Black Friday runs into Saturday, Mini eats…Bird World

24 June 2023

Hello to Everyone,

It has been a very rough two days. In the six years, I have been monitoring nests for siblicide – and the many before that where I was observing behaviour – I have never had a spate of osplet deaths as we have seen in the past couple of weeks. Chicks dying for unknown reasons and now dying of starvation because of a storm. More chicks will die before Saturday morning and everyone is going to sleep with a very heavy heart.

There are many things that my father taught me by his example. My earliest memory was always helping those that were unable to help themselves. It did not matter if it was the birds, the stray cats and the dogs that people knew to leave because he would care for them and find homes or people. So, no one got in a boat, or a car to place fish on those osprey nests is beyond me. My only alternative tonight was to ensure all the garden animals were overfed. It is essential to stop, take a breath, and care for those that are nearby and need your help. So, this weekend, in memory of all the little ones that were lost, put out a water bowl, fill up a feeder, clean up human debris. While we mourn the lost ones, we need to remember to focus on those that are living. Their lives are as precariously balanced on the thinnest of wires and your generosity could save their family!

Before we start with todays news, I want everyone to have a ‘feel-good’ story to stay with them during some of the tragedies. Enjoy! Who knew that a laundry basket could bring such happiness?

And, yes, we are going to need a lot more happiness today…look at these two beautiful fledglings from the new West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta….but, wait. They are at the old nest! No worries. An adult was over on Tor keeping an eye. Gorgeous. And both seem to have crops.

I want to give a shout out to Louis at Loch Arkaig. As Geemeff says, Every nest could use a Louis’. No mater the weather, nothing stops him from getting fish on that nest.

Louis does it again Saturday morning.

When we hear of Black Friday, it is now most often associated with a shopping frenzy but, for me, the 22-23 June will now be the day that so many osplets died in a climate situation in the NE of the United States. The true toll will not be known until Saturday or Sunday on the streaming cams. The females who have kept their chicks warm and dry and watched them die have not eaten either. We could also lose them! I do not understand why the businesses and the wildlife associations that run the cameras are not prepared to step in and provide fish. Are not the frequency and severity of these storms signalling something to do with human-induced climate change?

Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ offered this explanation of the weather system that has caused such a catastrophic loss on the nests in the region – and to them, this is catastrophic having their entire family wiped out.

At Barnegat Light, after more than 60 hours, a fish came on the nest at 14:31:39. It appears that Daisy went fishing…she is wet. Will they all survive? We must wait to see. Big ate and so did Daisy – she has to. Middle was shut out and he has now not eaten (as of this fish delivery) for 53 hours. Duke has not been seen since yesterday afternoon and it is thought that he might be trying to find fish elsewhere – I think he has been injured in the storm and is MIA.

The tears are pouring…sadly, the fish came too late for Little Bob. Hopefully, Daisy will get more fish – and she did. She brought in another at 15:23. She has brought in two fish Saturday morning but Middle is too ill to eat. Middle is dying. Daisy has done amazing work and it looks like she might be able to keep herself and Big alive. How said that Middle is unable to eat some of that fish because Big is full.

Oscar has been bringing small fish for Opal and the two osplets at Forsythe. Anything helps – and ‘H’ noted that Oscar had 7 fish on the nest on Friday in difficult fishing conditions. It appears, however, that we will lose chick 3, Little. Mini has already passed and 3 was just barely alive at 19:38 on Friday and was not seen eating. It now appears that three has died leaving Dad Oscar, Mum Opal, and Owen and Ollie. With some luck, the oldest two might survive.

‘H’ reports on Forsythe for Saturday morning: “Bless dear Oscar, how stressful the previous days of bad weather must have been for him, knowing that his family depended on him, and he was not able to provide.  Seems like he is trying to make up for it now, 8 fish deliveries before 9 am!” After a bit both of the chicks ate…this is good. These two might survive.

Not particularly happy with what is happening at Patchogue. Mini ate well on Wednesday and had some fish Thursday morning but those huge crops of the previous weeks are gone. The three big siblings are now up and eating first thing in the morning and Mini is often shut out. Let us hope that the good fishing returns.

