Mini visits nest…Who would shoot a condor…Tuesday in Bird World

25 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

One need not look at the calendar to know that fall is completely with us on the Canadian Prairies. Leaves are turning on all of the trees, squirrels and Jays are rushing to store food. The air feels and smells different.

Every one of the garden animals has been accounted for but one and sadly the latest Hedwig (rabbit) was hit by a car on the lane in front of my house last evening. I found the darling thing this morning.

Dyson looks particularly good. Taken with my phone when I went to fill up the table feeder – she isn’t afraid. She waited and posed. Little Red was running around. He has officially moved into the wood box in the house built for him in the spring of 2022. Yippeeee. Better late than never. He only has to go a few feet in the winter to get more peanuts!

Dyson wishes all her friends in Japan and Asia a joyous Tsukimi (Moon Viewing Festival), lots of delicious rice dumplings and Moon Cakes.

The Blue Jays are still coming to the feeders. Many do not migrate remaining on the snowy prairies along with the Black-capped Chicadees and sparrows. We wait to see what these four will do.

Lewis wants nothing to do with the new cat tree. He prefers the box, and Missey prefers the blanket that wrapped some furniture at one time or another on the top of the bins and the wicker basket.

Calico looks stronger every day. She is filling out a bit but a sweet gentle soul she is. Did I tell you we dropped all of our other projects for a few weeks to write a book for children about Calico and Hope? It will be a fundraiser for the mobile Vet clinic that works in my City to provide affordable spay and neutering, vaccinations, deworming, etc. for those persons wishing to trap and release or adopt the community cats.

It is also hoped that the book will offer a lesson for not ‘dumping’ pets.

Are you missing Mini? I sure am. You never ever forget these amazing survivors.

Patchogue tops my list for the most incredible osprey nest this past season. The adults raised four – four to fledge – at a time when a substantial number of clutches from Long Island up through the NE were entirely lost due to weather events (especially that storm in June) and overfishing. Thank you, Isac, for reminding us what a spunky fourth-hatch Mini was!

Well, shock of shocks. Mini visited the nest for about a minute at 1258 Monday. Oh, my goodness. How wonderful it is to see you!

Violence. Disregard for life of any kind.

What kind of person would deliberately shoot any raptor never mind, one of the most endangered species on our planet – the California Condor. I had been out playing with Hope and Calico and had not looked at my e-mail (one of the benefits of taking a few days off is you realise it can wait!). Then I did. A note from Geemeff, and below it is my copy from Kelly Sorenson. I am beyond understanding this.

California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Flying California condor” by USFWS Pacific Southwest Region is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Gabby was at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest Monday morning.

V3 returned to the nest with what could be new wounds at 1745.

The eagles are working on the Pittsburg-Hayes nest. Look at those rails! This is a nest to envy!

There’s at least one juvie at the Dulles-Greenway nest of Martin and Rosa.

Looks like C15 and Dad might have finally left for their migration fro the Charlo Montana Osprey platform.

Ospreys are gone and the Canada Geese are enjoying the Boulder County Fair Grounds nest.

Trudi Kron gives us a good look at the injuries that Anna, the mate of Louis, at the KNF-E1 nest near Alexandria, Louisiana has sustained. It looks like they are healing. Send good wishes for all those floaters wanting a nest to scat!

Lightning fills the sky around the Superbeaks’ nest of Pepe and Muhlady.

Everyone hopes the new male at Port Lincoln will be a great provider and that the long-running heartache at the PLO barge nest will end. That said, this morning, Mum got impatient waiting for a fish and caught on camera is a female incubating eggs catching a fish.

‘A’ brings us up to date: “At Port Lincoln, the fishing is going well. Three yesterday (one caught by mum) and dad has caught at least two so far today. As always, mum is allowing him far less egg time than he would like. Guesses regarding timing of the first hatch are between 15 October and 18 October, so we have at least three weeks to wait there. So all attention is now on Orange and of course on our adorable sea eaglets in Sydney. They are gorgeous.” 

There are still juvenile ospreys near their nests in the UK that have not left for migration.

Dad is still bringing fish to Coco at the Sandpoint nest.

Dad delivered at least four fishing starting at 0705 and going until 1500 on Monday at the MN Landscape Arboretum Nest.

Suzanne Arnold Horning spotted Big Red on the Cornell Campus on Monday! Looking good, Mamma.

The eaglets at Sydney Sea Eagle nest in the Olympic Forest are ever more steady on their feet.

The date that is predicted for the first egg to hatch at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier is 1 October. That is less than a week away!

‘A’ reminds us: “The countdown is on at Orange. Only four days until pip watch. There is a very pesky scout bee (or bees) that has been bothering the falcons for the past two days, buzzing constantly into, around and out of the box. I think it is really starting to annoy Diamond. Xavier made a lunge at it yesterday as if to eat it but missed (as he was on the eggs so had limited reach!) and today, it continues to irritate all. Apart from that, all proceeds smoothly at this scrape. The couple had another of their early morning bonding sessions today (05:20) but this time there was a changeover and no-one fell asleep mid-bonding. It’s so sweet the way he arrives so early and sits on the ledge to keep her company. For some reason, she allowed him an hour of early-morning egg time, so he’s happy. He’s had a couple of lengthy stints this morning.”

To prepare for what is coming – and the falcon chicks grow rapidly compared to eagles and ospreys – here is a guide to their weekly development with pictures.

‘H’ just located Victor Hurley’s hour presentation on Peregrine Falcons in Victoria Australia. You can start and stop the presentation!

One of the translocated birds from Norway to Ireland has made it to Morocco on their migration!

Annie and Lou visiting the scrape at The Campanile of UC-Berkeley on Monday.

Almost all of the Royal Albatross chicks have fledged. We now await the arrival of this year’s adults who will be breeding.

Remember – if you have to just tie your wrists with a ribbon! Don’t start up the mower, the weed whacker, the leaf blower. Use that time to go birding and let the insects living in the leaves have a home.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care! See you soon!

I want to add that I tested positive for Covid on Sunday. I am feeling a bit rough. Thankfully there is not a lot going on in Bird World. I will continue with the newsletter but the content might be smaller for the next week while I recover.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, photographs, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, Geemeff’, PSEG, Isac and PSEG, Ventana Wildlife Society, Open Verse, NEFL-AEF, NEFL-chat, PixCams, Dulles-Greenway, Charlo Montana, Boulder County, Trudi Kron and Bald Eagles 101 Superbeaks, Bart Molenaar and Friends of Osprey Sth Aus, Jeff Kear and UK Osprey Info, Sandpoint, MN Landscape Arboretum, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt FalconCam, Outside My Window, Killarney Today, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, and Cal Falcons.

It’s Melbourne 4 – Port Lincoln 2…Monday in Bird World

11 September 2023

Good Morning to all of you,

Sunday started off cool, and it warmed up but the day was mostly cloudy. So, to me, it felt cooler looking out than it actually was. Small raindrops have just started falling late in the evening. The Blue Jays are still coming to the garden for water and seeds as are the Sparrows. Migration is in full swing, and only time will tell if the Blue Jay family is staying for the winter or will leave for part or all of it. The six Crows in the Crow family are still here- they will probably remain all winter just like the Chickadees. Canada Geese continue to fly overhead as are the Pelicans – all of them leaving for parts warmer and in the South.

Audubon has a wonderful tool to learn about migration. Migration is remarkable and now that the birds are leaving I am already longing for their return next spring. Nature continues on despite all that is thrown at it.

Today was the day Hope came out of her shell. Geemeff suggested a feather teaser toy. Little Hope loves to play and right away she was in the middle of everything. I got a small stroke on her head! This kitten has the sweetest face. One miracle for the day. Next play time I will try to grab her with Geemeff’s instructions firmly in mind to let her loose so she isn’t frightened – and knows she can get away. Fingers crossed. Calico goes in for her surgery on Tuesday and I hope to have this little one all friendly by then.

Calico is very protective of Hope. While she weants to return to the main part of the house I have left the door open and Calico will not leave without the baby who remains, at this time, hesitant.

