Fish Battles and more…Monday in Bird World

31 July 2023

My goodness. It is the end of July. Where did the summer go? and the Osprey season? It seems it was only a couple of weeks ago that we were wondering if Blue NC0 would lay the first egg of the UK season or would it be Maya?

I woke up to a note from a friend living on a farm in southern Manitoba with a pond. She wanted to know what is up. The geese typically are not on her pond until the middle of October, and at least 65 landed on Sunday. Is migration starting this early?

‘PB’ sent us a smile for the day. After Louise feeds the osplets twice from the big fish she brought to the nest, look at those crops.

‘H’ adds: “Mr.O was not seen on 7/29, and we were worried that he may have been injured while fighting an intruder the day before.  We were so relieved when Mr.O flew to the nest with a fish on 7/30 at 0911.  I’m sure many viewers were jumping for joy.  Louise flew to the nest a few seconds later to greet him.  They immediately had an intruder issue and Louise and Mr.O spent the next few minutes sending the intruder packing.  Louise brought three more fish to the nest throughout the day, including a couple of her signature ‘whoppers’.  The chicks had bursting crops.  All is well.”

Now for a break through….a simple coat of paint! We have known this for years but there was no action. Now there is no excuse.

How a pool ring helped a little vulture.

More fishing hooks…

Swinging through the Nests:

We are going to start with Australia and ‘A’ has some news to add:

Lady has had a busy morning, organising the three half-fish on the nest and ensuring Dad didn’t remove a single flake of it. She is very jealous about guarding the food once it is on the nest. Dad very rarely gets away with removing any food from the nest. There were cot rails to replace this morning after the first breakfast sitting. Both eaglets ate well. They are beyond adorable. Dad is bringing fish after fish for his family and Lady is absolutely devoted to her chicks. Such a sweet family. Those little faces are just darling. 

In Orange, Xavier arrived for the early morning bonding session but he has not had a good morning, with two starlings rejected by Diamond. I’m not sure why he keeps bringing them. Surely he must know by now that they are not a popular offering. He is on the ledge as I type, surveying his world. It’s an idyllic place for them to raise their family, Ah, something has caught his attention. He e-chups a few times, then flies out of the box. No idea what he’s spotted but something below the nest box certainly interested him. Such a handsome wee falcon. Gorgeous. I love little Xavier. There is regular mating on the tower and much digging of deep indentations in the nest box. 

In New Zealand, Manaaki is looking especially gorgeous this morning. It is a lovely sunny day at the colony and our beautiful albie chick has had a quiet morning, relaxing on his nest. For once, he has not been gardening or exploring, just enjoying a quiet rest. He is gradually losing his fluff and is starting to look increasingly like his parents. Our giant fluff ball is nearly an albatross. What a beautiful boy he really is, Darvic bling and all. We’ll miss him terribly when he fledges. It’s such a very long time before there is any chance of seeing them again – several years in most cases – so their fledge is particularly bittersweet. We still wonder and worry about little QT, who fludged early in a storm. Lilibet was only 220 days old when she became the first fledge of the season last year. That look on her face ….. 

At Collins Street, it is a cold but sunny morning. There is still some time to wait before we can expect eggs to be laid. Last year’s first hatch was on 30 September, so it should be up to four weeks before the first egg is laid. The last week of August probably, although as I keep saying, who knows what climate change will do to the birds’ inner clocks. I have been rewatching some of last year’s videos from Collins Street in an attempt to discern enough identifying features to determine whether or not this is the same couple we saw in the second part of last year’s season. 

Thanks ‘A’.

Moving back to the nests we have been following:

Collins Marsh: Two beautiful, fully feathered chicks standing in the blowing wind on the nest. This couple looks like they will fledge a pair of osplets this year! It is fantastic. Last year the nest was abandoned, and the year prior, the chick Malik had a forced fledge and was found dead below the nest. This is a new couple in 2023 who diligently cared for their young. Fingers crossed for safe flying.

Boulder County: Two fledglings, one to fly and Mum on one of the successful US nests this year. This beautiful couple that fed one another and did tandem feedings in the beginning so that little third had a chance did it! Success.

