Mini needs our help, tell her story…Monday in Bird World

14 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It has pitched rain – on and off – for most of Sunday. The garden is a sea of greens with a few sunflowers still poking through and the Trumpet flowers basking in the humidity and heat. The climbing roses bloomed again for the second time this summer and it was so nice to see the bees return. Sunday evening, Ring-billed Gulls danced in the thermals over the Conservatory for several minutes while a young Cooper’s Hawk tried its luck for a sparrow snack. Calico has been and gone and back again. Those arrivals and departures remind me of the regularity of the trains in Japan. I have stopped leaving food out because of the wasps – they must not like the rain because we have finally had a reprieve today. Lewis and Missey have been helping me finish with the clearing out of my old office and each discovered, in their own time, that the branches of the apple tree are filled with little birds. They can sit and watch and be only 5-6 cm away! Lewis was delighted. He is loud like some of the osplets…hopefully he will not scare them away.

Mini has been on the nest for Saturday night, most of Sunday, Sunday night and Monday morning. Resting her leg. Tired from lack of fish? Dad brought her a fish early Monday morning. Mini ate a small portion of it, perhaps a quarter. The fact that the parents are bringing food is good. She needs to eat much more. My inbox was overflowing with the news of the delivery. The love for Mini should heal here.

I am, however, worried about Mini. I do not want her to die of starvation on a nest like JJ (or die anywhere of starvation). She needs to eat a lot more than she has.

The archaic laws of the Migratory Bird Act only allow for intervention when a bird is off the nest. What if the injury is such that the bird remains on the nest because they cannot get off? Then help needs to come to them!

Mini’s story needs to be told. If you live in Patchogue, contact the local press and take them to the nest. Tell them about Mini. Tell them of her struggles and triumphs.

For the rest of us, contact them through FB Messaging – e-mail, telephone. Get them to care as much about Mini as we do. You can write it and cut and paste the same story to everyone of the news outlets. The more they receive the more attention Mini will get.

If Mini does require immediate help, all of the attention might just get the help she requires when and if she cannot leave the nest.

I messaged Newsday and ABC7 on FB and told them about Mini. Please contact them – and also News 12 Long Island, ABC 7 New York, Newsbreakcom, and anyone else that you know. Tell them Mini’s story. Make this as big as Murphy and his Rock. It could save our girl’s life if she does not get fed and is weaker and on the nest.

The Osprey season of 2023 has been anything but normal. Many of us are struggling to find answers to questions because things seem to be upside down and inside out. For example, all of the birds are gone at Loch of the Lowes or so it seems. First and way too early was Blue NC0. Then PF4, the male. Then Laddie LM12 leaving the female PF5. So you ask what is strange about all of this? The norm is for the female to leave early so that she can fatten up for the long migration. Remember she has lost about 1/3 of her body from egg laying to fledging chicks. The male stays on until after the youngsters fledge so that he can get in form. It is not normal for the male to leave prior to the fledglings. The answer might be in the fact that the female fledgling was simply ruthless to Laddie…and we know that she can catch her own fish!

At Loch Arkaig, Ludo was not seen since 0905 on Sunday morning – the very loud youngster of Louis and Dorcha. Geemeff reminds me that JJ6 Doddie flew out for migration on the 15h of August in 2020 one week prior to his mom Aila (oh, she was a darling). So has Ludo begun his journey? Or is he sitting on the nest screaming for fish as I write this? Ah..Geemeff confirms that Dorcha and Ludo showed up on the nest. Excellent.

There is, of course, the unresolved soap opera at Lock Arkaig’s Number One nest. Geemeff adds: “Not only did the female Affric (152) bring a fish to Nest One where her potential suitor Garry (LV0) was waiting, but it was an eel! A huge, lively eel – never seen one on those brought to either nest before.” Louis did abandon his former nest with the sweet Aila and took up residence with Dorcha when Aila did not return in 2021 at Nest Two. But who will Africa choose? Will it be Garry or Prince or maybe it will be both. Has there ever been a love triangle for Ospreys like the Trio on the Mississippi?

Then, of course, there are all the issues at Loch Garten. Juveniles defending the nest against a two-year-old fledgling from the same nest. The male Brodie appeared at the nest with a fish but no juveniles to take it. Loch Garten has also confirmed that 2C4 got his injury from a stick on the nest and not from KL5. That is a relief. 2C4 has shown up at the nest looking very thin and no KL5. Send positive thoughts.

Many were so upset about what happened to JJ at the FortisExshaw nest that they had difficulty sleeping. I want someone to correct me and tell me that it is not unusual to lose so many fully feathered osplets right at the time they are to fledge! It tears our hearts out. We watch them and get to know all the little details of their lives from the time the eggs hatch to fledge. At 55 days old it seems incomprehensible that one should die of starvation but JJ did. Then Banff had two fish on Sunday and fledged. Louise brought them in. What has happened to O’Hara?