Little Mini-me. I continue to marvel at the miracle – the moment is so clear – when I looked out and saw this wee kitten eating at the feeding station. It was beyond my hope that these two would be reunited. No wonder Calico doesn’t want her out of her sight.

Lewis and Missey are much more used to the ‘smell of Calico and the presence of Hope – through glass. They are all fed at the same time and there has been lots of tasty meals to cement the idea that Calico and Hope bring ‘good things’ not bad ones! Constant companions. Constant washing and playing. Lewis and Missey are both now a year old.

Let’s start off with something fun – the season highlights from Loch Arkaig! Louis, Dorcha, Ludo and various visitors delighted us day in and day out throughout the 2023 breeding season in Scotland.

News has just come in from ‘H’ that there are now four eggs at Melbourne! Oh, little M22 has going to have his work cut out getting those big eggs under for incubation! Egg #4 laid at 07:48:52.

‘A’ gives us a prey update: “At about 09:09:48 M22 lands on the ledge with a small bird, calling F22 as he arrives. For a couple of minutes prior to this, we have watched small feathers floating up, from where M22 is obviously preparing the prey at a lower level. He chups and waits. When F22 does not appear, he plucks the bird a little more, then heads with it, still chupping, up to the scrape. He seems to want to feed his eggs! He plucks the bird a little more, and at 09:11:30 flies off with the prey, presumably to leave it in one of their stash spots for mum to retrieve. Dad returns to incubate at 09:13:39. He has a little difficulty settling down on four eggs but he manages. This pair is adorable.”

I went to check and Mum is home. No fear! After last year I worry all the time about this nest.

Liznm caught that fourth egg being laid at Melbourne for us.

Mini has not been seen at the nest since the morning of Saturday 9 September. Mum has appeared a few times (or it is believed to be Mum). I have an inbox full of concerned letters wanting help for Mini but, in truth, we do not know if Mini needs help. Wildlife rehab clinics do not have the resources to search Patchogue for Mini. Indeed, every clinic that I know relies heavily on volunteers. If someone were to find Mini and get her to a clinic – if that clinic knows her story and any in the area should – they would recognise her. But, for now, we only know that Mini is not coming to the nest. Dad has been seen on the antennae by the lake where he fishes and Mum might or might not have come to the nest once or twice. That would be typical osprey behaviour before departing for migration. The fact that Mini has not come to the nest does not mean she is grounded, nor is she dying and starving. The absence of evidence is not evidence.

The only thing that could be done at this point is for a local search party to comb the area for Mini. That is a huge task but it would be worth it just to check and for everyone to know that she is not grounded.

Five fish were delivered to the Sandpoint Osprey Platform today. Coco was deliriously full of fish dinners!

‘H’ sends her report on Kent Island and Barnegat Light:

Kent Island – The fledgling, Molly, has not been seen for almost six days.  Audrey spent the night of 9/10 on the nest, and she flew off at 0630.  She was not seen on camera for the rest of the day, until she landed on the nest just before 10 pm.  Audrey spent the night of 9/11 at the nest.  Tom was not seen on camera on 9/10.

Barnegat Light – There was frequent and prolonged buffering of the live stream on 9/10.  But, we were able to observe a fish delivery from Duke to Dorsett at 0725, and we saw Dorsett on the nest with a partial fish at 1828.

Thanks, H’!

‘A’ sends her down under report from down under – thanks A:

Sydney Sea Eagles: “It is now nearly 12:30 and Lady and Dad have spent this morning bringing in more and more nesting material .Check out how much fresh greenery there is on that nest. And that’s not counting the two gigantic branches (one at the front, one at the back) that have been brought in and carefully arranged so far this morning. It is phenomenal. They are doing a total spruce-up and a little renovating – it is a DIY fest up there this morning. The eaglets, of course, would prefer some breakfast, but I think the parents are bringing in the extra cot rails for the reason discussed yesterday (two much more mobile chicks now up off their tarsi and motoring around that nest) and all the fresh greenery and talonfuls of dry leaf material are being brought in because of the day of rain they had there over the weekend (or was it Friday). Anyway, they’re freshening up and drying out the nest. They have both been aerating today and yesterday. So I’m pretty sure that’s the reason for this sudden obsession with bringing in nest materials. 

Hopefully, there will be some food soon, though I have reached a level of confidence about this nest that leaves me unconcerned about major problems even if food is late and/or short today. Obviously, we would prefer them to get two good meals a day but they do need to learn that life in the wild is not all home-delivered meals at the drop of a twig. So either way, I am sure all will work out fine and lunch will come soon.”

Xavier and Diamond: The intruder is still causing issues for the couple. Diamond had to leave the scrape to defend the territory. This is not a good thing.

Port Lincoln: Dad was on the nest with Mum. Oh, I hope these two only have two eggs!!!!!!!

Dad2 doing incubation duties. The chat group notes that the eggs were not incubated for 41 minutes which should not be an issue.

But ‘H’ has just sent me a giggle: Is this Dad 1 or is it Dad2? Fran Solly and Bazza are starting to think it is Dad1?!

‘A’ is missing our little prince and he isn’t gone yet! She writes, “

Omigod, talk about heart in my mouth. I checked the albatross cam and not only was Manaaki’s nest empty but the camera was giving us the view of the bay from his nest. For a moment there, I thought he had fledged. Then, I saw a little flash of white far down on the hillside and sure enough, up he came. He had had a practice flight down the hill and had to walk a lolng way back up. The wind has really picked up this afternoon (it is now nearly 4pm) and it is hovering and flapping time. Scary. Every time I watch this, I wonder if it is going to be the last time, as it was that day I watched QT in the storm. Sudden. And possibly permanent. Stay with us just a little longer sweet boy. Another week to get rid of that remaining fluff. Just one more week. 

Manaaki was fed about three hours ago (13:23). We think the parent had come in earlier and that this was the second feeding today. The weather really changed three or four hours ago. The rain started teeming down and the wind really picked up. It sounds like a gale on the tab now. We believe that in all the excitement this has caused, it is possible that Quarry has fledged. UQ has been hovering a lot this afternoon, and although he is still obviously carrying too much down and has not yet perfected his flying technique (paddles are still hanging down and he hasn’t worked out how to hold them up yet), there is a fear among chatters that he will leave today. If he does, there is the danger he will ditch in the bay and become waterlogged. I’m sure they keep a close eye out for chicks that do that – I have heard talk of them being rescued for a second fledge attempt. So we watch, we wait. The wind is encouraging all the chicks, but hopefully, Manaaki’s feedings today will keep him at home a little longer. As I type, both Manaaki and UQ are still at home, Manaaki on his nest and UQ a little downhill from Manaaki (where he has been for most of the day, rather than on his nest higher up the hill – he likes Manaaki).”

At SWFlorida, home to M15 and his new mate, bonding is happening! We have a fish offering.

In the letterbox: A few letters have arrived since the posting of the death of two of the fledglings – Stormy and Simba – from Big Bear Valley in previous years. It is hoped that FOBBV might be able to find out what happened to the two siblings. Readers have expressed concern over the deaths of the eaglets and the many non viable years for our beloved Jackie and Shadow. Every year we struggle with them and, of course, it was such a delight when Spirit fledged. The difficulties that Jackie and Shadow face in terms of eggshell hardness and viability of offspring in the nest might be directly related to the historical DDT that was intensely sprayed on Big Bear Lake. Of course we are aware of the issues in the Channel Islands.

The heartache that we feel for these two Bald Eagles and they are much loved by thousands and thousands, is directly due to human causes.

From a previous blog ‘Why Do Some Eagles Have Wing Bands’: “

It all goes back to DDT and the near extinction of the Ospreys, Bald Eagles, and other birds from the United States. Sea life has been impacted and so have humans. After World War II DDT was used to eradicate for mosquitoes in the US. Various areas received high amounts of this toxin. It wasn’t just the spraying but also the illegal dumping of hundreds of thousands of tonnes that has caused harm. Indeed, the waters off Catalina Island, for one, became a dumping ground for DDT. 

In 2020, an article appeared in the Los Angeles Times about the finding of the rusting barrels of toxins leaking near Catalina Island. (The scientists were looking for methane). The author says, “As many as half a million of these barrels could still be underwater right now, according to interviews and a Times review of historical records, manifests and undigitized research. From 1947 to 1982, the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful that it poisoned birds and fish — was based in Los Angeles.”

