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.

Eggs, migration, the impact of hurricanes on raptors…Tuesday in Bird World

29 August 2023

Greetings Everyone,

It is 28 degrees C on the afternoon of the 28th of August on the Canadian Prairies. On Saturday, it is expected to be 34 degrees C. That is hotter – by several degrees Celsius than where my son lives in the Caribbean.

Our summer weather began to change 5-6 years ago. I joked and said it was time to put in a swimming pool – “If it is the shot next year, I am getting a pool!”. Before 2017, people would have laughed at the thought of a pool. Our summers never got hotter than 20 degrees C, and they were short, with the first frost normally in August, sometimes early August. The last snow might have been 15 May. Well, it is all different. I didn’t put in the pool, but I might build a pond for the birds and small mammals late next spring. Remember – water is essential to their lives. Leave out containers of water. Ensure they are topped up at night – many critters are nocturnal.

The weather has caused so many problems this year for the Ospreys. The storms and flooding led to starvation at many nests. The overfishing of Menhaden was another, but the weather has just thrown everyone for the proverbial loop. It has led to the infamous wildfires and played with the birds’ arrival and departure dates. In Manitoba, we have had the type of weather that I grew up with in Oklahoma as a young child. Large hail, winds ripping trees out, and tornadoes. The displacement of wildlife from the affected wildfire areas will have a lasting impact for decades until those old, big, beautiful – trees can regrow.

Missey, Lewis, and Calico continue to do well. The biggest shock has been Lewis. I know to open the office door – enough for cats to put their noses through. Whenever Lewis gets close to Calico’s nose, he leaps backwards. It is hilarious. Missey is more reserved, preferring to sit on the top of the wood stove playing with pussy willows and acting like she is not interested in her new sister. We have moved Calico’s appointment date to this Friday, 1 September. That way, she can be integrated into the family a little earlier. Today, she has been playing with me and with toys by herself. Perhaps she can recapture some of her lost kitten hood.

Our giggle of the day comes from Osprey House in Australia posted by Linda McIlroy. Wouldn’t we love to see crops on all the osplets like this one?!

A blast from the past!

A recorded Webinar from Cornell Bird Lab on the race to save our vanishing birds.

As many of you are aware, there is a category 3 or 4 hurricane heading towards the western shores of Florida that is expected to cross the entire state. Weather systems such as hurricanes can cause such harm to raptors and other wildlife. We have celebrated in the past when we discover they survived Hurricane Ian, for example. Lost nests but not lost birds! Here is some information if you are wondering how hurricanes can impact our beloved feathered friends.

Fledglings getting fed well at the Dunrovin Ranch Osprey nest of Harriet and Swoop. Indeed, fledglings continue to be well fed around the world as the adults – mostly but not exclusively the males – fatten them up for migration.

Idris continues to fill the fledglings to the brim at the Dyfi nest in Wales.

At Glaslyn, Aran is bringing in the fish. His new mate, Elen, has left. She took the place of Mrs G, the oldest osprey in the UK, this year. Mrs G was 21-24 years old (unringed so not known for sure how old she was) and did not return from migration. Elen proved she was a very worthy successor taking amazing care of the two fledglings this year.

Dad has not delivered fish to the Patchogue nest for either Sunday or Monday. It is 1730 nest time there. Everyone is missing seeing Mini. Maybe she will come and rest her leg. She is, no doubt, being fed off nest like many of the other families are doing.

Mini flew in at 1800. Oh, what a strong flyer she is and she did not look like she was starving even thought she was really doing a lot of fish calling!

You can see her coming in near the top left.

‘H’ gives us her report on Fortis Exshaw: “The action started early.  At 0614, we heard Banff calling as she approached the nest.  Two minutes after Banff landed, she was buzzed three times by the male intruder. The intruder flew to the tall pole, and then landed on Banff twice.  Then the intruder stood on the nest, and proceeded to jump on Banff three times, then flew away.  But the intruder wasn’t done, he soon returned and hit Banff on the fly, and Banff was knocked overboard.  For the next several hours the intruders were on and off the nest, the horizontal nest perch, and the lookout post.  The male even brought in some nesting material.  At 1306 Banff was calling, then she flew under the left side of the nest toward the pond, turned toward the road, and then flew back east, and all the while she was being chased.  At 1654 Banff landed on the nest and was immediately dive bombed then jumped on by one of the intruders.  Banff managed to fly away.  Banff was involved in another chase at 1858, and she briefly landed on the nest for a few seconds, but was not hit.  At 1918, Banff flew over the nest being chased.  At 1948 Banff flew toward the nest being chased and she immediately diverted rather than land on the nest.  She seemed to clip her right wing on the nest as she passed by.  At 2054 Banff was again being chased.  She touched down on the nest and was immediately hit by an intruder, then she was dive bombed, and Banff flew off the nest.  Are you noticing a pattern here?  Banff is definitely eating, and is most likely still being provided fish by Louise.  If Banff has managed to catch some fish, it may be supplemented by Louise.  We do not see Louse on camera.  Louse knows that the entire area around the nest has become hostile.  It seems that young Banff has yet to fully come to that realization.  I wish Banff would stay completely away from the nest area, hang out near Mom, and perhaps practice fishing.”

