Mini’s leg, fosters in Norway…Wednesday in Bird World

9 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It has been a long day of staring at the computer screen, hoping to see Mini, hoping that her swollen leg was better, wondering if she has a fracture or just is sore from a scuffle.

I had a lot of comfort in the three furry balls – Missey and Lewis (inside) and they’re soon to be sister, Calico (outside). Today Calico allowed me to pick her up, cuddle her and rock her back and forth like you might do a baby. At some point she had a family. Something happened. We are hoping that she will want to be a part of our family. I have been unable to locate any kittens. Tomorrow I am going back out with smelly tins of sardines trying to see if I can coax them out – if they are alive and if I can find their hiding spot -. They deserve a home, too. I now know that Calico will wean them and expect them to be hunting on their own. That is so hard to imagine. They will be approximately 40 days old today.

I am not expecting any issues with Lewis and Calico but it could well be a different story with Missey, the Alpha Cat, and the new family member. Hopefully, they will all feel safe, and secure, and have no rivalry like we see on Osprey nests!

Without X-Ray vision, we will not know what is wrong with Mini. I know that each of you is probably having sympathy pains right now. We do know that Mini flew onto the nest late Monday afternoon, and she was visibly having issues with her left leg. She slept duckling style, taking the pressure off that leg and allowing it to rest and heal. She would have been in some pain. She had difficulty holding her fish tight and could not finish it. MP observed that one of the adults came down from the perch concerned. Later a Crow ate the fish that Mini left – and yes, Mini leaving a morsel of fish tells us much. Worrying, of course, does not help. For Mini to get help, she would need to be grounded, just like Middle at Achieva.

Animal Help Now lists three wildlife rehabbers that deal with raptors in the area of Patchogue. This is the information for each of them. Please put it somewhere so if you see Mini fall off the nest, please start calling. STAR would be my first point of contact. If you were also to see Mini struggling on the nest, it might be worth a call. Because Mini is not always on the nest and we are not always able to stay on the screen, it is vital that everyone watches and is alert to an immediate need and has these numbers handy.

Mini is a fighter. She has overcome such adversity to fledge and be the strong osplet she is this is nothing short of heartbreaking. But, let us please send our most positive wishes and hope that what we are seeing is nothing serious.

Mini from 0851-905.

At 1000, the part of the leg above the knee was swollen. Mini was eating but there was some difficulty in holding the fish down tight.

At 1606, that leg looked better to me but it could have been the camera angle.

Keep sending your most positive wishes to our gal. She can do this.

There are a lot of fundraisers and some are extremely worthwhile and others not so much. I want to mention to you the Loch Arkaig annual calendar fundraiser. If you live outside the UK, Mary Cheadle can figure the postage for you. Except the costs of printing, the funds go to The Woodland Trust so that you can see Louis and Dorcha and that the area can be cared for. So think about it! I thought calendars were out of date because of our phones, but mine from last year, with its images of the nest and the chicks, is right here in front of me – being used and reminding me of important dates. You can connect with Mary Cheadle on the Loch Arkaig FB group or through FB Messenger. Please order quickly – read below for the details. Mary raises a lot of funds for the Lock Arkaig nest through her fundraising efforts – it is volunteers like her and at the wildlife clinics that make a difference in the lives of the birds we love so much.

I am just going to scramble through a few of the nests today. My mind really was on Mini and not much else! — OK. The female at Sand Point had me raise my voice once or twice. She has to be starving…well, I hope that explains her behaviour.

Fostering in Norway. The Mum returned to the nest and fed the foster and snuggled with all the chicks. Let us hope this goes well.

Wondering about Newmann, the Great Spirit Bluff male that lost his mate to a GHO attack and raised to fledge his youngsters. He is back near the scrape.

Boulder County: Everyone is eating. Three fledglings in and off the nest. Smile. All is good.

MN Landscape Arboretum: All is fine.

Steelscape: All three fledglings on the nest. Hard to tell how each is doing without witnessing all of them eating.

Sandpoint: Well, the Mum is either ‘starving’ herself, like the chick (probably) or has no maternal instincts. The chick finally got some fish by self-feeding…my heart sank listening to its fish calling.

When was the last time you saw a fully feathered chick in submission because of its Mum?

