Gabby is home…Saturday in Bird World

2 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It is the ‘long weekend’ in Canada. It is the last weekend before the schools reopen, and the children return from their summer holidays. Despite being almost three weeks until the official beginning of fall, it is the marker for the end of summer. The weather stations tell us it will now be 35 degrees DC today. Even so, it will not be long until everyone thinks about tidying their lawn and garden for winter. This year, please constrain yourselves. Leave the Leaves!

The insects need the leaves, and the following article that ‘R’ sent tells what we should be doing to increase the number of insects in our environment. Want fewer bugs biting you? Then you need more insects!

Many years ago, my tutor, Dr Klaus Klostermaier, and I had a long conversation. I had been to Germany, where he grew up, and returned amazed at the lack of insects. No screens on the windows. Meanwhile, on the Canadian Prairies we were being eaten up by mosquitoes. Dr Klostermaier (one of the most brilliant individuals I have ever met with a surprising biography) told me how said my statement was. Industry in Germany had killed off the insects. Yes, of course, I had been to the area around Duisburg and Dusseldorf…and that area worked hard to clean up its rivers since that time and stop some of the pollution from industry. That conversation always stuck with me.

The author says in summing up the following article, “In other words, the problem isn’t that we have too many bugs in cities and suburbs; the problem is that we don’t have nearly enough. We’ve been so successful at vanquishing the little critters that the entire insect world is in big trouble — and so are we if we don’t help them to recover.” Thanks, ‘R’.

Please talk to your friends, your family, your neighbours. That pristine chemically kept perfect law should not exist! Don’t bag the leaves. Please leave them til May. It will help the entire food chain and our songbirds will thank you in the spring!

Cornell Bird Lab explains how the Royal Albatross chicks are getting ready to take their maiden voyage which will last 5-6 years before they set foot on land again. I wish we could guarantee them a sea full of fish and no bycatch.

The RSPB explains what can be done to prevent bycatch. It is a good read and if you adore Manaaki and all the other little Royal Albatross chicks then you should read this and educate yourself. You might boycott fish!

Getting over to the nests, I can hardly contain myself. V3 flew in to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest yesterday and Gabby is home Friday evening. They even gave one another beaky kisses. Relief. Elation. I cannot wait to see these two raise some eaglets in this nest after the sadness of last year when Samson went missing.

The pair went right to work assessing the needs of the nest signalling their determination to have a family together this year. Get the tissues out! Joyful tears.

Mini flew to the nest much to the delight of everyone. What a relief it was to see her flying and landing with both legs extended. She is strong. Mini has shown us since the day she hatched that she adjusts, thinks, solves problems well. No, we do not like seeing her look at her leg as if she is in pain – is she? is she not? I do not know. She has won all of her hearts because she was so tiny and persevered on a nest when it seemed impossible that she would. We must remember that going forward.

The DEC is hanging up on anyone that phones them. They are the ones that issue permits under the Migratory Bird Act. It is clear no permits are going to be given. Locally, Mini’s situation is know and one of the locals on the chat checks for her. Boots on the ground is essential. That said, she is flying strong and eating. Dad is still feeding her but maybe someone will also see her fishing. She is dearly loved.

I also want to add something here, in case you are wondering. I strongly believe in intervention if the bird or animal can be helped. The Mini is not grounded. She is flying. She is not 100%. But this is what worries me. While we do not know her injury, she is injured in a way, unlike WBSE26. When WBSE flew to the balcony of the condo and was ‘rescued’, it was determined that 26 would not have a quality of life and was euthanised. It broke the hearts of thousands of people. I do not want that to happen to Mini. For however long or short her life is, I hope she lives it free. She has proven she can adapt to anything thrown at her – at least from what we see on cam – and I think she can then adjust to almost anything, including picking up and eating fish off a beach.

Mini flies in both feet extended from her legs.

While she still favours that left leg, she landed fine.

Gosh, she is gorgeous. Her eyes are bright.

Off she goes eleven minutes later.

In Australia, the main cam for Sydney Sea Eagles came back to life and the joy that came with that could not be measured. It seemed that the little sea eaglets had grown twice as big in a single day. It wasn’t true, of course, but there they were, SE32 with a huge crop! They are both thriving and it will be interesting to see which is the largest as they develop between now and fledge.

Gracie Shepherd caught one of the sea eaglets peeking over the nest when the camera was down. T hey are so big.

‘A’ has been watching the sea eaglets closely and she is a tad concerned stating, “Breakfast never arrived at WBSE this morning. Smart little SE32 has taken to spending much of his waiting time sleeping on the table, right there in prime position for any food that arrives on the nest. The eaglets were not at all pleased when Dad arrived shortly after 12:11 with a large spray of gum leaves! As I type, it is nearly 12.40 and they are now waiting for lunch! I have been worried this morning because while SE32 got up this morning and did a small, thinnish PS, when SE31 got up a few minutes later, she appeared to make three definite attempts over about two minutes to have a PS and produced nothing. On each occasion, she wiggled her little tail as if she had just done her PS but nothing had emerged. I have not watched their every minute this morning, but I have been over the footage relatively closely, and I have not seen her do a PS (one of them did stand up a while ago – it may or may not have been for a PS – but I am keeping a close eye on things in that regard right at the moment, especially since your vision of the eel feeding just as the storm began. I am starting to get concerned that SE32’s newfound confidence is resulting in SE31 not getting enough food. SE32 has had a larger crop than his sister for the best part of a week now. Is this causing a problem? Or did SE31 have a problem to begin with that allowed SE32 to become dominant..So it is possible that there is some reason she is not pushing for food…I could be worrying about nothing, but until I see a healthy PS from SE31, I will continue to be concerned. I don’t like to see a chick trying and failing to manage a PS, especially first thing in the morning.” 

Food finally did arrive and A has the report: “The food took until around 15:30 to arrive. We saw Dad on a branch in the nest tree spot something and fly off with a purposeful look, and I thought he had finally decided it was time to feed the kids (I’m sure these occasions are deliberate lessons for the eaglets – sometimes, food doesn’t arrive like clockwork). Sure enough, it wasn’t long before he was back with a fish, panting slightly. 

He waited a couple of minutes for Lady to appear, but when she didn’t, he rather reluctantly set about doing the feeding duties himself. First to the table was SE31, who ate for the first two minutes before SE32 approached the table beside her. He was soon given a bite (around 15:37:30) but then Dad resumed feeling SE31. So not being in the favourable position (side by side but with SE31 between him and Dad), SE32 moved himself several inches forward. Dad then proceeded to feed SE32 while SE31 watched patiently and waited for her next bite. 

Soon, Dad started feeding them even-handedly, a bite for one, a bite or two for the other. Both ate well, with the feeding lasting for well over half an hour. If anything, SE31 may have done slightly better than SE32 but it was a close-run thing. The prey itself was hard to identify but appeared to be red meat rather than fish, though I could not see feet. (You know how bad I am at prey IDs but I am trying to learn). 

The main news, though, is that they have both been well fed. It was a VERY late brunch, however. “

Xavier and Diamond are taking turns with the incubation and Diamond is, sometimes unhappily, accepting the Starling meal – prepared or not.

They are adorable. Xavier never wants to give up his ‘egg’ time. We all wonder how he fits those three big eggs under him. Will there be one hatch? Two? possibly three? Personally, I do not want the third one to hatch. For the past years, in my humble opinion, Diamond has struggled at times if the chicks vary too much in size. One healthy fledgling with all its feathers fully developed is a priority for this writer.

“Oh, please, Diamond, just a few more minutes.”