‘H’ catches up with some other nests:

Forsythe – The last remaining fledgling, Ollie, has not been seen since early on 8/27.  On 8/28 Oscar landed on the nest briefly at 11:11.  He made a quick survey of the nest, and then he flew away.  That was our only osprey sighting of the day.

Osoyoos – There were at least four fish brought to the nest by Soo and Olsen. They and their fledgling are doing well. 

Barnegat Light – Duke continues to provide fish for his hungry fledgling, Dorsett.  Daisy was last seen on the nest the night of 8/27.

Kent Island – Audrey was at the nest on 8/28.  She helped Tom with nest defense, and she brought a fish for Molly.”

Thank you so much ‘H’ – we appreciate your continuing reports on these nests knowing that FortisExshaw is a very difficult nest to observe.

There should be no more concerns about SE32 at the Sea Eagles nest. 32 appears to have caught up in size to 31 and the meals are very civil. Both eaglets stuffed at the morning feed. It is a wonder they could even move.

‘A’ remarks: “The civility continues at WBSE. The breakfast fish (another nice large one, minus Dad’s breakfast) around 07:45. SE32 was slow to get up to the table, but started his breakfast first. SE31 was busy organising her morning PS. When she eventually dealt with that, she was keen to practise her walking. Her balance is improving and she got up to the table, then flopped down. She soon got a bite, though Lady was concentrating on feeding SE32, giving SE31 a bite here and there. SE31 is happy to sit beside her little brother and watch. Once again, no bonking or intimidation. Just two happy eaglets in the morning sun, knowing there’s plenty of fish for both.”

“Oh my. Just look at the size of the thighs on those sea eaglets! And those extra-round little bottoms. Just darling!! And those tails are really coming along now – especially SE31’s. It looks like lace. Dad and Lady are doing one of their raucous duets around 13:33:30 (usually reserved for around 6am). “

“SE31 is getting much steadier on her feet. She seems to enjoy practising her walking. She sits up looking very pleased with herself afterwards. Both these two have really large crops. Lady coaxed each of them to eat until they could eat no more. Somehow that big fish has been devoured. Have a look at their relative sizes now. It is as though SE32 has caught up to SE31 in size. I presume he is still the smaller of the two but not by much. I am now wondering whether the genders I had assumed all along are in fact correct. Maybe we have two males here, one of which was younger and went through a state when it was more nervous than the other. Unfortunately, as they do not band these eaglets, we won’t know unless they end up in care (which I suppose is highly likely, based on previous seasons). But certainly, SE32 has grown quite dramatically over the past three or four days, since he began eating his fill several times a day. Just lovely to see how healthy and happy they look, with their gorgeous feathers sprouting on their shoulders and wingtips and their little tails growing. “

‘A’ also checked on Xavier and Diamond for us. “At Orange, Xavier has just come bouncing into the nest box with a starling, which surprisingly, Diamond takes and flies off with. This buys Xavier some precious egg time, and as always, he chats to his eggs as he settles down to brood. Oh he is the sweetest little falcon. These little males are adorable, aren’t they? Like Alden and then Lou at Cal Falcons, both similarly small but gorgeous. Diamond and Xavier had another of their lengthy half-asleep bonding sessions this morning, from 04:54:52 to 05:39:08. These two are SO cute. “

‘A’ also adds: “We are worried about an intruder at Orange. There has been an unknown falcon upsetting Diamond and Xavier at exactly the worst possible time. Of course they would not desert their nest box and their eggs. This is their territory and they will defend it. But of course the very last thing this scrape needs is the loss of a parent. Diamond is a very large, powerful female, but we would not want her risking her safety. And Xavier is essential to the provisioning of this scrape, so he too cannot be injured. There are suggestions that this might be a previous fledgling – Indigo or even Izzi! These two have tended to have male eyases and it is the males who return to the natal nest area, is it not? So far, the intruder is not causing major problems, but s/he is hanging around. If it is a female, of course, the problem could become more serious. “

Thanks, ‘A’.

There are no eggs at Port Lincoln, but I quite like the new male. He is good to bring Mum fish, and they are trying. Let’s all send them a wink, nod, and some good positive energy. We might be surprised! I cannot think of anything nicer than this Mum having a nest full of osplets but also full of fish – and everyone living to fledge!

It is to be noted, as ‘A’ reminded me this evening that none of the other Osprey nests in South Australia have eggs either – so either they are all late (at least historically) or we won’t see any osplets this year! I prefer to think that they know something we don’t and the eggs are just late.

There are no eggs at 367 Collins Street yet. This is the latest update.

The death of a single Kakapo rattles the world. There are now only 247 of these gorgeous green non-flying parrots alive in the world.

It is that time of year when window collisions are happening more frequently. Here is a good little article to help you or someone you know understand how to deal with a bird that has hit a window.

We are experiencing Hummingbirds on their migration from the north to the south. If you are also, please provide sugar water for them. Do not purchase this at the shop with the dye…make your own. The recipe is simple: 4 cups of water to 1 cup of white sugar. Heat to dissolve the sugar only. Cool before putting in your hummingbird feeder. These little ones need all the energy they can get, and right now, some of the flowers no longer have nectar. They are dried up due to the summer heat!

