Is Mini’s leg worse?…Thursday in Bird World

31 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

There is only a little action in Bird World. The Osprey nests in the Northern hemisphere are becoming rather quiet as they empty around the world and birds begin their journeys to their winter homes. As I write this, there are no eggs at Collins Street or Port Lincoln. A storm has taken out the main camera in Sydney. Diamond laid her third egg. Mini appeared to have more difficulties with her left leg on Wednesday. Those are a few nests that we are watching.

We will begin with ‘H’s report of Fortis Exshaw: “First an update to 8/28: Janet Preston, one of the local cam watchers, was at the nest in the evening and managed to find Banff standing on a log on a hillside.  Banff was safe, she looked good, and she had a crop!  This was particularly welcome information for us, on a day where Banff had been chased and attacked by the intruders a few times. Attached are a few of Janet’s photos from 8/28.   

8/30 – For the second consecutive day, Banff was not seen at the nest.  The intruder pair was in the nest briefly at times, just enough to remind other ospreys (and one young osprey in particular) that they still ruled the nest.  Tiina Moore, one of the local viewers stopped by the nest area at 1600, and she managed to find Banff sitting on a utility pole toward the east end of the pond.  Tiina stated that Banff was apparently fish-calling to an adult in a tree across the river (possibly Louise).  Banff stayed on the pole for about 45 minutes, then she flew over the river.  Thanks to Tiina’s efforts, we had been reassured that Banff was okay.  Later in the evening from 2009 to 2011, we heard Banff’s distinctive chatter, the call that she makes while flying.  She was very close to the nest and getting closer.  We were on the edge of our seats, hoping that Banff would not intend to land on the nest, because we knew what would happen to her if she did.  Banff, with her newfound wisdom, did not attempt to land.  Someone else was also hoping that Banff would not try to land on the nest, and that was the big ol’ female intruder.  The intruder landed on the nest at 2010 alerting, and for the next minute or so, her head was literally on a swivel, watching Banff showing off her courage in the face of the intruder.  Banff was flying high above the nest for a couple of minutes and she was saying: “You can have that old nest, I don’t need it any more, I am a big girl now, my name is Banff, and you did not defeat me !!!”   I believe that by staying away from the nest the past several days, Louise has taught her youngster another lesson: ‘Discretion is the better part of valor’.  (Attached is Tiina’s photo from 8/30)”

Mini is on the perch. It is impossible to see how she is clutching or if she is able to tighten her feet around the perch.

Her leg does not appear to be giving her much difficulty as she stands on the nest, but it will be apparent that there are some issues. Did she have a tug of war with a fish and someone? We may not see Dad on the nest, but he is feeding his girl. H er crop is not deeply concave.

Mini reminds me of Blue 33 and his ‘snake eye’ in the image below.

Everything looked OK with Mini until early evening. She landed on the nest at 1808. By 1943, Mini appeared to have trouble getting up from her duckling position due to the swelling in her left leg. It is worse by 2100. Thanks ‘L’ for alerting me to this issue.

Mini is not sleeping entirely duckling style but standing up on the nest slightly with her head tucked in her wing after midnight.

At 0449 Mini is on the perch before flying off.

The situation in terms of care remains the same. It is dangerous to try and catch a flying bird – dangerous to Mini. Traps do not normally work with Ospreys like they do with eagles, hawks, falcons, etc.

A ‘myth’ is spreading: ospreys do not do well in care. This is not true and it is troubling. Go to the Audubon Centre for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida. Visit them, write them. Read their reports. They cared for Smedley and Bailey, who thrived in their centre. Bailey is still there; Smedley sadly passed away last year. He was at least in his mid-twenties at the time. Audubon has had many other ospreys pass through the facility over the decades. They have had some miraculous clients, including one that was electrocuted. Indeed, they have – along with other centres on the East Coast – much more experience than the rest of the US put together simply because so many Ospreys live permanently in Florida. There are other centres, of course – the one in Colorado that cared for the Pitkin Country nestling that got pulled off the nest by its Mum with some nesting material (its sibling died). It is in flight school and has been in care since 27 June 2022. If Ospreys did not do well in care, this bird would have died long ago. That bird will be released soon if it hasn’t already been. There is much work being done with ospreys in Idaho as well – to name three places.

