There are no words – Banff is home, Mini has 3 fish…Bird World for Tuesday

15 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is a great morning! There are just two incredible things. First up, Banff is home! I will leave the rest of the blog as is for those that do not know what happened at Fortis Exshaw yesterday, but, Banff is home! She survived. I thought ‘H’ and I were going to have to pack it in for a few days to deal with the stress but, relief. Second, Mini has had three fish delivered this morning to the nest and has eaten well. Her leg looks a little better. Should I pass the tissue box all around? It is the overwhelming joy that we experience when they survive that makes all of this worthwhile. The intruder is still at Fortis. Maybe Louise will move Banff off of the nest and begin to feed her elsewhere. it would be a good idea as they prepare for migration.

‘H’ writes: “Louise was in the nest, and we could hear Banff calling.  At 06:29:14 Banff flew to the nest !!!  Of course there was an immediate intruder issue, and Louise took off after it.  Louise returned 10 minutes later with a fish for her youngster !!”

I thought that I had seen it all but until ‘H’ sent me the video late Monday afternoon of an intruder at the Fortis-Exshaw nest carry Banff off in its talons, my heart sank. Banff, just barely fledged, put up a gallant fight against a bird much larger and street-smart than her. In the end, this Osprey grabbed her with its talons and carried her off – some said across the pond. A kind soul who lives locally went to check and saw Louise in the trees by the pond and thought they heard a faint cry from Banff. Banff has not returned to the nest at the time of this writing. She is terrified and hiding, injured to varying degrees, or worse. Our hearts have been ‘taken to the cleaners’ this year at Fortis. Antacid companies, as are the manufacturers of tissues, are making money off this Osprey season.

‘H’ caught this attack on video and added a narrative to go with mine – “The morning of 8/14 had been so much fun for Banff . . she enjoyed several short flights around the area and had landed on many of the different perches. She had taken her maiden flight less than 24 hours earlier. At 10:35:34 an intruder began an attack on Banff, and she valiantly fought him off. Banff flew off after the intruder, and then she did not return to the nest for three hours. At 13:25:59 Banff returned to the nest, but she had been followed in by the intruder, who resumed the attack on her. Finally, the intruder employed a sneak attack from behind, grabbed Banff with its talons and dragged her off the nest. Twice over the next several hours Louise brought fish to the nest to lure Banff back. She and the stepdad, O’Hara, both stood guard on the nest, waiting for Banff to return. By nightfall, there had been no sign of Banff, but we thought we may have heard her calling in the evening from somewhere close to the nest. TM, a viewer who lives nearby, twice went to the nest area and did a thorough search for Banff. TM thought she saw Louise in a tree, and Louise chasing an intruder, but she did not see Banff during her search. Thanks for your efforts, TM.”.

Louise waiting and worrying on the nest for Banff. Some believe they have heard Banff’s ‘voice’ on the streaming cam. Let us hope that she is not desperately injured, just frightened.

We are used to predators – GHOs and Eagles – taking the Osprey chicks off the nest. We don’t like it but it happens. But seeing what appears to be an attempted nest take over on the heels of JJ starving to death really rattles everyone. This is not the end of Osprey season that we had anticipated – and it surely wasn’t the year we thought we would have. Did I say the birds bring us joy? Of course they do but they also create great anxiety when their lives do not go smoothly. The real question is why all the aggression this year? Thoughts? Let me know.

Now word is coming in that Daisy has been attacking Dorsett at Barneghat-Light.

Meanwhile, at Patchogue, Mini had part of a large fish this morning before flying off the nest. That fish was later dropped to the ground by the Crows. Mini has returned. She actually looks better. Still issues with her leg. She has gone down duckling and is resting that leg – good girl! Let’s hope Dad remembers to bring a fish!

Mini was not impressed when Mum flew in later with one of her sticks. She had a fit – she is hungry. Dad – help us out here.

Mini sleeping on the perch Monday night.

Three fish so far and it is only morning at Patchogue. Our girl is eating well. It helped that they were headless. Her leg appears a wee bit better. Thank goodness.

Someone is not hungry at Boulder County!

