Guess who’s still home…Thursday in Bird World

14 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

The happenings in Bird World – in terms of our beloved Ospreys – are getting thin. Most have left their nests and are returning to their winter destinations. It has been a privilege to watch these amazing families struggle in some very challenging conditions to survive. The joy that even a single survivor on a nest brought to us – seeing Dorsett catch a fish and hang out by the beach after fears that the entire clutch would be lost. Witnessing the loss of the Lake Murray osplets to a GHO or others die for mysterious reasons like those at Marder’s. And then seeing a survivor like Mini – . It was like being on a roller coaster – the 2023 Osprey breeding season.

Thank you for your really good wishes for Calico. She is healing nicely. We have not resorted to the Victorian Collar – well, I tried it when I saw her licking but she was not having that and in the end the stress and her trying to tear it off might have caused more damage. I learned from Geemeff that Olive Oil will keep skin around the incision from drying out which is the root cause of the licking -when that skin dries it pulls. I also picked up some antibiotic cream. Calico is such a lovely girl – she rolled on her back and let me apply those as if she completely understood that I was trying to help her. I cannot tell you how much I adore this cat.

Hope is a live wire and wants only to play. Missey wants to play with her but Calico is not so happy to share so we are going to wait. Hope is also beginning to lose that ‘fat’ little face of a kitten. She is 74 days old – nearly 11 weeks. She has such big legs! She is cute, quick, and fun and is less and less afraid of people every day.

Hope loves this feathery teaser that her Auntie in Scotland got for her. It brings her out of her hiding spots in an instant!

Hope is a whirlwind. She must just make Calico tired. You might be able to tell that the conservatory has been turned into a cat play room complete with the table being turned into a hiding spot with thick comforters on the floor and heavy quilts and Rajasthani block prints as cover. It is hopefully a happy safe plade for these two as they acquaint themselves to life indoors. I got a giggle this morning. Geemeff sent me a saying, “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” Isn’t that the truth? I am getting ready to go and do ‘maid duty’ after having already done ‘room service’. I would not change anything.

Calico has discovered that from the little house on the cat tree she can control Hope having access to that tummy tum.

This old cattier has been fun for more than a dozen cats since a couple of local men – a carpenter and an upholsterer – made a few of these around 2006. They are heavy duty – 3/4″ plywood construction and the carpeting can easily be replaced in the bits that get the. most use.

Missey and Lewis grew too big to run and play in the lime green tunnel. Hope loves it and the crinkle sound the fabric makes.

‘H’ has a surprise in her three reports this morning…a wonderful surprise.

Osoyoos – What a surprise … After the livestream was down for 14 days, it went live on 9/13 … for 4.5 hours, then the feed went down again. So, what did we learn?  The fledgling is still there.  She was on and off the nest several times.  And, she looks fabulous!  She is quite plump and healthy looking.  That is just wonderful.  We did not see either of her parents. 

Kent Island – Audrey made an appearance early in the morning when she landed on a pole at a nearby dock.  She stayed perched there for some time, but we are not sure how long, as the camera panned back to the nest.  We did not see her the rest of the day, which was somewhat unusual of late.  The past several days, Audrey had been seen a few times in Joe’s tree or on the dock.  We will monitor, but it is possible that we may have seen Audrey for the last time this season.  

Barnegat Light – Duke was seen in a couple of different trees throughout the day.  Dorsett was not seen or heard.  There were no significant live streaming issues on 9/13, so technical difficulties cannot be blamed for the lack of Dorsett sightings.  The last time we saw Dorsett was the morning of 9/11.  There was a beautiful sunset over Barnegat Bay … a poignant moment in time … missing Dorsett.  “You be safe out there, girl.”

Visitor at Loch Arkaig! Not an Osprey. Beautiful.

More visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest at the midnight hour.

A fledgling having a wonderful fish meal on the Kallavesi Osprey nest in Finland! These sightings are getting rare as the urge to leave the natal nest and breeding grounds grows stronger.

Keo brought Coco three fish today at Sandpoint. T here was no sign of Keke and she might have begun her migration.

Mum was eating a nice fish on the perch at Boulder County Fair Grands Osprey nest. No sign of the fledglings while I was checking.

The Patchogue Nest is empty. Locals have seen ospreys but they have not come to the nest and there is no confirmation that they are Mini or members of her family as there are other nests in the area. I did find this short video clip showing Mini having dinner with her siblings. A nice memory.

The Osprey platform at Seaside is quiet.

Caught Swoop on the nest at Dunrovin.

Now that Pat has been released from being in rehab, is it possible that all three fledglings from the Dulles-Greenway Nest were home?