‘A’ loves them, too – like we all do, adding, “At Orange, Diamond had pigeon for breakfast and rejected a starling just before noon. There has been a half-hour sleepy early morning bonding session and several changeovers, giving Xavier some egg time (not enough in his opinion, but of course it’s not his decision (although the other day, when he protested “just another five minutes dear”, Diamond stood on the ledge for 47 minutes – a very rare occurrence indeed). We thought Xavier was going to try and feed the eggs again! (It’s not the first time.) I just adore the way he talks to them every time he settles down to brood. Just how incredibly adorable are these tiny falcon dads?” I totally agree – Peregrine Falcon dads are the best! 

They are an adorable couple at Port Lincoln.

Ervie was photographed at Delamere where he used to fish with Dad. So wonderful to see you!

Calypso, Ervie’s full sister, might have found herself a platform. Will Mum become a grandmother this year? or next?

‘A’ reports that the Royal Albatross had a busy day. “All four of our headland albie chicks were fed today. The boys (UQ and Manaaki) had their mums come in, while the girls (NTF chick and Quarry chick) were fed by their dads. At one stage, there were three parents coming and going around noon. It was chaos. At this moment, Manaaki is on his nest practising his cute sky calls. He has a full tummy after mum’s visit and he is a happy albie today. The wind has been very light the past couple of days and it seems all the parents have chosen today to come in and feed their offspring.”

Lady Hawk has it all in a 49-minute video! Oh, I love the wheeing when the chicks smell and see their parent arriving to feed them.

Flipping through a few of the other nests:

Dad is still delivering to at least one juvenile at the Alyth Osprey platform. Just look at that crop. I think this is three.

It is entirely possible that Maya and Blue 33 are still at Rutland and Blue 022 is still at Poole Harbour. I did not catch the Poole Harbour male on the streaming cam but others have or he was sighted locally.

These are the dates for Poole Harbour as posted under their streaming cam:

5H3 fledged – 19th July ———–5H4 fledged – 21st July ——–5H5 fledged – 22nd July CJ7 migrated —— 27th August 5H4 migrated —– 27th August 5H5 migrated —– 27th August 5H3 migrated – 29th August

OH1 had a fish on the nest and it or OH2 was eating a fish on a nearby tree branch on Friday at Glaslyn.

Idris is taking catching fish at Dyfi, too. Lots of activity there on Friday, including the clean-up crew finding all those wonderful morsels of fish left behind.

Seiont you are truly handsome.

I did not see anyone at Llyn Brenig – others might have.

Viewers counted 7 fish being delivered to Coco at Sandpoint today and that was only until late afternoon!

The nest at Steelscape has really taken a beating. his season! The fledglings flying to the nest look good.

At least one fledgling still at Collins Marsh and fish are still being delivered.

The fledglings are now doing what ospreys do – fight over fish deliveries. This was Snap and Crackle at Dunrovin Ranch today.

Have you seen the new nest for Ron and Rose at the WRDC in Miami?

I did not catch Iris at the Owl Pole on 1 September but Lucille Powell and Marlene Harris both did on the 31st. The Queen of North American Ospreys has not left Missoula yet. Each sighting is a blessing.

Heading to ‘H’s reports on three Osprey nests:

Fortis Exshaw – The intruders were back at the nest several times on 9/1.  We had not seen the male for a day and a half, and we thought he may have started his migration, but he is still around.  We still call them the ‘intruders’, but they did successfully complete a nest takeover, against a single mom and her kid.  To the osprey pair, other ospreys are the intruders.  They alerted and defended the nest when they felt threatened.  At 1442 the female flew up from the nest toward an approaching osprey and chased it away.  The other osprey was carrying a fish, but we could only see the legs and a bit of the wings at a distance.  It was impossible to say if it was Banff or Louise, and there may be other ospreys in the area.  It would be cool to think it was Banff, and that she had caught her own fish.  But, Banff is already used to eating at locations other than the nest, and she probably has a favorite spot to dine.  It would be unlikely that Banff would try to bring a fish to the nest, especially while both of the ‘angry birds’ were standing on the nest.  Later there was an incomplete mating between the pair.  And, at one point the male landed on the empty nest with a fish, chirped a while, then flew off with his fish.  We won’t know until next year, but these two adult ospreys may be the new residents.  Many of us hope that Louise will arrive back in the area early next spring, find a new mate, and win the nest back.  Well, one can only hope.”

Kent Island – Molly finally got her wish. Her dad brought a lovely whole fish to her at the nest.

Barnegat Light –  Dorsett is looking lovely in the evening sunlight as she finishes her dinner fish.

Thank you, ‘H’ – things are winding down!

For all the stork lovers, this is excellent news.

Our smile for the day comes from Brusse TTirzah and those fantastic eagles, Jackie and Shadow:

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care of yourself – stay safe this long holiday weekend. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, articles, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, R’, The Washington Post, Cornell Bird Lab, RSPB, PSEG, Sydney Sea Eagles, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Alyth Ospreys, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, llyn Brenig, Sandpoint Ospreys, Steelscape Inc, Collins Marsh, Dunmrovin Ranch, Lolita Ozolina and Bald Eagles in USA, Lucille Powell and Montana Ospreys at Hellgate, Marlene Harris and Cornell Hawk Cam Chatters, Fortis Exshaw, Wildlife Conserve Foundation of NJ, Kent Island,, and Brusse TTirzah and FOBBV.

SE 32 eats and eats…Monday in Bird World

21 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Calico’s new world is waiting for her and any kitten/s that have survived. She has been so good to let me fiddle around with ‘training’ collars. Her GPS tracker arrived on Sunday and we spent considerable time together trying to get the kitten size to fit. Nope. Too big. She is the tiniest thing. So now I have a much smaller kitten collar for her. The debate is whether or not to fit her late this evening or wait til in the morning. I am thinking in the morning is better for me…wider awake to go digging around in hiding spots for the little one. We are almost there.

The Canadian Government is evacuating people from Yellowknife NWT. Fires are burning around BC, and I have friends now that I cannot get in touch with. I hope they are safe. The rain is pounding down in Big Bear Valley as an unprecedented hurricane hits the western coast of the US. In Bird World, our focus remains on three nests: Fortis Exshaw, Patchogue, and Sydney Sea Eagles – and our thoughts with all of the birds and wildlife being impacted by Hurricane Hillary.

We know that our feathered friends – M15 and Harriet – survived Hurricane Ian as did many of those on Captiva. Still, our thoughts are with those in the line of the storm including, as I was reminded, all those hummingbirds.

Heavy rain was hitting the Big Bear Valley when I last checked. At the time the wind seemed to have calmed.

We always start with Mini at Patchogue. Mini had two nice fish by the time 1630 rolled around on the clock. She managed to eat all of the first one in good time and worked hard on the second, flying away with the tail in her beak. Her fans cheered her on nothing how her eating is so improved now that she is holding down the fish with that right talon! Just see below our wonderful girl. She is a survivor!

Mini was back on the nest cleaning her beak with ‘someone’ on the perch.

Mini did a lot of talking to the bird on the perch. Mini loves her piece of cardboard that the Crows pulled out of the nest Sunday morning. She was using it as a pillow one time. Some of you might recall that a flip-flop or a sandal arrived on the nest, and she slept on it too. So precious.

Mini was also seen on camera scratching her head with her left foot.

I have just checked and Mini is eating a fish. Dad is taking good care of his girl. She is adapting to a situation that was beyond her control. An old falconer told me decades ago that the raptors live in the moment. At this moment, Mini is doing the best she can without help for her leg.

I know that there are individuals upset that Mini is not getting help. The rehabbers can’t help her unless she is down on the ground or low enough for them to get her without injuring her further.