Cowlitz PUD: Fledgling on nest self-feeding.

Now to move over and check on the nests ‘H’ is checking on!

Fortis Exshaw: “There were two fish brought to the nest, thought to have been delivered by Louise (the video screen is pixelated again!).  The younger sibling, JJ, was able to claim both of the fish and mantled strongly, despite his older sister being stronger, larger, and bossy!.  It was nice to see JJ’s increased level of confidence.  But, big sister, Banff, was not about to make it easy for JJ.  She harassed JJ the entire time he was trying to eat his fish.  JJ managed to maintain possession of the first fish for 7 minutes before Banff stole it.  The fish had been headless upon delivery so it was easier for JJ to tear off bites while continuously having to defend his food.  The second fish was whole, so JJ had to unzip his prize while repeatedly being pestered by Banff.  Banff was able to grab the second fish from JJ after 12 minutes.  In both cases JJ only managed a small crop, and Banff clearly ate most of the fish.  But, being about 1/3 larger than JJ, Banff would understandably need to eat more than JJ.  There is nothing apparent to the viewers to provide a clue as to why more fish are not being brought to the nest, but we would all like to see JJ with a huge crop today!”


Osoyoos – Olsen brought seven fish to the nest.  The one at 1746 was a small headless fish that 43-day-old ‘Junior’ grabbed and self-fed, while learning to hold the fish with his talons.  Shortly after Junior ate that fish, Olsen delivered a small whole fish and Junior grabbed that one as well.  This time, Junior was much better at holding the fish while tearing off chunks.  Nice job, Junior!  Note: Thank you to HS for recovering chick 2’s body from the ground and giving him a proper burial.  Very much appreciated.

Forsythe – Oscar brought Ollie two fish on 8/8.  Ollie spent almost the entire day at the nest, taking just a few brief flying excursions.  Ollie cuts such a lonely figure on the nest, and some viewers feel sorry for her.  But, she will most likely spend the next few years of her life leading a solitary existence.  Older sibling Owen has not been seen for five days.

Dahlgren – Jack delivered a whale fish to D12 for dinner.  D11 did not fly in to make a bid, so D12 had it all to herself.  She spent the entire evening eating that fish, and then fell asleep standing on a huge leftover portion, and dreaming of breakfast.

Barnegat Light – It seems that every day there is a new ‘first’ for the fledgling, Dorsett.  On 8/8, Dorsett discovered the utility poles.

Kent Island – We were all very relieved when the livestream returned in the morning after the dangerous storm the previous evening.  Audrey, Tom, and Mollie had all weathered the storm.  And, 57-day-old Mollie self-fed nearly an entire menhaden in the morning.

Thanks so much, ‘H’. Excellent news. Everyone is safe, they are all eating! And to that very kind person who took care of the little osplet’s body – thank you from all of us for your compassion.

At The Campanile, Lou and Annie are bonding!


The nest of Karl II in the Karula National Forest and Kaia is now empty. All three storklets fledged.

7192 was the last to leave the nest at 06:42.

Karl II is a fantastic father. Here he is with the last feeding of his storklets before they leave the nest. Wishing all of them full crops and safe flights.

Storks have already started their migration in Europe. Many have sadly gotten caught in ferocious storms and died. It has been a tragic year for many species. Sassa Bird posted some images of the Swedish storks killed by the storms.

In North America, Sunnie day reminds us about BirdCast. Check out your region.

At Rutland, everyone is fattening up and preparing for their journeys.

Ludo is quite the character. Louis is such a patient Dad.