A nest that I had difficulty watching turned around this year with a new set of adults – Collins Marsh. The former couple that raised Malik did not return in 2022 and this new couple have raised two beautiful fledglings. It is a joy to witness. They are both returning to the nest and have had nice bulging crops. This nest really gets gold stars this year along with many others in the central part of North America that seemed to fare better than those on the NE Coast and Florida.

Look at the crop on the one in the top photo. I wish every chick went to sleep at night like that!

Boulder County is another Osprey nest that has to put a big smile on all our faces. Oh, goodness we worried about little three but it grew up and just look at the fledglings. They are returning for regular fish meals – no one appears to be going hungry!

Cowlitz PUD did well this year with a single fledge. For those who do not know this nest’s history, it is full of tragedy. Electra lost chick after chick from starvation and siblicide before (and including) 2021 only to have three beautiful osplets taken by a Bald Eagle in 2022. The power company studied the situation and installed two metal grids on either side of the nest to protect the family. (This design could work to save other nests and the power company should be thanked continually for their forward thing on this matter). The fledgling returns to the nest this year- often on and off. The grids protected the family, and there was enough fish for one. We celebrate that great achievement!

At Oyster Bay, all three fledglings continue to return to the nest – showing us that they are all safe – for fish and togetherness.

A difficult nest to watch was the Bridge Golf Club. The teeny weeny third hatch succumbed to siblicide. There were fears for the second hatch because fish deliveries were so sporadic. It was the time of the ‘great storm upheaval’ in June. The nest’s two osplets survived it all and there were four fish deliveries before the camera went off line (possibly due to the storm in the area Saturday night). These two are doing well.

Sandpoint has struggled with inexperienced parents this year. There were five fish delivered on Sunday and Coco did get some fish to eat. Relief. What was the difference? Mum went fishing!!!!!!!!! We sure wish this would happen at the Patchogue nest – Mum flew to the nest with Mini resting and brought sticks. Mini needs a fish, too.

Many females fish once the chicks have fledged and supplement the fish brought to the nest by dad. This is making all the difference in the world for Coco.

Now for ‘H’s nest news:

Fortis Exshaw – Banff fledged at 56 days of age!  She flew off to the west, strong and gracefully.  Two minutes later she landed on the T-perch, and it was a pretty good landing for the first time. After resting for about thirty-five minutes, she flew from the perch, circled around and made a perfect landing on the nest.  Well done, Banff.  O’Hara landed on the nest to ward off an intruder three times within five minutes starting at 1756.  And, Louise delivered two good-sized fish for her girl on Sunday.  

Osoyoos –  Olsen, Soo and their 49-day-old chick are doing well.  Olsen delivered at least 8 fish to the nest for his family, including one really big one.  The worry for Osoyoos is the prolonged heat wave that will continue through Thursday.  The temperature for Monday is predicted to go as high as 39C/102F.

Forsythe – Ollie is still hanging out at the nest, but is spending more time away exploring, and perhaps following Dad.  Oscar delivered three fish to the nest for Ollie on Sunday.

Kent Island –  Molly had a splendid day!  Just two days after fledging, Molly took several short flights from her nest, and she was treated to lots of yummy fish.  

Dahlgren – D12 was seen on the nest a few times, but her dad was a no-show on Sunday.  Jack may have brought a fish to D12 at another location.  We know D12 can catch her own fish, and she may have, but she did not bring a fish to the nest.  

Patuxent Nest 1  – The juvies, Sib-B and Foster, are still being provided for at the nest by Dad.  I always smile when I see them.

Thanks ‘H’! So happy to see O’Hara back at the nest.

For all those that lost chicks – whether it was a single chick or an entire clutch – due to weather, starvation, or siblicide – some did manage to fledge at least one fledge, and for that, we are joyful.

There is great news about Pat, the fledgling eagle from Dulles-Greenway. Possible release into the wild at the end of August. Smile everyone!

The answer to the ‘hen harrier problem’ is not to move the chicks and the nests but to bloody end, the wealthy going out and shooting birds. At the same time, the government should ban the 15th of August when the super wealthy go out with their guns and shoot defenceless ducks and other feathered friends. They are sitting ducks with nowhere to go while guns blast away. It makes me ill.

The camera is back online at Port Lincoln.