“DDT is so stable it can take generations to break down. It doesn’t really dissolve in water but stores easily in fat. Compounding these problems is what scientists today call “biomagnification”: the toxin accumulating in the tissues of animals in greater and greater concentrations as it moves up the food chain.” The birds at the top of the food chain, often referred to as the canaries in the coal mine are the Ospreys who eat the fish and the Bald Eagles.

This is a fantastic read. I urge you to take the time so that when you hear about the impacts of DDT you will understand the history and the harm.

https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-coast-ddt-dumping-ground/

In 1980, there was a reintroduction programme of Bald Eagles into the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands. Even until 2001, the eggs were removed and fostered and the chicks banded. Between 1980-86, 33 Bald Eagles were released on Santa Catalina. These birds grew to adulthood even breeding but due to the DDE levels, the eggshell thickness was still compromised. You might recall that Jackie and Shadow at Big Bear have problems with thin eggshells today. Big Bear Lake was heavily sprayed with DDT and it is residual in the soil. The tagging program can be seen with the tags on Thunder and Akacheta. Their chicks, should they hatch and survive, will be banded as part of the continuing study. 

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/chil_eaglecam/wing-bling-reference-chart-santa-catalina-and-san–t11469.html

From the findings of scientists now, the number of barrels of DDT in the waters of this area rusting and leaking are growing. In April of 2021, more were found.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/apr/29/californias-legacy-of-ddt-waste-underwater-dump-site-uncovers-a-toxic-history

For those who would like to go back to the 1970s when the alarms were being sounded by various individuals including Rachel Carson, a good read is The Silent Spring. I would hope that most local libraries would have copies. As you can see, the storage and long life of DDT and the fact that it does not break down in water, is a continuing concern for all the wildlife and humans around the Santa Catalina Island which is now controlled by the US Navy.

There continue to be warnings about humans eating the fish from Big Bear Lake:

A long report by the US Department of the Interior on DDT and its impact on fish and wildlife.

A group of concerned individuals is working towards a united presentation to see what can be done about the proposed battery storage facility at SSEN Alyth where Ospreys Harry and Flora have their nest. This is one of the revised plans for the site that shows the battery storage right up to the nest.

This is very discouraging. Flora has left the nest on previous occasions when there were disturbances.

Sue Wallbanks posted this article. It is a good read for anyone who wants to understand how disturbances can cause issues at raptor nests.

The beautiful Black Eaglet had breakfast compliments of Dad. Lady Hawk comments: “The Selati eaglet has another good day of eating compliments of Dad bring in a Rock Hyrax! The eaglet is enjoying the morning sunlight and spreads out its wings as it lies on the nest sunning itself (and keeping cool) 🙂 Mom flies in right after Dad but the eaglet claims the prey and mantles it and will self feed on it for quite some time. Finally Mom takes over and finishes up the feeding and the eaglet gets to swallow the pelt down. i did edit out a lot of the feeding since it went on for so long. Great job! Mom will then fly off leaving a very contented chick.”

These Black Eagles live in the Slate Game Reserve which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa. Their proper name is the Verreaux Eagle. Only one of two eggs hatched at this nest in 2023. This is the time line, and we expect this eaglet to hatch in less than 3 weeks.

  • First egg laid on 15 May 2023 🥚
  • Second egg laid on 19 May 2023 🥚🥚
  • Egg cracked by parent on 6 June 2023 ✖️
  • Chick hatched 29/30 June 2023 🐣
  • Fledgling flight expected from around end September 2023

Verreaux’s eagle is one of the larger eagles of Africa. It measures 75 to 96 cm (30 to 38 in) long with an average weight of 4.19 kg or 9.2 lb. Its wingspan is 1.81 to 2.3 m (5 ft 11 in to 7 ft 7 in). The Verreaux Eagles like others has reverse bisexual morphism – the female is larger than the male. The adults are the most gorgeous slate grey but some are the deepest ebony. Their cere is a remarkable yellow when they are healthy. There is also white plumage which is a great contrast and causes the birds in flight to stand out. That white is on their back, their rump and the upper-tail coverts as well as part of the scapular. The white can only be seen looking up when the birds are flying, not when they are perched. The legs are covered with deep black feathers. The juveniles appear as in the image above.

Verreaux’s Eagle female” by Rainbirder is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

In the Kistachie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana, Louis and Anna from the E-1 nest are busy making nestorations!

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

I am very grateful to the following for their notes, comments, questions, letters, videos, posts, and streaming cams that help me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L’, Audubon, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Liznm and 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PSEG, Sandpoint Ospreys, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, NZ DOC, Real Saunders Photo, LA Times, Tapa Talk, The Guardian, Office of the EHHA, US Dept of the Interior, SSEN Alyth, Livia Armstrong and BESS Battery Storage, NatureScot, Lady Hawk and Selati Eagles, Open Verse, and the KNF Eagle Cam E-1.

Second attack on Banff…Thursday in Bird World

17 August 2023

Hi there,

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.

Tears.

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.

Soo returns to the nest…Tuesday in Bird World

1 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

It is the first day of August and I am reminded that we have about 7 more weeks of summer. It cooled down in the garden today and the birds were noticeably happier. The lilacs have given them respite when it was really hot and the bird bath – remember to keep putting out water. Dehydration is a terrible problem. Many wildlife rehabbers say it is worse than not having regular meals. Clearly, the Blue Jays, now totalling more than 14, find the bird bath a source of pleasure!

Today it will go up to 31 degrees. It has been like a yo-yo – temperatures going up to the 30s and then dropping to the low teens.

Missey and Lewis continue to enjoy watching the birds and ‘talking to them’ – and as always, staying rather close to one another.

Once in a while, a bird will land on the glass ceiling, which fascinates the kittens.

On days when we lose an Osprey, it is always comforting to have the garden birds and the kittens.

I want to start with some amazing news coming out of Loch of the Lowes. The female fledgling, PF4, – a strong and determined and hungry fledgling – caught her first fish today. Why is this such a big deal? It is rare for a fledgling osprey to catch a fish before it has left for migration. This is still July! It was small but that does not matter. The skill and coordination required – well, it looks like this one is well equipped to face the world. Fantastic.

I am really hoping that LOTL will post a video of this special moment in PF4’s life.

Others have been wondering if anyone could remember another UK fledgling successfully catching a fish before migrating. The only one that has come to mind so far is Oswald who hatched in Naimshire in 2011. He did not migrate until October!

At Llyn Brenig, Mari tried over and over again to catch a fish. Maybe she will be successful like PF4 tomorrow. That would be fantastic.

We always need a feel good moment and here is the one to begin our day. Couple saves Osprey! Salmon Arm, BC.

And because we can all use good news about more generous and compassionate people, another osprey save.

Staying in British Columbia, the second hatch at Osoyoos died Monday 31 July.

The little one, the second hatch, is alive at 0531 when fish comes in before the attack by One. (I do not like the images of the chicks being brutalised or dead…one of the last looks when this one could hold its head up). It has been an incredibly difficult year for the Ospreys around the world this year.

Soo, the female has not been seen since Saturday. Olsen has been bringing in nice fish but this little one was too weak to eat Monday morning. Problems with starvation/siblicide were mitigated by the growing heat domes in the area and the wildfires and then the disappearance of Mum. Olsen has been doing splendidly under the circumstances. This evening, good news has come from ‘H’ who says that Soo is back on the nest at 1633. She adds, “After Soo returned to the nest at 1633, she fed #1 from a large fish that had been left on the nest.  Soo was on the nest with #1 when Olsen delivered a fish at 2008.”  Thank you, ‘H’. With two parents and a single osplet, let us hope that all goes well for this little one to fledge.

In order to highlight the threats to our feathered friends, NZ is adding some very interesting birds to its ‘Bird of the Century’ contest.

“This year five extinct species will be included among the 75 contenders, to bring attention to the pressures facing the natural world. In New Zealand, 82% of birds are threatened with extinction.”

