Fledges, Zeus missing? and more…Thursday in Bird World

22 June 2023

It is always good to go somewhere and soak in a very different environment and then, it is always good to be ‘home’. It was hard to leave the island. There had to be one last stop by the rocks and the water with the Pelicans and Hooded Mergansers. Before I could get there, a family of Canada Geese swam by! Oh, joy!

This beautiful female Common Merganser sitting on ‘her’ rock watching her babies swim.

Pelicans have to be the comedians of the shore. Notice that the pelican on the right has a ‘caruncle’ – a protrusion from the top beak. It is thought that these are there to attract a mate as they are shed after mating and eggs are laid. Both males and females grow them.

Lake Winnipeg is the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world at 25,514 sq km. It is also very shallow – something that causes these huge swells. At its deepest, it is only 38 m.

The water pounds against the rocks when it is windy – I find it soothing. They were all there, so it was a nice goodbye, and then, crossing the causeway, there was a single Tundra Swan and, to my delight, a Bald Eagle (not an adult but too far at a distance to determine age) who was none too happy that I stopped to say hello! It was near the Black Wolf trail, where their nests are located.

The distance is about 80-90 metres. That eagle with its keen sight knew where I was all the time. It had flown from an old dock to that tree in the distance to keep an eye on me.

I love it when the garden animals realise that I am home! Or maybe it is the smell of those peanuts in the feeders! LOL

Poor Junior looks a little bedraggled now that he is moulting. That Blue Jay in front – well that is the little fledgling that was sitting with the stone birds last week.

Dyson is looking a lot better than she did a few days ago.

There were so many birds getting drinks.

Moorings Park Victor is having a ball, skimming the water for fish, and coming to the nest wet! What a delight!

Little Mini is doing very well despite the Bigs getting some small fish to self feed on previous days. ‘R’ sent me two images of Mini up feeding at dawn and again when another early fish arrives. It seems that things are back to normal with Mini eating well in the early morning and evening. Don’t you just love this little character?

A big fish came into the nest at 18:44, and Mum happily fed Mini from 19:54-19:21, when she was too full to eat another bite. Mum got to enjoy some nice fish. We should no longer have to worry about Mini, but because she is a fourth, I will continue to watch her closely until she fledges! It is simply a delight to see this little one work hard to stay alive and is now thriving.

Mini also had the most amazing ‘ps’ at 20:31. That wide ribbon of white going in front of the perch is going to make a big splash on the sidewalk.

Deyani fledged on Wednesday and returned to the nest. Perfect.

Angel arrived to an empty nest.

Deyani returns to get the little bird for her lunch that Angel brought. This is excellent—the continuation of the nest as a place for prey.

On Wednesday, the Ms were getting a little antsy. One was on the fledge ledge and the railing today sending out the signal that they could fly anytime now and M1 did. She flew Thursday morning.

We almost had an ooops.

Here is the video of that flight!

Perhaps I am the only one but this eyas at the Evergy Topeka scrape – while it has now its back and wing feathers broken out of their shafts – still has the most peculiar head. Where is its plumage?

Climate change is revealing new places for our birds to try and live. Here is some news from Sanibel Islands.

Storms are really playing havoc with the osprey nests along the NE coast of the US today. This is the report from ‘H’. “Ospreys near the Mid-Atlantic coast are not eating well today.  Rain and heavy winds.  So far today as of 1955:

Barnegat Light, three early fish – Little had 36 bites at the first meal, and at the other two meals the view was blocked. I note that the wind is terrible and Mum is soaked as night begins to descend.

Kent Island, one early fish (two meals)

Dahlgren, two early fish

Patuxent 1, one afternoon fish

Severna Park, two early fish (I think that’s all) 

SCMM, no fish so far !!! And now we may know why. ‘H’ reports: “Worrisome.  Zeus was not seen at all yesterday.  We assume he had no luck fishing for the family, but he did not stop by the nest.  Hera flew off the nest this morning at 0810 and did not return until 0953.  We assume she went fishing.  When she returned, she did not have a fish and her crop was flat.  It is damp and chilly, 63 degrees.  For some reason, she has not returned to brooding the chicks at 10:20.”