Mini appears to continue to be shut out of fish. Will Dad bring a late night one so our Mini can eat? He will desperately need fish on Saturday if this keeps up.

It is a miserable Saturday at Patchogue but Mini was fed by Mum at 0824. Tears like the rain.

Severna Park was really wet, also. All the nests are getting some residues of that storm. Both seem to have eaten but the fish do not appear to be coming as regularly today.

The fish are small and are few but, thankfully, there is only one chick and the Cowlitz PUD osprey nest might just have a fledge this year when other nests have none. That is almost shocking.

The two osplets at the Great Bay Osprey platform in Greenland, New Hampshire, are eating some nice fish and doing well.

The Outerbanks had a nice big flat fish come in!

Oyster Bay appears to be OK. There is some problem with submission but the fish seem to be coming in.

Boulder County Fair Grounds is alright, too. The little one had a nice big crop as the sun was going down.

Mum fed Dad some of the fish before the chicks were fed. This is a sweet nest.

The large female and male of Laddie and Blue NC0 were ringed a few days ago. The female is Blue PF4 and came in at a hefty 1.85 kg, while the little male weighed 1.2 kg and is Blue PF5.

Three healthy chicks on the Osprey nest in Spain at the Urdaibai Biosphere.

Good News is coming out of Minnesota-

The Peregrine falcon scrape at Topeka Kansas has proven to be a bit of a mystery. The older siblings fledged a week or a bit ago. The third hatch – which appears to be developmental slow in getting its feathers – and appeared to have a problem with its eyes is beginning to look more like a falcon. It is not clear how much prey is brought to it on a daily basis but I will continue to call for an intervention if the adults are not delivering several food items a day…

Lady Hawk caught M15 and his lady friend at the pond! Some good news…and also, there is news that E22 was also seen at the pond at 1620 Friday. Life is good at SW Florida on the Pritchett Property.

Soledad is one of the fiercest Peregrine Falcons I have seen! Here she defends the scrape and she can only have thought that Monty was an intruder!

M1 returned to the nest when prey was delivered. All is well at the Red-tail hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur – it is perfect that she is flying so well and going on and off to the trees and buildings building up her skills. M2 fledged Friday leaving M3 on the nest alone Friday night.

Flying is hard work.

M2s fledge:

Deyani has been returning to the nest of Tom and Angel to get prey items, too. She has been following the adults when she sees them from her behaviour.

Other heartbreaking news. A goshawk has taken 2 of the 4 storklets off the Black Stork nest of Noteka and Nutka in the Noteka Forest in Poland.

In a freak event, the eldest goshawk at RSPB Loch Garten goshawks attacked the youngest, Mini 4, when a large prey item was delivered and killed its sibling. I have never seen this happen at a hawk nest.

After a horrific year of deaths due to HPAI, Sunnie Day reports that Bald Eagles in Georgia are on the rebound.

The latest BTO News came in the post today. There are many great articles, one is an opinion piece by Nick Acheson. He is the author of The Meaning of Geese. In all that he does – and Acheson does a lot- it is because of climate change that he says he wants to know that he has a clear conscience and has done his utmost to mitigate the climate crisis. ” I will have tried. At least I will have tried”. He has been a Vegetarian since childhood; he has given up animal products altogether, doesn’t drive, takes the bus, or uses his bicycle. He never flies anymore, and this young man could earn lots of money on the lecture circuit. He lives in a small Flint house in Norfolk that he also refuses to heat. Check out Nick’s website at

Acheson believes that our window for doing something is closing fast – after 40 years of warnings. What I like about him is that he is unwilling to give up!

Nick’s worries are borne out by an article in The Guardian today but, they also show us that with a major effort we can turn some things around.

Thank you so much for being with me today. When it all gets too much, take a deep breath. Spend time with your pet, sit outside, and listen to the birds. We all get overwhelmed, especially when we want to do something to help and can’t. Take care of yourself. Amid the mourning, there is much joy, and now it is time to also celebrate that! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped to make up my blog today: ‘Geemeff, H, L, SP, and T’, Nick Beres NC5, IWS/Explore, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Forsythe Ospreys, PSEG, Severna Ospreys, Cowlitz PUD, Great Bay Ospreys, Outer Banks 24/7, Boulder County Fair Grounds Ospreys, LOTL and the Woodland Trust, Evergy Topeka, Lady Hawk and SW Florida Eagle Cam, SK Hideaways and San Jose City Hall Falcons, Cornell RTH, Window to Wildlife, Sunnie Day, The Guardian, BTO, and Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch.