This was the situation early Monday morning at Sydney Sea Eagles. WBSE 32 finally got some much-needed nourishment. ‘A’ reports: “SE32 has had a small fish for breakfast, without any interference from an already stuffed SE31 (who had just eaten someone else’s baby chick – perhaps half her age). The good news about this (as well as the eating, obviously) is that once he had eaten a couple of bites, SE32 began to eat with confidence and by the end he was eating greedily and without hesitation. That is excellent, though it will take more than one bonk-free feeding I fear to rebuild his carefree little spirit. The second and possibly more important thing was that SE31 was not interested in preventing SE32 from eating. On a couple of occasions, she got up, but only to change position and flop back down, duckling style, to rest her giant crop!”  Later, ‘A’ writes: “SO good that the little one got to eat as much as he needed without paying for it by being bonked and beaten. That is just wonderful, and it’s happened twice today. He is still fearful and cringing, from mum as well as from SE31, though his confidence builds as he eats more and doesn’t get bonked. But even during that eat-a-thon, he was nervy between bites. But he has eaten and he has eaten very, very well. Lady did a great job of managing that fish so that SE32 ate more than half of it. She has been working hard at dealing with this situation over the past couple of days. It may not look like it at times, but she really has been thinking about him and how to get enough food to him. That feed was a particularly good example of it, but what happened late yesterday was also something I’ve rarely seen – all those deliveries in such a short time and in an obvious effort to feed SE32. That gives me heart.”

Fortis Exshaw: ‘H’ has been my helper all season and we have both taken to the antacids on more than one occasion. She has lived with Fortis Exshaw and its tragedies. She writes a very moving report on Banff and Louis this morning: “

It can be very frustrating watching raptor nests.  Quite often, things simply do not follow our desired script.  On 8/19 Louise had treated Banff to a ‘whale’ fish that she worked on for most of the day, and later Mom brought Banff a smaller fish.  But by late afternoon, with parts of two fish still in the nest, the intruder had driven Banff from her nest, and she spent the night roosting elsewhere.  On 8/20 Banff flew to the nest at 0621, and we were very glad to see her.  She immediately picked up one of the leftover fish.  But, it was almost as if the intruder had been lying in wait.  Less than a minute after her arrival to the nest, the intruder began dive-bombing her, and at 0622 Banff was dragged off the nest (for the third time).  We were able to see that Banff had been released from the intruder’s grip.  Banff had a piece of fish in her talon as she went over the side.  Poor Banff simply cannot get a break.  We waited, and we worried.  At 0918 Banff flew back to the nest.  We do not know if Banff had been able to hold on to the fish she had in her grasp when she was dragged off the nest.  When she returned to the nest, her crop was rather flat, but three hours had passed.  Over the next few hours, Banff did not retrieve the other piece of fish from the nest, so it must have been dragged overboard during the earlier melee.  Poor Banff was almost constantly fish-calling to her Mom.  At 1323 Banff was twice buzzed by the intruder, and as the intruder approached for the third time, Banff flew off the nest and was then chased by the intruder.  At 1424 Louise landed with a whole medium-sized fish.  She waited for Banff to show, but Louise was hungry too, so she began to eat.  Banff finally flew to the nest at 1444 and grabbed the partial fish from her Mom.  Louise immediately flew off and we were sure that she would bring in another fish.  For most of the rest of the day Banff was alternately calling her Mom for more fish, or she was alerting when she would see a perceived ‘unfriendly’ bird in the sky.  No more fish came for Banff today.  Eventually Banff laid down in the nest and resigned herself to going to sleep hungry.  Banff is learning many lessons that will prepare her for her challenging life ahead.  Banff is a survivor.  NOTE: We don’t know what role the ‘stepdad’ O’Hara has at this point (if any).  O’Hara was instrumental in helping Louise flush out the intruder on 8/14, after the intruder dragged Banff off the nest for the first time.  O’Hara was last seen on camera on 8/17 when he stood on the nest for a while.  He has not delivered a fish to the nest for at least ten days.  While the intruder problem continues, we do not know how many intruders there are, and O’Hara may still be playing a role in keeping most of the intruders at bay.  Louise is likely dealing with intruders in the area as well, and we feel certain that she is doing the best she can for her only surviving ‘child’.  Banff fledged on 8/13, and Louise would normally be tapering off her ‘Mom’ duties to prepare herself for her long migration.  But, without a male to take over the support of Banff until she disperses, there has been a role-reversal for Louise.  While O’Hara was instrumental in ensuring the success of the family early on (and we will be forever grateful to him for that), Louise has essentially had to be both Mom and Dad ever since Jasper disappeared on 7/7.  We are observing a unique situation.  Will Louise continue to support Banff until Banff is ready to leave?  Will hunger encourage Banff to learn how to fish sooner rather than later?  Would the intruders even allow Banff to keep her hard-fought prey once in her talons?  We are filled with such love and empathy for this young osprey.”

‘H’ also checked on two other nests for us today.

Kent Island – We have not seen Molly fly to the nest carrying a fish, but we have seen her diving from the nest, possibly fishing.  Meanwhile she continues to be well fed by Mom and Dad. 

Osoyoos – There were only two small whole fish brought to the nest (that I saw), and both were delivered by Mom.  ‘Junior’ continued to practice wingercising, and at 56 days of age s/he is definitely on fledge watch.

Reports of a fledge at Osoyoos. Need confirmation from ‘H’.

Thank you ‘H’ as always.

Waiting for eggs at Port Lincoln and at Orange.

At Sandpoint, by 1626, there had been six fish delivered. I am not even certain that Coco is hungry!

At Minnesota, Mum is happily feeding her fledgling. It was a great fledge but coming back to an empty nest, Mum looked a little shocked by it all. Everything is fine.

Mum sure likes to feed on this same corner. 1245 and later, after 1700.

Hello Iris! You are gorgeous. No wonder you are getting so much attention. Wonder if it will be Bachelor Number 1, 2, or 3? I guess we will have to wait til spring to find out.

Two beautiful fledglings at Collins Marsh continue to return to the nest for fish. This has been a good season for this nest and what appears to be two new parents.

Boulder: Everything is just fine. Fledglings continue to come to the nest for fish like at most of the others. They all appear to be present in the last shot. Life is good in Colorado.

The eagles continue to be at Superbeaks!

Waiting for Gabby…

It’s a crazy busy morning. Calico has her tracker on – just – and the collar is still too big. As Geemeff says, ‘Kittens having kittens’. The tracker is stationary. I hope it has not fallen off. Wish us luck. I understand that there has also been a feeding at the Royal Cam Albatross colony of the little Manaaki. Yeah! Looks like both parents have been in recently. More news tomorrow.

I want to thank ‘H and A’ for their continuing reports and Geemeff along with all of the streaming cams and individuals who posted information that helped me write my blog today: Fortis Exshaw, Kent Island, Osoyoos, PSEG, Boulder County, Sydney Sea Eagles, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, IWS/Explore, AEF-NEFL, Collins Marsh, Superbeaks, Montana Osprey Project, MN Landscape Arboretum, and Sandpoint.

Mini and More…Sunday in Bird World

20 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

My goodness. At 2000 the garden just lit up with visitors -two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds came to feed on the Vermillion plants. They are on their migration, coming down from northern Manitoba, feeding in Winnipeg, and continuing southward. Then the Cooper’s Hawk that was on the Conservatory roof a couple of days ago flew in and landed in the lilacs, being ever so quiet -hoping to get a snack before light’s out. The Blue Jays and Sparrows are quiet ten minutes later, as are Dyson and Gang, who were scurrying around when the hawk arrived. I was watching to see if Calico would return for a snack.

Heavily cropped and poor lighting.

11:36:58 Saturday. Minnesota Arboretum chick takes to the skies. Mum is still waiting – late Saturday afternoon – for her baby’s return. Get a fish Dad!

The osplet returned to his waiting Mum at 18:11! Well done. Congratulations!