At the Sydney Sea Eagles, life is excellent. ‘A’ writes, “

Little SE32 really has turned the dynamic of this nest around over the past few days. The youngster (I suspect a younger brother) has gained tremendously in confidence and this has caused SE31 to largely cease its attempts at intimidation. Occasionally, there is an interaction, but it is as often caused by SE32 as by SE31! The younger sibling is quite prepared to look its older sibling in the eye, drawing itself up as tall as it possibly can and sometimes beaking SE31. Not a great idea, but not at all vicious – more posturing – and certainly an indication that SE32 has decided to stand up for itself. It eats and eats, without any fear of SE31 beside it or behind it. If it is offered a bite of fish, it eats it, regardless of SE31’s position or attitude. It is glorious to watch this little one realising that its sibling was never really trying to hurt it and that all it has to do is stand its ground. So the nest has become a happy place, with both eaglets eating and eating and then eating a little more. So far, both parents are doing some feedings, though Lady is doing the majority. Lady is also doing some fishing sometimes, though Dad is bringing in most of the prey. Yesterday’s fish was MASSIVE. A very long brown fish that fed everyone for the afternoon and much of today. Of course, things could turn on a dime and everything could head rapidly downhill, as we know, but at this stage, both these parents are doing a wonderful job and their eaglets are healthy and active and both eating extremely well. Their major problem is hauling their massive crops around. SE31 eats so much, it falls into a food coma, allowing SE32 to then eat for up to half an hour (or however long Lady is prepared to continue coaxing it to eat more and more and more). Eventually, SE32 is stuffed to the gills and turns away, at which point SE31 often wakes up for seconds. Lady sometimes feeds the pair for over an hour at a time. Very patiently. She is amazing.”

 Thanks, ‘A’.

Mini’s leg doesn’t look worse this morning. Relief. She would like a fish! And she is spunky enough to chase a crow off the nest. Let us hope that she heals quickly and Dad gets a nice fish to her soon!

Thank you for being with me today. Please take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, websites, streaming cams, and videos that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H’, Animal Helps, PSEG, Mary Cheadle and the Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys, Rune Age, Ashley Wilson and Peregrine Falcons at Great Spirit Bluff, Boulder County, MN Landscape Arboretum, Steelscape, Sandpoint, Cowlitz PUD, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Dahlgren, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Kent Island, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, Eagle Club of Estonia, Sassa Bird, Sunnie Day, Gaye Kelly and Osprey Friends, and Sydney Sea Eagles.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for all the updates here and yea Mini is struggling. I’m praying for her and hope she heals that leg/foot soon. Thanks for the addresses of the three rescues /helps. Thanks to H for all the reports on the nests too!
    Happy that the three storks have fledged. The kittens are so cute and hope all goes well with the Calico too!
    Have a great day and hope to see you here again soon

    1. You are so welcome…the kittens sure help on days when there is worry – like with Mini. But those rescues and the people that help are always worth gold. They do it because they care. There needs to be more of them! And better funding for the wildlife centres!

  2. Sabine says:

    Hi, Mary Ann! Rooting for Mini’s recovery as all of you do. Thank you for all the news! During busy periods, this is the best way to be updated on the happenings in bird world. Thank you for highlighting the tragic loss of many of our beautiful white storks. Those are ours – Latvian. One part of our country was hit by extreme weather bringing severe hailstorm – people’s cars, crops, homes were damaged, etc. But, the most devastating consequence of all – so many dead storks, adult and young. Rescue organizations are struggling to take care of the injured birds and to remove the dead ones…This feels like a punishment of some kind – white stork is a special bird in our country always held in high regard and associated with everything that’s pure and holy…Nature is the one force you can’t overcome unfortunately. And I still have to say that mostly we’re quite blessed, because we usually don’t have frequent weather extremes but that keeps changing as in the rest of the world…This, of course, won’t earn a status of a great global tragedy, and there’s no doubt that white storks are not the only ones who perished but, still, our hearts bleed for every white stork we lost..that is how much we love and cherish them. Thank you for sharing our pain!

    1. Oh, I must correct that…my heart was broken when I read about the storks and the storms. Cars can be replaced – not storks…I was thinking about them migrating and you could see the trees full of happy storks. It has been a tragic year all around so everyone that survives is a bit of a miracle. I am hopeful Mini will recover. We will never know what happened or what the extent of her injury is but she is eating. Mum is checking on her and bringing more fish and I wish she would rest on the nest!

  3. micpark9 says:

    As far as Mini has come she can’t perish now. This is the chance we all take but it seems some have more obstacles than others. Thanks for keeping your eye on Mini. She does appear to be a special Osprey.

    1. She is special. I hope that this is just 2 puncture wounds (talons) that do not get infected and a really bad sprain….if it is a fracture or a sprain, it will heal. Maybe the fracture won’t be perfect. Maybe Mini won’t be 100% but I am concerned about the alternative…so hoping that by Monday we see some real improvement.

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