Mini self-feeds…Saturday in Bird World

10 June 2023

Good Morning, Everyone!

I am, as usual, starting my newsletter/blog on Friday, and Friday doesn’t ‘feel like Friday’. Does that happen to you sometimes? The garden has been unusually quiet for the past week – and when I say quiet, I mean quiet. One or two Crows, maybe. One Blue Jay. A few House Sparrows and a couple of squirrels. Their absence makes me nervous. There was always a feral cat, a Calico, but a week ago, she went MIA along with the other cats that came to try and catch a bird. It is just odd…And then, to my horror, a dead grey Squirrel was on the lane in front of my house. I moved the poor thing off the road but could not tell if it was Dyson – or another large squirrel. Dyson showed up Friday evening around 1930 for peanuts, to my great relief. She has babies somewhere…Tears of joy.

Also, to my delight, on Thursday evening, there were Ladybirds on the hanging tomato plants, and this morning, there were more than a dozen Honey Bees on the climbing roses. Taken with my phone from a bit of a distance, so not so clear…but they are there! Feeding and pollinating!

It has been quiet at the ponds in town, too. There is not the number of Canada Geese that I counted last year. So why? Well, the geese (and ducks) that have no goslings – no parental responsibilities – are taking off for the north of my province where there is more space, more food, and it is cooler!

It is known as the second migration. Why are so many geese failing to reproduce this year? Why so many singles? Or couples who did not have eggs? Or unviable eggs? I do not know the answer….but they sure have left town!

Your giggle for the day comes from Geemeff and that rambunctious osplet of Dorcha and Louis at Loch Arkaig.

This just about gave me a heart attack at the Oyster Bay PSEG nest. Please cut every loop and handle on anything that you dispose of! And tell everyone you know to do the same.

The adult worked and got that packing strap material from off its neck and is putting it into the rim of the nest. If you observe this nest and see this loop or another around the head of any occupant of this nest, I want you to phone PSEG immediately, as I might miss it! 1-800-490-0075 OR 631-755-6000. I was more successful with the second number when complaining about human rubbish in the Patchogue Nest than the toll-free line, but try them both. Don’t take no for an answer. Bobbie Horvath can be contacted on FB as well. Take a screen capture and make sure they see it! They need to contact USFWS immediately to get permission if the osprey’s life is in danger from human rubbish. But be sure it is when you call. This time the adult worked that packing material off.

There were several nice fish on the Oyster Bay nest today and it appears that all had a chance to eat fish.

The mystery of the Carthage TN Osprey nest may have been solved thanks to Sunnie Day. The lake has small trout, which were brought in for the osplets to eat. Fishers there are told to cut the line when they catch the trout – meaning that the little fish swim about with a tiny hook inside them and line. Two points: Sunnie Day continued to look through the footage and saw choking in both osplets trying to expel the hooks. Second, we know that the zinc hooks can cause toxicity, which killed Alo from the Bald Canyon nest. We observed zinc toxicity in Victor from Fraser Point (did he also have a hook that was expelled after the zinc made him sick? What about Molate? Sunnie’s observations, “The parenting is excellent, many fish delivered. After reviewing so much recorded video, I was wondering about the cam pole being treated; it was not. It is a light pole in the park. I reviewed more and have recorded videos of both choking. First was the youngest, at 6 days, I have footage of its death. The second was the oldest, 9 days old, and was struggling to eat in the last feed before dark, shaking to expel something. The next morning, that nestling too expired. The last 8 fish were small trout. I tried to see if there was a small hook in one, but my guess, with catch and release both succumbed to small hooks fed, you see this, head shaking to expel with this…Pretty much, I have determined it was very probable to be fish hooks consumed from small trout. They tell you to cut the line, and Osprey young are so vulnerable to that/ even older birds, few survive the surgery to remove.” Thanks, Sunnie.

Of course, no one should be told to cut the line and return the fish to the lake. Could the line and hook be in the fish, could they take them home? Tossing them back into the water to grow bigger so they might be caught later is only a means to harming the wildlife that feeds off the fish. Can you imagine the suffering? This is very sad and a great explanation.

Checking in on Mini at Patchogue before the day begins. At least three fish by 1009. The first arrived at 0513 and Mini was seen with a crop at 0651 so it got some fish. Hard to see through Mum!

The second fish arrives at 0756. Mini was caught at the back.

