25 August 2023
Well, if you are following the saga – it will become an odyssey soon – with me and Calico, it is now Calico 13 and Mary Ann 2. Yesterday the food dishes were licked clean in under 45 minutes. Calico does not eat that quickly or much in that amount of time. Today, the first breakfast was the same. But the afternoon feed was hardly touched. The trail cam was set up underneath the deck at 1300. The space is so limited that it appears the motion detection system did not operate properly when I returned with food and to check the footage. Can you hear me growling like a cat? Calico is laughing her head off with a smile like a Cheshire Cat. So the camera is somewhat repositioned, and if that doesn’t work overnight, I will put it outside so that it covers the entrance to the area where Calico comes and goes. I believe that the kitten or kittens are old enough that it/they might follow Mama. I will continue to provide food in the hope that the wee one will associate food with my voice and come trotting out one day – before it is too late to socialise the kitten/s. I continue to praise this kitten that had kittens herself for finding the right place – it is so safe, and secluded. No one would know she was under there if they were not searching like me. Still, I will need to get her in hand – Calico that is – on 4 September for her surgery.
Morning Update: Calico was waiting for me at my garden door with brambles in her fur. While she ate she allowed me to brush her for over an hour and a half removing more than 3/4 of them. What patience with me! She also ate well. We then went together to retrieve the camera – they are meant to work in open spaces not in confined spots so it is now up on a pole!
Our thoughts continue to be with the wildlife (and the people) impacted by the wildfires burning in my country. These were the most recent stats that I could find on The Narwhal.
According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, there are currently 1,035 active fires burning across the country, 368 in B.C. alone. A staggering 15 million hectares (a jump of nearly 2 million hectares since last week) have burned this year so far — and there’s no end in sight to the inferno. The heavy blanket of smoke from fires in the Pacific Northwest stretches from San Diego to Great Slave Lake.
I have had several questions and letters about migration. Many of you might not be completely familiar with the reasons that the Ospreys migrate or how far they travel.
This first article is by the RSPB and focuses on the UK Ospreys but there is much good information that applies to all ospreys that migrate.
This second article is full of gorgeous images and maps that will help you understand more not only about migration but about where those birds along the NE coast of the US travel. It is an excellent read.
If you are looking for a comprehensive book on bird migration (it includes many species), I highly recommend The Atlas of Bird Migration. Tracing the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It is by the Smithsonian (there is another by a similar title so I am providing the cover image). This book is everything that you wanted to know and much that you didn’t even know you wanted to know! The cost at my local nature centre was $24.95 CDN.
The tracker for Bonus, the foster storklet of Jan and Jannika, who grew up on the nest of Karl II and Kaia in 2022 has problems with the transmitter not charging. Bonus was somewhere in Belarus. Stay safe, Bonus!
Urmas’s fish basket that has helped to keep the family of Karl II alive this season is still operational. Urmas and his team refill as necessary and on Thursday, Karl II went there to fill up the trio.
Imagine how some of the fortunes of the US and Canadian Osprey nests might have changed had fish been compassionately provided during their time of need – during drought, storms, and fires. I praise Urmas and the Estonia team who try, in whatever way they can, to protect their precious Black Storks. Bonus is an example of that, and we will never forget the dummy female and the robot-feeding male stork. Enlightened is the word I often use for Urmas and Dr. Madis. Bravo! The world could use 100s of people like you who are willing to step up, take a chance, do the right thing. We made a mess of their planet – isn’t it time we fix that?
There is ‘mixed news’ in the most recent Tweed Valley report.