The youngest osplet at Charlo Montana C15 also fledged on Saturday and it flew when the Highlights were on.C15 has returned to the nest.

‘A’ alerted me to an incident Saturday morning with Mini. Mini had flown to the perch from the brewery side of the road and was chased by one of her siblings, who forced her off the perch and onto the nest—very aggressive behaviour by 3 who spent the night on the north perch chattering. Mini will later get a fish and eat it without incident- 0658.

Mini went on to enjoy her morning fish. She ate every bite.


By 1600 that left leg is causing Mini considerable discomfort.

1711: Dad brings Mini a nice live whole goldfish! Thanks for the notification ‘L’. Hang on, Mini! Dad has a really nice crop…good for you, Dad. You have been so incredible this season feeding a family of six!!!!!!!!!

Look at our girl hold that fish down with that right talon. Way to go, Mini!

At 1735, twenty-four minutes later, our gal is ready to hork that fish tail. Down it goes at 1736.

Holding the fish down tight with the right foot has allowed Mini to eat much faster and she did not lose the fish over the nest. So proud of you, Mini.

Mini finished that up and flew off only to return to the nest a few minutes later. We can see her nice crop. She wants another goldfish – fish calling to Dad!

Good night, Mini!

After Three had left the nest, Dad delivered a big fish to Mini. S he was jumping all over the nest in excitement as he arrived. She ate every bit flying off with the tail. Mini is doing so much better with her feeding now that she is holding the fish down with that right talon.

Clean up crew arrives.

Wow. There were so many fish deliveries on the Sandpoint Osprey nest and my goodness, the Mum fed the osplet rather well in comparison to other days. No one was hungry. At 1533, the 7th fish arrived on the nest. Unbelievable.

Coco has a big wingspan and is flexing those wings getting them strong. There was a good ‘ps’ around 11:11 as well.

Looking good at the Dunrovin nest with fledglings continuing to return and screaming for fish from Swoop and Harriet. What a beautiful day they had in the mountains.

‘H’ has some good reports for us! As always, thank you for keeping such a good eye on these nests.

Fortis Exshaw – “After missing the only fish delivery to the nest from Louise on 8/18, a very hungry Banff wisely decided to forgo an early morning flight.  She was waiting on the nest when Louise delivered a ‘whale’ fish at 1001.  That fish was equal to 2.5 to 3 fish.  Oh my goodness, the temperament of teenage ospreys . . after taking possession of the fish, Banff lunged and flapped at her mom to get her off of ‘Banff’s nest’!  Lol, Louise understands . . this is not her first rodeo with teenagers.  Banff feasted on the huge fish on-and-off for several hours, and never let go of it.  There was at least 1/4 of the fish remaining when Louise delivered another fish at 1509.  A very excited Banff celebrated with a couple of high hovers while holding the fish!  Banff ate some of the new fish, but she was not very hungry.  Then at 1728 an intruder decided to harass Banff.  Banff was buzzed with close fly-bys four times, then Banff quickly flew off the nest to avoid potential harm.  Good girl.  She left a partial fish and a nearly-whole fish on the nest.  Banff did not return to the nest for the rest of the day, and the intruder did not take the fish.  Banff will have breakfast already waiting for her in the morning.  Stay safe Banff, wherever you are.”

[News has come in that Banff was taken off the nest and dropped at the side by the intruding Osprey at 0622 this morning. Thanks PB].

Osoyoos – “Olsen brought two fish to the nest,  The first fish at 0837 was a huge headless fish that lasted nearly two hours.  And the second fish at 1400 was also a good-sized fish.  At 54 days of age, ‘Junior’ was doing some high hovers, and at 1833, s/he was completely out of view of the cam for a few seconds.  Keep an eye out . . Junior just might fledge today!”

Forsythe – After having not been seen for 20 straight days, mom Opal made a surprise appearance on the nest at 0909.  And guess what? . . Oscar brought her a fish!  How cool is that?  Oscar to his gal: “See ya’ next year, honey. Stay safe.”  It was wonderful to see Opal again before she starts on her long journey.

Barnegat Light – “Here’s a photo of the multi-talented fledgling, Dorsett, as “captain of the ship.”  And, after she was not seen on camera for two days, Daisy was on the nest in the morning.  Later in the afternoon, Daisy delivered a fish to Dorsett on the nest.  Nice to see you, Daisy.”

Severna Park – “There has only been one fledgling seen on the nest for the past five days.  We cherish every chance that we get to see her and her dad, Oscar.”

Thank you again, ‘H’. It is that time of year when, as you said, it is always a pleasure to get a glimpse of the youngsters and their parents.

It looks like Diamond was hungry when, after turning down the European Starling, she finally accepted it!

It was not typical behaviour for Louis to be away from the nest and not delivering fish to his youngster/s. Ludo was certainly getting anxious. The weather was terrible and the water choppy. What relief when lewis shows up after a two day absence…

The weather has been terrible in Wales, evens Aran is out there fishing!

Louis has been delivering to Ludo today. I wonder if the water is as choppy at Loch Arkaig as it has been. Fish 2.

We are still waiting – and so is Dad – for the first egg at Port Lincoln. The good news is that Ervie is back in Port Lincoln!

As of 2330 Saturday in Canada, this is the situation at the Sydney Sea Eagles as reported by ‘A’: “

Breakfast was very late this morning – around 11.25 – and the fish took 15 minutes for Lady to feed to SE31. There were no bites for SE32, not even a little one, though to make up for it, he got beaked and lifted off the ground by its back and its neck several times. SE31’s viciousness is increasing. Today, when both were hungry, SE31 was a little stinker, really hurting little SE32 when she lifted him up by the loose skin between his shoulder blades. SE31 had literally mouthfuls of feathers to spit out on several occasions. Little SE32 crept forward and around and did everything possible to get near mum but to no avail. SE31 beaked him wherever he tried to go. Just as Lady left the nest, all food gone, SE32 makes it up to the empty table. Poor little mite looks so sad. We need a large lunch fish fairly quickly, as that was not a large fish and we need SE31 to be too full to eat before SE32 is going to get anything at all. He had a bad day yesterday food-wise and we really need him to eat this afternoon.”

Later news: “So there were three small whole fish brought in between 11:25 and 13:06 and SE32 got one small piece. This situation is worsening, and although SE32 is getting up to the table, he is too scared to raise his head once he gets there. He rushes up to the table to try and find leftovers he can self-feed but there have been no leftovers for him to find over the past 24 hours, so this is not helping him right now. SE31 keeps a close eye on him, so if he found food to self-feed, SE31 would probably be up there joining in without moments! And he makes sure SE32 stays in submission during feedings by simply leaning over him (and sometimes grabbing a beakful of feathers and shaking him violently, even picking him up off the ground, his little feet flailing to gain traction).” Thanks, ‘A’. I h ope the situation changes quickly

Let us all hope that little 32 gets some courage and a lot of fish!

At Taiaroa Head – home of the Royal Albatross Colony, Manaaki gets wonderful feedings two days in a row!

One of my heroes that fights for wildlife and whose early love of Kestrels keeps him going in the face of death threats is Chris Packham. There is a really good article in The Guardian today about this man who is one of the founders of Wild Justice.

Thank you to everyone for being with me today. As the wild fires grow in Canada, please keep all of our feathered friends (and the humans and other wildlife) in your thoughts. 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 today: ‘A, H, L’, Mn Landscape Arboretum, Charlo Montana, PSEG, Sandpoint, Dunrovin, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Severna Park, Forsythe Ospreys, Cilla Kinross, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, E Lewis and Glaslyn Osprey Group, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk and the NZ DOC, and The Guardian.

