Fortis Exshaw? …Wednesday in Bird World

12 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Besides entering data in the forms, the day was spent making jam and gardening while running in to check on nests every 30 or 40 minutes. The Baby Blue Jays now know – just like last year – to come and peck on the window when the peanuts are all gone. They are adorable. The jam is just finishing up. It is the last of the strawberries. The heat of the early summer cooked the plants out in the local fields. So it was a short season. Hopefully, there will be some raspberries!

We need to start out with something wonderful and today that story comes from Nova Scotia, Canada – and it comes from Nova Scotia Power! By now everyone is aware of the deadly wildfires in that Atlantic Canadian province. These little osplets lost their nests and with the kindness of humans regained their lives with their parents.

‘L’ wrote to me yesterday to see if I knew about the chicks at The Wetlands Institute. I went to check, and sadly, one died on Monday of starvation, and the other died on Tuesday. It is hard to believe. They both hatched on the 28th of May, making them 43 days old. They were both fully feathered. Their cause of death was starvation. The nest is in the Stone Harbour area of New Jersey, and it is one of the nests in the region of that big storm that hit that caused so many nests to lose not only all the chicks but some of the males. Our hearts go out to all these osprey families.

The average age for fledging varies from 46-60 days giving some perspective on what a great loss these osplets are to the future population.

These big beautiful osplets should not be dying. They should be getting ringed and getting fat and strong for fledge and migration.

A tragedy also began on 7 July in the making at Fortis Exshaw when the male, Jasper, disappeared. ‘H’ has astutely noted that the nest is beginning to look like what happened at Cape Henlopen last season when intruders killed the male, then killed or injured the female leaving 3 healthy osplets on the nest – they starved to death on camera. It was horrific. Louise was last seen on the nest at 1337 on Tuesday when she chased intruders that had been landing. Louise did return to the nest and was noticeably tired. She checks on the chicks and ‘H’ reports that Louise provided five feedings for the two. So, please send continued positive wishes. We have help if it is required but it will also involve getting the community in the Canmore area involved.

‘H’ reports the following: “Feeding 0704 to 0714 – A brief bonking battle sent Middle to the side.  0708 Middle got a little closer, and ate its first bite at 0709.  Most of the feeding was blocked from view.Feeding 1100 to 1105 – This feeding was peaceful.Feeding 1109 to 1113 –  Louise quickly returned with another small fish.  The view of the feeding was partially blocked, but Middle initially spent some time off to the side, indicating that s/he had been intimidated.Feeding 1244 to 1250 – The view was partially blocked but it seemed that both chicks were eating peacefully side by side.Feeding 1328 to 1333 – Again the feeding was partially blocked from view, but it seemed peaceful with both eating.As you can tell by the length of feeding times, most of the fish Louise caught were on the small side.”

The AIWC in Calgary has told me they will take the orphaned osplets if – that is if they are orphaned – if they can be retrieved from the nest and transported to Calgary. If any of you live near the nest on the Bow River in Canmore, I would suggest reaching out to the Canmore Fire Department to try and coordinate an effort along with Fortis Exshaw. This was the response I received – please note that they did not understand that the osplets were in the nest (or their wording is a bit hazy on that). Permits might be required. If you do live in the area please send me a comment or e-mail and I will provide you with further details.

Hello Mary, I am so sorry to hear that these little ones might be orphaned. We appreciate everything you have done for them thus far, and for reaching out to us regarding their care. We are more than happy to take the orphaned osplets at our wildlife centre just north of Calgary. Unfortunately, we are short on resources at the moment, and therefore are not able to complete any pickups and/or rescues at this time. Our rescue program is volunteer-run, which sadly means that we are dependent on when drivers sign up for shifts. We are happy to send a call-out looking for volunteer drivers, however, I cannot guarantee that we would be able to send someone right away.
If yourself, a friend, or relative might feel comfortable containing the osplets, we would be more than happy to receive them at our centre, if someone is able to drop them off with us. 
Thank you again for your message today, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we are able to assist. 
Kind regards,The AIWC Team

Two little osplets calling for Mum so loud it breaks your heart.

Louise was back brooding the chicks as night fall begin to settle in.

Let us just bracket that sadness with something else wonderful and that are Big Red and Arthur’s Ms who are going strong, learning every day and getting those wings and hunting skills honed. Thanks to Suzanne Arnold Horning we have some great images of the hawks out and about on the Cornell Campus.

At the Balgavies Loch, three gorgeous osplets were ringed on the 11th of July. What wonderful news.

At Patchogue, everyone knows when Dad delivers a fish to the nest!

After Big, guess who is working on that big fish? None other than Little Mini. Sweet.

Mini is still working away at that fish – home alone, so not rush – an hour later.

‘L’ sent me a sweet screen capture of our Little Mini. What a great crop! Looks like she is full of fish up to her beak!

Moorings Park: Not sure about Victor. He slept on the Moorings Park nest and he was there all day waiting for a fish delivery from Harry.