Bruce Yolton continues to follow the Eurasian Owl that escaped from the Central Park Zoo as the owl continues to live and hunt in the wild.

At Steelscape, things continue to look good.

Patchogue: Mini enjoying a fish while another sibling is envious.

Mini enjoying another fish! Our girl is doing well.

Bridge Golf: Cam went down late on the 27th of July. Both osplets were fully feathered, healthy, and eating well. No reason to believe that they will not fledge.

MN Landscape: Even with lots of intruders around and Dad on the nest, this 21 year old father has made sure there is fish on the nest. The only surviving osplet is doing well – and there are many, many nests in this area that have suffered this season. A number of reports indicate that a number of males are missing and the females are having to provide protection and hunt. Lots of nests have lost osplets in the area because of this.

Collins Marsh: The first hatch has flown. I am not certain that 31 July was the first time because this bird flew like a pro! Congratulations.

Sydney Sea Eagles: SE31 and 32 are off to a very good start. They are about the same size and Lady is a pro at feeding them the tiniest bites of fish. Both are doing so well.

SK Hideaways gets us up close and personal with these little fluff balls:

The three little Osplets at Osprey House in Australia will melt your heart.

Dorsett Hobby Falcons: Cuteness overload. Gosh, it is easy to forget that the little hawks and falcons grow so much faster and fledge sooner than the ospreys and big eagles. I just love their little beaky kisses!

Finnish Osprey Nest 1: Roihu, the little male on the nest with two sisters, fledged today! Congratulations.

Finnish Nest at Muonio in Lapland: All three are doing super.

Alyth: The trio have all fledged. They did not spend the night on the nest but nearby and were there at dawn waiting for fish deliveries.

Poole Harbour: Lots of fish coming to the nest and every once in awhile you just wonder if CJ7 might like to have a long fish lunch. There has been at least one intruder in the area but so far everything is going smoothly at the nest.

RSPB Loch Garten: Five fish were delivered before the camera went down. It was a really good day at the nest.

Fish scuffle at Manton Bay: Blue 33 flies in with a fish with two of the fledglings on the nest. Another flies over after the delivery. There was a bit of a fight for the fish but nothing like we have seen on other nests. They all know there will be more fish — and look at the size of it. Can you imagine if a fish this size fell on the Osoyoos or Forsythe nest?

At Loch Arkaig, a Sparrowhawk visits the nest of Louis, Dorcha, and Ludo…it is no threat to them but what a lovely chance encounter.

Boulder County: All three safely flying and on the nest. Life continues to be good at Boulder.

Time for ‘H’s reports: Fortis Exshaw: Mr. O made a quick stop at the nest at 0612.  Louise had not yet arrived at the nest in the morning, so only the kids were there.  Mr.O stood there for ten seconds, looked around, checked the skies, then he left.  Mr.O was just checking up on things for the family.  Smile.  There were three fish delivered to the nest, including one by Mr.O.  Chick #1 is undergoing a bit of a personality change.  S/he is slightly aggressive toward #2 when a fish is delivered, and often grabs the fish, and self-feeds.  All perfectly normal at this stage in its development.  Chick #1 ate the first two fish that were brought to the nest.  When the third fish was delivered by Louise at 1221, #1 sent #2 to the sidelines, and then was fed by Louise.  After several minutes, #2 managed to get to the other side of Louise to be fed as well, but it was the only meal of the day for chick #2.  Chick #2 will learn to try to acquire fish as well, and s/he needs to improve its self-feeding skills.  But, a few more fish would help in this situation, I think.

Forsythe: “After two days of much cooler temperatures, it seemed that fish were easier for Oscar to catch.  Oscar started the day off like gangbusters, delivering fish at 0839, 0852, 0949, 1024, and 1052.  There were three fish for Owen, and two for Ollie.  But, then there were no more fish for the rest of the day.  Go figure.  So, as the fledglings became hungry later in the day, there were a couple of kerfuffles between them.  Five fish is not bad, though.  With easier fishing, perhaps it’s a good time for the juvies to try to catch their own fish.  They are 70 and 71 days old and fledged two weeks ago.”

Thank you, ‘H’!

I have often mentioned Urmas and his fish baskets. These baskets have saved the life of Karl II and his family. It is a beautiful intervention intent on saving these rare birds. Kindness. Compassion.

Emyr Evans (Dyfi Osprey Project) has posted a short article discussing inbreeding in Ospreys. you might find this interesting.

On the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York, Suzanne Arnold Horning was able to catch sight of some of the Ms. The three fledglings have done well…super well in fact. I won’t say another word because I do not want to jink this year.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘AMW, Geemeff, H, MP’, LOTL, Carol White and Friends of Llyn Brenig Osprey Project, Sunnie Day, Linda McIlroy and Raptors of the World, APCH, Osoyoos, The Guardian, Bruce Yolton, Steelscape, Patchogue, Bridge Golf, MN Landscape Arboretum, Collins Marsh, Sydney Sea Eagles, Osprey House, SK Hideaways and Dorsett Hobby Falcons, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Alyth, Poole Harbour, RSPB Loch Garten, LRWT, Boulder County, Fortis Exshaw, Maria Marika, Emry Evans and Dyfi Ospreys, and Suzanne Arnold Horning.

Osoyoos under evacuation alert, Dorsett and Huey fly..Sunday in Bird World

30 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I have a huge tip for you today if you feed birds in your garden. The weather could not have been more grand. It was a good day to work in the garden. The humidity had dissipated, there was no hot sun, the wasps were visiting somewhere else and life felt good. I did not stare at the computer screen worrying. We have some troubling nests and must wait and see how things unfold.

M’ asked me about the window dots/the pink squares that I use for to prevent bird collisions. They are a brand called Feather Friendly, and a single roll does about 100 sq ft and costs about $25 at my nature centre. you can purchase them online at many places, but the key is the name Feather Friendly. Clean the windows and let them dry. Apply lots of pressure on the strips outside the windows, then pull the supporting strip off easily. They work, and I have tried everything. The single decals must be placed outside – anything to prevent bird strike -must be on the exterior.

Today I am experimenting with birdseed. It is expensive as you know. Someone told me to go to the feed and seed store. I wish I could remember who that was and thank them. So today I mixed up 1/3 chicken scratch with 1/3 birdseed and 1/3 black oil seed. It is undoubtedly Dyson approved. She scooped it up with her paws for several minutes. It thwarted Little Red, who only wanted peanuts! LOL.

The seed mixture is a winner! I pushed the chicken scratch even further at the late top up. It appears that I can do 50% chicken scratch, 25% black oil seed, and 25% birdseed and everyone continues to approve. There were 8 Blue Jays at one time vying for space on the square feeder. Some stayed on the telephone wires and others were on the ground. Wow.

‘The baby with the tail’ – the little one that is slightly more round is changing every day. It still loves to be in the bird bath splashing about and it also loved the new seed mixture. I cannot put out peanuts for them because Little Red and Little Red2 take them all. They are so fast!

The little one that lost its tail is flitting around everywhere with the bigger ones and seems to be so agile. I am so surprised. It has adapted, like all birds seem to do, to the challenges that are thrown at them.

Little Red yesterday quickly removing about 35 peanuts from the table one by one. He could win an Olympic medal.

Oh, good news is always so welcome. An 11-year-old Osprey has been saved from netting!

SP sent me a fantastic article about tenacity and commitment. 50 Years of working with Puffins…a jolly good read.

Twirling around the nests:

We will start with ‘H’s reports this morning because two of the nests are under the radar for needing boxes of worry beads – Osoyoos and FortisExshaw, both in Canada.

Barnegat Light: “At 60 days of age, Dorsett opted for an early morning fledge on 7/30, at 06:09:10.  She first flew north, then headed east toward the ocean, hung a right at the Atlantic, then flew south, made a right turn at 24th street, and made a perfect landing back onto the perch at her nest.  Dorsett has since taken a couple of additional flights.  Congratulations to Duke, Daisy, and Dorsett!”

