11 August 2023
We are supposed to have rain over the next week. Everyone knows this and was in a bit of a panic to get outside and be in the nature centre today before it rains for 6 or 7 days. Of course, it never rains all day long. It is like Asia when it looks like the forecast is 100% for all day, but the rains begin, on time, at 1600 and are downpours and then stop. That said, it has been raining for the past four hours…Little Red, the Blue Jays, and all the sparrows continue to eat regardless. I am putting a bit of food out every hour so that it does not get wet for them. They also have seed cylinders, the solid ones inside the lilac bushes.
Calico has a covered area where she can eat (along with a few of her friends if they stop by). She comes on the dot just about every 3 hours. Her fur looks better since the worm and flea/tick treatment. I was reminded by ‘RP’ today that often kittens will follow their mother to find food. Maybe a kitten or two or three will show up! I live in hope because Calico surely has them hidden well.
The new wetlands area begins at the lake. The water is pumped to another pond where it flows downwards, filling all of the pool areas in the park. (All photos taken with iPhone).
I went to count goslings. There were only 14 visible but mostly there were mature Mallards, a few American Goldfinches, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Black-capped Chickadees. The animals and birds were quiet. Humans were loud. It was nice to have the nature centre garden market open – lots of freshly picked veggies, the profits going to a good cause.
The day continues to be consumed with Mini and her left leg. There are visible two puncture wounds above the ankle and before the knee of the left leg. Did Mini injure her leg stretching it and having someone’s talons caught in hers? A fish fight? We don’t know.
Indeed, any observer knows very little. We can deduce that she is keeping her balance with her wings. She appears to be in some pain. She is still flying and she is hungry. She is not – and I want to repeat this – she is not lethargic. She is not grounded. My friend ‘R’ and I know that if it is a sprain it will heal. If it is a break, it will heal – maybe not the precise way that it would if set in a cast but there is no guarantee that a wildlife rehabber would —- OK and this is harsh — put Mini’s leg in a cast and keep her in residence til late next spring when she could be released. She would not be ready for this year’s migration. This is something that has to be considered. I know that it is hard to watch her but she is alive, eating, flying, screaming for fish.
My reaction to Mini comes out of remembering many others, like Mini, that did not get a second chance. The first one that comes to mind is WBSE 26. We need to take a deep breath, send positive wishes, and not panic but observe.
1530: Fighting with one of those hard to eat fish unless the head has been taken off…it is good practice for our girl to try and open up these fish, though. No matter how frustrating it is to watch. She will have to do it soon enough in the real world without parents.
The two puncture marks above the left ankle before the knee. Two spaced black dots the distance of talons. We do not want these to get infected. (Mini could we ask that you go and stand in some salt water and soak that leg? Salt water aids healing).
You can see the punctures better here.
Mini has been on and off the nest. She has been fish-calling. Flying down from the perch. It was not a bad landing.
Our beautiful survivor.
Bobby Horvath has a practice on Long Island. He rescued Pale Male (the 31-year-old celebrity Red-tail Hawk with its nest on one of the most expensive properties in Central Park) and held him as Pale Male was dying. Horvath is willing to come out to help Mini if she is lethargic. Here is the note that he sent ‘L’ and the phone number. Write it down! Bobby might be our best hope that she would get good care instead of being euthanised. But he is busy – like everyone, and please note that he is stressing weak or lethargic – low or on the ground – not on the nest. Please don’t call him otherwise. All the rehabbers are busy. There are strict laws – and we don’t want anyone to get tired of hearing about Mini. We want them to respond when it is necessary. At least one local individual is making trips to check around the nesting area if Mini were to get grounded.
One diagnosis from a trained reader ‘MP’ suggests that this could be a lunated patella (a dislocation). I found an academic paper on this orthopaedic problem.
Steelscape: The third hatch has a huge crop today. And wait…more news. The third hatch had 3 fish today…and one of the older siblings had a huge crop. All is fine. We can relax. Thanks so much for the images and the report ‘PB’.
Fortis: ‘PB gave me the head’s up early that we would be getting a very good report from ‘H’. There were two whoppers brought on to the nest!
