5 fish and counting for Mini…Wednesday in Bird World

16 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that the start of the week has turned brighter for everyone with the return of Banff to the Fortis Exshaw nest and Mum, Louise. Certainly, Mini is doing better, and Dad is fishing overtime for his girl – so for once, this newsletter sparks a cheery note rather than one full of profound anxiety or sadness.

As for me…well, Tuesday was a bit of a nightmare but, in the end, it turned out grand. You get worried when a stray cat comes like clockwork to be fed and does not show up. After waiting and missing what would have been 3 feedings, I hit the street. I asked anyone who passed me if they had seen her – after discovering that if you carry a blanket and a smelly dish of sardines, people believe you are looking for a lost cat and are not some crazed stalker. Well, it happens that the place thought to be where she was hiding is home to a raccoon. He has been living there for a couple of years.

It seems that Calico is the Queen of MisDirection! At least when she knew I was tracking her. I worry that she is locked in a shed or garage. So I have taken to social media, and tomorrow a new set of flyers will go in mailboxes based on what I learned – which is that she hangs out in an area that I had not known about. If I only had thought of the Air Tag earlier…oh, well. My grandmother always said that things work out how they should. Sometimes I want to ask: Really?

My grandmother welcomed all of my pets even allowing my duck to have almost full reign of her home. She also encouraged me to fall in love with her ‘hens’. They were the girls -beautiful Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns. At the far end of her garden, past the vegetable patch, was the hen house. The smell of the fresh straw put in the boxes after collecting the eggs still reminds me of her. The cats stayed at my parent’s home, but anything with feathers was welcome at hers. What would she advise me about Calico?

Calico looks much healthier after being dewormed and getting rid of fleas or ticks. Her fur is getting shiny, and she is putting on some weight.

UPDATE: Calico appeared cowering in the lilac bushes as I chased a brute of a male out of the garden. She is in season again..she ate four tins of Cat food and drank 1/3 cup of kitten milk before running the opposite way. I will get an Air Tag and collar locally early tomorrow morning, find the kittens, and help her end her life on the streets – and the future of her kittens. And it is pitching down raining here so hopefully Calico is tucked in with her kitty.

There is a new fire burning in Yellowknife, NWT. And there is smoke in our City…it is not haze, not fog, but smoke. Smells like burning tyres. The birds have been frantic today at the feeders and bird baths. They eat any seeds they can find. Do they think the fire is close? The Blue Jays have been here all day, along with Dyson and Gang and Mr and Mrs Little Red. So everyone is accounted for, but Calico – even the four Crows arrived along with the Chickadees and the woodpeckers.

Could we have some little Little Reds? If you do not know, Little Red lived in the old cedar shake shed until he was evicted for the conservatory to be built. I still feel guilty. He rejected several houses – one a rather nice one with a beautiful tin roof – but this summer, he has returned to the garden and is living in the wood box in a house built for him, insulated with all the squirrel mod coms. Now it seems he finally has a mate! She has been very busy with the peanuts today. I wonder if she is decorating?

Mini did well on Tuesday. Dad brought in five fish and there could be more delivered later in the afternoon or evening. Yes, Mini lost 2 over the edge but, by the 5th one she had it figured out – do not eat at the rim! Keep the fish off the edge. It was a huge fish and Mini ate 7/8ths of it. She is also adapting to using her right leg to hold the fish down instead of her left and personally, I thought she was doing better with her left leg. No, she is not perfect. Yes, it could be a fracture that will heal wonky. Could she survive? Well, her chances might be as good as any others. Who would have thought an osprey would lift Banff off the nest? Life is precarious for all of our feathered friends. They don’t live and think about retirement. It is living right now, at this moment. So for this moment, Mini is doing well – better than expected. We should smile.

By 1724, Mini was full. She had eaten at least 3/4 of that big fish that Dad brought. You did well, Mini!

Mini returned and had a good landing from the perch to the nest. Gosh, she is really adapting. She immediately headed over to the piece of fish she had left on the nest. Thankfully no crows were about and she is enjoying a nice topper upper.

She horked the fish tail down at 18:14. Good work Mini. You ate that entire – huge – fish that Dad brought! Soon we can put the Mini worry beads back in their box if you keep this up. Wouldn’t that be nice

Mini got a small fish from Dad early Wednesday morning. You can have a good look at her leg! Thanks for the heads up ‘PB’ and for those two close-ups of her foot.