Trying to get up to eat at 0806 by stretching its neck – geez…that is a long neck.

By 0811 Mini is at the beak and is still eating at 0819. But Mini is nervous of Little. Mini has a little crop.

Fish three arrives at 1009. The male drops the fish on the nest and Mum makes no effort to get it – they are trying to see if anyone will self-feed. Well, guess who did? If you said Mini, you would be right!

Mum takes the fish and feeds and Mini is up there at 1042.

Is there another fish around 11:42. Mini is sitting on it and I wonder if it is left overs from before but…there is lots of fish. Mini gets to eat a lot! Feeling relieved.

1227. Mini and its crop.

More fish at 1300 and 1524. Mini has a huge crop at 407 and was under Mum and getting fed at 1541. Mini has not gone hungry – it is determined to get up to the fish and has no problem standing up and looking the third hatch, Little, right in the eye. Mini rarely backs down in that situation but it will go into submission if Big ‘looks’ at it.

At the 2012 feeding, Mini was beaked by one of the older siblings when he tried to get to the table. Head of big sib beaking Mini behind Mum’s tail.

Mini went into submission. It is not a giant fish. Mini still has a crop. Holding my breath, hoping this does not become a pattern. When Mum finished, Mini was still at the back in submission despite raising its head to see once in a while. No worries. Mini did eat well, but we don’t want a pattern to begin!

Mini eating breakfast on Saturday. Always a relief. That private feeding lasted from 0539-0616 when Third came up and Mini left.

At 0616, Third comes and Mini knows to leave.

But, at 0636 (it was a big fish!), Mini is back up at the table wanting more. Good for Mini. He missed out on the next small fish at 0922.

Just look at Dmitri’s storklet!

The second Red-tail hawklet at the Bald Eagle nest is alive!

‘H’ report on Severna is great for today: “At the earlier feedings the chicks were well fed. Oscar brought a whole fish at 1536, and seemed to want Olivia to show up to feed, so he waited.  Eventually he began to feed at 1542.  OMG, it was like pulling teeth, what a slow (or reluctant) feeder. At one point Big got impatient and grabbed the fish and attempted to self feed.  Oscar took the fish back after a couple of minutes and continued to feed.  While Oscar was still feeding, Olivia landed with a whole fish, and both parents were feeding for a few minutes.  At 1711, while Olivia was still feeding, Oscar landed with another whole fish.  So, the siblings literally had a fish feast from 1542 to 1740.” Isn’t this fantastic news?! This nest really deserves a break.

At Patuxent 2, ‘H’ reports: “Feeding at 1050 was peaceful and all ended up with good crops.  Big beaked Little after the feeding, I believe simply because it wanted to head in a certain direction and Little was in the way.  They hardly have any room to get around each other in that deep, narrow bowl.”

The Dahlgren nest appears to be harmonious while there is still trouble with the third hatch, Little, at the Forsythe Nest, and Mini. Because there are four -like Patchogue – we are paying particular attention to the Forysthe nest.

‘H’ reports on Forsythe:

Feeding 0623 to 0641, partial fish: Same general scenario, lined up [2,1,4,3], Little beaked Mini a couple of different times.  Big beaked Little after one of those times, and Big even gave Middle a couple of bonks, but I don’t know why.  Total bites for Mini = 2.

Feeding 0837 to 0915, large whole fish: Lined up [2,1,4,3], and later on [1,2,3,4].  Mini doesn’t realize h/she needs to get away from Little.  Again, same scenario, Little beaked Mini intermittently (more severely a couple of times), so MIni spent a great deal of time in submission.  By 0859 Middle had dropped out, and Big was in between Little and Mini, and Mini finally got bites.  Eventually both Little and Big dropped out and Mini had quite a long private feeding.  Total bites for Mini = 98.  

(You know I count very conservatively, if there is any doubt, I discount it as a bite).  It’s nice when the fish is large, so Mini can wait for the others to be sated.  Opal was able to eat a bunch too.

Feeding 1037 to 1102, whole fish: Mini started with a pretty good size crop.  When Mini had Middle or Big as a buffer, then Mini got bites, but positions do get shuffled around, and then Little will attack Mini.  By 1047 Mini started to get bites, and it lasted until Big and Middle dropped out and Mini was exposed to Little again.  Total bites for Mini = 18, but s/he had a big crop.

