Tragedies Strike in Bird World

23 May 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I took part of Monday off to spend time with a very good friend that I don’t get to see too often. She has a pond and two ducks spend the summer there along with a myriad of songbirds getting drinks. Today, the feeders were full of hummingbirds and there are thirteen deer that roam around the houses. It was a super lovely afternoon, sitting outside, savouring a beautiful May day. It was a blessing as we have tragic news today.

Your smile for the day sent to me from ‘P’ who found it online.

We are going to need that little giggle. We have tragedy after tragedy this morning – the continuing issue of fishing line at Patchogue, death at Lake Murray, fate of DH17 unknown, and Dorcha thrown overboard and an egg lost at Loch Arkaig.

We are trying to get help for the osplets on the Patchogue, Long Island Osprey nest that has fishing line. I have phoned several numbers and left messages on phones and on FB Messenger. The osplets are not tangled this morning but the line is being moved around the nest and there are four tiny osplets. Here are four phone numbers that you can call tomorrow – it really helps to have people call in numbers just like we did for Dale Hollow. Thanks ‘L’ for sending these to me:

Silken Clinic – 631-698-2225, Commack clinic- 631-462-6044, E.endveter – 631-369-4513, and Center for Pet care and control – 516-420-0000

‘SS’ just let me know that a Paul Romanelli of Security Software Systems that put up the nest is going to get help. His number is 631-765-5265. I have tried to call but no answer. He said he is going to get help but please do reach out to everyone. Thank you.

Others have contacted the utility company that runs the camera and wildlife groups in adjacent States who might know someone to get boots up there to help. There is a small army working for you Patchogue. Thank you to everyone who has come forward so far to try and get this mess off this nest. Appreciated.

This morning:

The latest on the Dale Hollow nest is not good. We do not know the fate of Dale Hollow 17. ‘H’ reports: ” 07:47:51 River lands with something in beak (?), DH17 grabs her talon, 07:48:23 DH17 falls off left, grabs sticks, overboard at 07:49:02.  Sound of hitting many branches.” We do not know if 17 had been getting food off camera on a branch or if the little eaglet had not eaten for four days or more. The nest has shattered, which is entirely a repeat of what happened to our beautiful little bit at St Joseph’s Park last year. Let us hope that the individuals monitoring the situation can get there quickly to save 17 or take it to rehab where its suffering will end if it is too injured.

The AEF is aware and is trying to get boots on the ground at the site.

Continued shout outs to World Bird Sanctuary. Just look at Daddy Murphy all upset while they are cleaning the enclosure he is in with ‘his baby’. And look at that baby eaglet, that little orphan, who has Murphy for a dad. Murphy may not brood but he is sure protective!

Dave Hancock of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation in British Columbia, Canada is known for his love and lobbying for Bald Eagles. He has been designing platform nests for the eagles, some with sun covers to help combat the growing heat in the area. These artificial nests are going to become more and more important as there are fewer safer trees. Thank you ‘L’ for sending me this posting!

Good news. Laddie LM12 is getting the fish to the Loch of the Lowes and the two osplets look good.

‘A’ reports that there was another good day at the nest of Angel and Tom and little RTH5. She notes, “Another big day for RTH5, whose crop is humungous. Today, the menu was again varied, including a mouse, a bird, a rabbit and a half-rabbit (I think Tom ate the other half). As always, the little one spent the day eating, being preened by mum, playing with nest material, teetering on the rim for the powerful PSs that have been its trademark since day one, and of course working hard at getting even bigger (otherwise known as sleeping, stretched out, on what is a rapidly shrinking nest.”

I include the image below because you can see the pin feathers coming in along the wing and the tail. You can also get a clear look at the ear which is behind the eye, the black dot. It will get covered. This is a nice healthy hawklet.

‘A’ commented that she wished that the younger sibling had survived so that RTH5 could have the same kind of interaction that the three Ms at Cornell are having.

Both eaglets have fledged and both eaglets have returned to the natal nest at Duke Farms. Well done!

All three of the osplets at Manton Bay have survived another big flapping fish and are doing well.

Loch of the Lowes has two osplets and things seem to be alright there as well.

One of my favourite California Condors, Iniko #1031, got its health check and some bling. Iniko is the daughter of Redwood Queen and KingPin. She survived the Dolan Fire to suffer injuries when it fell out of the nest during an alteration between Redwood Queen – protecting its chick – and another male came to bother. King Pin is believed to have died due to the massive wildfire. Iniko was at the Los Angeles Zoo in care for over a year before being released at the Big Sur area.

At the nest of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig, Dorcha continues to get knocked out of the nest. This is a terrifying evening. Louis was knocked off earlier by fierce winds. Dorcha was hit by the owl three times…three! I really hope she does not get injured.