FortisExshaw:

Fortis Exshaw: “It was a good day for Louise and her kids, with only a few indications of minor intruder issues.  Louise brought three fish to the nest.  The first fish at 1104 was so large, it resulted in a prolonged period of feeding that was the equivalent of three meals.  Prior to Louise feeding, she allowed the chicks a chance to practice self-feeding from the headless fish for over an hour.  Chick #1 has learned the advantages of holding the fish down with its talons, and s/he was able to tear small pieces from the fish.  Chick #1 is now grabbing and mantling fish when Louise delivers.  Even though they hatched less than 12 hours apart, chick #1 is more advanced in skills development.  Mr.O was not seen on Saturday.  I hope Mr.O was not injured during the altercation with the intruder on Friday.”

Forsythe – Oscar delivered three fish, and Opal delivered a fish after a few days’ absence.  It was nice to see Opal.  Owen was the recipient of three of the fish, Ollie just one.  As with most nests during the post-fledge period, any given day may seem unfair in that one sibling gets the most fish.  But, it does seem to even out in the long term.  Ollie had eaten the majority of the fish the previous two days.  Starting Sunday there will be a break in the heat wave, with cooler temps the next several days. 

Osoyoos – There were four fish brought to the nest.  Dad ate the first small fish at 1041.  I’m sure he was very hungry, but perhaps he should have eaten it off the nest.  Just the fish being brought to the nest caused #1 to attack #2.  The fish at 1131 was very small, and chick #1 was fed a small meal.  At 1237 Mom brought a partial fish.  Chick #2 was beaked and bit by #1, and had no chance to eat.  At 1531 a larger partial fish was delivered.  Chick #1 wasted a full minute of feeding time attacking #2.  Chick #2 later snuck up on the other side of Mom and grabbed a large piece of fish equivalent to about 6 bites of fish.  It took a while, but #2 managed to swallow that whole piece of fish.  Chick #2 has had 30 bites of fish to eat in the last three days.  Note:  There is a wildfire located SW of Osoyoos, which has been renamed the Eagle Bluff Wildfire (previously called the Lone Pine Creek fire).  Parts of Osoyoos are under an evacuation alert, that currently does not include the area where the nest is located.

[‘H’ has just written that the nest area is, according to AMW not under an evacuation alert. Please send your best energy to Soo and Olsen. Just look at those two beautiful chicks. The camera feed could go down and we might not ever know what happens to these chicks if the fire does rage through. Our thoughts are with everyone…]

Dahlgren – Really big news . . the youngest of the two fledglings went diving! D12 dove from the nest platform four times, and did a little swimming and bathing.  While she did not catch a fish, this was an important milestone.

Severna Park –  Oscar continues to provide fish for his two fledglings at the nest.  It’s always nice to see them.

Patuxent Nest 1 –  The fledglings, Sibling-B and Foster, are frequently seen at the nest. But, it’s a good thing they no longer sleep there, because a Great Blue Heron has decided to make the nest its nighttime roosting spot.  Last night the GBH found a welcome surprise . . a fish had been left on the nest, which he quickly gobbled up.

WDNU Tower, South Bend, Indiana: The only surviving osplet on the WDNU Tower, Baby Huey, endured a horrible storm and then took his first flight on Saturday the 29th. Amazing. Congratulations. It was a tough year on the nest. So pleased for everyone.

Pathogue: Every time I checked Mini had a fish. At least three on Saturday. Dad is obviously feeding the fledglings off the nest as we do not see the older siblings bombarding Mini for that fish like they are doing on some other nests. These parents really know how to keep the climate chill.

Charlo Montana: Those osplets are adorable.

Boulder County: All is good.

Dunrovin: Harriet and the three fledglings pose together.

Pitkin County Open Trails and Spaces: Both fledglings continue to return to the nest. Everything is excellent.

SSEN Alyth: When everyone is hungry and scrambling for fish, things happen. Mum came in with a fish at Alyth, it got caught on the talon of one of the chicks and they both went overboard….and the first then went to the third hatch! Some of the nest went down with them.

Well, the good news is that everyone is alright at the nest after this terrible entanglement and high tumble. Thank goodness.

Manton Bay: Blue 33 delivers fish and everyone goes crazy.

It may look rough on the nests but in the real world, the ability to eat is literally ‘life and death’ to our fledglings. They have to learn strategies, be quick – and be ruthless.

Loch of the Lowes:

Cowlitz: It is hot in the Pacific NW and the nests could be suffering. The fledgling at Cowlitz has rested on the nest and has had at least one fish on Saturday.

Sandpoint: At least two fish were delivered Saturday morning. I am not clear about deliveries the rest of the day.

Steelscape: I did not watch the nest closely enough to count deliveries but I do know that the third hatch had some fish on Saturday.

Minnesota Landscape: The weather has cooled down a bit and it makes for much better fishing. This one is doing well.

Maryland Old Town Home: The fledglings continue to come to the nest and like many of the others there is a lot of rivalry over fish deliveries.

Dfyi: All is good. Idris continues to bring in the fish! And Telyn loves to feed her ‘big and more independent every day’ babies.

Glaslyn: Aran is delivering lots of fish and the two fledglings are doing very well indeed.

Loch Arkaig: There were winds beginning to blow and rain starting late on Saturday at Loch Arkaig. Ludo is hoping for fish! Oh, by the way. The Crow that vacuums up the Loch Arkaig nest so well has been named Dyson!

Poole Harbour: It is all good.

Llyn Clywedog: Seren on the perch and beginning to get in form for migration. She will fly and will land on the same tree in the Tanji Reserve that she does every year. Meanwhile, the surviving fledgling of the goshawk attack has been photographed flying all over the area. So all is well.

Sydney Sea Eagles: Cuteness Overload. The pantry is stocked and Lady is joyful. 31 and 32 are delicate little snow people.

My friend ‘A’ lives in Australia and she loves the royal Albatross and most of the Australia nests and is happy to send us reports on recent events at those nests. A says: ” in Sydney, Dad brings in a lovely big fresh fish at 06:51:18. He heads off up the branch off the back porch and shakes himself off. He is still wet from catching that fish. He hasn’t even eaten the head. It’s been left on the nest for Lady and the chicks. He is a good provider. That should keep the family going for the rest of the day. Lady starts working on the head herself, and around 07:01 starts feeding the chicks. SE32 is ready to eat now, and the first bites go to the baby. It does really well, managing four or five consecutive mouthfuls without dropping them and without falling flat on its face. By now SE31 is awake too and ready for some more food. She feeds both chicks plenty of fresh fish, though concentrates on the younger one. These two are doing great.”

Orange Peregrine Falcons: “In Orange, Diamond spent the night perched on the ledge of the nest box, tucked and facing inwards as usual. Xavier arrived for an early morning bonding session at 06:28:24. These two are just beyond adorable. Xavier really is only half Diamond’s size. He is so svelte and handsome. She appears significantly older and lazier than Xavier. She watches the sunrise from her ledge and leaves the box at around 06:51. Both spend a few moments on top of the tower before Xavier heads off to get some breakfast..He arrives back at the box with prepared food at 07:37:05, with Diamond hot on his heels. He hardly has time to e-chup before Diamond has swooped in, grabbed the food and left again within three seconds! Xavier looks a little stunned. He glances down a couple of times at where the food was, as if wondering where it’s gone. Then he cleans a few feathers out of his talons. Oh but he is such a handsome falcon. Tiny but gorgeous.”

Collins Street: “At Collins Street, there was a short falcon visit about 9.30am – the falcon flew off the nest at 09:42. It doesn’t look as though any eggs have been laid but I note that the birds seem to be favouring the same nest box as last season. There has not been any shelter added at that end, which surprises me after what happened last year. (I’m sure you well remember the day mum went for a spa morning and returned to find two chicks in the gutter and two in the nest, all baking in the hot sun and looking as if they might be in serious danger. And mum pulled the smallest chick back into the box by lifting it with her beak! It was a very dramatic day.)”

Reports that a new camera is being installed at Port Lincoln and the stream will be back up sometime on Monday or Tuesday.

At the Royal Cam Albatross colony, ‘A’ notes: “I forgot to mention that on Friday (28 July), all 33 of the albatross chicks at the New Zealand colony received their permanent Darvic bands (no more coloured leg bands). Manaaki’s is black (for male) and his Darvic number is D36. They used Darvic bands last season but for some reason, this season’s are the first that are permanent and will last a lifetime. (And as we know, a lifetime can be 70+ years for an albatross!)”