We must check on Fortis – ‘H’ has given us a grand report on what happened to poor Banff on Thursday. “Banff spent the night away from the nest. The morning started with the female intruder arriving at 0607, and her mate arrived a little later. We heard Banff’s voice, and for some reason the intruders simultaneously flew off the nest at 0626. After a few minutes we saw Banff being chased by at least one of them. The female intruder returned to the nest at 0635. At 0649 Louise hovered with a fish in her talons, and the female intruder kept her away. At the same time, the male intruder landed on the nest, and Louise flew to the T-perch. Louise did not eat the fish. She flew off the T-perch with the fish at 0653, perhaps to find Banff. The intruder pair mated on the nest at 0733. The male left the nest at 0826 and would not be seen for the next 9.5 hours. Banff flew toward the nest at 0845, but she was intercepted in the air by the female and was then chased. The female intruder brought a fish to the nest at 0905, left with it after a couple of minutes, and returned without the fish at 0916. Over the next couple of hours, the female intruder was on and off the nest a few times. Banff flew toward the nest at 1104, and once again the female intercepted her and chased her away. After that, the female intruder stood on the ‘lookout post’ for about three minutes, and then she was not seen at the nest for the next 5.5 hours. At 1336 Louise arrived with a fish. She waited for Banff to arrive for eight minutes, but then she flew off with the fish. Banff landed on the nest at 1453, but she hurriedly flew off as she saw an intruder approaching. We only got a brief glimpse, but it did appear that Banff had a small crop. Osprey chases were noted a few times throughout the day, and we assumed they may have involved Louise and/or Banff. Louise landed on the nest with a small partial fish at 1746. The male intruder landed and Louise immediately chased him off. Louise waited a few minutes for Banff to arrive, but she ate the fish herself, and flew off at 1804. Banff arrived at the nest at 1815. She looked tired. She called. But, Mom did not come back. At 1929 Banff began alerting, and she assumed a defensive posture. She knew an intruder was approaching. The intruder buzzed Banff at 1930, and Banff pancaked. A few seconds later the intruder dive bombed and hit Banff really hard. Banff was flipped over onto her back, but she seemed to be okay. She righted herself and flew off. Go roost near Mom, Banff. And, Mom will bring you a nice fish for breakfast.”
On Thursday morning, our dear Mini was on the nest and got the first nice fish of the day from Dad. She did well eating it except when it got to the small tail piece which was lodged in the side of the nest. She got it out and finished off that fish. The time is 0751.
Mini got another nice fish later in the day from Dad.
Mini ate well Thursday! Let us all hope that Dad is looking after himself. Mum is still around and the other three siblings might well be. Three is off the opposite perch this evening from Mini.
Sammy McLoughlin copied the article about Mini into the chat for Patchogue. This is what it said and it had a photo of Dad in March – sadly, not of Mini!
Every year, PSEG Long Island celebrates the return of the local osprey population in Patchogue Village by preparing for the breeding season and performing maintenance on the osprey. The monitored Patchogue nest is located on West Main Street, just south of the Blue Point Brewery. This year, watchers of the live cam noticed of the four chicks (which is rare in itself), one of them seems to have injured its leg. The youngest chick, according to New York City viewer Judith Camacho, who noticed the injury and alerted the local paper, suffered some sort of leg injury last week and she believed it was in need of help. After noticing the injury, the “chatters,” as they call themselves, contacted PSEGLI, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and wild care rehabbers in the area. The injury can be seen at 7:34 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 14, during a feeding session. “She has difficulty holding the food and you can see the injury on her left leg. She is such a fighter,” Camacho said. “Survived with three older siblings, which is extremely rare. It will be a pity if she is not helped.” PSEGLI referred to Jim Jones, one of the bird experts they work with in these situations. After being alerted to the situation, he said he has been watching the nest, on and off, for 24 hours. He confirmed that the chick does have an injury to the left foot, but he said that there are a few things to consider: The fledgling has been perching fairly easily, and the foot can grip, but a bit clumsily; it was able to finish the fish meal without incident. It can also stand on that leg without any apparent leaning. It can fly, and has been leaving the nest to forage, and possibly hunt. The parents are still there and are feeding the “All of these things are good,” he said. “The injury does not—at this time—appear life threatening. We (PSEG, myself, and a wildlife rehabber) are all monitoring the situation. At this time, we are letting things progress naturally. These kinds of injuries are not uncommon, and osprey that I have worked with have recovered. We will keep watching!”