Is there anyone that isn’t excited about what is going to happen on the Sw Florida or the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest this year?

M15 has his new beautiful lady.

Gabby and V3 are going to try and raise a family together this season. It is exciting – new beginnings for two of our favourite eaglets who lost their mates last year.

The most beautiful sunsets come from the Superbeaks Bald Eagle nest in Central Florida.

Checking in NZ and Australia:

Royal Albatross Colony, Taiaroa Head, NZ: ‘A’ notes: “In New Zealand, there are strong onshore winds currently and the chicks are taking this perfect opportunity to practise their flying. UQ is doing wonderfully well but Manaaki really does have some way to go when it comes to technique. He is currently down the hill, out of sight, having hovered out over the edge and down a bit. He really has little control over his skills yet, unlike UQ who looks very close to departure. And as I said, Quarry has not been seen on the hilltop for several days. We will get another report tomorrow on who has left the colony. There are currently two fledged chicks who have landed on the water in the bay. The rangers are keeping a close eye on these two, as if they become waterlogged they will be unable to take off again and will eventually drown. The rangers will rescue them for a second take-off attempt if this becomes necessary.” She continues, “Manaaki is still there, as is UQ, though it appears Quarry has left. We are not sure whether she was at the chick count yesterday so she may be elsewhere on the headland but we suspect she has fledged. Heart in my mouth every time I turn that tab on. It won’t be long now for Manaaki. He is 236 days old today (average age at fledge 240 days). I presume you are aware that this is the only mainland northern royal albatross breeding colony in the world, so it is a very special privilege to be able to watch them and to know the rangers are doing everything possible to protect this magnificent species. I will be interested to see the contents of the boluses this season, especially Manaaki’s of course. I suspect they will be largely the same, though it could vary based on where the parents have been foraging.” 

‘A’ brings another update: “They have rescued the two fledged chicks who landed in the bay. They picked them up from a boat and took them back to their nest areas, from which they can make another attempt at fledging.’ 


367 Collins Street: ‘A’ knows someone who works near the Falcon’s scrape and she writes: “They can hear the Collins Street falcons all day at work, and the screeching noise is becoming very familiar. Any city dwellers would have been woken early this morning, as F22 was up and calling loudly for food before 05:55, leaving the ledge and presumably heading for the food stash. She has a large feather stuck to her face, on the right side of her beak, which looks so funny. The falcon version of bed head I think. The eggs were left unattended for just over 62 minutes before M22 arrives to incubate. He hardly has time to settle before mum is back, still with the facial feather and still shrieking. Dad does a classic GCW dive off the ledge and mum settles down. It’s 08:40 and M22 is back on the eggs at the moment. He has been for nearly an hour now, and he is breathing through his mouth already in the morning sun. Remember that in a couple of weeks’ time, it will be only 07:40, with daylight saving starting on 1 October (clocks will go forward one hour at 2am on the Sunday morning). It is currently 17 degrees and I can hear F22 arriving back on the ledge. She is noisy. Dad dives off the ledge, probably to get away from the ear-splitting screeching.” 

“After leaving M22 to look after the eggs from around 10:30, F22 did not return until nearly 12.20. During that nearly two-hour period, little dad took a very short break of perhaps two or three minutes but that was well after the shade had completely covered the scrape. There were times when he was panting so fast, his little body looked like it was vibrating. If the parents are suffering like this at this time, what will it be like in six weeks, when the temperatures will be up to 8C higher and the shade won’t cover that scrape until well after midday. (Remember daylight savings puts the clocks forward an hour, so what is now 11am will become 12 noon, which is the last thing that scrape needs.) And of course the sun is moving further south, meaning the shade will take longer and longer each day to reach that scrape. It is worrying me a month before the eggs hatch….”

Like ‘A’, so many wish that a sun shade was placed over the end of the ledge where the eggs are like the other side because of the escalating heat in Melbourne at this time of year.

Orange Peregrine Falcons: Cilla Kinross has published the prey deliveries and a comparison to earlier times so that we can see that the drop off in deliveries this time of year is natural.

In New Zealand, the mainland colony of Kakapo is growing. These are historic moments -. Let us hope that the Kakapo will once again thrive – as in both numbers and quality of life – on the main island of New Zealand where they once lived. For those who do not know the history of the Kakapo and their extinction, here is a brief article to acquaint you with that sadness.

I have included this before but, let’s all remember! Don’t let those pumpkins go to waste. Tell your family and friends. All those pumpkins turned into Jack-O-Lanterns are great food sources for wildlife. It can make a difference in their lives – food. Life saving food.