It looked like the fledgling at Cowlitz PUD did some nest defense today too. The osplet is safe! All is well. Every nest needs these guards. Imagine just how much it would have helped at FortisExshaw! The predators rely on being able to swoop down and clear and they cannot do it with the wire protective grids.

‘H’ reports on Osoyoos: “The fish count was down at the Osoyoos osprey nest on 8/14.  Olsen managed to deliver four fish.  The Osoyoos area is still suffering from extreme heat, and the high temperature for Tuesday could go as high as 41C/106F.”

Osprey season will -eventually – be winding down and all the heartbreak will evaporate into the history of the nests. One event I am looking forward to is coming up and it is not an Osprey – it is Gabby returning to the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest. Who will join her? V3?

Thunder and Akecheta were both at their historic nest on Monday. What a joy it was to see them!

Quiet at Fraser Point and Sauces.

Can you find Hope at Glacier Gardens?

That wonderful Dad to Ludo and mate to Dorcha, Louis, has been busy supplying fish for everyone. Luco is so loud! You could hear him in Glasgow.

Lou and Annie are still at The Campanile keeping one another company. It is lovely to see their off-season bonding – it gives us something wonderful to look forward to nest spring.

At the Sydney Sea Eagles, ‘A’ reports: “Breakfish was late this morning, and when it came, poor little SE32, despite having front position at the feeding, was completely ignored by mum and got literally two small bites from the entire fish. Lady leaned over him and stepped past him in order to offer every bite to SE31, whose crop is immense. SE32 will be self-feeding soon – he was picking flakes from around the table after SE31’s feeding.  Dad flew onto the nest shortly after mum left and poor little SE32 was so hungry he grabbed at Dad’s beak! Dad obliged by searching the nest for leftover fish and managed to find some great material for SE32’s next pellet. At one point, Dad went to offer a piece of skin to SE31 and SE32 dived in front to grab it from Dad. His crop is deflated and flat and he didn’t go straight off to sleep like SE31. He just lay there looking around and hoping for a parent, His little tummy is rumbling. Poor baby. I do hope an early lunch is on today’s schedule. At least the weather is good for fishing.”

Well, have no fear, the food came on the nest and both eaglets were full to the top of their heads!

At the home of the Royal Cam chick, GLY – Dad – showed up to feed Manaaki. Oh, what a relief to see this parent. They had to go a great distance to find food…but they are alive! Our boy was so happy…he will really be gardening tomorrow. Now for Mum – L – to return. We would cry a bucket full of tears. Such good news.

Our lad has so much energy with that feeding!

At Port Lincoln, Mum is playing with everyone. No first egg yet. I am thinking next week but, some are already disappointed with the date they choose. We wait! The camera is up and running fine. It was a small technical glitch.

Diamond willingly took a couple of Starlings that Xavier brought as food offerings today – what a change. Of course she would love a big juicy pigeon or a parrot – a nice Supreme – but, today, she was obliging. S o many times I feel sorry for Xavier when he comes in with prey and gets totally rejected.

I did not believe that Banff could survive that attack. Oh, what a wonderful thing that she returned. Such a relief for everyone. This gives me great hope. The talons of the Osprey cannot injure like an eagle’s could.

One last giggle for all of you. Yesterday I played Hide and Seek with Calico (Geemeff caught that). is now Calico 4 – Mary Ann 0. On Thursday I am going to employ a cat collar with an Air Tag! If I can get it on her – she is very calm around me now. The goal is to find what I believe is a single surviving kitten and get it and Calico in the house for the vet appointment on Saturday morning. Calico may outwit Apple Air Tags, too.

Thank you for being with me this morning. Send your best wishes to every nest and every bird. What seems calm and wonderful can change into something horrific quickly. We want them fat, safe, and ready for their migrations. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to ‘A, Geemeff, H, L, PB, SW’ for their notes and to the following for their streaming cams and videos that helped me to write my blog this morning: Fortis Exshaw, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, PSEG, Cowlitz PUD, Osoyoos, NEFL-AEF, IWSExplore, Glacier Gardens, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, Sydney Sea Eagles, Lady Hawk and Sydney Sea Eagles, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, PLO, and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam.

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