Iris and Dorcha are home…Sunday in Bird World

9 April 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

The big news of Saturday was the return of Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, to her nest at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. 13:48.

Well, this is really something to celebrate. She looks good. No doubt she is off catching a whopper that she will have on the Owl Pole – and yes, that is precisely what she did although she ate it somewhere else and came back with a nice crop.

Oh, Iris. It is so nice to see you.

We have been waiting for two specific mates to appear in the UK. Mrs G at Glaslyn (she is pretty late) and Dorcha. Dorcha arrived this morning. Louis will not be lonesome! Thanks, Geemeff. But where is Louis? He has been making restorations since his arrival and has not been seen since yesterday morning (Saturday). Send best wishes! Maybe Dorcha’s voice will call him to the nest! (Oh, this doesn’t feel right).

I am receiving news from ‘T’ that Karl II has landed at his nest in Estonia. As of early morning him and Kaia were only 203 km apart in their flight. Waiting for images! How wonderful.

Happiness in the form of two fledglings at the SW Florida Bald Eagle nest of M15. On the branches together, in the nest together, doing some nice little beak kisses, playing at the pond. All calm until Dad brings in the evening meal, and we know what will happen if that does happen.

Meanwhile, M15 is still getting attacked when he brings food to the Es.

‘A’ notes that ever since the three GH owlets played on the Es nest they are taking liberties. Now attacks during the day caught by Lady Hawk.

An excellent (and frank) presentation by Connor on what happened to Connick and what the future might hold for him.

Jackie and Shadow continue teasing us about whether there will be a replacement clutch. It would be nice, but it is also good to see them. Both look very healthy!

Oops…no, we don’t hide the Osprey eggs, Florence! Some people colour eggs from the store and try and hide them, but, no, Florence, not Ospreys! Sadly, one of the eggs stuck to Florence when she got off the nest at Captiva and was out of the egg cup. Angus tried to roll it back in but to no avail. It is just fine. One of the other eggs will be viable, if not both. Young couple. Honestly, they do not need three to look after the first time! Thanks, ‘H’, for alerting me to this incident.

Blessings happen in mysterious ways. Not sure which egg is outside the nest cup, and this will impact the pip watch if it is the first one laid. They still have two! Two is plenty. Two is more than enough for a young first-time couple.

Mrs G is quite late, and the hope of her returning to her mate, Aran, and her nest at Glaslyn, where she is the matriarch of the UK Ospreys, is dwindling.

Aran needs a good mate. I hope the sky dancing he has been doing attracts one.

I often get asked for nest recommendations. There are so many favourites, but I also look for stable nests with rewind and good cameras that are on YouTube. I also highly recommend UK Osprey nests. The only incidence of siblicide was last year at Loch of the Lowes. Mrs G has not returned as of today. That takes Glaslyn off my recommendation list for first time watchers. Then there are the goshawks and that takes away Poole Harbour. I love Foulshaw Moss but there is no rewind and you have to go to another site. I also love Llyn Clywedog but, my top three would be Blue 33 and Maya at Rutland Manton Bay. This couple has raised two sets of four osplets. They are a super couple! The pond is stocked. Last year they raised three big females. The second is Maya’s daughter, Telyn, who has her nest in Wales with Idris at Dyfi. She is also a super Mum. Third, and these are in no particular order, is Loch Arkaig with Louis and Dorcha. There are many others but, I would start with those three.

So far the three at Bald Canyon are doing well. Send out positive wishes. It is hard raising three.

Nice crops for the two eaglets at Pittsburgh-Hayes.

Mum at Pittsburgh-Hayes had to defend the eaglets against a racoon. Have you noticed how raccoons are increasingly becoming a problem? Some nests might require baffles. Thanks, ‘A’.

Only eaglet at US Steel, USS6, is doing well too. What a little cutie.

DH2 at the Decorah Hatchery appears to be fine. What a little cutie.

All three lined up like little angels at Dulles-Greenway. Reminds of Bazza, Falky, and Ervie. Wonder if Martin and Rosa have three little boys?