You can do something to help lots of wildlife with your pumpkins, old apples, etc -.

I checked on Karl II’s family – all are still travelling, but there is no transmission yet from Karl II, and there is also no transmission from Tweed Valley’s Poul. Keep them in your most positive thoughts.

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, postings, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Osoyoos, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Sandpoint Ospreys, Boulder County Fair Grounds, D Lambertson and PSEG, Seaside Ospreys, Dunrovin Ranch, Sassa Bird and Bald Eagles I the USA, Ana Boone and SWFL Eagle Ca, NEFL-AEF, Superbeaks, NZ DOC, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Cilla Kinross and Orange Peregrine Falcons, and Kakapo Recovery.

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.

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.

Does Mini have an injury…Tuesday in Bird World

8 August 2023

Hi Everyone,

I hope the beginning of the week has been kind to each of you! It is nearing 1700 on Monday as I begin to write after spending some time checking on the birds – both on the screen and in the garden. Things are winding down. Spotters in the UK are starting to see migrating ospreys flying south. Here it was sunny and is now overcast. The Blue Jays and a single Crow have offered joy in the garden today. It will not be long before the migrating birds appear, including the hummingbirds and the Baltimore Orioles looking for their grape jelly and oranges, before continuing their southern journeys. I plan to get to the nature centre on Wednesday for a long walk and check on the ducklings and goslings. They should be all grown up! Little Red was there, too, and Dyson and the gang will, hopefully, be around later this evening.

There is severe weather headed for the east coast of the US that is predicted to produce 75-80 mph winds, hail, and tornadoes. Thinking of all our nests including, potentially, our Mini – and all of you. Stay safe.

Mini was on the nest at least twice today. In the image below, at 16:32, she has a crop. She got the 0601 fish delivery! Not huge, but a fish, and she will have another during the day for sure – as is noted in that 16:32 crop.

It is hard to see Mini’s nest empty…one day soon she will not show up, she will be on her way south. While we will never know for certain what will happen to this young lady, she has been a survivor. There is some concern Monday evening that Mini might have an injury to her left leg. Let us all just breathe. We have seen ‘slight’ injuries on nests take several days to heal. Mini will rest and Dad will bring fish if she is, indeed, having an issue.

Oh, goodness. Mini is still favouring that left leg this morning. She cannot put much weight on it. She has a fish and let us all hope that our little one heals..she has plenty of time before she might think about migrating in September. Just rest, Mini!

Can she hold down the fish hard well enough to eat…let’s keep an eye.

We fretted over the debris in Mini’s nest and thankfully, none of the twine or the bin bags endangered the health of the adults or the osplets. In Montana, they continue to find osprey chicks when they are being banded in nests where they are tangled – dangerously so. Thankful for the intervention.

Oh, what a cute little one. So grateful he is recovering.

A hope, skip, and jump around the nests. There is not a lot of action – that is a good thing.

MN Landscape: Chick is self-feeding, but when Mum has a fish she is eating, this baby is loud with the fish begging!

Boulder County: That nest just seems to get smaller and smaller when all three of the fledglings are home!

Seaside: Naika and Kawok continue to fly in and off the nest. Naika had a beautiful big fish that could not be finished. Kawok got to finish the best part – the tail half!

Clark PUD: One osplet has fledged. Both on the nest and being fed. All looks good.

Loch of the Lowes: Please note that Blue NC0 has not been seen since 15 July and the male, Blue PF5 for several days now.

Janakkala, Finland: Ospreys watching for Dad who delivers fish – and then the great tug o war begins.

Muonio, Finland. Video of the ringing of the chicks has been released.

Port Lincoln Osprey: The date of Zoe’s egg tells it all. Soon we will be staring at incubation in Southern Australia.

Mum and Dad on the nest of the barge at Port Lincoln. They are both anticipating the arrival of the first egg.

It is time for ‘H’s report:

Fortis Exshaw: “It was not the best of days for the youngest chick, JJ.  In the early morning, both Banff and JJ took turns trying to eat the large fish tail left over from the very tough fish the previous day.  The tail also had a large piece of attached skin dangling from it.  JJ finally managed to eat the skin and tail at 0816.  As it turned out, that was all that JJ had to eat on 8/7.  Two large fish were delivered to the nest, the first one by O’Hara at 0844, and Louise delivered one at 1352.  The older sibling, Banff, ate both of those fish. JJ did have a couple of good meals the previous day, however, and we’re hoping the fishing improves for Louise and O’Hara today.  The air was visibly smoky or foggy for most of the day, and a nearby viewer confirmed it was smoke from a distant fire.  Perhaps the smoke had made fishing more difficult for the adults.  There were no major intruder issues that we could see.”