Skydancing…the plight of the Hen Harrier and Mini is adapting…Friday in Bird World

18 August 2023

Good Morning,

It is Thursday afternoon and it is nearly 1400. A Cooper’s Hawk has just landed above my head on the Conservatory. A summer fledgling who has found the garden and its hundreds and hundreds of Sparrows, the snack of choice for this raptor. You have to look in their eyes – just once – directly and you will melt. It was a long time ago now that I ran into the garden through deep snow for fear that a very large female Shark-shinned Hawk was eating Hedwig, the resident rabbit. She wasn’t but, in an instant, our eyes met one another. There was a meeting of spirits. I understand fully the Circle of Life and for this beautiful raptor she needed food. I love raptors – some people don’t. They see them as big mean birds.

Today, there will be little news from nests but I want you to understand, by listening, what all the fuss is about the hunting estates, and the extinction of the Hen Harrier.

So please listen! You also get an explanation of the Inglorious 12th of August. I hope you understand why stomping on a nest of innocent Hen Harrier chicks makes me ill and causes my anxiety to rise. The wealthy pay 1000s of GBP per day to shoot grouse but they also stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, and spend money in the villages. The fines and punishments mean nothing because killing birds is big business with the Driven Grouse Moors seen to be a ‘part of traditional Britain’ – which they are. We live in the 21st century and our attitudes towards killing have changed since medieval times.

There are three episodes. Educate yourself and listen to all of them. Imagine the vast expanse of Scotland because this is where this happens.

Part One. Susie’s Chicks

Part Two. The Perfect Crime.

Part Three. An Open Secret

There are so many good books out there on Hen Harriers. They are such beautiful raptors. These are two of my favourites:

At Patchogue, Mini had four fish on Thursday. She ate the majority of each of them proving that she is adapting to her situation. It has been over a week now that she appeared on the nest with her injury.

When there is not much of the fish left – or if they are small, to begin with – Mini has difficulties because she still cannot put weight on that left leg. She can’t hold down the fish and pull. Today, she was persistent in working on the tail of one of those deliveries. Tried to work on a tiny piece! Dad brought the fourth fish in, a small one, late in the day. Mini worked and worked, and she succeeded – this fish, not a bite of it, went overboard.

Gosh, she is beautiful.

Mini is desperately trying to get every morsel of that fish tail.

Mini worked and worked an she horked all of that fish tail!

All gone.

We have to watch Mini’s progress. She appears more steady on her legs, less wobbly – although at the end of the day – around 1952 when she flew off the perch she appeared to have trouble -, uses her wings to help her, and is enthusiastic in her fish calling. She is flying. Dad continues to feed his youngest. What we know about Mini’s personality is this – she survived against great odds – one of only a few (I have to find those stats) fourth hatches to live this season. She is intelligent, tenacious, and she does not give up. She works hard. If all of my university students had those qualities, teaching would have been a breeze!

Good Night, Mini.

There is good news about Ervie who is enjoying Turnby Bay!

Waiting and watching as Dad continues to deliver fish to Mum at Port Lincoln.

At Sydney Sea Eagles, little 32 (noticeably smaller now than 32) still waits submissively while 31 eats. The fish was very large, and 31 was full, and the baby ate. The pattern of domination was set early. We can still see some of the feathers missing from 32.

“A’ gives us the rundown: “Dad came to the nest shortly after 9.35 and asked Lady whether it was okay for him to have some of the leftover fish. Surprisingly, she actually agreed! She stood up from brooding the chicks and flew off, leaving him to have a snack and then feed the remainder of the fish to SE31 (well, SE32 got about half a dozen or perhaps eight mouthfuls at the beginning of the feed, but as soon as SE31 beaked him, pulled out another beakful of feathers (she can’t shake SE32 any more – he’s too big now – but still grabs a beakful of feathers somewhere on SE32’s head or neck and twists back and forth till he pulls out the feathers, leaving herself spitting out fluff), he went into submission. Late in the feed, Dad tried to offer him a bite but SE32 shrank away, which confused Dad, who didn’t try again. SE32 still has a huge crop from breakfast, so if he doesn’t eat again for the rest of the day, he will be fine… As long as SE31 has had enough, she is perfectly happy to watch her little brother stuffing himself to the brim. On other occasions, though, she continues to return to the table, and as long as she is that close, SE32 is fearful, with good reason, as SE31 will often react to any food given to SE32 by beaking him.”

Friday morning Xavier had stashed a fresh European Starling in the corner of the scrape. We know that this is not Diamond’s favourite breakfast but…she was hungry. Went over and accepted the food gift and out she went. Still waiting for eggs.

Three healthy and happy fledglings at Boulder County hoping that they will be the lucky one to get the fish delivery.

At the time of my writing, Maya was still at Rutland.

Only four so far reported crossing over the Straits of Gibraltar.

This is Thursday’s chart from Hawk Mountain in PA, USA.

Migration is on everyone’s mind and Tiger Mozone posted an older chart showing the relationship between fledge dates and migration from Loch Garten.

A note came to me today stating that the Middle hatch at Achieva is doing very well and is flying around. He needs to gain some weight before release. This is all good. You might recall that he was falling off the nest – dehydration/starvation – and was monitored and picked up for rehab.

Voldis and Milda continue to provide prey items for their two fledglings at the Durbe County White-tail Eagle nest in Latvia. LizM catches one of those deliveries on video.

LizM catches Karl II coming in with a load of fish for his three fledglings in the Karula National Forest nest in Estonia.

Ludo has not had anything to eat as of 0900 Thursday morning due to intruders at Loch Arkaig. Has Dorcha left for migration? Geemeff reminds us that she departed on the 18th last year. Louis is probably fighting intruders. Certainly Ludo is having to deal with them. Poor thing. What is up with these intruders this year?

‘H’ reports that it was a good day at Fortis Exshaw: “All things considered, it was a good day.  I think the cam viewers are in agreement that any day where Banff has a couple of fish to eat and she is not snatched from the nest by an intruder, it is a good day!  Louise delivered one of her signature ‘whale’ fish at 0619.  Banff would eat from that monster fish on and off until 1551.  At 0626 Louise flew off the nest with one of the nearly-whole leftover fish that she had delivered in the evening on 8/16.  At 0630 and 0631 Banff was buzzed by an intruder.  Louise quickly flew to the nest holding what appeared to be the same fish she had just removed.  Then, when Louise flew off to chase the intruder, she left that fish in the nest.  Banff picked up the 0632 fish and deftly laid it right beside her ‘whale’ fish.  That was so cute.  So, the 0632 fish brought to the nest seemed to have been a recycled leftover fish from 8/16.  Louise brought a big gob of fluff to the nest at 0720.  We thought that she may have intended to cover JJ’s body with it, but she did not.  Louise flew out at 0742 chasing an intruder.  At 0907 O’Hara landed on the nest and was scanning the skies, then he flew off quickly in pursuit of something a few minutes later.  At 1442 O’Hara was back again and stood on the nest as a sentry until 1502.  Starting at 1618, Banff had been intermittently nibbling on the recycled leftover fish, when an intruder started buzzing and dive bombing her.  She was buzzed at least seven times until 1621.  At 162130 there was an adult that flew higher over the nest, but we weren’t sure if it was the intruder, Louise or O’Hara.  Banff’s response to the attack was to ‘pancake’ as flat as she could until the threat subsided.  Then, cool, calm and collected, Banff finished eating the recycled leftover fish.  She was also dive bombed twice at 1649.   At 1819 Louise delivered the last fish of the day.  Banff was buzzed twice by an intruder at 2004, and she pancaked again.  Then an intruder (or ‘friendly’?) hovered over the nest briefly at 2005.  After all her flying and being chased by intruders the previous few days, and the stress of twice being snatched off the nest, Banff decided to rest and refuel today.  She took no flights, she was a total homebody.”