Feeding 1350 to 1411, large fish: Sounding like a broken record, but positioning is everything. Little had many opportunities to beak Mini.  At one point Mini was in back, and Little turned to beak Mini, but beaked Middle by accident, so Middle beaked Little, Big beaked Little and Middle and Big beaked each other, then Middle beaked Mini.  Goodness!  Long story short, Mini got 15 bites.

Feeding 1526 to 1612, large whole fish:Mini was behind the other three, but eventually squeezed between Big and Little [2,1,4,3].  Why always next to Little?  Mini did not get bites and was beaked by Little intermittently.  At 1534 Big took it upon himself to beak Little out of the way for a bit, so Mini was able to eat until 1540, at which time Little returned.  By 1544 Mini was back at Mom’s beak and ate a ton until 1551.  Total bites for Mini = 97.

‘H’ mentions something very important – the position of the smallest to the sibling that might attack is paramount. This is also true of Patchogue.

Rosa has gotten awfully aggressive…poor Annie!

At Moorings Park Abby is still around as she was seen a couple of days ago. S he is being fed off-camera, most likely. Victor enjoys the whole fish and the nest to himself!

A report from Audubon on the end of the 2023 Florida Bald Eagle nesting season. You might find this to be of some interest. In addition, please be advised that the camera at the SW Florida Eagle nest of M15 and E22 will be turned off at the end of June unless it is taken out by a storm earlier. When it is safe, camera maintenance will be undertaken. Please check the SWFlorida FB pages for the local photographers and their information after.

Vijay has a short clip of what appears to be E22 flying, and if you look carefully towards the end at the bottom right in the grasses by the pond you will see an adult.

Two teeny fish and one red nice one before the rains started at Cowlitz PUD.

Dulles-Greenway’s Flora was caught flying around the wetlands and over the creek. Gosh, she is looking good!

Meanwhile, Dulles-Greenways Pat is being moved.

Have you peeked at Dayani lately? ‘A’ reports: “Dayani is the same size as Angel, so I think the gender is fairly obvious at this stage…I am astounded at how large the local vole population must be, considering how many Deyani eats each day. Dayani is SO close to fledging. I am not ready for her to go. Her wingspan appears to be the same as that of her parents now – those wings are gorgeous – and she is jumping and really flapping those wings, feeling the air and the lift under them. She is really testing out her power-to-weight ratio and her parents will probably reduce the food supply a bit this week. Her chest is pure white like her mum’s, with just a little colouring on her tummy. Apparently, two of Angel’s three 2021 chicks had the same colouring as the Ms while the third looked like Deyani, so it must be an individual thing.”  

Big Red and Arthur’s Ms will be getting ready to fledge soon…M1 is already flapping and jumping. Oh, these hawklets and falcons grow up way too fast.

There is also good news about L3, last year’s fledgling.

Eyas at San Jose City Hall gets banded and this fearsome eyas is a girl!

One healthy falcon…oh, if every nest could be so lucky…these two young parents figured it out… look at this fearless gal. Congratulations Monty and Hartley.

Banded Baby was starving or she thought so by the time Monty and Hartley arrive with food! Gracious. You have to watch this! They both have food. turn the volume up for the full effect!

Kathryn reports some energetic beaking at the Barnegat Light nest today. Let us hope that it is just playful fun. They can sure be angels when they want to be!

For those wondering about Dale Hollow 17, the new male continues to bring food to the nest for the fledgling. Super! The UK nests are doing fine, although concern continues about the visits of the Tawny Owl to the Loch Arkaig nest of Louis and Dorcha.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon.

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Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that help to make up my newsletter today: ‘A’, ‘H’, Kathryn, Sunnie Day, CTV News, Geemeff and Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, PSEG, Dmitri’s Storklet Cam, Doug Gillard, Severna Ospreys, Patuxent River Park, Forsythe Ospreys, SK Hideaway and Cal Falcons, Moorings Park Ospreys, Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey, Vijay and SW Florida Eagle Cam, Cowlitz PUD, Dulles-Greenaway Eagles, Bald Eagles Naturally and Dulles-Greenaway Eagles, Window to Wildlife, Cornell RTH, Jenn Johnson Graff and Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters, SJCH Falcon Cam, SK Hideaways and SJCH Falcon Cam, and Barnegat Light.

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