Two happy eaglets at Duke Farms!

One precious little eaglet for Bella and Smitty at NCTC doing well.

Like US Steel, NCTC, Chase & Cholyn have one perfect little nestling at Two Harbours.

Rose and Ron worked together and Rose is growing into being a fantastic Mum for R4 and R5. Just look at the two of them with their really dark thermal down and wisps of white Mohawks. And, we can’t leave out the clown feet!

The new Peregrine Falcon residents at San Jose City Hall have an egg! As ‘H’ points out, the male still has his juvenile plumage!

Mother Goose is beautiful first thing in the morning and as the sun sets on Decorah, Iowa.

Abby and Victor can make a lot of noise. When they see Harry coming, they can get so loud. This is what makes Sally so wonderful. She feeds those babies – during the day and at night. An incredible Mum. This made a difference for Victor!

The owlets of Bonnie and Clyde are huge. ‘P’ asked me what type of tree the nest is in. It is an Oak tree. I am just not 100% certain of the variety of Oak.

It looks like they are having a great conversation.

We have been expecting the sadness at Dale Hollow and Achieva. As many chatters aid, the two little ones are no longer suffering. That is surely a blessing.

Yesterday, the third hatch at the Achieva Osprey nest of 2023 was added to the 2023 Memorial Wall. He died at 15:52:03. Thanks Barbara Snyder for a picture from when we were hopeful. I have listed the cause of death as starvation/parental neglect. Yes, it happens.

The third chick at Dale Hollow passed. Cause of death starvation/siblicide. It is unclear if DH18 will survive. It has not had food for a couple of days. Thank you ‘AM’ for letting me know.

‘H’ reminds me that we are awaiting the arrival of Tom at the Chesapeake Conservancy Osprey Platform. The latest he has returned is 31 March. This could be worrisome.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. There is much good news to celebrate today. It is hoped that the two nests, Dale Hollow and Achieva, will stabilise. Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, their videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped make up my blog today: ‘AM’, ‘T’, ‘A’, ‘H’, Geemeff, Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Lab, Geemeff and Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Looduskalender Forum, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Terry taipan and Bald Eagles 101, Lady Hawk and SW Florida Eagle Cam, Window to Wildlife, FOBBV, Jackie Morris and Glaslyn Osprey Group, Dyfi, IWS and, PIX Cams, Decorah Eagles, Dulles-Greenway Eagles, Duke Farms, NCTC, WRDC, San Jose City Hall, Goose Cam Decorah, Moorings Park Ospreys, Farmer Derek, Barbara Snyder and Achieva Credit Union.


  1. Alison says:

    It is so good to know that Dorcha is home, but where is Louis? You are correct – it doesn’t feel ‘right’ at all. He has been waiting for her, getting the nest ready for her, and he must ‘know’ she is back now – if he is still with us and able to get to the nest, he would. So sad that Dorcha can’t meet up with Aran, as it appears Mrs G may not be with us this season. Talons crossed she is just a little late.

    I am so sad to hear about sweet feisty little DH19, and it it tragic to hear DH18 may shortly suffer the same fate. River cannot be blamed for this – she has been a super mum and has been trying her very best, on minimal food and sleep. The lake may have been fished out by the holiday boaters and their fishing competitions, not to mention what I understand are 25 other bald eagle nests in the vicinity. I suppose this is part of the price to be paid for helping to increase bald eagle numbers without at the same time preserving/extending their habitat and ensuring access to an adequate food supply.

  2. Alison says:

    The ongoing ‘rock baby’ story is phenomenal. Please continue to update us on this one. It is surely one of the most astonishing bird stories of the year. Along with that of Flaco, of course. This may be the year of the (very) unexpected. Perhaps we can add the Canada goose brooding eggs in the parking lot to our list. We could all submit any strange/unusual/funny bird stories from our local areas and vote for a top three at the end of the year! We do need some humour right now, after all.

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