Unfortunately, they did not include images of Mini at various stages of her life or ask locals to keep their eyes out for any ospreys on the ground. That said, Mini is progressing nicely, and there is no way that she could be easily captured currently. Nature is working its magic – and we hope for Mini that she is fit and ready to fly south soon. She is determined – a survivor, and we can only hope she has many more lives – like a cat!
At the Loch Arkaig nest of Louis and Dorcha, Louis is making up for his time away defending. I believe we are now on fish 5 but Ludo is being stalked by the Hoodies – Dyson, Hoover, and Henry – who are getting as much or more of that fish that Ludo.
Fish 5 for Ludo!
That official announcement from Ulster! Ospreys have been seen flying to and from Ireland but there were no reports of a breeding pair – and a successful one at that – until now.
Pam Breci reports that all is well at the osprey platform of Steelscape, Inc.
Our 21 year old Osprey Dad is doing a great job delivering fish to his recent fledgling at the Minnesota Arboretum nest.
‘H’s reports on Osoyoos and Barneghat Light:
Barnegat Light – Duke delivered a whole fluke to Dorsett for lunch. “Wow, thanks a lot, Dad!” Mom, Daisy, has not been seen since 8/21.
Osoyoos – Life is going well for this family of three. Soo brought a beautiful large fish to the nest at 1310, and she waited a long time for her fledgling to return for lunch. Lunch lasted three hours!
Oh, gosh it is good to hear that Osoyoos is alright. Thanks so much H’ for all three reports this morning. Always appreciated!
Blue 33 was delivering fish to Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay platform. He is helping her prepare for her migration in the hope that they both return, as usual, safely next March.
At Orange, Xavier slept on the ledge while Diamond was in the scrape.
Later, Diamond with a huge crop! Thanks, Xavier. You are keeping Mama healthy – she might not have liked the two Starlings but from the second image she devoured the pigeon. Eggs by the end of the month!
At Port Lincoln, the new couple – old Mum and new Dad – are still trying for eggs. It is definitely not too late in Australia!
Gosh, golly. I know that ‘A’ is watching the Sea Eagles much more carefully but it was sure nice for me to go through a few minutes of rewinds and see 32 up there eating and then both up at the beak and with nice crops.
‘A’ wrote us a story about SE32 and its feedings! “Lady comes in around 09:45 to deal with the fish that is left over from breakfast and again SE32 is straight up to the table and starts eating confidently. SE31 is slow to get up and stretch and she then does not move more than a step or two towards the table. Lady feeds SE32 and eats a fair bit herself while SE31 watches. She then moves towards the table, but heads around the far side of SE32, so that SE32 is between her and Lady. SE31 arranges some sticks on the left rails while SE32 keeps eating. I think you get the gist. Something is going on today. SE31 looks healthy, though the PS she just did was very small for her, but she is not attempting to head up to eat. It is after 09:53 when SE31 leans over SE32 (slowly and carefully) to take a bite from Lady. SE32 can feel his sister leaning across him but does not go into submission. SE31 is having to work to swallow the bite (there are a lot of bones in the pieces being fed by now, although there is still a lot of flesh attached), so SE32 accepts the next large mouthful, despite the very close proximity of his sister! Normally, he would get beaked for doing this but not today. Mum offers him a piecde that’s too big and SE31 thinks Lady is going to give it to her but Lady eats it herself and SE32 takes the next couple of mouthfuls. SE31 retreats slightly and just watches! What is going on? He refuses another bite because it is just too big and he is too full, and SE31 leans forward on SE32’s far side, thinking she will get this piece. But no, again Lady eats it herself and SE31 pulls back a bit, disappointed. SE32 has not dropped his head or appeared intimidated in any way so far today, and not now either. Finally, at 09:54:54 Lady starts feeding SE31, who leans forward eagerly on the far side of SE32 to eat the mouthfuls. She is hungry. SE32 stays where he is, his head up, just too full to eat. Mum offers him the occasional bite, but he is too full and only takes one small piece, so SE31 gets most of the remaining fish. It is good to see her eat. (I never thought I would have to say that!!) The meal is over just after 10am. There is still a little fish and flesh left over. Mum returns shortly after 11:04 to finish it off and