Thank you so much for being with me today. For everyone in the area of Hurricane Idalia, please take care. We hope to see everyone with us soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, posts, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, PB’, Linda McIlroy and Raptors of the World, Susan Butler and FOBBV, Cornell Bird Lab, ATV, Dunrovin Ranch, Fortis Exshaw, Kent Island, Osoyoos, Forsythe, Wildlife Conserve Foundation of NJ, Ian Dragnet and Friends of Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, PSEG, Sea Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, PLO, Nazz Derbz and Peregrine Falcons Melbourne, Kakapo Recovery, and Maureen Eiger.

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.

Tragedy hits Fortis Exshaw again as JJ dies…Sunday in Bird World

13 August 2023

Hello Everyone,

Saturday was nothing short of a day full of anxiety for many of our Osprey nests. We have lost another beautiful bird nearing fledge, and we are consumed with worry over Mini and how fast our darling girl can heal. Loch Garten has me worrying that more fledglings might have died or been injured due to KL5’s aggressions. My blog today runs over with the harsh reality of the lives of our beloved fish-eating eagles. Sometimes these events just take the wind out of our sails and we need time to just sit and stare at the wall.

It is one of those osprey seasons where we have cried buckets and Saturday evening is no exception. Louise and Jasper’s second hatch, JJ, succumbed to starvation at 21:21:50. He had not been allowed to eat for more than forty-eight hours. The two fish that came to the nest on Saturday were eaten entirely by Banff, the first hatch and much larger female.

Fortis-Exshaw has seen its share of sadness this season, beginning with the loss of the male, Jasper, when the chicks were only wee. The third hatch immediately became a victim of siblicide/starvation. Then O’Hara comes on the scene to help Louis feed the two surviving chicks and the relentless intruders. We believed that everything would be alright. Then there are wildfires, more intruders, and then Louise is left defending the nest and providing for the chicks – again – on her own. Condolences all around. JJ was adored for his sweet nature.

Look at that beautiful, fully feathered osplet on the left – sweet JJ. Soar high little one, soar high. It is simply hard to believe.

These are ‘H’s notes about Saturday at Fortis:

” Oh, dear . . what happened to all the fish that used to be brought to this nest?  I wish Louise could tell us.  JJ had not eaten since 1808 on 8/10.  There were only two fish brought to the nest by Louise on 8/12.  The first fish at 1259 was rather small.  JJ fought Banff valiantly for it, and was able to tear off a small piece, but Banff won the fish.  After Banff ate that fish, she put on a surprising aerial display of out-of-sight hovers.  The next fish was at 1409, and it was very large.  It was enough for a couple of meals each for Banff and JJ.  There was a three-way battle for that fish.  JJ had it for only a few seconds, then Banff took it, but Louise took it from Banff.  Louise wanted to feed, but unfortunately only Banff came to the table.  JJ had been jumped on by Banff during the tussle for the fish, and JJ ended up cowering over on the sidelines.  After just a few minutes of Louise feeding, Banff pulled the fish away from Louise, and Louise left the nest a short time later.  We all thought that Banff would eat her fill then walk away from the fish, so then JJ would be able to eat.  But, apparently Banff’s mindset was becoming more survivalist, and adult-like.  Whereas she previously would walk away from a fish when she was full, today she did not walk away.  It was Banff’s intention to maintain possession of ‘her fish’.  So, she would take long breaks from eating and simply stand on the fish.  JJ tried unsuccessfully to take the fish a couple of times.  Almost 2 1/2 hours after she started eating, Banff left a tail+ piece on the nest.  JJ never even knew it was there, and Banff finished it later.  JJ passed late in the evening at 55 days of age, and he was reunited with his Dad, Jasper.  Fly high JJ, and may you always have a full crop.  We are so very glad that we met you, and we will never forget you. “

On Sunday morning, Banff flew to the perch. It is highly likely that she might fledge today. Louise has not been seen on the nest since JJ died that I am aware.

On top of this great sadness, there is also some great joy. ‘H’ reports that Dorsett, the only surviving osplet, of Duke and Daisy at Barnegat Light caught her first fish ‘on camera’ yesterday. “Dorsett caught her first fish, 13 days after she fledged.  She caught an Atlantic needlefish, and ate the entire fish on Duke’s perch.  Way to go, Dorsett!” We must rejoice in this – because hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands and thousands) of little osplets died on the nest during those horrible storms in mid-June. Dorsett is the only one from Duke and Daisy’s nest to make it and she is amazing.

‘H’ also reports on good news at Kent Island, “Kent Island – At approximately 1655 Molly made a perfect landing back on her nest, 25 hours after she fledged.  She was soon treated to a nice fish from her Mom.  It’s great to see you back, Molly!”

There has been a lot of discussion about how Mini might have injured her leg. We will never know. There are endless possibilities. Whatever happened occurred off the nest, away from the camera. My ‘dime’s worth’ is on a fish fight with someone. At the RSPB nest, the 2-year-old returnee KL5 has been ruthless in seeing off this year’s fledglings (2C4 and 2C5) – in dramatic, unrelenting and harmful ways. He is determined to take this nest.

