Tenacious Mini…Saturday in Bird World

19 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Thank you for all your good wishes for Calico. A GPS satellite tracker collar will arrive sometime on Sunday, and I hope to have it on her by Monday afternoon at the latest. She is eating fine, and there is still an indication of one kitten. Once we have that kitten in hand and, life will become hectic but less anxious. Of course, we could always wind up with a kitten inside and an adult cat that simply cannot come to grips with having readily available food, a warm house in the winter, and some companions. We wait.

Mini continues to be in everyone’s thoughts. As of Thursday, these are the visible facts about Mini with Friday updates below:

  • Mini is eating and fish calling.
  • Mini has difficulty eating when the fish is small or she gets to the end of a larger fish. This is because she cannot properly hold it down with her foot. As a result, she is attempting to hork the last bits. Thursday night she successfully horked the tail for the first time without losing it over the rim of the nest.
  • Dad is still delivering fish.
  • Mini is flying on and off the nest.
  • Mini is not lethargic.
  • Mini uses her wings for balance and is not flapping all over the place. She is adapting to her situation but she can also be unbalanced at times.
  • There is concern over Mini’s knee.
  • Mini’s will rest on the nest duckling style. This takes the pressure off her leg.
  • The type of injury she has sustained cannot be confirmed with 100% accuracy. ‘R’ notes that there is swelling on the whole leg not just at the knee as previously thought. The injury could be anything from an infection to a fracture. Or both. (see bottom image above). She needs medical attention.
  • Injuries heal – rightly or wrongly. Wildlife have been observed to have adapted to very challenging situations. For example, a deer with three legs. Ma Berry with her wonky foot. At the moment, Mini could not fish and could not sustain her life with this injury. Will it heal enough before Dad leaves on migration is unknown – the unknown is due to the fact that Dad could leave tomorrow or he could leave the middle of October.
  • Trying to catch a flying bird such as Mini can be dangerous to the bird.
  • Mini would greatly benefit from being taken into care to have her injury assessed and treated. The earlier, the better the outcome. Because of the timing, she would have to stay in care until spring when she would be released if she was healed and flight worthy. Her treatment and care will be costly. To encourage her care, I have suggested a GoFundMe — or donations to the facility through their website or FB – if she were to go into rehab. It would encourage them to consider long-term options.
  • Mini could be taken into care and the clinic staff could determine that it is not viable to treat her. She would be euthanised.
  • Mini may leave the area independently. Without a Darvic ring and a tracker, we will never know what happens to our feisty fourth hatch. Fledglings have been observed eating dead fish that wash up on the beach and surviving. We don’t know. With an injury, her chances of survival are much lower but, it is a ‘crap shoot’ as one of my UK friends continually reminds me – who survives and who doesn’t.

Mini’s personality is strong-willed. She has survived when others have not this season. This is in part due to her individual spirit and the other part to the amazing parents who, once they determined she was going to survive, took great care of her.

On Friday, one of the siblings (Three who is sometimes called Sneezy) took a fish at the nest. This is not good for Mini – she has been able to take her sweet time trying to get the fish down.

At 12:52 Mini got a nice piece of fish. Thanks, ‘L’ for the tip-off. She ate it well and then fought with the tail, which she attempted, many times, to hold down with her left foot. It was simply too small. She flew off the nest with it. Perhaps she has a flat place where she has figured out how to eat these small pieces. There was no sibling on the nest to try and take the fish.

Mini flew off with the fishtail at 1311. She returns to the nest at 1439.

Mini had fish 3 around 1822. She worked on it for a long time before part of the fish went over the edge.

Oh, if Mini could just put some weight on that fish with her right foot. She did manage to eat the head and some of the body and all the innards. Not bad.

For part of the evening, Mini slept in the nest with Three on the perch watching over her. There is news that a newspaper article about Mini will appear locally on Wednesday. To those responsible, thank you! The more people who know her story, the more people who care and who will watch out and will also press for help.

Dad delivered a nice fish to Mini early Saturday, 0658. She ate well but once I thought she might lose the tail over the edge. That awful piece of plastic that is the shape of a fish in the nest along the rim causes her trouble. Mini got the head off and, at times, held it down with her right foot while trying to get ahold later with her left.

More wildfires are burning in Canada today. The people in the Okanagan Valley are being evacuated and the latest was the fire is moving fast and Kelowna is on alert. We continue to have smoke warnings in our city and those with breathing problems are being asked to stay inside often.

This is one of the posts that is making the rounds, reminding people to help them if they can. This applies to the Apex raptors and other feathered friends that are losing mates, their homes, chicks and/or fledglings.

‘RP’ sent me an article on the fires in the NW Territories…there are now so many it is difficult to keep track. The impact on our wildlife and their homes is going to last for a number of years – even decades and decades for those tall pine trees to grow for the Eagles and their nests.