Osoyoos –  It was another good day for the family. There were six fish delivered to the nest.  The body of chick #2 had been slipping off the edge of the nest for a few hours, and at 1205 when Soo shook the nest as she flew, the body finally fell to the ground.  A member of the Facebook group who lives in Osoyoos was going to try to retrieve #2’s body.

Kent Island – A severe storm system went through the area in the evening, with heavy rains and wind gusts that were predicted to be up to 70 mph.  The live video stream went off, and the cam is showing highlights.  During the day, young Molly had been ‘helicoptering’ so high that she was out of cam view a couple of times.  I hope she wasn’t too excited with all the wind and continued practicing her hovers.  We hope that Molly and her parents, Audrey and Tom, stayed safe during the storm.  We anxiously await the return of the live stream, and for any news from the Com family.  

Barnegat Light – A couple of ‘firsts’ for this osprey family on 8/7:  On 6/28 Dorsett was banded, and afterward the bander installed a new perch for Duke near the Bay.  On 8/4, the fledgling Dorsett, was on the perch for the first time, and then on 8/7 Daisy tried the perch for the first time!  The other ‘first’ was that Dorsett flew in and landed on the railing with a big gob of soft nesting material in her talon.  A surprised Daisy said, “Well how lovely, thank you very much, Dear!”

Severna Park was another nest impacted by the strong storm system on 8/7. Here is a photo of the two fledglings after the worst of the storm was over.

Patuxent Nest-1 was also inundated by the storm on 8/7.  In this photo the two fledglings are waiting for their ‘breakfish’ delivery on 8/8.

Audubon Boathouse – It is not very often that Skiff and Dory are seen together at the Boathouse nest, but they were on 8/6.  Little Skipper was predated by an owl 15 days ago.  The view from the Boathouse nest cam is one of the most picturesque of any osprey streaming cam, and perhaps soon I will be able to find solace in its beauty.  But, it’s just not happening yet.

Black Stork Karula Forest: This is the nest of Karl II and Kaia. Karl II has the sole responsibility for feeding the three storklets since 23 July at 16:19 when Kaia was last seen on the nest. She is not dead. She is foraging in an area with a brook about 6km from the nest site. Storklet 7194 fledged on 7 August.

Big Red and Arthur’s Red Tail Hawk Nest:

Ferris Akel has some really good footage of the Ms and family!

A good article on L2’s release with video.

The 2023 season highlights – life with the Ms.

San Jose City Hall: SK Hideaways caught more bonding between Monty and Hartley. Wonder where Soledad is and how she is doing?

Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange: Xavier and Diamond continue bonding and mating as the 2023 breeding season is getting ready to begin in Australia. ‘A’ remarks, “At Orange, bonding activities are increasing, including mating up to several times an hour and much prey being brought to the scrape. Diamond will occasionally accept a starling but only if she is particularly hungry, which is rare – she is not often seen without a noticeable crop. Xavier brought her an eastern rosella she was happy about the other day and a pigeon was on today’s menu, but he usually dances around with his starlings before leaving again, taking his starling with him. He is so svelte and handsome with his snowy bib and his orange feet.”

Sydney Sea Eagles: Both eaglets are being fed very well. There is a variety of food including fish and today an eel! Their big crops have made lovely cushions to sleep on. What a relief.

Roy Cam Albatross: ‘A’ reports “The big news is that Manaaki weighed only 8 kg at today’s weighing (he is 200 days old today, only 40 days from the average fledge age, and today was one of 20 chicks at the colony, 10 males and 10 females, to be fitted with a data logger). The 8 kg he weighed today is down from his peak weight of 11 kg, and a supplementary feeding is scheduled for him tomorrow or Thursday. Imagine, we never thought we would see our big boy needing supplementary feeding, but that is what happens when a parent fails to return, and sadly, it has been way too long since we last saw L (20 July). GLY has done his best but he is unable to sustain a male chick on his own. At this point, GLY has not been in since 30 July, which is a very long time for GLY, who usually has half that time between visits. Before this absence, L was gone for 15 days in April and again in May, but this is significantly longer than those absences. So we are all worried about both parents at this stage and Manaaki has obviously been hungry for several days, begging other chicks’ parents for food. It would be a tragedy to lose either one of this couple, who had already successfully fledged two chicks before Manaaki so were a well-established pair.”

Lady Hawk gives us a video of the GPS tracking device and the weighing.

Going back to Port Lincoln, there is news of Ervie and Zoe from the Port Lincoln FB page today:

Please send all your most positive energy to our Mini if she has an injury to her leg so that she rests and recovers fully.