The three fledglings were at the Finnish nest #1 – they had crops and one had a fish. So beautiful and nice to see that they are doing very well.

At Muonio, Y1J plans for his first flight on the 9th of August. Sibling Y4J flew on 13 August and Y9J took to the skies on the 12th. Osp caught that first flight for us with some interesting commentary.

There has been lots of fish delivered to the Janakkalan nest.

There are lots of fish coming to the nest for the fledglings at Ilomantsin, too. So the Finnish nests look like they are doing alright.

I was looking for information on Finnish migratory patterns for ospreys and found an article on birds from Norway that might interest you. It is the migratory season!

Looks like all is well for our third hatch at Steelscape! This is good news. The last few days have been excellent for this little one.

Karl II continues to find food for his three fledgling Black Storklets. What a heart warming scene this is – and such a wonderful Papa to these babies.

Wish it were the same for the chick at Sandpoint. Crying for food, Mum eating and not feeding any fish. The name of this nest is appropriate. So if Mum is the role model, will this chick treat its osplets the same? Talk about sad.

Thankfully the Mum at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum figured it out before she lost her third chick. This survivor is doing great.

At the nest in Orange, Alabama, Wolf Bay, the fledglings are fighting over fish – it often ends badly with the fish being lost to both! There is no love lost between these two and that fish went flying to the bottom of the nest. The cleaners will be happy.

A huge storm went through Maryland and positively soaked the fledgling on the nest at Maryland Old Home Town.

Everything is good at Boulder County. Mum is home with the three fledglings and one of them has a fish while the other two will ‘wish’ that Dad returns for them.

The last of the chicks have fledged at Kielder Forest.

Ludo continues to enjoy Louis’s remarkable fishing!

Blue 33 continues to supply remarkable fish to the kids at Rutland.

‘H’ has good news from Fortis Exshaw: “Fortis Exshaw – After the intruder dragged Banff off the nest on 8/14, and she wasn’t seen for 17 hours, we were so relieved when she flew to the nest at 0629 on 8/15.  Louise was on the nest at the time waiting for her, and she soon brought Banff a nice fish.  Banff appeared to be completely unharmed physically, but she had most likely been psychologically traumatized (so were we).  But, by golly that intruder came back at 0905 and began dive-bombing Banff again!  After 30 seconds of that, Banff knew that she had to get off that nest, and she flew off.  Because of her previous experience, Banff had learned that she was literally a sitting duck up there, and she risked being hurt or dragged off the nest again.  Throughout the attacks of 8/14, Banff’s instinct had been to defend the nest, and she had stoically fought the intruder.  Banff is smart, and a quick learner.  She now knows that her own survival is her number one priority.  At 1327, Louise brought a fish to the nest for Banff, and she waited for nearly 1/2 hour for Banff to show up before a very hungry Louise ate the fish herself.  After fleeing the intruder in the morning, Banff was not seen for five hours.  She finally flew to the nest at 1403, and Louise was still on the nest.  Upon Banff’s arrival Louise flew off, presumably to catch another fish to feed her hungry juvie.  But, another fish never came for Banff.  Fishing conditions may have been difficult in the area.  The temperature reached 32C/90F, and it was extremely windy.  A hungry Banff spent the night on her nest, dreaming of a huge fish for breakfast.”

‘H’s other reports:

Osoyoos – “The last time I checked, the temperature at Osoyoos had reached 37C/99F at 1505, and it may have gotten even hotter.  There was only one fish delivered to the nest by Olsen at 0759.  That fish was a really good sized headless fish, though.  It is thought that Soo had tried to fish as well.  Their 50-day-old osplet spent most of the day seeking shade from Mom as protection from the hot sun.  Some relief from the high temperatures is expected by the weekend.”

Dahlgren – “Harriet has not been seen for 12 days.  The older sibling, D11, has not been seen for 5 days.  And, Jack has not been seen on camera for 4 days.  D12 was only seen in the morning on 8/15.  We know that D12 can catch her own fish, and Jack may be supplementing what D12 is able to catch.  Dahlgren has been a wonderful nest this year, but our time with our friends is winding down.”  

Kent Island – “Molly enjoys exploring her neighborhood, and she loves to perch on the back of the Adirondack chair on her neighbor’s dock..  Molly has spent the last two nights away from the nest.”


Severna Park – “Since I can no longer tell the fledglings apart, I was relying on seeing them together at the nest to know that they were both still around.  But on 8/15, I could not find a time where the two of them were together in the nest.”