This is very sad, indeed. Hera might know that something has happened to Zeus and that she cannot care for the osplets alone. We wait. Send good wishes to all of these nests, please.

Forsythe, no fish so far (Big and Middle self-fed Mini’s carcass) !!!

Boathouse, plenty of fish and feeds.

Exshaw, three feedings so far.  I watched the feeding at 1630 (mdt) to make sure Little was getting fed, and the answer is a very big YES.  Louise went out of her way to make sure Little in the back row had many bites, even some big ones that the little stinker surprisingly managed to swallow.

As you can see, some of the nests are doing splendidly and do not have weather issues – others have severe wind and rain causing a lack of food and those horrid wet and cold conditions that can make osplets vulnerable. We may lose some chicks off these nests. I am particularly concerned about Barnegat Light.

Here is a sweep of some other nests:

Cowlitz PUD: The osplet was seen attacking Mum’s beak because it is hungry. The fish are small and most often not enough of them.


Boulder County Fair Grounds: Everything appears to be alright. Little got a private feeding!

Outerbanks, North Carolina: Everything is good. Chicks are self-feeding and also being fed.

Dunrovin: Three healthy osplets!

At the Finnish Nests:

#1. It appears that all three are doing good.

#3. Little sometimes hangs back but manages to get up front and get some of the big fish that are brought to the nest.

#4. Everything appears to be alright. Lined up nicely for meals with a wee bit of bother sometimes – but not during feedings that I have observed.

#LS5: Everything looks alright with this nest and its two osplets. It is the only Finnish nest with only two this year.

Janakkalan: The third hatch often gets fed after the two big ones.

In the UK, banding will occur at all of the nests we have monitored as long as the weather holds and there are banners. Chicks cannot be banded after 45 days for fear of causing a premature fledge/fludge. The ideal time is 35-38 days.

Loch of the Lowes: Blue NC0 has to protect her chicks from bad weather.

Nice fish for a late night meal. Laddie has been delivering a lot of fish. On the 15th of June, he delivered a record eleven for the nest.

Dyfi Osprey Project: The ringing of the two osplets of Idris and Telyn will take place on 27 June, weather permitting. Awwwww, sleeping sweeties.

Glaslyn: I love seeing Aran and Elen sharing the perch. The chicks are growing and healthy and all is well.

Loch Arkaig: Geemeff catches the delivery of fish number two in the early afternoon….It is identified as a whole Silver Tourist (a species I do not know but gosh, what a nice one!). I can only imagine if a fish like this landed on the Cowlitz PUD.

Poole Harbour: Breakfast is served at 0426. Blue 022 is really an early bird.

Llyn Clywedog: Dylan fed the Bobs a really nice Brown Trout for their tea on Wednesday.

For the fans of the Albatross, the Royal Cam chick has a name. A really nice compilation by Sharon Dunne aka Lady Hawk.

Does M15 – our amazing SW Florida Dad – have a new mate? Oh, this is fantastic – let us hope that these two bond and we see them in the late fall at the nest. So grateful to those photographers on the ground.

You might really enjoy seeing the winners of the Audubon Photography Awards. There are so many talented individuals!

And now for something extraordinary – we really could use a pick me up after the weather and Zeus missing…Middle at Achieva. He is fattening up at the Tampa Bay Raptor Centre and will attend flight school next week. How wonderful is that? Thanks, ‘H’.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon – and do not forget to send good wishes to these beautiful nests. Many of them might be in some trouble today.

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, postings, photographs, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: “A, H, L, R’, Moorings Park, PSEG, Window to Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab, Evergy Topeka, NBC2 News, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Chesapeake Conservancy, Dahlgren Ospreys, Patuxent River Park, Severna Ospreys, SCMM, Forsythe Ospreys, Audubon Boat House, Fortis Exshaw, Cowlitz PUD, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Outerbank ospreys, Dunrovin Ranch, Finnish Osprey Foundation, LOTL, Dyfi, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Laura Davis Nelson and SWFL Eagles, and Audubon.

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