What is wrong with Mini’s leg or her long-term prognosis is unclear. That would require that she be in the care of a wildlife rehabilitation centre or a vet who could do x-rays, scans, or an ultrasound. The DEC office over the Patchogue Region has been clear – no help unless the bird is grounded. I had hoped that some local publicity would bring attention to Mini. Instead, the writer had a photo of Dad – not Mini – and did not address what such an injury would do to the quality of life for an osprey. It was disappointing because it did not get the audience overly sympathetic with our girl that I could tell.

So, back to the drawing board. Rehabbers need clear images of an injury. They need short video clips – the emphasis is on short – that demonstrate the issue the raptor is having. They do not have the time to weed through unnecessary material. Remember. Most people who help are volunteers – including many vets. They need the name of the nest and its exact location – even if you think they should know this. They need the name and phone number of who is in charge of the platform and the camera. Do not assume that they know this information. Always be polite and to the point. Get all the required information in a single-page document. If you saw what caused the injury, tell them. Include an image. Cut and paste this information into e-mails to all the nearby wildlife rehab centres, the local USFWS or the DEC, the platform owner, etc. To find the nearest clinic, go to :

Fledgling was still at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Nest on the 30th.

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All three continue to fish call at Boulder County.

Four fish for Coco arrived at the Sandpoint Nest on Wednesday. Gosh, this is wonderful.

At least one juvenile still at Oyster Bay came to the nest on Wednesday, hoping it just might get a fish delivery. Like other nests, the males are feeding the chicks mostly off the nest now, so it is rare to see them with fish where they hatched.

Hurricane Idalia did not weaken as some weather and news stations predicted, but she passed through Florida. Some raptors checked on their nests in Florida – and all is well. Dad reportedly did this at the Achieva Nest in St Petersburg.

Muhlady was at the Superbeaks nest in Central Florida on the 30th!

It was a beautiful sunset at Two Harbours, too. No Chase and Cholyn, however.

Thunder visited her old nest with Akecheta at the West End on Wednesday afternoon. What a stunning place to watch the sunset. Wouldn’t you love to be sitting there with her?

I did not see Jackie and Shadow on the nest on the 30th but they were spotted recently together in the tree.

Windy at the NE Florida nest of Gabby. No one home – yet.

There were reports of a big storm in the Sydney, Australia, area that could have impacted the nest of the WBSE in the Olympic Park. One of the cameras was on the flick, but we caught Lady feeding two little heads. What a relief! It looks like the only thing that was bothered was the camera. Relief. The main camera is out of action. Will we miss these eaglets growing up until they are big enough for us to see from this view?

A video of an eel being fed to SE32 during the storm (before the camera went down)!

Diamond is tired and for good reason. She laid the third egg in the wee hours of the morning. Get ready for over a month of incubation exchanges between her and Xavier!

Diamond has been the female at Orange since 2015. She is at least ten years old.

There is still no egg at Port Lincoln. With the main cam down at Sydney, and no eggs at Collins Street yet, I remain hopeful that we might have little osplets to watch even if they do fight over fish.

There is, however, hope for Port Lincoln. The first egg was laid at Turnby Island yesterday.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Stay safe wherever you are. Looking 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 this morning: ‘A, H, L’, Fortis Exshaw, PSEG, MN Landscape Arboretum, Boulder County, Sandpoint, Barbara Snyder and Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, IWS/Explore, FOBBV, NEFL-AEF, Sydney Sea Eagles, Faxinating and Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Holly Parsons and Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons, PLO, and Friends of Sth Australia Ospreys.

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