Thanks, everyone for being with me today. Please take care. I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, images, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, CNN Weather, NOAA, PSEG, Wild Skies Raptor Centre, MN Landscape Arboretum, Boulder County, Seaside, Clark PUD, LOTL, FOF, PLO, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Audubon Boathouse, Patuxent River Park, Severna, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Kent Island Ospreys, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender, Ferris Akel Tours, Cornell Bird Lab, SK Hideaways and San Jose City Hall, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam and Port Lincoln Ospreys FB.

SE32 gets a great meal…Monday in Bird World

7 August 2023

Hello Everyone!

The weekend is over for many and in Canada and those having Bank Holidays there is one more day before the week officially begins. Oh, retirement is wonderful! Sometimes I do not even know what day it is!

Before I move any further, one of my favourite authors, David Gessner, hs some appearances in Cape. Do you live close enough to attend? If so, lucky you! And if you have not read Soaring with Fidel – please do. Often for sale at heavily discounted prices, it is the tracking of an Osprey to its winter home in South America through Cuba. It can inspire you to follow the birds too just like individuals follow the falling cherry blossoms in Japan.

We had an ‘explosion’ of Blue Jays this year, according to my neighbour. The only ones that I could tell apart were that little rather round one and Junior, the Dad, because he was moulting. But now, I have stared at them so much there is a way to tell them apart and tomorrow I plan to have a chart and I can tell which ones are coming and going. With an Osprey, it is the pattern on their head that never changes from when they are ready to fledge til they die. Take images of the front, back, sides, and top – stare. Make a file. you can recognise those ospreys! This does not readily work with Blue Jays but there is something about their tails and it is the lateral white band. Some have a very delicate scalloped white lateral band, some have a white dot on the outermost feathers on either side, one had a single white dot on the very middle tail feather. Each appears to be unique. — I am not a Blue Jay expert. Someone who is might tell me that I am totally wrong but right now, that seems to be a good start for this family.

I have learned from my friends and readers living in Germany that I am blessed to have Blue Jays because they do not see them! So a little factual information for those who live where Blue Jays do not:

The Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata is a little larger than an American Robin, about 30 cm in length from the tip of its bill to the tip of its tail. A white-faced bird with a blue crest, back, wings, and tail, it is strongly marked with black and white. Male and female Blue Jays are very similar in appearance. The crest, an elongated crown of feathers found in many jays, is raised or lowered according to the bird’s mood. In moments of high excitement and aggression the crest may be fully erected, forming a prominent peak. When the Blue Jay is greatly surprised or excited, the crest points forward. If the bird is frightened, the crest bristles out like a bottle brush. The Blue Jay’s crest position, when erected, is emphasized by a black band that crosses over the back of the head, a continuation of the broad band or necklace across the chest. However, when the bird is feeding among other jays, when it is ready to flee, or when it is quietly resting, the crest is laid flat on top of the head, giving the bird a quite different and somewhat untidy appearance. 

Hinterland Who’s Who – Blue Jay

This is one of the babies. Notice the deep white lateral band on the tail feathers and that gorgeous scallop. So what is this chap doing? Sibley says that he is sunning himself BUT, is this behaviour something else? Sunning is when a bird spreads its wings and fluffs its body feathers to take advantage of the airflow between the feathers. In this instance, while this might look like sunning, we have to consider other factors. First, the lad has its crest raised. Those wings are beating a bit in alarm, and the Jay appears to be mantling precious peanuts. What you cannot see is that Little Red is sitting on a tree branch wanting those nuts!!!!!!!!!

Blue Jays do not grow their feathers simultaneously. When they moult, they drop one or two feathers at a time. This fellow appears to be missing one feather on the left and a central one coming in. If the feathers come out completely, I was told they will grow back. n immediately. Fantastic. You might recall that I had an earlier little one that lost its tail feathers due to a fright moult. He is quick and stays in the lilacs out of the sight of my camera, but it appears those feathers are coming in.

This one is quite different in its patterning.

This little one did not want me to see its tail! It was hot and all it wanted to do was drink – remember, water!

He finally turned but I had a bad sight line. A single white on the far left feather.

Another variation! This is the youngest of all the babies in the garden. Will the patterns on this tail change during August? I will keep an eye and report back. Isn’t this little one just precious?

And another. There should be 14 different patterns for the 14 different birds. If you have several Blue Jays in your garden or if you see Blue Jays, let me know what you discover – does each have a different pattern with the white on the tail?