‘H’ also reports:

Osoyoos – There were five fish brought to the nest at 0604, 1039, 1243, 1357, and 1742.  Despite the ongoing heat wave, this family is doing great.  The young osplet is 53 days old.

Forsythe – Dear Ollie is spending much more time away from the nest, but she did have three fish delivered to the nest for her by Oscar.

Severna Park – At least one of the juvies is still coming to the nest and eating fish provided by Oscar.

Thank you for being with me today. Please take care. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow with a look at what is happening on the European nests.

Thank you to everyone for their notes, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, PB, R’, The Guardian, PSEG, Port Lincoln Osprey, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Bart M and LRWT, Jane D and Ospreys, Hawk Mountain, Boulder County Fair Grounds Osprey Cam, Tiger Mozone, Liz M and the LDF, LizM and the Eagle Club of Estonia, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, FortisExshaw, Osoyoos, Severna Park, and Forsythe Ospreys.

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.


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.

5 fish and counting for Mini…Wednesday in Bird World

16 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that the start of the week has turned brighter for everyone with the return of Banff to the Fortis Exshaw nest and Mum, Louise. Certainly, Mini is doing better, and Dad is fishing overtime for his girl – so for once, this newsletter sparks a cheery note rather than one full of profound anxiety or sadness.

As for me…well, Tuesday was a bit of a nightmare but, in the end, it turned out grand. You get worried when a stray cat comes like clockwork to be fed and does not show up. After waiting and missing what would have been 3 feedings, I hit the street. I asked anyone who passed me if they had seen her – after discovering that if you carry a blanket and a smelly dish of sardines, people believe you are looking for a lost cat and are not some crazed stalker. Well, it happens that the place thought to be where she was hiding is home to a raccoon. He has been living there for a couple of years.

It seems that Calico is the Queen of MisDirection! At least when she knew I was tracking her. I worry that she is locked in a shed or garage. So I have taken to social media, and tomorrow a new set of flyers will go in mailboxes based on what I learned – which is that she hangs out in an area that I had not known about. If I only had thought of the Air Tag earlier…oh, well. My grandmother always said that things work out how they should. Sometimes I want to ask: Really?

My grandmother welcomed all of my pets even allowing my duck to have almost full reign of her home. She also encouraged me to fall in love with her ‘hens’. They were the girls -beautiful Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns. At the far end of her garden, past the vegetable patch, was the hen house. The smell of the fresh straw put in the boxes after collecting the eggs still reminds me of her. The cats stayed at my parent’s home, but anything with feathers was welcome at hers. What would she advise me about Calico?

Calico looks much healthier after being dewormed and getting rid of fleas or ticks. Her fur is getting shiny, and she is putting on some weight.

UPDATE: Calico appeared cowering in the lilac bushes as I chased a brute of a male out of the garden. She is in season again..she ate four tins of Cat food and drank 1/3 cup of kitten milk before running the opposite way. I will get an Air Tag and collar locally early tomorrow morning, find the kittens, and help her end her life on the streets – and the future of her kittens. And it is pitching down raining here so hopefully Calico is tucked in with her kitty.

There is a new fire burning in Yellowknife, NWT. And there is smoke in our City…it is not haze, not fog, but smoke. Smells like burning tyres. The birds have been frantic today at the feeders and bird baths. They eat any seeds they can find. Do they think the fire is close? The Blue Jays have been here all day, along with Dyson and Gang and Mr and Mrs Little Red. So everyone is accounted for, but Calico – even the four Crows arrived along with the Chickadees and the woodpeckers.

Could we have some little Little Reds? If you do not know, Little Red lived in the old cedar shake shed until he was evicted for the conservatory to be built. I still feel guilty. He rejected several houses – one a rather nice one with a beautiful tin roof – but this summer, he has returned to the garden and is living in the wood box in a house built for him, insulated with all the squirrel mod coms. Now it seems he finally has a mate! She has been very busy with the peanuts today. I wonder if she is decorating?

Mini did well on Tuesday. Dad brought in five fish and there could be more delivered later in the afternoon or evening. Yes, Mini lost 2 over the edge but, by the 5th one she had it figured out – do not eat at the rim! Keep the fish off the edge. It was a huge fish and Mini ate 7/8ths of it. She is also adapting to using her right leg to hold the fish down instead of her left and personally, I thought she was doing better with her left leg. No, she is not perfect. Yes, it could be a fracture that will heal wonky. Could she survive? Well, her chances might be as good as any others. Who would have thought an osprey would lift Banff off the nest? Life is precarious for all of our feathered friends. They don’t live and think about retirement. It is living right now, at this moment. So for this moment, Mini is doing well – better than expected. We should smile.

By 1724, Mini was full. She had eaten at least 3/4 of that big fish that Dad brought. You did well, Mini!

Mini returned and had a good landing from the perch to the nest. Gosh, she is really adapting. She immediately headed over to the piece of fish she had left on the nest. Thankfully no crows were about and she is enjoying a nice topper upper.

She horked the fish tail down at 18:14. Good work Mini. You ate that entire – huge – fish that Dad brought! Soon we can put the Mini worry beads back in their box if you keep this up. Wouldn’t that be nice

Mini got a small fish from Dad early Wednesday morning. You can have a good look at her leg! Thanks for the heads up ‘PB’ and for those two close-ups of her foot.

The three fledglings were at the Finnish nest #1 – they had crops and one had a fish. So beautiful and nice to see that they are doing very well.

At Muonio, Y1J plans for his first flight on the 9th of August. Sibling Y4J flew on 13 August and Y9J took to the skies on the 12th. Osp caught that first flight for us with some interesting commentary.

There has been lots of fish delivered to the Janakkalan nest.

There are lots of fish coming to the nest for the fledglings at Ilomantsin, too. So the Finnish nests look like they are doing alright.

I was looking for information on Finnish migratory patterns for ospreys and found an article on birds from Norway that might interest you. It is the migratory season!

Looks like all is well for our third hatch at Steelscape! This is good news. The last few days have been excellent for this little one.

Karl II continues to find food for his three fledgling Black Storklets. What a heart warming scene this is – and such a wonderful Papa to these babies.

Wish it were the same for the chick at Sandpoint. Crying for food, Mum eating and not feeding any fish. The name of this nest is appropriate. So if Mum is the role model, will this chick treat its osplets the same? Talk about sad.

Thankfully the Mum at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum figured it out before she lost her third chick. This survivor is doing great.

At the nest in Orange, Alabama, Wolf Bay, the fledglings are fighting over fish – it often ends badly with the fish being lost to both! There is no love lost between these two and that fish went flying to the bottom of the nest. The cleaners will be happy.

A huge storm went through Maryland and positively soaked the fledgling on the nest at Maryland Old Home Town.

Everything is good at Boulder County. Mum is home with the three fledglings and one of them has a fish while the other two will ‘wish’ that Dad returns for them.

The last of the chicks have fledged at Kielder Forest.

Ludo continues to enjoy Louis’s remarkable fishing!

Blue 33 continues to supply remarkable fish to the kids at Rutland.