An Austrian biologist is working hard with his glider to try and help the Ibis from becoming extinct. The New York Times carries the story:

Milda brought Kate a fish to the nest in Durbe County. How grand! Oh, she is loud!

Heather at Glaslyn confirms that the fledglings are often in the trees out of sight of the camera. On Friday, Aran was feeding Elen. How sweet. I hope that they both return to provide us with season 2 from the new Glaslyn family. All is good in the Glaslyn Valley but the weather. Everyone is still home in the UK.

Aran is hauling in the big fish for Elen and the lads so everyone is healthy and strong and fit for migration.

Some huge fish (Mullets?) coming on to the nest of Idris and Telyn, too, on Friday at Dyfi.

Geemeff reports that it is blowing a ‘hoolie’ in Scotland at the Loch Arkaig nest. Those high winds are making fishing almost impossible for Louis. Geemeff says that Dorcha was last seen “looking thin and departing the nest, after waiting in vain for fish, at 06.30.34” on Thursday. In case she has departed to fatten up on her way to Africa after this crazy year with the single chick Ludo, fly safe. Return safe, Dorcha. Here is a video of that last sighting Geemeff made:

The good news from Geemeff this morning is that Louis is home! “Happy to see Louis – probably not as happy as Ludo was! Absent for over two days, but safe and well – brought Ludo’s first fish at 11.48 this morning, and a second at 13.37.”

Boulder County: The three fledglings are sure gorgeous. They are all on the nest in Colorado, waiting for a fish! Seems to be a typical scenario late in the afternoon. That one on the far right has a nice crop!

Cowlitz PUD: Adult on and off the nest during the day. I did not see the fledgling at the nest.

Oyster Bay: The fledglings continue to come to the nest wishing for fish. Many adults are now feeding their fledglings off the nest and out of our sight.

Seaside: The same as the other nests. Fledglings in and out hoping to get the fish delivery. One of these was lucky but I am not sure which one. Again, lots of meals are being taken off nest. That 1508 fish was super. Thanks, Bruce!

Finland #1: All chicks present and accounted for during the day – alone or together – and they are getting some nice fish.

Finland #4. I could hear the fledglings fish calling but I did not see them come to the nest.

Quiet at Finland #2.

At the LS or #5 nest, a beautiful fledgling waiting for fish. This nest had 2 fledglings this year – one egg did not hatch and the other died of a nest accident.

Always happy to have ‘H’s’ reports!

Fortis Exshaw – “After taking the previous day to simply eat and rest, Banff was feeling lively on the morning of the 18th.  She took a couple of short flights, landed on the T-perch and the tall pole, back to the nest.  At 0753 Banff took off for a longer excursion, and she was still absent when Louise arrived with a fish at 0815.  Louise ended up eating the small fish herself.  Banff did not return to the nest until 1106.  Ever since Banff fledged on 8/13, that was the first long casual fly-about for Banff, not being pursued by intruders (that we know of).  It was a good opportunity for her to explore her local area.  After she returned, Banff did plenty of fish-calling, for Mom to bring her a fish, but Louise didn’t show.  At 1540 an intruder started to dive bomb Banff, and she took a couple of hard hits.  At a point when the coast was clear, Banff decided to get off the nest, and she flew off at 1542.  Over the next 3 1/2 hours, Banff could be heard calling occasionally.  We don’t know if Louise brought a fish to Banff where she was perched.  At 1917 Banff flew back to the nest.  Her crop looked a little puffy, and not completely hollow.  It was entirely possible that she may have eaten a few hours ago.  Banff called for Louise to bring her a fish at the nest, but Louise did not return to the nest.  Banff had a pretty good ps at 2011.  Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully Banff will not be off on an adventure when Louise delivers a fish to the nest.  Oh, a fledgling’s dilemma . . should I go on a morning fly-about, or wait for Mommy to bring me my breakfish?”

Osoyoos – These ospreys are finally enjoying a break from the extreme heat. Dad delivered two nice-sized fish for his family, and Mom brought the last fish of the day at 1959.  Their 53-day-old youngster was doing a lot of wingersizing and achieving some lift.

Kent Island – Both Tom and Audrey delivered fish to the nest for Molly.  And, Molly achieved another milestone: she carried a fish off the nest for the first time!

Forsythe – Oscar delivered fish to the nest for Ollie thee times, but there were four fish.  Oscar had a fish in each talon at 1340!

Barnegat Light – The lovely fledgling, Dorsett, continues to grace us with her presence.  I may be mistaken, but I believe that Daisy has not been seen for two days. 

Thanks so much, ‘H’. We always enjoy hearing that Banff is safe! And my goodness, how big these special chicks are that survived those horrible storms in June. Just look at Dorsett. What a strong fledgling she is!

At Port Lincoln, still waiting for that first egg.