For those who do have Blue Jays, just a tip. They need calcium. sometimes there are not natural sources. What you can do for the Jays and all the other birds, especially during egg laying season, is to provide them with crushed egg shells. Please wash the shells out and allow them to dry before crushing them and placing them on a feeder.

Today was planned to be the day that Calico’s kitten or kittens would be found, and they would begin their integration into the family by staying in the luxury suite – the Conservatory. Geemeff gave me some fantastic tips to help this happen. Sunday morning Calico decided that she wanted to come into the house. I wasn’t quite ready. There was a new litter box and some ‘high value’ treats to get along with kitten milk in case, for some crazy reason, something happened) and toys. The plan was to follow her after her afternoon meal. (She comes approximately every 3 hours). She ate 4 small tins of cat food (yes, that is not a typo) and drank 1/3 of a tin of kitten milk. She loves the stuff, and it is so good to help her replenish her lost calcium and give her protein. She was not anxious to come into the house. We were ready to follow her and had a blanket, a cat carrier, a tin of salmon and another of sardines to try and lure the kitten/s out so we could get them. At some point, she spotted us and darted under a gate and down a sidewalk in a person’s yard. By the time we had retraced our steps and were in the back lane, Calico was nowhere to be seen.

Like birdwatching, this is going to require patience. Everything is in order. We wait. Either the kitten/s will follow Calico to our house, or she will bring them if she feels that level of trust. Or once weaned, she will return full-time to the garden and I will bring her into the house. She has been dewormed and has had her flea and tick treatment. She has standing appointments with two vets and the clinic at the Humane Society. My grandmother always said that things work out how they should. Patience, dear one, patience!

Just hoping these two are welcoming!

A wonderful intervention that took less than half an hour and saved a chick’s life. Please read. It is a heart warming story of a huge storm, Monty and Nora, and their two babies.

For those who opposed the intervention, Emyr Evans wrote, “The bottom line is that Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust is one of the 46 Wildlife Trust charities working hard for Conservation in the UK. It took 500 years for Man to completely, and artificially, wipe out the osprey in this country. Even today they are still shot and their eggs stolen illegally, year after year after year. To my knowledge, at least six adults have been shot in just the last three years alone. Illegal osprey persecution and killing is intervention no matter how you look at it. A half an hour intervention yesterday doesn’t even begin to re-address the balance.”

With the storms in the US and the overfishing in the NE of the vital fish for the Ospreys, I know that you can think of at least one nest that would have benefitted from an intervention such as that above. As a society, we must consider what we have done to the planet and how these beautiful birds might be living if we had not intervened and destroyed their habitat, the air they breathe, depleted the fish and then caused all manner of poisonings, harming them with debris. The list is endless, never mind the dramatic impacts of climate change that we have caused. Of course, this statement applies to all of North America, Canada included!

With all the discussions about the Cornell Bird Lab, and window strike and M2’s death, my friend ‘R’ sent me an article to read and share with everyone. Just imagine, “This is a huge problem,” the author writes. “They estimate that somewhere between 300 million and 1 billion birds a year die in the United States from window collisions.”

They are simple solutions for our homes, but I think the tiny pink squares would work on the office windows at Cornell as they would elsewhere…we have the strips on the Conservatory, and the other windows look like a team of youngsters were turned loose with white markers. We have not lost a bird to a window strike.

The real question is this: We know the problem, and we know the solutions, so why aren’t big companies and institutions that have buildings with large amounts of glass doing something about this? I find it very frustrating – just like the simplest solution to not decapitating albatross is to set the lines of the long-haul trawlers at night. Like, do it! Don’t be complacent.

Checking on our nests:

Let’s start with ‘H’s report first because there is great news coming out of Fortis Exshaw: “Any day that the nestlings have a couple of crop-filling meals is a good day.  Both JJ and Banff woke up very early and were delighted to find large leftover pieces of fish on the nest.  They both ate, and had crops.  At 0632 O’Hara touched down on the nest, looked around a bit, and then left.  He was almost immediately followed to the nest by Louise who brought a large fish.  Louise fed both siblings.  Again, both had nice crops.  O’Hara had returned to the nest at the beginning of the feeding and he stayed for 24 minutes, simply standing guard while Louise fed the kids.  At 0709 there was an intruder issue, Louise and the kids were all alarming, and O’Hara immediately flew to the nest to assist with nest defense.  After five minutes he bolted off the nest in pursuit of the intruder. Louise is known for the large fish she catches, but at 0909 she delivered the smallest fish I’ve ever seen her catch.  Banff ate that one.  The last fish of the day was delivered by Louise at 1422.  It was a large headless fish, and Banff claimed it.  We noticed that Banff was having a little difficulty pulling off pieces.  Banff ate for 75 minutes before walking away, and JJ took over.  There was still 3/4 of the fish remaining.  JJ had even more difficulty pulling off pieces of fish.  JJ ate for nearly an hour, and only managed a slight crop.  The siblings continued to take turns eating from that fish for six hours.  At least 1/4 of the fish remained as darkness fell.  That was one tough fish!  The siblings are both 50 days old, and Banff has been achieving a little lift-off from the nest during her wing exercises.”

