17 August 2023
As I sit and write this, six Blue Jays are getting peanuts in the garden and drinking from the fountain. The sky is black and we have both air quality warnings and wind warnings of 80 kph. The birds are frantic. One even hid in a red plant when the gusts got high. (Fast speed so nothing looks like it is moving but it was!)
The cutest thing was when the ‘baby’ slept in the bird bath. Oh, this little one delights me many times a day. Such a cutie pie.
Bliss. Soaking your feet on a hot day in water with the sun pouring down warming your feathers.
A sibling decided they liked the cleaner water in the taller bird bath for his bath! These Blue Jays are the cutest things this year. They spend the entire day in the garden. So grateful that they do not like little grape tomatoes! They seem to eat everything else in sight.
Missey watched it all from her perch inside the sitting room.
The only nest that I checked on throughout the day was Patchogue. I knew others were watching Fortis closely and Mini is quite dear to my heart.
At 0951 Mini is on the nest screaming. She sees Dad!
I know that I call her Mini and at one time it was Little Mini. Some call her Tiny Dancer. But I want you to look at the span of the wings right now…not little anymore.
Her left leg is not straight. My friend ‘R’, who is qualified (I am not) to discuss physical issues more than anyone I know, believes the trouble is at the knee. The problem with getting Mini help is that she is flying, her parents are still feeding her, she is not grounded. There is just no way to do that at this point. She is wild.
Indeed, it is appropriate to bring in today’s experience with Calico -the stray that I hope to get vaccinated and fixed. She is in heat. The vet told me that she would not be around for two days, but, like clockwork, she arrived at 1901 (instead of 1900) for her dinner. I fed her a bit on the deck, picked her up, and took her into the conservatory. Well, now. She bolted and climbed the glass walls to the roof, sliding down. I felt horrible. The terror that she was experiencing sent me back to the drawing board on how best to care for her and any kittens. So the goal is still to find the kitten/s – to get them adopted or keep the only surviving one if possible and get Calico fixed and all vaccinated. If she chooses to live outside she will have a heated house if she wants to live in it. There will always be food. Tomorrow when she is not traumatised by being inside a house, I will fit the collar on if I can find one that closes with Velcro. There was no way I could hold her and buckle the collar I had prepared with the tracker. I must remember that she is a wild soul and be patient.
Mini is also wild and she will not fit into the story that I (or anyone else) has written for her – either.
The last fish was a rather large goldfish. She ate some on the nest and flew off with the rest in her beak. Everyone watching held their breath when she was feeding near the rim, fearful she would drop her dinner over the edge. Hopefully, Mini has found a flat room in her time of adaptation where she can eat in peace without the fear of losing the fish.
The best-case scenario for Mini is a miraculous healing. Second, she is grounded and rescued. We must realise that she would have to stay in care until spring when the ospreys return from migration. She could not be released before then (it would be winter). That is why the local publicity and her story are important and, perhaps, a GoFundMe to help with her expenses should she go into rehab. I have a feeling our gal would eat a lot of fish if she got the chance!
This afternoon Banff flew on to the nest at Fortis Exshaw and was once again repeatedly attacked and taken off the nest by another Osprey – an adult. I have asked ‘H’ for clarification because it looked like it might have been an adult this time. A local resident, Tina Moore, noted (on the chat) there was an aerial fight between four ospreys. It is a very unstable situation. Will Banff figure out to stay in the trees and hope she gets fish fed there? How many fish does Louise lose trying to feed herself and Banff? Where is Mr O? I presume he is also fighting intruders. Someone told me once that the raptors protect their territory first, themselves second, and the chicks third.
‘H’ gives us the most remarkable account of these events – with an ending that defies logic as we still see JJ’s body – a result of starvation.
“Fortis Exshaw – Ya’ just can’t make this stuff up. We don’t believe Banff had any food on 8/14 after she was dragged off the nest by an intruder, but we cannot rule out that she may have been fed while in hiding. Banff only had one fish to eat on 8/15 at 0639. 8/16 started out to be a peaceful day. Banff went on a few short flights, but starting at 0855 she was dive bombed 8 times while on the nest by an intruder. Banff eventually flew off the nest while being chased. At 1111, Banff flew to the nest perch and was buzzed by the intruder, so she took off. She was chased back to the nest and was dive bombed two more times, so Banff flew away. A local live stream viewer, TM, went to the nest and reported that she saw a couple of adult ospreys helping to chase the intruder away from Banff (she thought them to be Louise and O’Hara). We next saw Banff at 1304 when she landed on the nest, and she was dive bombed three more times. At 1305, the intruder approached from behind, grabbed Banff on her back with its talons and dragged her off the nest! Starting at 1545 Louise hovered over the nest dangling a fish and flew off. Then she came back and landed with the fish, but took off with the fish again after a minute. She came back with the fish and hovered and flew away. Then she landed with the fish and flew off. Louise was looking for Banff, and trying to attract Banff. At 1548 Louise again landed with the fish . .and we thought we heard Banff calling, and Louise heard the calls too . . Louise immediately looked north and seemed to be laser-focused on a specific spot, and she flew off with the fish. We think she may