‘A’ reports on Orange: “In Orange, lovely Xavier just brought some well-prepared prey for a hungry Diamond (11:08), who quickly arrived to claim it. She flew off with what looked like a very nice brunch. Xavier remained on the ledge, looking all fluffed up and even cuter than usual. No eggs here but heaps of bonding and mating. Xavier has once again learned the annual lesson that he has to bring prepared prey and leave it. Well done, Xavier. Egg-ready now.”

LizM caught the delivery of the dove:

At Sydney, ‘A’ has two reports for us. The second one – self-feeding – is exciting! “Dad brought in a very small morsel of fish around 10.53 this morning. Lady was quickly there to take charge of the food. SE32 was in front position (by chance) and Lady offers him the first bite, which he takes, and the next two, which he also takes. He is very cautious, though, and mum is having to deliberately make an effort to coax him to take the food. SE31 does not punish him for eating those first few small bites, but still he is submissive in his posture, so Lady has no option but to lean over him and feed SE31. It’s not long before SE32’s head is up again (and he is in front of SE31) but this is a tiny fish and Dad has eaten at least half of it before delivering it to the nest. So this looks like a small breakfast for both eaglets. SE32 is given the last piece (the pieces SE31 has eaten and this last piece were large and not easy to swallow) but doesn’t control it fast enough Lady takes it back again and offers it to SE31, who drops is and gets reoffered it five times before Lady gives SE32 another try at it. He grabs it and is rewarded with a beak to the head. SE31 won’t let go, and hopefully, SE32 is taking the same attitude towards his mouthful of fish skin and bone. He usually hangs onto it until he can sit up again, at which point he swallows it. Before he can do this, though, SE31 steals the piece from SE32’s beak but again cannot swallow it and drops it. Lady continues to offer it to SE31. It’s one fairly unappetising piece, causing quite a kerfuffle. Eventually, after being offered the piece at least ten times, SE31 swallows it. The fish piece is gone. SE32 is still very hungry. and SE31 has had only a small snack. Hopefully, the day will improve.”

“At WBSE this afternoon (Friday 18 August), Dad brought in two-thirds of a nice fish around 13:45 and SE32 got a mouthful, but Dad was not comfortable feeding the chicks, and instead just stood there for several minutes, looking around for Lady to come and do the job. SE32 crept closer to the table, and finally, just before 13:55, he reached the fish, stretched out his little beak and grabbed his first self-fed flake off the open end of the fish! He repeats it. The open end is perfect for his first effort. At 13:55:20, SE32 stands up, and three seconds later, he grabs the entire fish with his beak and pulls it towards himself! He is holding it down with at least the talons on his right foot, pulling at the open end of the fish with his beak. He is making a serious effort to self-feed. SO proud of my little man. I told you it wouldn’t be long with this one, and this has made me so happy. What a massive step forward for him. He stands there, very pleased with himself, and stretches his little wings out. SE31 is fascinated, and follows SE32, heading towards the fish. SE32 takes another couple of pecks at the fish. SE31 watches him, then attempts to copy her little brother. She too takes a peck at the fish. SE32 takes another flake. Dad is still standing there, watching his eaglets with …  Curiosity? Pride? Relief? The eaglets are taking it in turns to eat from the open end of the fish, with SE32 doing much better than SE31. He is really going for this fish, and getting some decent bits off it. Just after 13:57 he makes a really good effort and gets several bites off the fish. He stands up and turns away from the table, spreading his wings and really feeling his oats. It is so obvious that he is proud of his achievement. He returns to the fish. Eventually, both eaglets turn away from the fish (getting food from it is a bit too much of an effort, and both already have full crops), but they have learned a very valuable lesson.”

Oh, Monty and Hartley sure can put a smile on your face. What a joy it is to see them hanging around the scrape box and entertaining us with their bonding.

At the old West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta, a juvenile looks off into the sunset. Gorgeous.

Thank you for being with us today. Please take care everyone. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L, N, R, R’ PSEG and SL Security Pros, The New York Times, LDF, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Carol White and the Glaslyn Osprey Group, Dyfi Osprey Project, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Boulder County, Cowlitz PUD, Seaside Osprey Cam, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Kent Island, Severna Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, PLO, LizM and Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, SK Hideaways and the San Jose City Hall Falcon Cam, and the IWS.


  1. Allison Esposito says:

    Wanted to share something that happened to Mini between 5:56 and 5:57 am, as if she needed more problems. Mini flew to the perch from left of the brewery area and another osprey (#1? #3?) immediately flew up behind her and knocked her forward, off the perch and onto the nest. The aggressive osprey circled the nest and then landed on the perch while Mini rightfully complained. It was very quick and seems to have been missed by the chat group. It all took place before 5:57.

    1. Thank you so much for your keen eye, Allison. I will go back and check on this. That is aggressive behaviour. Much appreciated! I missed it too as I was focused on the fish delivery.

    2. Hi Allison, Thank you again. I have the screen captures of the other fledgling chasing Mini to the perch! I wish they would stay by the water and leave her alone. They know Dad feeds her there. LOL.

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