Barnegat Light – ‘The fledgling, Dorsett, is amazing, and fun to watch.  Kudos to the camera operators who do such a great job tracking her.  Daisy is still around, and the family is doing well.”

Thanks so much ‘H’. We will collectively hope that the heat dome over Osoyoos dissipates quickly or that Olsen is able to catch some fish regardless.

To the surprise of everyone, Kaia stopped by the nest but did not feed her three storklets. Many think she came to say goodbye before leaving for Chad where she will overwinter. I am so happy that she is alive. Like elsewhere, the changing weather has caused so many disruptions and near deaths and in the case of Karl II and Kaia, Karl took the hard decision to do a brood reduction early on. Thankfully with the help of the fish baskets and then some rain he was able to fledge these three beauties.

This is the location of this Black Stork Nest in Estonia:

Karl just brought breakfast for the storklets. If you have never seen how storklets behave during a feeding, please take a look.

Look who’s home?! It’s Pepe and Muhlady at Superbeaks. Talk about a beautiful sunrise. So happy to see the two of you!

Tonya Irwin thinks she also spotted Louis home at E-1 in the Kisatchie National Forest.

Tonya has confirmed that Louis is definitely back and we wait for the arrival of Anna!

I am anxious for Gabby to return and it looks like there will be a new cam in operation at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Nest near Jacksonville.

Everyone is watching Mum at Port Lincoln and thinking eggs.

Sunnie Day posted some great news from Freshkills Park in NY. Every nest fledged young osprey this year! Marvellous.

Thanks so much for being with me today. It is so good to have you here with all of us. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘H, PB’, PSEG, FOF, Osp and FOF, Ornis Fennica, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, Eagle Club of Estonia, Sandpoint, MN Landscape Arboretum, Wolf Bay, Maryland Western Shore for Old Home Town, Boulder County, Joanna Dailey and Kielder Forest, The Woodland Trust, LRWT, Gotyid Exshaw, Osoyoos, Dahlgren, Kent Island, Severna Park, Conserve Wildlife F of NJ, Looduskalender Forum, LizM and the Eagle Club of Estonia, Superbeaks, Tonya Irwin and KNF, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Sunnie Day, and PLO.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thank you so much for all these updates Mary Ann! So glad you found Calico cat and so happy for the others and squirrels. Really adorable photos. Thank you! I’m so thankful Mini got fed so
    Well yesterday ! Thanks Dad!
    All the beautiful photos you posted are so appreciated Mary Ann!
    All others look good and looking forward to the eagles new season. Glad NEFL will have another cam this season too!
    Praying for the little one who isn’t getting fed good that the Mom will figure it out!
    Prayers the fires hurry and go
    Away there in Canada. Prayers for
    All who need anything.
    Have a great day Mary Ann and we look forward to your next newsletter. Thanks you for all you do!

    1. Just a short note…seems everything is in haste these days. I am still trying to get that tracker to work and it does not want to cooperate but the cat is not around either…but, you are always welcome for the news. it might be short tomorrow!

  2. micpark9 says:

    That is a real shame you feel you have to say something that isn’t true in order to just put a happy note in your blog. I know for one, I want the truth from someone writing a blog not what I hope the world would be. That little hatch at Patchogue is not doing better. S/he is not able to eat what the parents are bringing, dropping most all of the five fish they brought. The bird may very well have a leg that heals but it won’t heal the proper way and the nerve damage that ensues because of it will make the foot incapable of flexing ensuring it won’t be able to do anything with it. It will cause either very little fish catching for her/him or none at all. I know I’m still working on getting someone to do something to catch her/him but with attitudes like this makes it harder.

  3. Rita Eiglmaier says:

    I fully agree with you,micpark. Looked closely at Mini’s leg and it is not getting better. The leg just doesn’t hold. If it is a torn ligament, it won’t heal. As it is, Mini will not be able to sustain herself. It reminds me of Rachel – some years ago on Hog Island – she never came back from migration.

    1. Thank you so much for your note, Rita. Oh, it is so hard to tell what is wrong. I wish there was a way for them to take her into care without injuring her. The knee really worries me…

    2. Oh, – Rita, I don’t sugarcoat things. Mini is being monitored by a wildlife rehabber. They are saying the same things I am. Nothing can be done for her until she is grounded. her leg will heal but not properly…all that has been said. I would give a million dollars to be able to capture her and get her into care. She deserves it.

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