Most of the time, we think of Ospreys being relatively docile compared to other raptors, but we must remember that they are Apex predators. And while they do not have the type of talons to fight head to toe with eagles and hawks, the battles between Ospreys can get superheated and very intense, as this video shows.

At Patchogue, Mini had everyone concerned Saturday morning when she dangled her left leg while sitting on the perch. I want to think that she did not want to put pressure on the leg – to allow the swelling to go down and this healing process to accelerate. So far, she does not appear lethargic. Everyone loves Mini and wants this super special lass to achieve great things, not be suffering from an injury. So – it is tough for everyone to watch and to wait and see how this plays out. It appears that Dad might be feeding Mini off nest – perhaps she has found a place where it is easier for her to hang on to the fish (a nice big flat surface like a roof) and eat slowly.

The ‘elephant in the room is the lingering question: will Mini heal enough to care for herself by the time Dad and she need to leave on their migration?

Saturday morning at Patchogue:

Mini is fish calling really loud this morning. She is spunky and alive and wants Dad to get there in a hurry. Please send her your best wishes! We want our dear little one to heal quickly. The good news is she is not lethargic.

There is also good news coming out of NZ for the supplementary feeding for the Royal Cam chick worked wonders. ‘A’ reports, “In New Zealand, Manaaki is very active following his supplementary feeding and has spent the days since gardening up a storm and ticking off the local scenic walks. (He has ventured even further than before in his explorations.) What a beautiful creature he really is. His fluff is almost gone now and we are looking at a juvenile now, not a chick. Our gorgeous boy.”

What would our world be like if all the people who owned streaming cams took the same great care with such compassion as NZ? When the parents do not show up or there is not enough food, they feed the chicks!

‘A’ reports that someone is going out to fix the camera at the barge in Port Lincoln on Monday (today in Australia). We are waiting for the first egg for Mum and Dad.

A very quick look at some other nests that have caused some worry in previous weeks.

MN Arboretum- Fish are coming on the nest and the beautiful osplet, fully feathered and nearing fledge, is doing a good job at self-feeding. You can sure see the change in the landscape now – from dry soil to corn growing!


That is wonderful news to see this little third hatch eating so well.

PF4 has been caught on camera at Loch of the Lowes!!!!!

I have been so worried about this nest. We can now see PF4 also catching her own fish – the second time on camera. But, look at her, she must have been catching fish all along. Mum Blue NC0 has not been seen since 15 July and PF5, the younger brother, for some weeks now, too. It is unclear what is happening with Laddie LM12. But, for now, we can rejoice that this fledgling is surviving by her own fishing – a skill set that she is perfecting before she migrates.

I always appreciate Emyr Evans Science Sundays. Ospreys and catching fish – we have seen their dives. They are so brilliant – it is one of the most incredible things to watch.

Like so many of you I needed a little break for today. I find the situation at Fortis-Exshaw a little overwhelming – it has been like a roller coaster – and I cannot imagine how Louise is feeling.

Thank goodness for the kittens who bring me such joy! Always together, always loving towards one another. I hope that the introduction of Calico does not change the dynamics too much.

Please take care everyone. Let us collectively take a deep breath and turn our attention back to sending good energy towards Mini at Patchogue. 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, H, PB, R’, Fortis Exshaw, Conserve Wildlife of NJ, Kent Island, RSPB Loch Garten, PSEG, NZ DOC, MN Landscape Arboretum, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, and Dyfi Osprey Project.

Is Mini Better? Saturday in Bird World

12 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone…

Oh, it has rained. We are to have rain throughout the weekend and into next week. The river does not look so dismal (muddy and low) and there were lots of Canada Geese out swimming when I went to the farmer’s market this morning. We have everything local save for peaches which are coming in from Ontario. Oh, how I remember the big peaches my mother used to buy that came from Georgia when I was a wee lass. The juice would roll down your chin! These are not quite that good, but – they are delicious.

Calico continues to visit every 3 hours and eats like she has 25 kittens somewhere…that somewhere is beginning to be a monkey on my shoulder. If she were healthier, that Go Pro would be strapped on her and off we would go….but she isn’t. So we wait. Waiting is a little like waiting and watching Mini’s left leg heal. We all want it to happen now. ‘M’ reminded me of Royal Albatross OGK. He was missing for 40 days and returned with a limp. It was painful to watch, but he eventually healed. OGK would come down the hill ever so slowly. Made us all ache in sympathy. OGK is due to return this November on Taiaroa Head – if he did not perish. I have him on the Memorial Wall but will be ever so delighted to delete that…he was the most amazing dad. Do you remember?

The many faces of Mini today. To my untrained eye, Mini’s leg did not look any worse on Friday.

She did not lose that fish piece that arrived from dad around 0951. She almost did and then she recovered. She will fly away with it in her beak.

1627. A much bigger fish came on the nest and Mini also flew off with it in her beak. Let’s hope that she did not lose it! That would have been a feast!