again SE32 is first up to the table. Mum starts feeding him and eating some of it herself. Most of the fish is gone shortly before 11:11. Mum has worked really hard to get each morsel of flesh from it. SE32 has the most gigantic crop I have seen on a chick in a very long time. SE31 never leaves her spot on the front rails to eat. The eaglets spend a couple of hours snuggling on the rails, stretching occasionally or playing with a stick. At 13:00, SE31 turns her head to look at. SE32 eyeballs her and raises himself up slightly, leaning towards SE31 in an intimidating manner. She retreats and he settles back down. They are doing so much preening as those feathers come through. They must be really itchy. Look at the difference between the size of those crops!!! SE31 looks hungry. SE32’s is beyond description, it is so large. Dad brings in an extra large, long whole fish at 14:44 (or a very fat eel) and SE32 is straight up to the table. Dad waits for Lady, while SE31 has not even woken up yet. She is still sleeping on the front rails. Dad starts nibbling at the fish himself, looking around for Lady, while SE32 moves closer. This gives SE31 time to wake up, stretch, and move up to the table. This causes SE31 to move further forward, keeping his head down. This is not the confident SE32 from the previous feedings today. Dad feeds SE31 and continues eating himself. SE32 keeps moving forward until he is level with the fish and with dad’s beak, to one side of the table. SE31 is in the usual position in the centre of the nest, leaning forward for bites, so she is not making any contact with SE32, who is submissive but not with his head down – he is watching Dad carefully, and when he is offered a bite at 14:51 he accepts it. SE32 turns his head away as he does so Dad gives a bite to SE31 but then turns to feeding bite after bite after bite to SE32, who eats them all. SE31 crawls closer to the table and waits her turn. Dad offers her a bite at 14:54, then returns to feeding SE32. SE31 is still waiting at 14:57 and starts nibbling on the end of the fish (or very fat eel). She is up at the table but with the food between herself and SE32, with Dad in the normal parental feeding position at the back of the nest. At 14:57:27 SE31 grabs the end of this enormous piece of prey and pulls it towards herself. Good job SE31. Dad takes it back. He is still looking around periodically for Lady. He continues feeding SE32. At 15:00 she is still waiting patiently, playing with sticks, watching while SE32 eats very fast and very confidently. SE31 sits down and continues to wait patiently. Finally, at 15:02, Dad leans her way and she eagerly grabs the bite. He then starts feeding them alternate bites until soon afterwards, SE32 is full and not interested in more, so Dad feeds SE31, who is hungry. Every couple of mouthfuls, he glances at SE32 to see whether he wants a bite, then continues feeding SE31. This is a lengthy feeding – SE32 decided he could fit more food in after all – and both chicks ate a large amount. There was another feeding around , and there is also still so much leftover food that there’s enough for the whole family to eat all day tomorrow as well. This was such an interesting day because of SE32’s apparent confidence. which was diminished somewhat at that mid-afternoon feeding but was regained during it. The combination of plentiful food, SE32 getting lots of feeding from the parents and SE31 for some reason being incredibly patient and effectively taking SE32’s role for the day. She ended up getting plenty to eat with that massive fish/eel but at the time of that feeding, she had eaten very little for the day and had not seemed interested enough to press the issue.”
Thanks so much, ‘A’. We can always use a good news story on 32!
SE32 watches as 32 self-feeds. Gosh, they are just over a month old and growing so fast.
No one will say it is for certain but another beautiful image of our star single-dad M15 with a potential mate from the SW Florida Eagles nest on the Pritchett Property in Fort Myers.
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care! Looking forward to having you with us again soon.
My deepest gratitude to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Amazon and Firefly Press, RSPB, Save Coastal Wildlife, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Maria Marika, Liznm, Tweed Valley Ospreys, PSEG, The Woodland Trust, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Ulster Wildlife, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, MN Landscape Arboretum, LRWT, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Sydney Sea Eagles, Gracie Shepher and Raptors of the World.