all days did I not check in on the camera and gotten there sooner?
    I have never seen a chick this young in person and my heart aches for this wee one. All I could do was spend a little time with him/her and lay it to rest nearby!
    Soar high sweet one with your heavenly wings. 💕💔🐥

    1. Dear Ann-Marie. You made a tremendous effort to help this little one. The very sad part about the osplets is that instead of bouncing around like ducklings and goslings if they fall they go ‘thud’. Thank you for placing it in a quiet restful place. — We have seen chicks pulled off several times due to nesting materials this year. I know that Montana is working to get the farmers to use a different type of baling twine but in this instance I doubt if it would have mattered, sadly. When the material came on the nest the chicks were tangled up in it all. — Give yourself a pat on the back for caring, Ann-Marie. You jumped to action as soon as you could! Let us all hope that nothing happens to the other two and they thrive. — It would also help if the persons who run the cam put emergency numbers under the streaming cam so we would know who to call. I went to the rehabber in Oliver and left a message but, alas, I got on the camera late, too. You did wonderful. Thank you.

      1. Ann-Marie says:

        The rescue in Oliver does rehab for injured owls..I called them and also OWL the raptor rescue. They advised me to take gloves, the carrier and to call if still alive. After talking with them when I got home they said the height could be estimated of a fall 80-90ft and highly unlikely the young chick did not survive when it landed.
        I will call the town hall on Monday to see if they can get word out to the farmers about the bailing twine and the dangers to our wildlife it poses.
        It’s a sad event and did what I could.
        Thanks for your reply it is much appreciated.

      2. You left home with all the right equipment to save that little one if it had been alive. And you went there with hope. That is a huge fall. I am so glad to see that all the nest material is gone! I will find the article on baling twine for you and send it to you here. Perhaps tomorrow. It would be good for you to see what Dr Green discovered. They band 200 nests and do checks. It was a huge % that had a dead chick on the nest because of that twine. Also fishing line. Those dispensers should be everywhere people fish! With someone volunteering to tell people about them. Again, thank you.

      3. Hi Ann-Marie. I promised I would find Dr Green’s information on baling twine and how to try and avoid it getting into osprey nests. Here is the information. Thank you for spreading the word! https://hs.umt.edu/osprey/documents/balingtwine.pdf

      4. Ann-Marie says:

        Thank you so much Mary Ann,
        I will have a read and will spread the word to the town hall and ask if they can inform the farmers.
        I do appreciate all your efforts.

      5. You are very welcome Ann-Marie. Even if 1 out of 50 takes care, it is a victory! Thank you so much for working so hard for those ospreys in your area. It is wonderful.

      6. Ann-Marie says:

        Love the poster on bailing twine. I will forward it on to the town hall on Monday and tell them happened to our chick. Will ask if they can get word out to the farmers. Also will get in touch with wildlife bird sanctuary north of Oliver at Vaseux Lake and see if it can be posted on their notice board! I will ask at Oliver town hall if it can be posted in town and maybe sent to the farmers.
        Every little effort counts!
        Thank you once again.
        P.s a few of us are meeting at PLO chat Saturday 9th of July for a wee reunion to catch up on our nests. You are welcome to join. Think it starts around 4pm UK time to allow for all time zones.

      7. Oh, I am so glad you liked that pamphlet and thought the information was worthwhile to pass around. It really gets to the point and often people just don’t realize that a small change in what they are doing can benefit our wildlife. Oh, I will write that time down for the PLO chat. We are all having Ervie withdrawal and anxious for a new year to begin. Thank you so much for the invitation. I won’t promise but…I will try as best I can! That is a really nice idea. Thank you, Ann Marie for spreading the word!

  4. Lisa says:

    Thank you for highlighting the Osoyoos nest!! I have followed the successes and unfortunately many sad outcomes over several years. This year looked to turn a corner and I sincerely hope this couple succeed. I also follow the Newfoundland Power osprey as it has a very young female. Unfortunately this nest failed again this year (cold and inexperience). I only saw one hatch….

    1. Yes, in Newfoundland they call it the hopeless nest so why don’t they take it down and move it to a different site?????????? Weather patterns can change significantly in a small area. Let us all hope that the two in the Osoyoos nest thrive and no more material is brought into the nest. Better to have it without soft material than to lose chicks!

  5. Beverly Penney says:

    Mary Ann, your commitment to getting word out about all the impacts we humans are directly responsible for is so outstanding. The article from the Dyfi Project is very impressive and informative. My heart shatters when we lose chicks for any reason but it gets roaring angry when it’s from something that is preventable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do and write about. I’ve learned so much from you and from the links you provide. Giant, gentle hugs – bjp in Tasmania.

    1. Hi Beverly, It is so nice to hear from you. I hope that everything is going well in Tasmania! We finally have summer here and it is lovely. Thank you so much for your kind words. Dyfi is very impressive as you say. I wish the other nature centres had the staff to do what they do….and, yes, I hope we do not lose any more chicks. Sadly I added two more today. – storklets.

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