This amazing Dad is off – more fish to catch – a huge family to feed!

Mini is off at 1429 with the fish in her beak.

1838. Mini is really wanting Dad to land with a fish for her.

Mini is not lethargic. She is flying and eating, and she is managing. This is all good. We need to just breathe – in and out – and send all our positive energy to our brave girl. She can do this! Healing takes time. It does not happen in a day.

In other news:

Let’s start with the nests that ‘H’ is monitoring:

Fortis Exshaw: “Oh, dear.  It’s either feast or famine for JJ.  There were two fish delivered to the nest by Louise (13:24,16:16), and the older sibling, Banff, ate them both, mouth to tail.  Life is difficult for JJ.  Not only is JJ at the bottom of the pecking order, but JJ seems to be a smaller, non-aggressive male.  Fortunately, JJ ate quite well on 8/10.  The stepdad, O’Hara, made an appearance at the nest on 8/11.  At 1850 Louise landed in the nest, quickly followed by O’Hara.  He helped Louise ward off an intruder, and stayed at the nest for several minutes.  There had been some concern that we had not seen O’Hara for a few days. The last positive identification of O’Hara was on 8/8.  But truth be told, with all the pixelation of the video lately, we could have easily misidentified an adult doing a quick fish drop as being Louise.  One day at a time . . hoping for some fish for our beloved JJ today.”

Kent Island – ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly!’  Molly fledged, at 60 days of age.  But . . we did not get to witness her take off for her maiden flight.  The livestream was showing one of their frequent ‘highlights’.  Bummer.  When the brief ‘highlight’ period ended, we saw that the nest was empty!  Tom soon landed with a fish to lure Molly back to the nest, and he was joined by Audrey.  Molly was later spotted in a nearby tree (photo credit Mrs. Com).  By nightfall, Molly had not returned to the nest.  Congratulations to Audrey, Tom, and Molly!  Well done, all.

Osoyoos –  The livestream returned, and we saw that the osprey family was doing well.  My goodness, ‘Junior’ had grown in the past 48 hours.  And, it was evident that s/he had progressed with the wingercising, even achieving a few inches of lift off the nest.  There were five fish brought to the nest after the stream returned.

Forsythe – Oscar brought three fish to the nest for Ollie.  Ollie spent more time away from the nest on 8/11.  Older sibling Owen, has not been seen for 8 days, and we hope that she is doing well.

Dahlgren – D12 caught a small fish!  In recent days, D12 had landed on the nest with a fish a couple of times, but we weren’t sure if she actually caught it herself.  This time, we witnessed the catch.  D12 scoped out the fish directly below the nest, made a pinpoint dive, emerged with her catch, circled around and landed on the nest with her prize.  Well done, D12!  Older sibling, D11, was not seen on 8/11.

Severna Park – We are fortunate to be able to still see the fledglings.  One or both can often be found at the nest.  Oscar is doing a great job making sure his juvies are fed. 

Thank you so much ‘H’ for your keen eye and your informing commentary!

The story at the Osprey nests throughout the Northern hemisphere is that of final fledges, fledglings returning to the nests hoping for fish meals, and pending migration.

Muonio Finnish Nest: The first fledge was on Friday. Just look at that crop in the middle! The one on the far left is getting ready to take its first flight. Bravo!

Ilomantsin: The fledglings – all have flown now – are returning to the nest and Mum is more than happy to feed them when she gets a chance.

MN Landscape Arboretum: Maybe it is just me but I would love to see this chick get some more fish! The small mud puppies are easy for the chick to eat but gosh…could we have a few more please and thank you.

Steelscape: ‘PB’ reports that it was a fantastic day for the third hatch who had been losing out severely. Fantastic news.

Sandpoint: This is not a nest that I have observed in previous years. It was added this year to the data base. Does anyone know if these are inexperienced parents? Or is the local fish situation really dire? Timestamps on the chat for Friday: By Karyn: Fish count stands at 3 from Keo Ts 5:38:58. Coco steals 5:53:32 and downs tail 6:09:04 2nd fish 10:47 and most eaten by dad. Coco tries to take from Mom but ends up with one bite & literally a tail. 3rd fish is a micro mini at 11:47:11 and mom eats the head and Coco steals…just a few bites to that fish.”

Cowlitz: Everything looks good. Fledgling continues to return to the nest!

Clark PUD: Fish on the nest and look at that wing span!

Seaside: Naika and Kawok are on and off the nest wanting fish! It is all good.

The Bridge Golf Club Ospreys: The cam had been going on and off line and now it is back up. Reports are the two surviving chicks have fledged but are returning to the nest for fish! Congratulations everyone!

Dyfi: The UK nests are getting rather lonely. T he fledglings no longer have to wait on the nest for fish to arrive. They can see their parents and chase after them or they can go and practice in the water preparing for their future fishing adventures.

Telyn has migrated from the 13-28th of August in past years. Wonder what it will be this year?

Glaslyn: Aran is delivering fish to the two lads. Elen was last seen at the net on Friday morning. It is possible she is taking time to prepare for migration – or has she departed?

Llyn Brenig: Everyone has a fish!