Collins Marsh: Nice fish landed on the nest. The two osplets are feathered up, not quite completely but getting there, and doing well. Fingers crossed for this new couple to the nest in what looks like a very hot Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Oyster Bay: Now isn’t that the most beautiful image? Dad on the edge. Mum feeding those three gorgeous osplets.

Boulder County: Mum is working overtime to keep those three large osplets shaded form the hot sun!

Cowlitz PUD: That is one beautiful osplet! Cheeky one…doesn’t want us to see the amazing juvenile plumage…looks like a good hit on that camera lens.

Seaside: All is well.

Alyth: Raining. Big drops coming down. Three beauties. I hope there are no goshawks in this area.

Poole Harbour: Last year one of the chicks around fledging time was predated by a goshawk. So hoping that this does not happen this year.

Blue 022 in with a huge fish at 1738. CJ7 takes charge and that big fish is gone in a blink.

Loch Arkaig – nest 1 home of Affric and two potential mates:

Loch of the Lowes: Beautiful Blue NC0 and her two fledglings. All is well.

Llyn Brenig: All is well.

Llyn Clywedog: Dylan is such a good provider. When they wonder why osplets areople starving in the US, I remind pe that many of the ponds and lochs are stocked in the UK. The Clywedog Reservoir gets 40,000 fish annually deposited. Now think about that and then look at these two healthy chicks – and then look at Manton Bay which is also stocked. Why not push where you live for USFWS to provide fingerlings in all the lakes and ponds for the birds that rely on them? Why not! And maybe instead of increasing fish quotes let us just cut them entirely.

Dyfi: A whole lot of flapping going on. If you want to order any merchandise from Dyfi (or otherwise) and they do not take your postal code, contact them. Dyfi arranged for me to donate and shipped Emyr Evan’s book to me in Canada for a small additional postage charge. It was not much. (Their tote bags are great, too!)

Glaslyn: Lovely family portrait of Aran and Elen with their two sleeping babies in the nest. What a beautiful image…when I feel really ‘low’ over the deaths in North America, I just think of this nest with this new Mum who took Mrs G’s place and did an amazing job first time around.

Tweed Valley 2: the two chicks have been ringed and fitted with sat pads! Love the names.

‘H’ reports on the following:

Patuxent Nest 1 –  ‘Sibling A’ that fledged at 0745 on 7/11 has yet to return to the nest.  Sibling ‘B’ was doing some vigorous flapping and slight hovering, and may be ready to take his/her first flight.  Their older foster sibling spends most of her time hanging out on the perch where she can keep a lookout for incoming fish.  ‘Foster’ prefers to be in the nest before Dad lands with a fish, but as you can see in the attached photo, Foster arrived a little late from the perch for the last meal of the day.  Sibling ‘B’ took that fish, but Foster stole it!  Not to worry, sibling ‘B’ was able to eat a large portion after Foster ate her fill.

Audubon Boathouse –  My goodness, 32 day old Skipper is getting so big.  The proud parents, Dory and Skiff, are doing a great job.

Forsythe – Oscar is not ‘missing’.  There were six fish brought to the nest on 7/11.  Oscar delivered a fish at 0750, and Opal delivered the others.  Is there a ‘Manual for Osprey Life’ that dictates that the male must deliver most of the fish to the nest?  Perhaps Oscar has been busy keeping intruders out of the territory.  Opal and Oscar seem to have a great partnership.  Their kids are 51 and 50 days old.There was an epic tug of war for the fish that Oscar delivered.  The battle for the fish between the kids and their Mom went on for nearly a full minute.  In the end, one of the siblings won.

Barnegat Light – Daisy delivered a couple of live bluefish and the whole family feasted.  Duke and Daisy’s youngster is doing great, and at 42 days old, ’09/N’ has been doing some wingers.

‘A’ sent a note about the Royal Cam Chick: “Manaaki had a big day yesterday, with a visit from the rangers (for weighing day) and then a visit from mum for a feeding. Happy little man. Can’t wait till they fill in that weight chart. Here are the highlights of his day: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=ZOf5Smgt9kY&list=TLPQMTIwNzIwMjMLCopcQu6ATg&index=3 Listen to all that happy wheeing away when mum arrives. She is not giving him nearly as much food as dad GLY does at a feeding. In fact, she appears very reluctant to give up any of her stomach contents to Manaaki, and no wonder – he’s MUCH bigger than either of his parents (though some of that, of course, is due to his remaining fluff).”

Hartley and Monty have been bonding since Soledad fledged. Give this young couple a pat on the back! What a chick they raised in Soledad.

Thank you so much for being with me. Please send your positive wishes to our dear Louise at Fortis Exshaw and to all the nests. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, images, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L, L’, Hope for Wildlife, Fortis Exshaw, Suzanne Arnold Horning, SL Security Pros, Moorings Park, Collins Marsh, PSEG, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Cowlitz PUD, Seaside Ospreys, Forsythe Ospreys, Conserve Wildlife F of NJ, Patuxent River Park, Alyth, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Llyn Brenig, CarnyXWild, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, NZ DOC, and SK Hideaways and SJCH Falcons.

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