‘H’ has good news from Fortis Exshaw: “Fortis Exshaw – After the intruder dragged Banff off the nest on 8/14, and she wasn’t seen for 17 hours, we were so relieved when she flew to the nest at 0629 on 8/15.  Louise was on the nest at the time waiting for her, and she soon brought Banff a nice fish.  Banff appeared to be completely unharmed physically, but she had most likely been psychologically traumatized (so were we).  But, by golly that intruder came back at 0905 and began dive-bombing Banff again!  After 30 seconds of that, Banff knew that she had to get off that nest, and she flew off.  Because of her previous experience, Banff had learned that she was literally a sitting duck up there, and she risked being hurt or dragged off the nest again.  Throughout the attacks of 8/14, Banff’s instinct had been to defend the nest, and she had stoically fought the intruder.  Banff is smart, and a quick learner.  She now knows that her own survival is her number one priority.  At 1327, Louise brought a fish to the nest for Banff, and she waited for nearly 1/2 hour for Banff to show up before a very hungry Louise ate the fish herself.  After fleeing the intruder in the morning, Banff was not seen for five hours.  She finally flew to the nest at 1403, and Louise was still on the nest.  Upon Banff’s arrival Louise flew off, presumably to catch another fish to feed her hungry juvie.  But, another fish never came for Banff.  Fishing conditions may have been difficult in the area.  The temperature reached 32C/90F, and it was extremely windy.  A hungry Banff spent the night on her nest, dreaming of a huge fish for breakfast.”

‘H’s other reports:

Osoyoos – “The last time I checked, the temperature at Osoyoos had reached 37C/99F at 1505, and it may have gotten even hotter.  There was only one fish delivered to the nest by Olsen at 0759.  That fish was a really good sized headless fish, though.  It is thought that Soo had tried to fish as well.  Their 50-day-old osplet spent most of the day seeking shade from Mom as protection from the hot sun.  Some relief from the high temperatures is expected by the weekend.”

Dahlgren – “Harriet has not been seen for 12 days.  The older sibling, D11, has not been seen for 5 days.  And, Jack has not been seen on camera for 4 days.  D12 was only seen in the morning on 8/15.  We know that D12 can catch her own fish, and Jack may be supplementing what D12 is able to catch.  Dahlgren has been a wonderful nest this year, but our time with our friends is winding down.”  

Kent Island – “Molly enjoys exploring her neighborhood, and she loves to perch on the back of the Adirondack chair on her neighbor’s dock..  Molly has spent the last two nights away from the nest.”


Severna Park – “Since I can no longer tell the fledglings apart, I was relying on seeing them together at the nest to know that they were both still around.  But on 8/15, I could not find a time where the two of them were together in the nest.”

Barnegat Light – ‘The fledgling, Dorsett, is amazing, and fun to watch.  Kudos to the camera operators who do such a great job tracking her.  Daisy is still around, and the family is doing well.”

Thanks so much ‘H’. We will collectively hope that the heat dome over Osoyoos dissipates quickly or that Olsen is able to catch some fish regardless.

To the surprise of everyone, Kaia stopped by the nest but did not feed her three storklets. Many think she came to say goodbye before leaving for Chad where she will overwinter. I am so happy that she is alive. Like elsewhere, the changing weather has caused so many disruptions and near deaths and in the case of Karl II and Kaia, Karl took the hard decision to do a brood reduction early on. Thankfully with the help of the fish baskets and then some rain he was able to fledge these three beauties.

This is the location of this Black Stork Nest in Estonia:

Karl just brought breakfast for the storklets. If you have never seen how storklets behave during a feeding, please take a look.

Look who’s home?! It’s Pepe and Muhlady at Superbeaks. Talk about a beautiful sunrise. So happy to see the two of you!

Tonya Irwin thinks she also spotted Louis home at E-1 in the Kisatchie National Forest.

Tonya has confirmed that Louis is definitely back and we wait for the arrival of Anna!

I am anxious for Gabby to return and it looks like there will be a new cam in operation at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle Nest near Jacksonville.

Everyone is watching Mum at Port Lincoln and thinking eggs.

Sunnie Day posted some great news from Freshkills Park in NY. Every nest fledged young osprey this year! Marvellous.

Thanks so much for being with me today. It is so good to have you here with all of us. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, comments, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘H, PB’, PSEG, FOF, Osp and FOF, Ornis Fennica, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, Eagle Club of Estonia, Sandpoint, MN Landscape Arboretum, Wolf Bay, Maryland Western Shore for Old Home Town, Boulder County, Joanna Dailey and Kielder Forest, The Woodland Trust, LRWT, Gotyid Exshaw, Osoyoos, Dahlgren, Kent Island, Severna Park, Conserve Wildlife F of NJ, Looduskalender Forum, LizM and the Eagle Club of Estonia, Superbeaks, Tonya Irwin and KNF, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Sunnie Day, and PLO.

Monster Fish, Mini and more…Friday in Bird World

11 August 2023

We are supposed to have rain over the next week. Everyone knows this and was in a bit of a panic to get outside and be in the nature centre today before it rains for 6 or 7 days. Of course, it never rains all day long. It is like Asia when it looks like the forecast is 100% for all day, but the rains begin, on time, at 1600 and are downpours and then stop. That said, it has been raining for the past four hours…Little Red, the Blue Jays, and all the sparrows continue to eat regardless. I am putting a bit of food out every hour so that it does not get wet for them. They also have seed cylinders, the solid ones inside the lilac bushes.

Calico has a covered area where she can eat (along with a few of her friends if they stop by). She comes on the dot just about every 3 hours. Her fur looks better since the worm and flea/tick treatment. I was reminded by ‘RP’ today that often kittens will follow their mother to find food. Maybe a kitten or two or three will show up! I live in hope because Calico surely has them hidden well.

The new wetlands area begins at the lake. The water is pumped to another pond where it flows downwards, filling all of the pool areas in the park. (All photos taken with iPhone).

I went to count goslings. There were only 14 visible but mostly there were mature Mallards, a few American Goldfinches, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Black-capped Chickadees. The animals and birds were quiet. Humans were loud. It was nice to have the nature centre garden market open – lots of freshly picked veggies, the profits going to a good cause.

The day continues to be consumed with Mini and her left leg. There are visible two puncture wounds above the ankle and before the knee of the left leg. Did Mini injure her leg stretching it and having someone’s talons caught in hers? A fish fight? We don’t know.

Indeed, any observer knows very little. We can deduce that she is keeping her balance with her wings. She appears to be in some pain. She is still flying and she is hungry. She is not – and I want to repeat this – she is not lethargic. She is not grounded. My friend ‘R’ and I know that if it is a sprain it will heal. If it is a break, it will heal – maybe not the precise way that it would if set in a cast but there is no guarantee that a wildlife rehabber would —- OK and this is harsh — put Mini’s leg in a cast and keep her in residence til late next spring when she could be released. She would not be ready for this year’s migration. This is something that has to be considered. I know that it is hard to watch her but she is alive, eating, flying, screaming for fish.

My reaction to Mini comes out of remembering many others, like Mini, that did not get a second chance. The first one that comes to mind is WBSE 26. We need to take a deep breath, send positive wishes, and not panic but observe.

1530: Fighting with one of those hard to eat fish unless the head has been taken off…it is good practice for our girl to try and open up these fish, though. No matter how frustrating it is to watch. She will have to do it soon enough in the real world without parents.

The two puncture marks above the left ankle before the knee. Two spaced black dots the distance of talons. We do not want these to get infected. (Mini could we ask that you go and stand in some salt water and soak that leg? Salt water aids healing).

You can see the punctures better here.

Mini has been on and off the nest. She has been fish-calling. Flying down from the perch. It was not a bad landing.

Our beautiful survivor.


Bobby Horvath has a practice on Long Island. He rescued Pale Male (the 31-year-old celebrity Red-tail Hawk with its nest on one of the most expensive properties in Central Park) and held him as Pale Male was dying. Horvath is willing to come out to help Mini if she is lethargic. Here is the note that he sent ‘L’ and the phone number. Write it down! Bobby might be our best hope that she would get good care instead of being euthanised. But he is busy – like everyone, and please note that he is stressing weak or lethargic – low or on the ground – not on the nest. Please don’t call him otherwise. All the rehabbers are busy. There are strict laws – and we don’t want anyone to get tired of hearing about Mini. We want them to respond when it is necessary. At least one local individual is making trips to check around the nesting area if Mini were to get grounded.