Thanks, ‘A’! And thanks for giving me the head’s up that Ervie has been out fishing with Dad. Port Lincoln Ospreys posted these images of Ervie, and I knew you would love to see our favourite Eastern Osprey! —- Do you remember when we thought Ervie would eat Puffer Fish all his life? When he lost a talon, and we feared he would starve to death? Well, here we are. Ervie is almost two years old. I have not heard any news about Bazza or Falky, but Ervie, that little third hatch that didn’t take any gruff off Bazza, the first hatch, grew up big and strong and stayed near the natal nest – safe—still fishing with Dad. Do you recall those chin wags that Ervie had with Dad down in the cave? What a season that was! (I still want to forget last year…that was traumatic).

The Lesser Spotted Eaglet in Latvia is nothing short of adorable…and happily a small vole was brought in for food.

I think the eaglet has spotted the camera! Just look. Almost all of the natal down is gone revealing a soft brown plumage with stunning blue eyes.

The fledgling ospreys – three of them – return to the platform for some lovely fish meals at the German Goitzsche Wildness nest.

At the Finnish #1 nest, tummy and Usva took their first flights on 28 July. Only Roihu is left and that could be any moment. Beautiful healthy osplets!

Finnish #4. The two surviving chicks were younger when they were ringed and both are still on the nest. Neither has taken their first flight yet.

Whew…I hope I didn’t make you dizzy with that swing around the nests…in no particular order! Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. Have a great weekend. See you soon.

Thank you to absolutely everyone for their notes, comments, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, M, SP’, Audubon, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Patuxent River Park, Dahlgren, Conserve Wildlife of NJ, Forsythe Ospreys, Stephen Basly and WDNU, PSEG, Charlo Montana, Boulder County, T Barrington and Dunrovin Ranch, Pitkin County Osprey Cam, SSEN Alyth, LRWT, Loch of the Lowes, Cowlitz PUD, Sandpoint, Steelscape, MN Landscape Arboretum, Maryland Old Town Home, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, The Woodland Trust, Poole Harbour, CarnyXWild, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, NZ DOC, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Latvian Fund for Nature, Fischandler Webcam, and the Finnish Osprey Foundation.

Little Skipper predated by GHO…Monday in Bird World

24 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Every day I am so grateful for the joy that the garden animals bring to my life and for the gifts, like these beautiful sunflowers, that they grew.

I hope that each of you checked in on Mini on Sunday. Oh, goodness. That bird has no idea what a fan base it has nor how loved it is but, Mini proved that with great parents, an area with enough fish (many do not), and the ‘will to live’, a tiny fourth hatch can survive. Sunday was, therefore, a day of celebration!

There are still issues at other nests with lack of fish – or lack of fish deliveries due to a single parent and intruders: Steelscape, Loch of the Lowes, Forsythe to name three. Keep sending them your best wishes. If you had asked me if we would lose so many fully feathered osplets this year so close to fledge or that we had the potential to lose some more I would have said ‘no’. It has been a challenging year everywhere but, particularly, on the US coasts (Washington and the Columbia River), Chesapeake Bay Area, and Florida.

But, for now, I just want to relish Mini’s day…

And that is just about all I did!!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes it is good to just stop and rejoice. This was no small feat this tiny fourth hatch pulled off. Some of you might even think it was a miracle.

Mini took a couple of flights after that remarkable fledge. There is that empty nest at 1116. Mini is going to come flying over the brewery across the street and put her landing gear down. She has a little hiccup with the rim but otherwise, perfect.

Here comes Mini trying to line up with the runway!

Beautiful Mini around 1725. The lovely brown dots of her necklace look like little hearts. She has a solid dark eye line and her head is a little muddy. That head is the only thing that will not change so get lots of images of it. Too bad there is no distinctive type of image but memorize it and keep a file. You will be able to recognise her easily by her necklace now but, if she were to return to this nest in the future, you need to know that head because, sadly, banding is not common in the US. She will look different with her adult plumage. It is not often that females return to their natal nest – the males do but it does happen and wouldn’t we love to see her again in a couple of years?

At 1906, the four siblings are on the nest. A huge round of applause for these parents fledgling four this year, please. Many nests could hardly manage two. Many lost all their chicks. For whatever reason, the two PSEG nests did very well indeed.

At 2008, Mini does a really nice ‘ps’. It is all that fish she got today!

Thankfully we did not need a rescue at Patchogue. But I know from all of you that wrote or commented that the plight of Mini caused you to move into action to try and save her should something go amiss. It is those traits in all of you – generosity, compassion, caring – that take away the despair. When you see a chick on a nest that might be lost, you do not hesitate to move into action to try and get help. We cannot save them all and, indeed, the system is set up so that they fail. But today, we witnessed a chick that defied the odds because it wanted to live and a family that made sure that happened – including the siblings on this nest who were nothing short of amazing.

Good Night Mini!

My time today was otherwise occupied with that adorable little Blue Jay that once slept on the little birds and who often watches me from one of the perches. Today, it let me get too close and then….I noticed. Can you see what is missing?

It is called ‘fright moult’. One of the feral cats might have caught this little one, or was it a squirrel? Difficult to know, but my bet is on the cat. To survive, it moulted all its tail feathers. That means this sweet baby can fly with some difficulty but not for long distances. This means that migration is out of the question. In the past, we have had Blue Jays during the winter, so…I am trying to find where the incident occurred so that the feathers might be glued back. Wish us luck. Right now, this baby is in a safe place.

‘H’ has just sent me word that Little Skipper was predated by a GHO on 24 July at 00:20 (12:20 am). This much loved and only osplet of Dory and Skiff was 44 days old. Audubon Boathouse. A real little gem up on the coast that survived til now. You will note that Little Skipper was not so little. The GHOs wait til right before or right after fledge (mostly, it seems) when the chicks are nice and fat. We need protective guards placed on these osprey nests like Cowlitz PUD provided its couple.

What do you think of when you think of a duck pond? I bet it isn’t this! This just literally makes me ill.

The look of the ducks coming up to get their food so that they can be shot in cold blood in that dire forbidden muddy mess is beyond my imagination. Sorry, folks. But there needs to be an outright ban on this practice. There is no skill involved – it is like baiting the area for the fish around the boat or using ‘fish finders’. Or putting out tonnes of apples for bears…Of course, what I would like to see is an outright ban on killing all wild animals and all fishing. Put a moratorium in place for 8-10 years and see how well the oceans have recovered. (Fish can be farmed if humans insist on eating them).

What would happen if we stopped fishing?

There is another osplet caught up in fishing line. I do not know the nest but the information was posted on Nor-Cal Birding. In all instances do not give up if someone doesn’t respond or help. If you see an osplet tangled in fishing line (or any other wildlife) get pictures for proof, get the exact location, and find the nearest wildlife rehabber and the nearest USFWS office. Go to ahnow.org to search for the nearest help to the site. If you are not satisfied with that, then Google “nearest wildlife rehab to _________”. Do not wait. Remember how long it took to get help at Dale Hollow? Take action quickly once you see that something is clearly wrong.

A good example. We might not always win but we always need to go the distance for our feathered friends. They cannot advocate for themselves – and sometimes we win. It is those wins – and the fledges that seem impossible – like Little Mini – that really do brighten our day and give us the strength to carry on for others.

Another Osprey nest caught on fire and another set of babies were rescued. This was in Lavigne, Ontario.

We now know of at least 3 nests that have caught on fire in the past week. Two, in Canada, had the osplets saved. Recommendation: Every utility company undertakes to erect a new pole and platform for all nests on old hydro poles. Be caring, be generous, be compassionate power companies. Need funds? CrowdFunder can be started!

I am so proud to be part of the efforts to raise nesting platforms for the Ospreys in South Australia. Without these artificial nests on poles, the Ospreys have to lay their eggs on the rocks were the eggs and chicks are prone to predation.

Now for a spin around the nests:

Roundhouse Loch Noon: Both of the osplets have now fledged! Congratulations.