  1. Simone says:

    Hello Mary,
    … thank you for your updates… I have no words, for the shocking situations on different osprey nests, and i have never seen so much osprey tragedies in one season… Tears running down my face …

    Many greetings to you …

    1. Dear Simone..sending you a warm hug. It is just a tragedy and I hope that the storm is gone and life can settle down. Daisy has done amazing and I hope she has one chick to raise and fledge and two at Forsythe. There are so many nests we do not see that will have been impacted by this storm that sat over the area for so long. It is beyond sad….Thank you so much for your compassion and for writing in.

  2. Vivian Steele says:

    Two osprey chicks at Seaside are growing. Kawok is 27 days old and Naika is 25 days old. There is very little aggression on this nest. A peaceful nest to watch after the horror on the east coast. I wish we could send them some of our fish.

    1. Hi Vivian, Oh, thank you for letting me know about Seaside. I check in on them every day but do not always report. Isn’t it wonderful to see a nest that is thriving. Thank you so much – I will mention this tomorrow and yes, it would be grand. I regret that no one put fish on the nests while the storm just sat over the area, not moving. We hope that a couple of the chicks are saved.

      1. Fernando says:

        Hi Mary Ann, I am writing to discuss the matter as morally I am very low today because of the Barnegat Light Do you think something happened to Duke? It’s very strange that he doesn’t show up… Do you think Daisy and big will survive? I remember that I wrote to you a while ago from Port Lincoln for a similar situation, but I am emotionally involved and it hurts, thanks for reading and for your response.

      2. Dear Fernando, Thank you for writing. I am feeling the same way. First, I think that Duke died in the storm early on and that Daisy knows that. Her behaviour switched quickly into going to fish instead of brooding. I do believe that Daisy will be very successful in raising Big. She is 25 days old today and is getting nice plumage. Daisy has brought in at least 4 fish on Sunday and that is actually enough for both of them. It is heart breaking what has happened on these nests. A fish or two would have made all the difference. Attitudes really need to change, Fernando, so that help can come. I am glad that the Finnish people went to collect the osplets that lost their mother. Even with a stack of fish on the nest the male did not know to feed them..he might not realize the female is gone. More people need to be pro-active in the US – saying there are too many ospreys is not the right answer! Or it is just nature. We – humans – have destroyed nature – as you know.. BUT I think Daisy will be fine and Big, too, unless there is another catastrophic event.

  3. Akane says:

    What a tragedy, I can’t stop crying.
    I am so sad that the middle didn’t make it. If only it had been just a little bit earlier….
    Daisy was warming up the Little and Middle who passed away. It was heartbreaking.
    I sincerely hope that the chicks are doing well in their nests.

    1. Daisy is working so hard to save her one baby now. My heart just aches for her. We know that she can fledge this one if something else doesn’t happen. Maybe she could not have fed three alone but I had so hoped Middle would make it…

  4. Oh Mary Ann, tears here for all the sad news lately. You were in my thoughts today when I sat out in my garden watching a beautiful hawk circling overhead and a family of robins in the neighbor’s trees… and hummingbirds nearby enjoying the wild pink phlox… and then I think, if only!! If only everyone cared as you do – as we do. I’m thankful that the baby osprey here in Cowlitz County is managing to survive so far. I’m going to try to find out what’s causing the food shortage here. There are rivers and a lake nearby…. can’t imagine what is happening.
    Thank you for keeping us informed about all our nests, Mary Ann.

    1. Hi Betty, Lovely to hear from you! We move forward but the key is to continue to demand help. I would be very interested in what is going on with the fish near that Cowlitz PUD nest. Do they not stock it? are the fish dying away from the heat? Please let me know what you find out. I am so happy to hear you are in your garden. I love Phlox!

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