One diagnosis from a trained reader ‘MP’ suggests that this could be a lunated patella (a dislocation). I found an academic paper on this orthopaedic problem.

Steelscape: The third hatch has a huge crop today. And wait…more news. The third hatch had 3 fish today…and one of the older siblings had a huge crop. All is fine. We can relax. Thanks so much for the images and the report ‘PB’.

Fortis: ‘PB gave me the head’s up early that we would be getting a very good report from ‘H’. There were two whoppers brought on to the nest!

‘H’ writes: “It turned out to be a very good day.  The youngest osplet, JJ, had not had very much to eat for the previous three days.  The viewers were all extremely worried for him.  The day started out with Louise delivering a headless fish, which JJ initially acquired.  JJ had the fish for a couple of minutes and managed to pull off a few bites before big sis, Banff, took it away.  Banff ate that entire fish, but JJ managed to grab the tail.  For JJ’s sake, we knew there had to be another fish delivered soon while Banff was still full, but the next fish did not arrive for four hours.  At 1215, Louise delivered the largest fish to date this season.  It was massive.  Louise initially wanted to hold on to the fish to feed, but Banff took it.  It was a tough fish and Banff had not made much headway, when JJ managed to drag the huge fish from Banff at 1242.  They traded possession of the fish a couple more times before Louise returned to the nest at 1355.  She confiscated the fish and fed JJ!  That’s what we were all hoping she would do.  JJ was fed for 10 minutes before he got the boot from Banff, and then Louise fed Banff.  By 1422 Louise was clearly distracted by something and she stopped feeding.  She was on alert.  At least 1/2 of that huge fish was left, and JJ tried to pull off a few more bites.  Louise flew off the nest at 1456 taking the rest of the fish with her!  She returned at 1535, with the same fish.  There was still about 1/2 of the fish remaining, it did not appear as though Louise had eaten any of it.  Banff claimed the fish at that point and ate until 1608.  JJ then fed for an hour before Banff reclaimed the fish at 1707.  When Banff quit eating again, JJ ate from 1730 to 1808.  Then Banff ate some more, and finally downed the tail of that massive fish at 1821.  That had been a 6-hour fish!  So, there were only two fish delivered to the nest, but the monster fish had provided at least six or seven meals each for JJ and Banff.  JJ had his largest crop in days.  The siblings are 54 days old.  Banff has managed to increase her lift off the nest during her wingers, but has not hovered as yet.  JJ has only achieved a few inches of lift off the nest while wingercising.  During the night of 8/11, the siblings both slept upright and tucked for the very first time.”  

Those are two North American nests I have been concerned about in addition to Mini. The other nest is PSPB Loch Garten and the attacks on the two male juveniles by a male fledgling from that same nest in 2020. Remember the males return to their natal nest area and things are getting crowded in parts of Scotland.

There remain intruders including an unringed female at Loch Garten. The injured chick 2C4’s wing has stopped bleeding. Hopeful he will be fine.

Sadly, the 2020 fledgling KL5 is back again this morning at the nest.

Thankfully all is well at the nest of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig – and Ludo is as noisy as ever.

Suzanne Arnold Horning found all of the hawks on the Cornell Campus Thursday. So grateful for her diligence and kindness in sharing her images of Big Red and Arthur’s family.

‘A’ reports on the Australian and NZ nests:

Sydney Sea Eaglets: “This morning’s breakfast had to wait for Dad to bring in a fish. Eventually, just before 09:20, he came in with a whole fresh small-medium fish, which Lady fed to the chicks and ate herself. After the breakfish was consumed, Lady headed off. Dad brought in part of a fish (slightly less than half – he had eaten the head and then kept going for a bit longer). He stood there for some time, waiting for Lady to arrive and feed the eaglets, but she never came and the chicks were obviously begging him for food, sitting up at the table and trying to move closer to him and the fish. Eventually, he decided to feed them, and both got quite a few bites before Dad downed the tail, fed the kids a few more bites, then took the remaining morsel to the perch branch to eat himself. So now the nest is again devoid of food and we do need a good feeding day today. I was happy to see that both chicks waking up hungry and waiting for a later-than-usual breakfast did not precipitate bonking behaviour. Both were peaceful while they waited for food to arrive and once it did, there was negligible bonking. SE32 has taken to pushing itself forward, in front of SE31, to ensure it gets fed, and SE31 is allowing it to eat without interference most of the time. SE32 is still wary, and ducks for cover if SE31 does beak it, but the shaking by the back of the neck has largely ceased.”

Royal Cam Albatross: “We are hoping that Manaaki gets his supplementary feeding today – he looks literally flattened as he lies in his nest and seems to be low on energy (or just conserving it). He had built up significant reserves, according to the rangers, and is not on the high priority list but is still scheduled to be fed by today. As every day passes, I worry more and more about his parents.”

I just noted before I closed the blog this morning that the supplementary feeding was given to the Royal Cam chick. This is a great relief to everyone who sat and worried about this little bundle of joy.

Collins Street: “Cameras won’t be back up at Collins Street until the first egg is laid (last year, that was 25 August, so some time in the next two weeks is likely).”

Port Lincoln: “At Port Lincoln, they are on egg watch. To be honest, every time I watch and see mum sitting on the nest, I wonder whether she is laying that first egg. She is in that position now and I am wondering if this is the big moment. Surely, there will be at least one egg on that barge before the weekend is over.”

Orange Falcons: “Orange is as it always is – Diamond with a full crop, Xavier dancing about looking handsome. It’s just after 1pm in eastern Australia. A lovely day in Sydney, Orange and Melbourne, though they are expecting rain in Port Lincoln.”

Wondering about Dmitri and his stork? Excellent post on Thursday from Karla Pilz!

At the nest of Karl II, the three fledglings slept on the nest and then were there for the morning and flew off.

‘H’s other reports!

Kent Island – This Chesapeake osprey family is doing very well, and dear Mollie seems to be very close to fledging.  She hovered high out of sight for several seconds, and for a while we didn’t know if she had fledged.  Audrey and Tom’s youngster is 60 days old.

Barnegat Light – Life is grand for the fledgling, Dorsett.  And, she has shown a definite preference for eating her meals on the utility pole.  Dorsett is 72 days old, and fledged 12 days ago.

The Osoyoos osprey cam was offline for the second straight day.  We miss the ‘O’s and we are anxious to see how they are doing.  The young nestling is 46 days old.

Thanks ‘H’.

Skipping to a couple of other nests before I close for the morning.

Boulder County: All three fledglings were perched for the night and off the nest in the morning. They are being fed off cam it appears and all is well for this family as it prepares to migrate.

At the Dyfi Osprey Centre, they are remembering Monty. Monty was the male at Dyfi from 2011-19. He had three mates – Nora, Glesni, and Telyn. Of their children, 8 have returned as two year olds. A remarkable number and his DNA continues throughout the area….his perch is inside the new Centre.

The Dyfi website adds: “Monty was the breeding male at the Dyfi from 2011 to 2019 and he is arguably the most famous, and loved, osprey in the world!
Monty was unringed so we never knew exactly how old he was or where he came from. We know that he has been around on the Dyfi since at least 2008 and probably 2007, so his year of birth has to be 2005 or earlier…Monty was a fantastic fisherman whose fishing habits have been closely studied.  Two separate scientific studies conducted in 2013 and 2015 have concluded that there is no correlation between the fish species that Monty catches and environmental factors such as tidal phase, temperature, time of day etc. It seemed he was able to catch a fish whenever he (or his family) was hungry and did not need to link his fishing trips to any other factor. Monty’s typical catch was grey mullet but he has been known to bring home some more unusual fish including a long eel-like garfish, a poisonous greater weaver fish and the occasional twait shad!”