Loch of the Lowes: Laddie tries his best to fend off intruders and feed both fledglings. The first hatch, the female, PF4, got this one! She has gotten the last two. The lad, PF5, got a considerable fish earlier on Sunday.

Glaslyn: OH2 fledged on Sunday. Congratulations Aran and Elen – both chicks are now flying.

Here it is on video:

MN Landscape Arboretum: Everything is good.

Steelscape: Things are not good. ‘PB’ has monitored the nest and reports that the third hatch is getting weaker and weaker. It is kept from eating by the first hatch. It had no fish until 7:35pm today when the little one got a private feeding from Mum. There is a drought in the area dn the water is low. As a result there are problems getting enough fish to the nest for Mum and the trio. Please send warm wishes.

Mum reaches out to the little one and this time it eats! The others are quite full. Let us hope that there is a good portion of fish left. You can see where the big one has yanked the feathers from the back. It would be a shame to lose another chick so close to fledge. Thank goodness that fourth egg did not hatch!

I bet that fish never tasted so good as it did to this wee one today. It was quite weak earlier.

At Dunrovin, we are on fledge watch.

For those of you watching the Sydney Sea Eagles, it is pip watch. Can you believe it? There is a fish in the nest already waiting for Lady and any hatchlings.

The remainder of ‘H’s report. Little Skipper was one of her favourites and my heart goes out to my friend who helps me monitor a number of nests. It is so difficult – what a challenging year it has been. Our hearts are broken.

Kent Island –  “There were at least eight fish brought to the nest on 7/23, including one by Audrey.  At 42 days of age, ‘Junior’ has been learning how to perform nestorations under the tutelage of his Mom.”

Fortis Exshaw – “Breakfast consisted of a fish that Louise had brought to the nest very late the previous evening.  Throughout the day, Louise delivered three large fish to the nest, and Mr. O delivered one.  However, Louise was already feeding the kids at the time of Mr. O’s fish offering, so he flew away with his fish.  At 36 days of age, the youngsters are doing very well.”

Forsythe – “Between Opal and Oscar, six large fish were delivered to the nest.  Both Owen and Ollie had plenty to eat.  Ollie managed to grab the 10:10 fish from Opal but was pushed off the nest by Owen.  Ollie was seen flying off the nest with the fish in his beak, and a short while later she flew to the cam pole holding the fish in her talons!  At one point in the afternoon Owen and Ollie were each just standing on their fish, because they were too full to eat.  The temperatures were lower on 7/23, so perhaps fish were easier to catch.  Let’s hope the improved fishing conditions will continue.”

Thank you ‘H’.

I have a little Blue Jay to attend to and was hoping that today would be quiet. Already human debris is causing a disturbance. ‘L’ writes that one of the osplets at Patchogue has a mask attached to its leg this morning. Let us all hope that this mask comes off.

Remember that all manner of things require cutting before disposal. Loops in bags, rubber bands, those plastic tabs that come with bread need to be cut in half…and we need to be diligent and clean up – after ourselves and others. If you do go on a clean-up of parks and places where there are birds, you should wear gloves, clean your hands thoroughly, and use sanitiser afterwards.

Good Morning Mini!

There is an article about the SWFlorida nest – home to Harriet and M15 and the darling Es that you might enjoy.

Please keep all of the wildlife and our dear nests that are struggling without the help of the heat that is penetrating everything. ‘PB’ just sent me the forecast map for the US which has been hit so very hard this breeding season.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care of yourself. See you soon!

Thank you to everyone who sent notes about Little Mini. Our entire Bird World family has been uplifted by her success. Relish this Sunday and her achievements. It does not often end with such success! Yeah, Mini!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘H, L, L, M, PB, SW’, PSEG, Raptor Persecution UK, BBC, BBC Radio Leicester, Municipality of West Nipissing, Newstalk 1010, Port Lincoln Osprey, Friends of Loch Arkaig, The Woodland Trust, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, MN Landscape Arboretum, Steelscape, Inc, Days at Dunrovin, Sydney Sea Eagles, Audubon/Explore, Kent Island, Fortis Exshaw, NOAA, and Forsythe Ospreys.

WBSE30 is alive…Saturday in Bird World

22 July 2023

Good Morning All!

It was an exciting time in the garden today. The usual suspects were all here but there was a new addition! The European Starlings brought at least one of the juveniles to the garden. It ate in the square feeder, drank in the bird bath, and went into the lilacs to be fed by a parent. Warmed my heart because so many of the Avian families in my neighbourhood bring their babies to the garden to eat and to be safe.

It is very difficult to tell European Starling adults apart – the males and females – just like it is with Blue Jays. This juvenile Starling is gorgeous. The bird book says it is a ‘dull grey-brown’. Well, I don’t think there is anything ‘dull’ about this little beauty.

Just look at the plumage. Under the neck is a soft dark grey collar with a light dove grey trim. Think about the reticula lace ruffs of European royalty in the late 16th century! Not precisely, but think along those lines when you look at the plumage of birds.

So now look at that lovely collar.

Then skip over to the wings and the rump and you begin to get the darkest charcoal, nearly ebony in parts with thicker and more defined outlines on the feathers. This time they almost appear bronze. This is seriously a handsome juvenile.

You can see more of that golden bronze that breaks into a rust when the juvie leans over and the light hits those feathers.

My goodness – what an excellent combination for a fall wardrobe. I worked with a man once that collected all manner of natural objects – well, he collected lots, but he often told me that we have to look to nature for the colours and the patterns. He was right.

The adult trying to find the juvenile in all the thick lilac branches to feed it. This is why I fill those feeders up day in and day out…I could not be more happier to see the adults bringing their babies to the garden. It is a tough world in an urban environment for wildlife. I continue to say that and I hope you don’t get tone-deaf to hearing it. We have taken over their habitat and it is up to us to help them. On the hottest of days that means water – water is hopefully something everyone can spare. But the next time you are tossing food into the bin look and see what you are throwing away. Would a bird eat it?

How did you spend your Friday? I know that many were watching Little Mini to see if she would fledge. Let us hope that she is with us a few more days before flying but, she wants to. Remember. Mini was so tiny we could hardly find her in the nest amidst the big siblings. She appears to be a female which means she has 50% more growth to do than say Three who appears to be a male. Her wings are the span of the nest, she has her tail feathers, now for all of them just to be ‘perfect’ and then, her body will know when to fly. Unless someone knocks her out of the nest or she gets crazy listening to Three ‘fish cry’.

Mini had at least two nice fish and a glorious PS on Friday. The adults do not forget about the chicks on the nest.

Look out below!

As a result of Mini and doing a lot of clearing out, I did not watch the nests on Friday hardly at all. And that is sometimes a good thing. It was not a beautiful day – it was hot and very humid. I still need to get to the nature centre for my daily walk. Instead, I watched Little Red harass Dyson over peanuts. Red squirrels can be very aggressive. I was just screaming at that squirrel who was obviously stashing the peanuts in the wood pile while the others wanted to eat.

Many of you have written in to see what has happened with WBSE30 presumed to have died. Well, she is alive!

There is some nest news and let’s go and see what happened on Friday and early Saturday morning.

Glaslyn: OH2 has not yet fledged – at least not at the time I am writing but it is going to be soon. 0H1 has fledged – both are males.

It was a nasty day at Glaslyn and Saturday morning is even wetter. Happy that 0H2 decided to stay on the nest.

Dyfi: Home to Idris and Telyn. Everyone is soaking wet Saturday morning.

Llyn Clywedog: Every time I think of this nest, I tear up. Dylan and Seren had two beautiful healthy osplets. When I first saw the fish on the nest just there, no one about, my heart sank a bit. thankfully, our fledgling arrived to claim it.

Alyth: The weather is much better and there are three fledglings waiting for fish deliveries!

The last chick did not leave this nest until mid-September and It is confirmed that Dad remained there feeding it all the time. What a fantastic nest.

Loch of the Lowes: Blue NC0 has not been seen for a week. She has not started migration – it is just too early. There have been intruders all season at this nest. I do not believe she would leave two fledglings for this long. Something has sadly happened to her although I hope that she lands on the nest and makes a fool out of me. That would be brilliant and it would be welcoming. Laddie is trying to keep intruders away and be both Mum and Dad. The fledglings are both hungry——and I do mean hungry. Just like they were at Achieva or at Forsythe, currently. He is doing the best he can in circumstances he cannot control.