Llyn Clywedog: The rain drops hitting the nest sound like someone tossing small stones and the wind is howling in the distance.

Loch Arkaig: The nest of Dorcha and Louis is not quiet. Ludo is right there waiting for Dad to bring him a fish – and he is decidedly not silent about it! This chick is going to need lozenges before the season is over!

Tatarstan Eastern Imperial Eagles: Oh, goodness the plumage on these birds is magnificent. They both lived…lots of food and superb parenting. They are both females.

Sydney Sea Eagles: Perfect little angels at this feeding. 31 had a huge crop and Mum was filling 32 to the top of its crop, too! There is such a variety of prey in the pantry – birds, fish, and eels. Pin feathers are starting to emerge and if you note the size difference already, you ,right be inclined to believe that 31 is a Bib Sister while 32 is a wee brother.

Loch Garten: KL5, the 2020 male fledgling from the Loch Garten nest, appears to not be going anywhere. He is looking for his own nest as are many two year old returnees. Thankfully he will be leaving for migration sooner than later and will allow some peace and order to return to the nest. The juveniles are getting much experience defending this nest and themselves against very aggressive intruders.

Congratulations to the West Midlands for the very first ringed osprey in centuries!

Kurzeme Black Kite: Dad is making all the deliveries for Bronza. Mum was last seen on 8 August and is most likely preparing for her migration by fattening up off the nest. What a gorgeous Black Kite!

Stepping back in time: There have been many favourites on the SW Florida nest but E17 and 18 were nothing short of adorable…will never forget 18 having to go into ‘time out’ in the rehabbers!!!!!!

It is an important moment for those involved in the reintroduction of raptors in the UK.

Birds In Helping Hands wants us to spread the word and not use insecticides and herbicides.— Please write down the ingredients for the safe weed killer (if you are inclined to kill them) somewhere for next year! Tell friends and family. Most of the cleaning firms in my City only use white vinegar – no harsh chemicals at all. Think about it. We need to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Most of you have experienced some very hot weather this summer. Ever wonder what that heat does to our birds? to the seas that they depend on for their fish? Birdlife International has a short informative article to educate all of us.

Thank you so much for being with me today! Please take care. Hoping to see you soon.

Thank you to the following for their comments, notes, postings, articles, tweets, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘H, M, PB’, PSEG, Fortis Exshaw, Kent Island, Osoyoos, Forsythe, Dahlgren, Severna Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, MN Landscape Arboretum, Pam Breci and the Joy of Ospreys FB, Clark PUD, Sandpoint, Cowlitz PUD, Seaside, Diane Lambertson and The Joy of Ospreys FB, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Llyn Brenig, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Tatarstan Imperial Eagles, Sydney Sea Eagles, Sue Wallbanks and Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys, West Midlands Ringing Group, LDF, Laura Davis Nelson and SWFL Eagles, @Timmackrill, Birds in Helping Hands, and Birdlife International.

Ervie is on the move, 2C4 injured…Thursday in Bird World

10 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone,

It is freezing – well, not literally, but temperatures will drop to 11 C tonight. Already it is feeling like wool socks and jumpers.

I hope your day has been as good as it can be as we worry about our little Mini. I hope that we are not worrying about Mini in a week – that she is progressing. My friend ‘R’ says that when a patient comes into a doctor’s office with a complaint, they look for symmetry. Do you know how hard it is to get Mini to stand with her legs apart, facing the camera? Three does it all the time. Frustrating!

Before we even peek at the kittens today, the big news is that Ervie is on the move! Oh, I hope that someone will be there to take photos of our little lad. Ervie is nearly two years old (hatched mid-September 2021), and I would love for him to stay in Port Lincoln and take over the barge from Mum and Dad. but now thankful he has a tracker.

Thank goodness for the three kittens! They work wonders – better than worry beads!

Calico now allows me to scoop her up and rub her cheek against mine. She is also in full approval of kitten milk. She drinks about 1/3 of a cup at each meal. Her fur is beginning to shine a bit. She is very sneaky, and I cannot find that kitten/s. She weaves in and out – keeping me guessing and running – when she is ready! Geemeff suggested in jest that I put a GoPro on her. Well, there is one sitting here in front of me. But Calico doesn’t weigh more than a quarter, so I am reluctant, but it sure would help me find where she is going! She certainly has a PhD in thwarting surveillance techniques.

Oh, Wednesday was another day spent – in part – staring at Mini’s leg to see if something is wrong and what it could be. The truth is we will never know. She is eating and flying and that is good. Mum is checking on her and fish keep coming in. She did not even finish a really large one. I am glad she is not grounded because who knows what would happen after that…let us all hope it is a sore sprain. Someone thought her foot had been cut but it was blood from the nice fresh fish she was munching on…fingers crossed. She is surely loved and if love can heal she will be 100% soon!

Mini got some nice fish flakes but lost part of the fish over the side of the nest. She appeared to be in some pain and having difficulty with that left leg in the early morning.

This is the best image to see that left leg.


1727. Parent with another fish for Mini.

These parents are amazing. They take such good care of all their chicks and now they are concerned about Little Mini, too.