have taken the fish to Banff. If so, it would have been Banff’s first meal in 33 hours. Banff landed on the nest at 1922. She appeared to have a slight crop. Louise knew where her girl was, and she was on the case! Louise proceeded to deliver seven whole fish to Banff from 2020 to 2123! Now, that is the kind of fishing success Louise was having just a few weeks ago. The first fish was at 2020. Banff had not quite finished fish-1 when Louise arrived with fish-2 at 2035, and Banff started eating fish-2. At 2041 Banff dropped fish-2 and started eating fish-3. Banff finished fish-3 and resumed eating fish-2. At 2105 Louise brought live fish-4, Banff drops fish-2 and starts to eat fish-4. At 2110 Louise arrived with fish-5, an even larger live fish. Banff had not eaten much of fish-4 when she grabbed fish-5. By then, Banff had a huge crop, and she really wasn’t hungry. She stood holding fish-4 in her left talon, and a still flopping fish-5 in her right talon. Louise arrived with whole fish-6 at 2115. Banff let go of fish-4, and started eating fish-6 (fish-5 was still alive). Banff periodically took bites from fish-5. She soon switched her main focus to the frisky fish-5, and periodically took bites from fish-6. Finally . . at 2123 Louise delivered fish-7. Through all of this time Louise’s crop had been flat each time we saw her. Satisfied that she had provided enough fish for her kid, Louise picked up a nearly-whole fish-4 and ate it. You go girl! You deserve it, Louise. The entire time Louise was eating, Banff was simply standing there with a fish in each talon, but not eating. She was talking up a storm, telling Mom all about the terrible time she had been chased, dive bombed, and dragged off the nest by that awful mean bird. Only fish-1,3,and4 were eaten in their entirety. Pieces of fish-2,5,and 6 remain in the nest. Fish-7 remained a whole fish. Banff will have the strength to fight another day. Banff slept on the nest, and Mom spent the night on the T-perch. (It is such a shame that fishing became so difficult for several days, and JJ could not get enough to eat. Now JJ’s body is surrounded by fish)”
I want to thank the folks at Cowlitz because of their progressive thinking on stopping the predation of their osplets. Many nests could benefit from the grids that Cowlitz PUD put up to protect their ospreys. Maybe Fortis Exshaw should be first in line – along with Lake Murray -to get those plans.
At 2245, I got a note that Banff was on the nest and had a huge crop thanks to a fish Louise delivered. Thanks ‘PB’. One thing is certain: Louise appreciates what has happened to her daughter – and Banff is getting real-world experience that will give her an edge out in the world off the nest! She is one tough cookie.
How many raptors were displaced because of the fires throughout Canada will never be known. You can see the fires still burning behind the nest in the mountains beyond. They would have lost some or all of their nests, mates, and chicks. A few nests, like one in Nova Scotia, made the news because two chicks were rescued from the wildfire, and a new nest was put up after they had been in rehab for a fortnight. The parents returned to care for them. Many, many more were not so fortunate.
Dyfi: A beautiful capture of Cennen.
Glaslyn: Aran’s fish dinner. Where is everyone?
Manton Bay: My favourite Osprey Dad in the World (sorry Louis). Blue 33 has made quite the nest and is doing repairs so that when him and Maya return in March it will be ready! What a wonderful provider!
Osprey season is over at Dahlgren and the cam will be shut off until next spring. Good luck. Safe travels everyone!
‘H’ reports on Osoyoos: “Osoyoos – The heat wave continues in the region, and the air remains smoky. But despite the heat and smoke, Olsen delivered a large headless, and Soo brought two nice-sized fish to the nest. There was a long tug-o-fish between Soo and Junior for the second fish, but Soo kept the fish and fed Junior. At 1941 ‘Junior’ grabbed fish #3 from Soo and ate the whole thing! “
Alyth: The camera has been down for several days. Last time we saw the youngsters there were fish squabbles but all were well.
Ever wonder why ospreys might benefit from being banded? Here is the latest report From Diane Bennett at Tweed Valley about an osprey caught in netting. Have a read – it is very informative.
The latest report on the Border Ospreys – both adults were still at the nest.
Jeff Kear gives us the round-up of who is where in UK Osprey Land.
Darling Xavier. Sometimes Diamond is so picky. I hope he had a nice breakfast. How dould you not love this tiny male…oh, Xavier, you are a doll.
Port Lincoln: Dad dutifully takes a fish to Mum, which she flies over to the ropes to eat. Mum is still spending time on the nest, and the couple are still mating. We wait for eggs.
Sydney Sea Eagles: Little 32 is shy even when 31 is not doing anything and often goes into a submissive mode. Some worry about why this little one is not more spunky. ‘A’ writes, “Around 10.22 dad brought in what looks like an eel. Little SE32 has a nice crop from his breakfast and is looking perky. He has front position for this feeding, at least as mum takes control of the food, but we will see what happens once the eating begins. There should be plenty of meat on this eel to feed both eaglets, so all SE32 has to do is wait until SE31 is full and all should be well. Fingers crossed.”
And that is precisely what happened!
Just a correction. KL5 has been at the Loch Garten nest causing havoc. All of the information that I saw posted on FB stated that he fledged from the Loch Garten Nest in 2020. ‘D’ says that it was actually at Loch Ness. Thanks, ‘D’.
Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, D, H, PB, R’, PSEG, Fortis Exshaw, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Jane Dell and LRWT, Bridgette Schwurack and Dahlgren Osprey Cam, Osoyoos, Alyth, Diane Bennett, Border Ospreys, Jeff Kear and Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys, Cilia Kinross and Orange Australia Peregrine Falcons, PLO, and Sydney Sea Eagles.