Finnish Nest 1:

Fish brings both fledglings in – Mum has a full house. There was still one to fledge at the time of my writing.

Finnish Nest 4: It was a little wet and the three were huddled together for warmth and some fresh fish. Notice the difference in plumage in the two nests. The little ones at nest 4 still have the white stripe. We are a ways from fledgling here! Indeed, they can still, for the most part, fit under Mum to stay dry.

Ilomantsi Finland: This nest is the most eastern of all the Finnish nests and is right on the Russian border. It is the home of parents Manta and Manu who have raised three beautiful osplets. Two females and a male. All have been ringed and at least one has fledged.

The ringing of the chicks took place on 11 July.

Patchogue: Watching for a fish delivery! Our Mini (top) is magnificent. Look at those ‘snake eyes’. Just like Iris! Not nearly the fish deliveries coming to the nest that we saw a few days ago. Dad is feeding off nest. Oh, we need a GoPro on Mini!!!!

Steelscape: Three got some fish and had a nice crop for a bit. Oldest sibling is doing a good job self-feeding. Keep sending good wishes to this little one.

Sandpoint: Wishing for fish for Coco who has not had a lot of fish over the last 24 hours. Keke is very hungry as well and has eaten fish and then tried to feed Coco. Wish for lots of fish!

MN Landscape Arboretum: All is good! The first image is from Sunday and the second Monday morning when Mum and chick are waiting for a delivery. Gosh this nest looks better than it did at the beginning of the season and this new female has really turned into a good Mum.

Alyth: Everyone appears to be doing well after the big tumble out of the nest on Saturday.

Dyfi: Nothing deters Indris – not even a bit of Welsh wind and damp – from getting fish to his kids.

Glaslyn: Looks like there is more rain at Glaslyn and wind. Elen hunkered down on the perch.

One of our Manitoba Osprey nests:

‘H’ has her reports – thanks ‘H’.

Forsythe – There were three fish brought to the nest by Oscar.  Ollie was the beneficiary of all three fish.  But at 0612, two minutes after the first fish was delivered, Owen flew to the nest and a battle ensued with both fledglings going overboard in a mass of wings and talons.  Ollie was seen flying away and Owen returned to claim the fish lying on the nest.  There were a few more brutal battles between those two juvies throughout the day.  Someone is going to get hurt.  More fish is needed at this nest.

Barnegat Light – Dorsett had the pleasure of experiencing several flights on her fledge day.  In these photos, the new fledgling is hanging out with Mom and Dad, and later she is shown enjoying a well earned dinner fish.  

Osoyoos: I’m not quite sure how many fish were delivered to the nest . . many were delivered by Dad, but then some were removed from the nest.  It was a confusing day, and a sad day.At 0542 Dad dropped off a partial fish.  Over the course of the next 2 1/2 hours both chicks tried to self feed from the fish.  #2 was more interested than #1, as #2 was literally starving, but at 33 days of age, did not have the skills to self-feed.  Most of the time that #2 was attempting to eat, s/he was attacked by #1.  There were a few times when #2 held the fish with its talon he did seem to pull off some bites.  Eventually at 0811 that fish either went over the east side of the nest or became lodged in some sticks.  Chick #2 had been facing away from the camera, but when #2 turned around, his crop was still flat.At 0724 Dad arrived with a partial fish and fed chick #1.  Whenever #2 attempted to approach, s/he was attacked by #1.At 1321 Dad was feeding, with a chick to either side.  #2 actually ate 8 bites of fish, before #1 lunged in front of Dad to reach #2, and attacked.  The incident seemed to be disturbing to Dad.  He stopped the feeding and flew away.  The remainder of the fish was left in the nest.  Chick #1 picked up the fish and did a pretty good job of self-feeding.  #2 managed to grab a large tail piece and tried to eat, but unfortunately he dropped the fish over the side.There were other feedings by Dad at 1415, 1529, 1959, and 2014.  Chick #2 did not receive any bites of fish at those meals.I’m not sure if Mom was seen at the nest on 7/30.”

McKeun ParK:
I took this pic yesterday afternoon.  Looks like they all fledged!