Geemeff reports that one of the eggs went overboard during one of the owl strikes on Dorcha.

The second hatch at Llyn Clywedog. Aren’t they gorgeous? Great parents in Dylan who will fill them with Brown Trout treats on occasion and Seren, Blue 5F.

The Mockingbird has not chased our dear E22 away. Oh, let’s all say it together — stay for a long, long time 22!

Lucy was gone from the nest at Lake Murray for quite some time. She did return but, without any fish for C2. She is up on the perch tonight. Sadly, C2 was lost to the GHO during the night when it stood up. What a terrible tragedy for Lake Murray this year. The first chick dies after Ricky goes missing to siblicide and the two others to GHO strikes. Lake Murray is considering putting up the protective devices that Cowlitz PUD has..we wish them well. I want to thank Kathryn for her help this year and her observations. I wish this had turned out differently.

There is good news today out of the Achieva Osprey platform. Two fish came onto the nest – one from Diane and the other from Jack. The times are 1732 and 1809. Everyone ate! I included a Google map showing the osprey platform’s location at the Achieva Credit Union in St Pete’s, Florida. You could see ‘the water’ and the canals but, please keep in mind, ‘R’ informed me that the water levels are down at least 7 feet. It is a severe drought, and we are fortunate to see the fish on this nest. Continued positive wishes!

Victor and Abby were both enjoying a fish when I checked in on them. What a wonderful relaxing nest to watch. This is the way it should be!

Not a scrap left…just that old Leatherfish that has been on the nest for days.

Wow. I cannot express what a year it has been for many of our nests and as we all know there are osplets just hatching around the world so Osprey season is truly only getting started. Please send your positive wishes out to DH17 and to River, to Lucy, to Loch Arkaig and to all the other nests as we move forward today.

Thank you for being with me and for helping spread the word to help Patchogue. It does take an army of folks. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to so many..I don’t want to leave anyone out, ‘A’, Geemeff, ‘H’, Kathryn Russell for her coverage of Lake Murray, ‘L’, ‘SS’, Patchogue Osprey Platform, Dale Hollow, Celia Aliengirl and Bald Eagle Live Nests and Cams, World Bird Sanctuary, Hancock Wildlife, LOTL, Window to Wildlife, Cornell RTH, Duke Farms, LRWT, LOTL, Ventana Wildlife Society, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Geemeff and Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, CarnyXWild, SW Florida Eagle Cam, LMO, Achieva Credit Union, and Moorings Park Ospreys.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks for the updates Mary Ann! Some bad ones today and sad indeed. So sorry Lucy wasn’t in the nest with the little one. It had been crying and I wondered what was wrong so maybe it was scared and wanted her with it in the nest. 😢The GHO’s are very troublesome. Poor Dorcha 🙏 Praying for the Pathogue nest to be cleaned today and all the little ones to be ok 🙏 it is so very sad about DH17 and I pray rescue has found this baby and it was ok and not injured too bad 🙏
    Glad all others on here are doing ok
    And we look forward to the news when you are back here soon Mary Ann!
    Take care

    1. The owls are very bold. They have territories and babies to feed, too…as Geemeff said to me, If we were watching GHOs feed chicks, we would be happy…but it has been a very sad Bird World this year. Hoping for improvements.

  2. Alison says:

    What type of owl is striking Dorcha in the UK? Do they have GHOs there? This situation does not bode well for the osplets once they hatch. Mum will have to be on full alert is she is to prevent that owl (or its mate) taking the osplets when they hatch.

    And what a tragedy, losing the second osplet to a GHO at Lucy’s nest. Just too sad. The comment that the little one was crying for mum before the incident concerns me, especially given Lucy had been away from the nest for some time that day too. I recall her staying on the nest with C2 until going fishing at dawn the night after C1 was taken, so I am wondering why she went from understanding the lethal danger of leaving the osplet/s on the nest alone at night and then within a couple of days was not only leaving it alone but ignoring its calls for her in the night. If it was cold, lonely or frightened, why would she ignore that? What is wrong with Lucy? And where, oh where, is dad?

    If DH17 is not on the ground, then let us pray he is perched, uninjured and hopefully safe, somewhere River can reach him. It sounds as though he was pretty hungry when River brought in the fish – probably causing him to lunge at the food and overbalance.

    Thank heavens we can turn to the RTH nests for something beautiful and restful – doting mums, hard-working dads, and chicks that are just too adorable for words. RTH5 is doing wonderfully well – its mother adores it and its dad is hunting up a storm. And at Cornell, the well-oiled team of Big Red and Arthur is raising a trio of the most gorgeous hawklets.

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