Osoyoos – “There were at least five fish brought to the nest that I saw.  Soo and Olsen’s youngster ate well.  It is emotionally difficult for the livestream viewers when a chick dies, and when the body remains in the nest it is a persistent reminder of the sadness.  There have been a few attempts to cover the body with new nesting material the past couple of days.  On 8/6, Soo tried to remove the body of #2, but it was heavy, and unfortunately it got hung up on some sticks at the rail.”

Forsythe – It was a better day for Ollie.  Oscar delivered three fish to the nest for her.  Older sibling, Owen, was not seen for the third straight day.  Opal was last seen a couple of times on 7/25, and once on 7/29.  Ollie is in charge of the nest and has been taking on the intruders, quite effectively I might add. 

Kent Island – Oh my goodness, 55-day-old  Molly has been doing some brief hovers!

Barnegat Light – Daisy caught a false albacore and treated beach-loving Dorsett to some ‘little tunny’.

Dahlgren – D12 hangs out at the nest more than D11 does, but usually when Jack delivers a fish, D11 appears out of nowhere to make a claim.  This has resulted in some epic battles and tug-o-fish between the two siblings.  Mom, Harriet, has not been seen for three days.

Thanks so very much ‘H’. That is great news at Fortis Exshaw and Osoyoos.

Dorset Hobby Falcons: We have the first fledge!

Patchogue: Every time we get a glimpse of Mini, it could be the last one. She has grown into such a beautiful bird with those short stout legs and big wings, the hearts on her chest, and her dirty knees. How fortunate we were to have her in our lives this year – this bird gives me hope!

When I look at those hearts, I think they represent each of us that loved her dearly and sent her warm wishes for survival. Her cheering squad. Just look at how many there are! She carries us with her wherever she goes.

Collins Marsh: Both osplets have successfully fledged. Mum is till content to feed them on the nest and they return to have a nice rest once in awhile, too. Flying is hard work!

Clark PUD: Both osplets have fledged. They, too, are returning to the nest. Beautiful!

MN Landscape: Everything is a little damp but the fish are coming in and this chick is looking good.

Sandpoint: This nest was needing fish and two arrived on Sunday. We need more!

Loch Arkaig: Luco gets some fish from Dad – there were 5 fish delivered on the 6th. Ludo was so full he could have popped.

Poole Harbour: Another nest with lots of good fish for the trio.

Llyn Brenig:

Dyfi Ospreys: I am always so entranced about their comings and goings. Wish all the nests safe travels, full crops, and a return next year.

Finnish Ilomantain: Some nice fish on the nest for the chicks.

Charles Sturt Falcon Cam: Xavier wants eggies!

Port Lincoln: Last year Mum laid Zoe’s egg on 9 August. Just sayin’. we are getting close!

Sydney Sea Eagles: WBSE 32 got a good feed. ‘A’ remarks, “It seems little SE32 has become much more confident today. SE31 is still getting the best of the feedings, but not because SE32 is being intimidated or bonked but just because SE32 is not accepting all the mouthfuls it is being offered. It seems both chicks are being well fed and SE32 is not instantly cowed by sudden movements. Rather, it is sitting beside its sibling, watching the feeding and waiting its turn, without being intimidated. This is a wonderful development, as this situation has always been more about SE32’s attitude than SE31’s bonking. Now the younger one seems far less scared and is much more confident sitting up at the table. We will see how the rest of the day goes, but it is 3pm currently and another feed has just ended. Both chicks have been well fed today and I have not seen SE32 bonked at all today. It is sometimes slow to join in the feeding, but that is its own choice, not the result of being intimidated.”

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, their posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, R’, David Gessner, Osprey Watch, NY Times, CBS News, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Kent Island, Forsythe, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Dahlgren, Sk Hideaways and Dorset Hobby Falcons, PSEG, Collins Marsh, Clark PUD, Sandpoint, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Poole Harbour, Sue Wallbank’s and Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sydney Sea Eagles, and SK Hideaways and Sydney Sea Eagles.