Thanks so much ‘H’.

A note has just come in from Kielder Forest that Grasslees is the first osplet to fledge from nest 2. That happened on Saturday, the 29th. Return to nest safely.

Glacier Gardens. The eaglet has been named Serak and is beautiful in that dark chocolate plumage.

Eastern Imperial Eagles: At the Tatarstan nest of Altyn and Altynan, the two eaglets have branched!

Karl II and Kaia: The three surviving storklets have been ringed. One has a transmitter. Karl II has been providing all of the feedings. Kaia was last seen on the nest on 23 July at 16:19. I asked my friend ‘T’ what is happening at this nest and she went and consulted the Forum to check for theories. We know that food appears to have been very limited due to the drought in the area and that Urmas has had to supply fish baskets so this family could survive. For the first time in the history of the nest Karl II did a brood reduction. So this is what ‘T’ sent to me, “She finds good food for herself further away. But she would probably have to find three times as much to give it to the chicks.” As was noticed by some observers, Kaia often stole food from Karl II and did not provide all the food she found for the chicks. Karl II has often sent her away from the nest so that he could take care of the storklets. Is Kaia off finding food for migration? Has she abandoned her nest? We do not know this answer and we wait – perhaps until next year.

The storklets are hungry. Karl II has brought in some fish that were not provided in Urmas’s fish basket and we should thank this generous man who kept this family alive and all who donated to purchase fish for them.

Karl II feeding. Kaia has left early. Is it because of a lack of food and she must build up her strength for migration?

Here is the latest news on Waba and Bonus.

Before we close, it looks like Mini might have gotten a fish on the nest from Dad Monday morning. She was up on the perch when Dad delivered at 0821. Smart girl!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please send the struggling nests your most positive energy – Osoyoos and Forsythe could use many more fish. Please take care! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ” ‘A, H, J, PB, T’, Fortis Exshaw, Ars Technics, Alis Jasko and Nor Cal Birding, Tonya Irving, Raptors of the World and VulPro, Sea Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, NZ DOC, Collins Marsh, Boulder County, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Ilomantsi Finland, PSEG, Steelscape, MN Landscape Arboretum, SSEN Alyth, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, MB Birding, Forsythe Ospreys, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, McKuen Park, Osoyoos, Kielder Forest, Glacier Gardens, Eastern Imperial Eagles, Eagle Club of Estonia, and Looduskalender.


  1. Debbie says:

    Morning! Why is nothing being done to help that chick on Osoyoos nest, looks accessible? It is not even trying to eat this morning and the relentless attacks are worrisome!

    1. It is accessible. It appears that the eldest chick might have broken the second hatches neck this morning. See the note by Ann-Marie – it died by 0800. We have consistently asked for help with fish over the years, etc. but nothing. The problem is the Migratory Bird Law that has strict guidelines regarding birds in nests and the believe by some that nature should take its course. I believe in intervention but often my head gets very sore beating it on a wall. It is a very sad situation.

  2. Ann-Marie Watson says:

    Hello Mary Ann,
    I’m pretty sure the chick on the Osoyoos nest has died. Chick # 1 attacked the other one and was wrangling its neck pretty aggressively, I believe it hyperextended its neck and perhaps broke it. It’s not moved since and I just checked in and I don’t think it’s breathing. I don’t have a precise TS as I can look at it again but believe it was just after sad and tragic. Dad a short time later brought a huge fish and fed chick 1. We still haven’t see Soo since yesterday morning. I am going to try scout around town later today (just got off nightshift at the hospital and need to sleep for a bit).

    1. Ann-Marie Watson says:

      Apologies TS of attack was 05:32 onwards. I do know believe the chick has died. 😭

    2. Thank you so much for this detailed update Ann-Marie. I was worried about Soo and so sad to see the nest turn. I hope that you are safe from the fires…what a sad year it has been. I really appreciate the time you devote to this nest and I hope that you learn something about Soo.

    3. Debbie says:

      That is so sad! Why wasn’t an intervention done?

      1. It is incredible sad…I responded earlier but these things weigh heavy on our hearts.

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