‘H’ writes: “It turned out to be a very good day. The youngest osplet, JJ, had not had very much to eat for the previous three days. The viewers were all extremely worried for him. The day started out with Louise delivering a headless fish, which JJ initially acquired. JJ had the fish for a couple of minutes and managed to pull off a few bites before big sis, Banff, took it away. Banff ate that entire fish, but JJ managed to grab the tail. For JJ’s sake, we knew there had to be another fish delivered soon while Banff was still full, but the next fish did not arrive for four hours. At 1215, Louise delivered the largest fish to date this season. It was massive. Louise initially wanted to hold on to the fish to feed, but Banff took it. It was a tough fish and Banff had not made much headway, when JJ managed to drag the huge fish from Banff at 1242. They traded possession of the fish a couple more times before Louise returned to the nest at 1355. She confiscated the fish and fed JJ! That’s what we were all hoping she would do. JJ was fed for 10 minutes before he got the boot from Banff, and then Louise fed Banff. By 1422 Louise was clearly distracted by something and she stopped feeding. She was on alert. At least 1/2 of that huge fish was left, and JJ tried to pull off a few more bites. Louise flew off the nest at 1456 taking the rest of the fish with her! She returned at 1535, with the same fish. There was still about 1/2 of the fish remaining, it did not appear as though Louise had eaten any of it. Banff claimed the fish at that point and ate until 1608. JJ then fed for an hour before Banff reclaimed the fish at 1707. When Banff quit eating again, JJ ate from 1730 to 1808. Then Banff ate some more, and finally downed the tail of that massive fish at 1821. That had been a 6-hour fish! So, there were only two fish delivered to the nest, but the monster fish had provided at least six or seven meals each for JJ and Banff. JJ had his largest crop in days. The siblings are 54 days old. Banff has managed to increase her lift off the nest during her wingers, but has not hovered as yet. JJ has only achieved a few inches of lift off the nest while wingercising. During the night of 8/11, the siblings both slept upright and tucked for the very first time.”
Those are two North American nests I have been concerned about in addition to Mini. The other nest is PSPB Loch Garten and the attacks on the two male juveniles by a male fledgling from that same nest in 2020. Remember the males return to their natal nest area and things are getting crowded in parts of Scotland.
There remain intruders including an unringed female at Loch Garten. The injured chick 2C4’s wing has stopped bleeding. Hopeful he will be fine.
Sadly, the 2020 fledgling KL5 is back again this morning at the nest.
Thankfully all is well at the nest of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig – and Ludo is as noisy as ever.
Suzanne Arnold Horning found all of the hawks on the Cornell Campus Thursday. So grateful for her diligence and kindness in sharing her images of Big Red and Arthur’s family.
‘A’ reports on the Australian and NZ nests:
Sydney Sea Eaglets: “This morning’s breakfast had to wait for Dad to bring in a fish. Eventually, just before 09:20, he came in with a whole fresh small-medium fish, which Lady fed to the chicks and ate herself. After the breakfish was consumed, Lady headed off. Dad brought in part of a fish (slightly less than half – he had eaten the head and then kept going for a bit longer). He stood there for some time, waiting for Lady to arrive and feed the eaglets, but she never came and the chicks were obviously begging him for food, sitting up at the table and trying to move closer to him and the fish. Eventually, he decided to feed them, and both got quite a few bites before Dad downed the tail, fed the kids a few more bites, then took the remaining morsel to the perch branch to eat himself. So now the nest is again devoid of food and we do need a good feeding day today. I was happy to see that both chicks waking up hungry and waiting for a later-than-usual breakfast did not precipitate bonking behaviour. Both were peaceful while they waited for food to arrive and once it did, there was negligible bonking. SE32 has taken to pushing itself forward, in front of SE31, to ensure it gets fed, and SE31 is allowing it to eat without interference most of the time. SE32 is still wary, and ducks for cover if SE31 does beak it, but the shaking by the back of the neck has largely ceased.”