Blue NC0 and Laddie LM12.

Laddie delivering a fish and the male PF5 got it – he is so hungry having been pushed about by the sister PF4…Two fish so far today – I cannot completely confirm who got the second but I hope that each fledgling got a meal.

Poole Harbour: Food security is paramount for a civil nest. Just look at Poole Harbour!

It is now confirmed that Blue 5H4 did a two-part fledge at 17:13:13 on 21 July. Returned safely. All waiting for their breakfast fish with CJ7 looking on from the perch.

Fortis Exshaw had such a huge fish that I had to post it earlier than H’s report. This nest should simply put a smile on our faces – it and Little Mini and even the Third hatch at Boulder. They are survivors.

‘H’ writes: “Things seemed to have settled for this nest since Mr. O came along eight days ago to help Louise after the disappearance of her long-time mate, Jasper.  Mr. O landed on the nest at 1205 to provide deterrence against an intruder, while Louise was out fishing.  Louise brought four large fish to the nest, and Mr. O brought a few sticks throughout the day.  At 1818 Louise assisted Mr. O with his stick placement.  At least one of the chicks seems to be learning from his stepdad, and has been practicing moving sticks around.”

Forsythe: “Fishing must still be difficult for Oscar and Opal.  There were only three fish delivered to the nest on 7/21, one by Opal, two by Oscar, and the fish were not very large.  Owen, the oldest of the two fledglings, managed to acquire all three of the fish, with nothing left over for Ollie.  Ollie last ate a small piece of fish at 0935 on 7/20.  There has been an increase in aggression on the nest.”


Kent Island – “All is well for Audrey, Tom, and their 40 day old offspring.  Some have been referring to the little one as ‘Junior’.  Junior is simply cute as a button!”

Boathouse – “Life is good on Muscongus Bay for 42 day old Skipper.  Skipper has been learning from his dad, and he is becoming quite adept at rearranging sticks.”

Dahlgren – “The fledglings D11 and D12 seem to be enjoying exploring their new world.  They  both return to the nest for meals, and to sleep.  I am still amazed how peaceful this nest was all season, despite the siblings hatching four days apart.”

Thanks so much, ‘H’.

Tatarstan RU: Eastern Imperial Eagle nest of Altyn and Altnay. G osh those two little eaglets are growing and they are sporting some green bling!

Lesser Spotted Eagle nest of Anna and Andris in Zemgale, Latvia: What a gorgeous baby!

Karl II and Kaia Black Stork Nest, Karula National Forest, Estonia: Three gorgeous storklets waiting for fish in the morning sunlight. Thank you Urmas for ensuring this family has food in a year of drought and few fish or frogs.

News for Waba and Bonus, the two surviving fledglings from Karl and Kaia’s nest of 2022 (Bonus was a foster from the nest of Jan and Jannika):

Dorset Hobby Falcons: One is Self-feeding! That nest is getting smaller as these two fluff balls grow bigger and bigger.

There is growing concern over the kills by goshawks of ospreys. I am reposting a FB post so that you can see this fantastic image of an Osprey’s talons. Notice the curve and the reason for this – it is not for fighting. Ospreys cannot defend themselves with their talons like eagles and hawks can.

Puts a smile on your face. There are many kind people willing to drop everything and help our ospreys.

Sadly the osplets were lost. But like so many of you who saw this earlier and wrote to me – if it was such an iconic nest, why were these chicks not saved like the ones in Nova Scotia? Did the fire burn so quickly? Did no one not see the smoke and get help? Can you imagine those adult ospreys flying above the nest seeing their chicks burned alive? Will the power company put up a new safe platform on a pole nearby like in Nova Scotia?

I have been asked to spread the word about a beautiful white parrot that needs to be located. It belonged to an elderly woman who was ill and could no longer care for her beloved pet. She entrusted the bird to A Tropical Concept Exotic Bird Rescue, who then found an adoptive home. The individual who took the parrot was a ‘flipper’ – get the bird and resell. A Tropical Concept Exotic Bird Rescue wants to find Bella, the white Parrot. She is unusual in that the parrot will say, ‘Bella, Bella, Bella’. If you or someone you know might have seen or had contact with this parrot, there is a $3000 USD reward. It is believed the bird could be in Arizona but, as I know, birds are flown daily so she could be anywhere. They just want to know that she is well cared for. No questions asked. Here is the contact: https://www.facebook.com/atcbirdrescue

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See 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, Geemeff, H, J’, Wikipedia, the Spruce, PSEG, Linda McElroy and Raptors of the World, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Ospreys, CarnyXWild, Alyth, LOTL, Jannet King and Love for the Pool Harbour Ospreys, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Fortis Exshaw, Lisa Lavargna and Ospreys Only, Cherly Scott Trueblood and Birds of Prey, Forsythe, Kent Island, Dahlgren, Boathouse Ospreys, Tatarstan RU Eagle Cam, LDF, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender Forum, Dorset Hobby Falcons, and Sunnie Day.

Crash landings, itchy wings…Friday in Bird World

21 June 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It is the end of the week. It is almost the end of July. We are less than a month away from some of the females in Europe and the UK preparing for and possibly leaving for their migration. Indeed, migration is on my mind and I have a book recommendation (below) for those that want to learn more of the history of how scientists discovered where our feathered friends go in the winter or spring/summer for breeding. I am also including a study on the impact of Avian Flu and some suggestions on what must be done to curtail it before populations are decimated. There will be continuing news about fledges and, of course, our Little Mini – not so little anymore – who is hoping to take those beautiful wings of hers and hit the skies.

In the meantime, there was a Crow funeral this morning. At first, I did not know what was happening as a dozen or more Crows gathered and flew in circles over the back lane and in front of the house behind me. I thought the GHO had come into the neighbourhood, and I knew the adults would not have that with their fledglings being out of the nest for less than a fortnight. So I investigated, and sadly, one of the fledglings was dead on the side of the street. They had all come to mourn and say goodbye. Usually, I would pick up the carcass and place it on the boulevard, but a wise and knowledgeable Corvid person once told me that the Crows do not like humans to touch their dead. So, I left the lovely one there. How sad.

One of the fledglings on my fence – along with four of its siblings – waiting for its scrambled eggs and cheesy dogs. Sadly taken through a screen of the conservatory so the image is soft and this is as light as I could push it. They are so beautiful. Their beaks are like highly polished ebony and those dark piercing eyes. They know precisely when I am cooking those eggs and arrive and wait so they can get to them before the Blue Jays. I adore them.

That one little Blue Jay is so funny. He likes to take his naps here and he loves to be in the bird bath. He went to sleep eating and kept his lids closed for over fifteen minutes. He was only woken when another sibling flew in to gnab a peanut. Looking over my photographs, there are more than 600 digital images of this one fledgling. Don’t tell my children!

Did you know it is impossible to tell a male blue Jay from a female one unless you see them during courtship or laying eggs? Blue Jays bond for life just like our raptors.

This little one does not mind sharing the table feeder with the Sparrows.

Take the time to observe the birds around you. They are precious. Listen to their songs. Focus on their behaviour and their markings. Soon you will get to know them and they will become ‘family’.

Speaking of family. Mini will never know all the people who have sent positive energy to the nest so that it might survive but, today, this wee fourth hatch has survived and is ready to leave the nest and become a bird.

Three is on the Patchogue fish calling, and Mini just dreams of flying. She has had two good fish from Dad today – perhaps even more I missed. One was at 0920 and the other at 1523. Nice fish, so Mini is not hungry. Gosh, I am going to miss her when she fledges. What a survivor…I hope all she learned on the nest and her fortitude carry her well through life.

Oh, Mini wants to fly. She is getting some height. 1918 Thursday night. Stay home Mini until Friday.

Good night, Mini.

‘L writes that Mini got a fish at 0740 on Friday and that Three had a fish shortly after, too. That is fantastic news!

Mini got the fish and that darn black bin liner. It continues to stick to Mini’s talons. I hope when she fledges she does not take it with her!