Mini flew off shortly after. Please send her positive wishes. On Thursday morning the parents brought Mini her breakfast fish…she is not putting any weight on that left leg today. She ate some of the fish but appears to be worse than yesterday.

My heart is just broken. She cannot be taken into care unless she is grounded. Oh, I so wish this is just a bad sprain, but I fear it is worse than that.

If we ever begin to doubt how much Mini wants to live and how much she deserves to, ‘MP’ found a screen shot of the Patchogue nest he took eons ago. It was raining and the three bigger chicks were under Mum and Mum had quit feeding the fourth hatch. There is Mini. She should have died of exposure. She didn’t. She should have died of hunger. She didn’t. Let us all help her beat this! Positive energy.

Today, Mini appears to be in considerable pain – visually so. I hoped – beyond hope- this was just a simple sprain and she would ‘get over it in time’. But it looks like she really needs an intervention – which is something that I did not want to see for fear that our darling girl cannot get better. Send our little fighter all of your love.

There have been worries at several other nests. One was the third hatch at the Steelscape nest that has not had fish in some time. ‘PB’ alerted me to a fish arriving at 1535 on Wednesday and the third hatch devoured it. Thank goodness, the older siblings flew in later. This baby was starving.

At Loch Arkaig, after being MIA for 28 hours, Louise arrived with one fish for Nuka and returned shortly after with one for Dorcha. Relief. I don’t even know what my mind would do if we lost Louis this year to intruders – and there are intruders everywhere.

In the middle of some worry over Mini and concerns for the third hatch at Steelscape (and other nests), there are always stories that lift our spirits. ‘MB’ sent me one of those today to share with you. One lucky osplet family.

I reported about the storks dying due to extreme weather. Those were Latvian storks…my friend Sassa Bird says that they have not witnessed in their lifetime a catastrophic storm with tornadoes and hail and the winds that caused the deaths of the beloved storms preparing for migration. It is simply heartbreaking. The Latvians love their storks, and this has been a challenging year in the area with the weather. Our thoughts go out to everyone there.

The trio at Osprey House in Australia are beginning to enter the Reptilian Phase.

Bitty – DH2- from Decorah Hatchery caught its first fish. Did the parents leave the fish? Who knows – it is a great milestone for this beautiful eagle.

First fledge at nest 10, Kielder Forest! 9 August.

Seaside: Fledglings on the nest – one with fish and one wishing! It is fantastic to see all of these young fliers return to the nest to be fed. We get to know they are safe and the parents can feed them while they work those flight muscles.

Boulder County: Some fledglings have huge crops, while others sit and wait and hope for fish. Just look at the one in the middle – reminds me of Diamond when she finishes eating a huge pigeon. There are no worries about these. Fish are plentiful. Great parenting to get the three to fledge.

Dunrovin: All is well. Swoop is busy bringing fish to the nest and the three are at the nest at night.

SSEN Alyth: So many fish that the one has a crop that is about to pop and another fish comes to the nest!

RSPB Loch Garten: Sadly, there was an aerial battle between fledgling 2C4 and intruder KL5. The result was that 2C4 has been injured. It looks as if that injury is on the right elbow – perhaps a deep talon scratch – that has bled between the wing and the body. Send your best wishes.

Geemeff sent me the video of this persistent attack on the two youngsters at this nest.

Dyfi: No one is hungry at the nest of Idris and Telyn – not even the cleaners!

Time for ‘H’s reports:

Fortis Exshaw – “As nest cam viewers, we try to rationalize what we see on the livestream.  But, sometimes even the most knowledgeable viewers can only guess at possible causes of what we see, or what we are not seeing.  Louise used to bring in 5-8 fish per day, and now it’s down to 1-2 per day.  On 8/7 the air quality was smoky.  The temperatures in the area have been in the low to mid 70’s, and there were a couple of light rain showers on 8/9.  There was one brief intruder issue on 8/9 that we saw, and both Louise and O’Hara defended.  There has been some intermittent construction taking place very close to the nest for the last two days.  The construction disturbance has not completely prevented Louise from delivering fish, but we don’t know if it has hampered her efforts at times.  There was only one fish delivered to the nest on 8/9, and it was brought by Louise.  The older sibling, Banff, ate it.  The younger osplet, JJ, only had a fish tail to eat on 8/7, he had two small-ish meals on 8/8, and had nothing to eat on 8/9.  We are praying for a fish-filled day on 8/10.  The chicks are 53 days old.”

Forsythe – Wow, what a day for Ollie and Oscar!  Oscar delivered six fish to the nest for Ollie (at 0613, 0803, 0906, 1342, 1444, and 1734), and a couple of them were quite large.  Ollie was probably pinching herself to make sure she was not dreaming, lol.  There were times when there were two fish in the nest, and a small partial fish was left on the nest when Ollie finally retired to her roosting spot.  It was the sixth straight day with no sign of the older sibling, Owen.

Barnegat Light – Duke was minding his own business and enjoying his afternoon bath in the Bay . . Ah, but someone else was also minding his business . . Dorsett flew right at her Dad and buzzed him!  It was hilarious.