Royal Cam Albatross: “We are hoping that Manaaki gets his supplementary feeding today – he looks literally flattened as he lies in his nest and seems to be low on energy (or just conserving it). He had built up significant reserves, according to the rangers, and is not on the high priority list but is still scheduled to be fed by today. As every day passes, I worry more and more about his parents.”
I just noted before I closed the blog this morning that the supplementary feeding was given to the Royal Cam chick. This is a great relief to everyone who sat and worried about this little bundle of joy.
Collins Street: “Cameras won’t be back up at Collins Street until the first egg is laid (last year, that was 25 August, so some time in the next two weeks is likely).”
Port Lincoln: “At Port Lincoln, they are on egg watch. To be honest, every time I watch and see mum sitting on the nest, I wonder whether she is laying that first egg. She is in that position now and I am wondering if this is the big moment. Surely, there will be at least one egg on that barge before the weekend is over.”
Orange Falcons: “Orange is as it always is – Diamond with a full crop, Xavier dancing about looking handsome. It’s just after 1pm in eastern Australia. A lovely day in Sydney, Orange and Melbourne, though they are expecting rain in Port Lincoln.”
Wondering about Dmitri and his stork? Excellent post on Thursday from Karla Pilz!
At the nest of Karl II, the three fledglings slept on the nest and then were there for the morning and flew off.
‘H’s other reports!
Kent Island – This Chesapeake osprey family is doing very well, and dear Mollie seems to be very close to fledging. She hovered high out of sight for several seconds, and for a while we didn’t know if she had fledged. Audrey and Tom’s youngster is 60 days old.
Barnegat Light – Life is grand for the fledgling, Dorsett. And, she has shown a definite preference for eating her meals on the utility pole. Dorsett is 72 days old, and fledged 12 days ago.
The Osoyoos osprey cam was offline for the second straight day. We miss the ‘O’s and we are anxious to see how they are doing. The young nestling is 46 days old.
Skipping to a couple of other nests before I close for the morning.
Boulder County: All three fledglings were perched for the night and off the nest in the morning. They are being fed off cam it appears and all is well for this family as it prepares to migrate.
At the Dyfi Osprey Centre, they are remembering Monty. Monty was the male at Dyfi from 2011-19. He had three mates – Nora, Glesni, and Telyn. Of their children, 8 have returned as two year olds. A remarkable number and his DNA continues throughout the area….his perch is inside the new Centre.
The Dyfi website adds: “Monty was the breeding male at the Dyfi from 2011 to 2019 and he is arguably the most famous, and loved, osprey in the world!
Monty was unringed so we never knew exactly how old he was or where he came from. We know that he has been around on the Dyfi since at least 2008 and probably 2007, so his year of birth has to be 2005 or earlier…Monty was a fantastic fisherman whose fishing habits have been closely studied. Two separate scientific studies conducted in 2013 and 2015 have concluded that there is no correlation between the fish species that Monty catches and environmental factors such as tidal phase, temperature, time of day etc. It seemed he was able to catch a fish whenever he (or his family) was hungry and did not need to link his fishing trips to any other factor. Monty’s typical catch was grey mullet but he has been known to bring home some more unusual fish including a long eel-like garfish, a poisonous greater weaver fish and the occasional twait shad!”
The other nest I want to mention is Iris. She is still with us in Missoula and she has not been visited by Louis as much this year (it seems) as in years past. Pe chaps it is the weather and the challenge of feeding the trio and Starr. Iris has had a persistent visitor, a ringed male and here is some information posted on him this morning. Iris is, by the way, not chasing him off.
Thank you for being with me today…please send good wishes to Mini. Take care. See you soon!
I am so grateful to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: “A, H, L, MP, PB, RM, RP’, PSEG, Steelscape, Veterinary Quarterly, Fortis Exshaw, RSPB Loch Garten, Sue Wallbanks and Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Suzanne Arnold Horning, SK Hideaways and Sydney Sea Eagles, NZ DOC, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Karla Pilz and Stork 40, Eagle Club of Estonia, Kent Island, Conserve Wildlife of NJ, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Mary Anne Miller and Montana Ospreys at Hellgate.