WBSE 31 and 32 are bursting. So much prey. Both are eating well. But if you look, you will see that Lady looks soaking. ‘A’ notes: “Lady is a devoted mum. She pays a lot of attention – sometimes, when she is trying to make sure SE32 gets fed, she slows right down with her feeding, giving SE31 very small bites. She keeps a constant eye on whether SE32’s head is back up and is careful to try and give a bite to SE31 just before she loses patience and beaks her brother for getting too many consecutive bites. She really does do her best. This afternoon, when it was raining, she was the best mumbrella ever, spreading her wings right out and flattening her body so that the eaglets were toasty warm and dry, while the rain beaded off Lady’s back and soaked her head feathers, which she shook out periodically. She was on the nest for the best part of three hours, keeping her babies safe on a day that was the coldest in over a year in Melbourne and similar in Sydney – the ‘feels like’ temperature stayed in single digits all day. So she knew that exposure was a danger this afternoon and she protected her eaglets perfectly for as long as was necessary. I love the devotion of these bird parents.”

At Orange, Diamond and Xavier have been bonding and mating and we might be thinking there could be an egg soon.

Someone posted this on FB. Really? No, we want tonnes of fish being brought to every raptor nest, every chick to have a huge crop at bedtime, no intruders, enough platforms for every raptor to raise a family, no illness, no human debris tangling up our friends and cutting into their legs and wings, no predation, no more red tape to intervene when our feathered friends need help….Then we can enjoy that cup of tea!

Of the 324 eggs monitored in 2023 by me and ‘H’, only 76.55% have survived. We will have to wait until the figures for 2024 to have a good comparison. A mortality figure of 4% in ospreys was always believed to be average. This year it is 23.45%.

Thank you so much for being with me today and for helping to spread the story of Mini. Let us hope that some interest is generated for our little gal. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: A, Geemeff, H, L, L, PB, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Sue Wallbanks, Mary Kerr, Fortis Exshaw, Collins Marsh, Boulder County, Cowlitz PUD, PSEG, Bridge Golf Club, Sandpoint, FortisExshaw, Osoyoos, Forsythe, Kent Island, Dahlgren, Patuxent River Park, Dulles-Greenway Eagles, The Guardian, PLO, Sea Eagle Cam, and Charles Sturt Falcon cam and Cilla Kinross.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for these updates!, photos, and links Prayers for Mini! Many are contacting to try and reach help. Hopefully with the nest being monitored she will be rescued in time to save her. We all love Mini and have been watching her grow up and struggling. She’s been a warrior and I believe she will heal if she don’t injure herself more while flying away. It was good to see her rest yesterday on the nest but upsetting to know how she was in pain at the same time.
    So good to see all the others doing well. Sad about little JJ passing away on the nest. 😪. Prayers for all who need them.
    See you soon and take care Mary Ann. !

    1. The more people that know about Mini’s story, the more hope that I have that if help is required it will be there. we need people locally to watch the nest and monitor if she is down. Phone the helpers and get her to a clinic. We have to wait. It is lovely to see everyone working together for the good of Mini!

  2. Mario says:

    Just went to check up on Mini and she is there. I rolled the video back to get a better look at the leg when she moves and it doesn’t look good. When she puts weight on that leg it just folds at the knee. Mary Ann, I’m no expert, but it appears to me that either her leg is broken or dislocated at the knee. What a predicament, did you get any feedback from the people you contacted?

    1. Hi Mario, My friend – R – says that the problem is at the knee. He is a doctor. Our concern is that Dad leaves for migration and Mini is left. Does PSEG and the DEC have a plan for her? So far everyone is standing firm on she has to be grounded. It is extremely frustrating. We hoped that the social media and local news would take off with her story so that people would know what is happening and care locally – it makes a difference. Right now they are making us wait. I agree. The knee this morning did not look good.

      1. Mario says:

        Hi Mary Ann, yes it is frustrating seeing an animal that is not well and not being able to do anything about it. Ever so often I check on her but I don’t watch for long because I can’t stand to see an animal suffer. It’s less unnerving reading your blog and hoping for some good news about her condition.

        Perhaps somebody could find out where she goes when she leaves the nest, most probably near a body of water, and when she’s on the ground catch her there.

      2. There is a local that is going around checking on the nest and making sure that Dad is still there. It is very difficult watching Mini because we all care for her so much. The wildlife rehabber that has been observing her – often – notes all the good things and that she is eating and adapting and that Dad is still bringing food. We don’t know what is wrong – her leg will heal wrong if she doesn’t get help which is infuriating…everyone feels helpless.

  3. Denise says:

    Hi Mary Ann:

    Just thought I would correct something that I have seen in your posts for the last few days regarding Loch Garten.

    KL5 is not a fledgling from that nest. He hatched at Loch Ness in 2020. Loch Ness is about 40 km (at the osprey flies) from Loch Garten.

    1. Oh, thank you. The posting that I saw was wrong! I will amend that for everyone.

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