Kent Island – This family had a fish-filled day, and Molly and Audrey each had their own fish at one point.  59-day-old Molly has been sleeping upright for two nights in a row.

Osoyoos: Offline.

Severna Park – One or both of the siblings can often be found at the nest.  Being the good Dad, Oscar is continuing to provide for his two fledglings.

Patuxent Nest-1 – Foster and Sib-B are often seen at their nest, and Dad continues to supply them with large fish.

Thank you so much, ‘H’.

Sydney Sea Eagles: ‘A’ reports “Isn’t it always the way? Just as I say the WBSE food supply has been wonderful, we had a day today when the first food did not arrive on the nest until nearly 12:25. It was a nice, big whole fresh fish (perhaps a bream?), which Lady quickly took charge of to feed the eaglets, who had spent the morning snuggled up sleeping together and putting in some serious growing time. Once food arrived however, SE32 was quickly up at the table and got at least the first dozen bites. SE31 was not bothered, lying behind SE32 and watching its younger sibling eating. Amazing! SE32 was obviously hungry and Lady fed it bite after bite. Eventually, SE31 decided it was ready for brunch and stood up to eat but SE32 just pushed forward another step and kept eating. SE31 watched. Lady kept feeding SE32. After another six or eight bites for SE32, SE31 again tried to get to mum’s beak but Lady keeps feeding SE32. Finally, SE31 has no real choice but to beak SE32 in the back of the head. Not hard and just once, but SE32 ducks down and SE31 gets to eat a few bites. SE32 is back up with 25 seconds and accepting more bites. They eat side by side until SE32 decides to stare down SE31, which had the usual result. SE32 allows SE31 to eat for a moment or two before again popping up. The pair are remarkably civil and both get plenty of brunch. I am no longer worried about the relationship between them, unless the food situation deteriorates. It was an exceptionally windy day in Sydney, with the trees tossing violently. This is no doubt the reason Dad had problems fishing today. This was a big fish though, enough to feed Lady and the kids for the rest of the day.”

Avian Flu has not gone away -. Now it is in the Red Grouse populations.

In a related vein, Wild Justice held a poll about banning rouse hunting or issuing licenses. Geemeff sent me the results of that vote. As Geemeff says, the authorities should take note of this!

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, MB, MP, PB, R, Sassa Bird’, Port Lincoln Ospreys, PSEG, Steelscape, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Al Eastman, Sassa Bird, Linda McIlroy and Raptors of the World, Raptor Resource Project/Explore, Joanna Dailey and Kielder Forest, Seaside, Boulder County, Dunrovin Ranch, SSEN Alyth, RSPB Loch Garten, Fortis Exshaw, Forsythe, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Kent Island, Severna Park, Patuxent River Park, Raptor Persecution UK, Wild Justice, Syllabub and RSPB Loch Garten, and Dyfi Ospreys.

Mini’s leg, fosters in Norway…Wednesday in Bird World

9 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It has been a long day of staring at the computer screen, hoping to see Mini, hoping that her swollen leg was better, wondering if she has a fracture or just is sore from a scuffle.

I had a lot of comfort in the three furry balls – Missey and Lewis (inside) and they’re soon to be sister, Calico (outside). Today Calico allowed me to pick her up, cuddle her and rock her back and forth like you might do a baby. At some point she had a family. Something happened. We are hoping that she will want to be a part of our family. I have been unable to locate any kittens. Tomorrow I am going back out with smelly tins of sardines trying to see if I can coax them out – if they are alive and if I can find their hiding spot -. They deserve a home, too. I now know that Calico will wean them and expect them to be hunting on their own. That is so hard to imagine. They will be approximately 40 days old today.

I am not expecting any issues with Lewis and Calico but it could well be a different story with Missey, the Alpha Cat, and the new family member. Hopefully, they will all feel safe, and secure, and have no rivalry like we see on Osprey nests!

Without X-Ray vision, we will not know what is wrong with Mini. I know that each of you is probably having sympathy pains right now. We do know that Mini flew onto the nest late Monday afternoon, and she was visibly having issues with her left leg. She slept duckling style, taking the pressure off that leg and allowing it to rest and heal. She would have been in some pain. She had difficulty holding her fish tight and could not finish it. MP observed that one of the adults came down from the perch concerned. Later a Crow ate the fish that Mini left – and yes, Mini leaving a morsel of fish tells us much. Worrying, of course, does not help. For Mini to get help, she would need to be grounded, just like Middle at Achieva.

Animal Help Now lists three wildlife rehabbers that deal with raptors in the area of Patchogue. This is the information for each of them. Please put it somewhere so if you see Mini fall off the nest, please start calling. STAR would be my first point of contact. If you were also to see Mini struggling on the nest, it might be worth a call. Because Mini is not always on the nest and we are not always able to stay on the screen, it is vital that everyone watches and is alert to an immediate need and has these numbers handy.

Mini is a fighter. She has overcome such adversity to fledge and be the strong osplet she is this is nothing short of heartbreaking. But, let us please send our most positive wishes and hope that what we are seeing is nothing serious.

Mini from 0851-905.

At 1000, the part of the leg above the knee was swollen. Mini was eating but there was some difficulty in holding the fish down tight.