JJ finally got some fish…Sunday in Bird World

6 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that you have had a really lovely weekend so far. Here the potatoes in the fibre bags are dying off at the top, signalling they are ready to be dug. Some tomato plants think they are finished producing, while others have substantial green heritage tomatoes waiting to turn red. The pepper plants produced one pepper each, while the cucumber plant gave me two delicious English cokes. This year’s garden winners were the Basil, which grew like a small bush, the thyme, and rosemary. The grape tomatoes were also abundant. There is a ‘feel’ in the garden, like the summer is ending, something that doesn’t happen until September. Everything is still emerald green…it just feels a little ‘off’. It has been a very strange year.

When I first left my urban existence to live on a small acreage in rural Canada, some things did not make sense. Surrounded by big corporate farmers, they had cut down the hedgerows that kept the topsoil from blowing away when the winds were high and the soil dry. This caused them to have to use more fertiliser. The end result of all of that was my pond’s poisoning and my orchard’s death. That was decades ago. It all came back like a tidal wave today when I saw this article on farming and the benefits of hedgerows and fens to bring back wildlife.

There are many simple things that we can do, too including working to create what I call mini-corridors for the birds in our neighbourhoods as well as the other small mammals. Think using native plants in your garden along with bird feeders and sources of water. Create a pathway with your friends and neighbours for the birds and animals to move from yard to yard – thriving. The idea that birds and wildlife can find food readily available in urban centres should become a reality – we destroyed their habitat. Let’s help do something for them.

There really is not a lot of news in Bird World as fledglings and their mums fatten up in the UK and Europe for their migration. The same thing is happening in parts of North America but there are still chicks on the nest to fledge like those in Newfoundland/Labrador. We all watched in agony as the osplets of Hope and Beau died on the nest but, what we didn’t see – because the nests are not on streaming cams – are the numerous other nests in the region that thrived producing at least two but, often, three osplets this year.

The big worry of the day came from Fortis Exshaw where intruders – at least one female intruder – caused havoc. I will let ‘H’ tell us all about it but, there are intruders everywhere. In Canada, we can imagine that those in the regions hit hardest by the wildfires lost their nest and/or, their mate, and their chicks. Others are floating around. Some are heading south from further places in the north hoping to get an easy fish. Around the Canmore, Alberta area where the Fortis Exshaw nest is there are numerous Bald Eagles, these intruders or floaters, 2 year olds looking for a mate and a nest, and gulls to name a few of those that would love to peck off a free fish from an osprey. They don’t know there are two hungry babies on the nest needing that fish!

But it is not only Canada that is experiencing intruder issues. We have seen this in the US and it is also happening at some of the nests in the UK. Some, like Dyfi, are having visitors – two year olds scouting for nests and mates before migrating.

Just look at that beautiful bird. The genetics running through her is exceptional. Indeed, one of my friends says the measure of the success of the nest and the good DNA – along with a lot of luck – is in the two-year-old returnees. The problem is seeing them!

Another view of this gorgeous two year old.

Here is the information on the Dad, Merin. Interesting bird.

Llyn Clywedog has its share of visitors as has most of the other nests. Hopefully they will land, look, and take off without causing any mischief.

But the news of the day was being made at FortisExshaw and here is ‘H’s report: “What a range of emotions for the viewers of the Exshaw nest on 8/5.  The youngest osplet, JJ, had not eaten in nearly two days, so we were hoping for a fish-filled day.  But, intruders were the theme for most of the day.  Louise and O’Hara were busy fending off intruders, and even when there seemed to be nothing happening, we knew that they were unable to bring fish to the nest.  On at least two separate occasions a female intruder spent some time on the nest.  (The video quality  was still pixelated most of the day, so it made it very challenging to figure out the identities of all the birds.)  The female intruder was actively preventing Louise from landing on the nest.  Then, an amazing move by Louise at 1339 . . the female intruder and O’Hara were both on the nest, when Louise flew in with a fish and landed right where the female intruder was standing, intentionally delivering the fish to the intruder.  The intruder quickly grabbed the fish and flew away, never to be seen again for the rest of the day.  Brilliant idea, Louise . . feed the intruder!  After that, several hours went by without a sighting of any adult ospreys.  We were worried for JJ.  Banff had eaten two fish the previous day.  At 1729 Louise landed with a huge headless fish, and of course Banff grabbed it.  Banff ate for 90 minutes before she finally walked away from a large leftover piece.  Finally after 52 hours, JJ had some fish to eat.  At 1936 Louise brought a very large whole fish to the nest, and Banff ate for a few minutes, but she was still too full.  At 2021 there was a bit of a kerfuffle between the sibs, and Banff stole the remnants of fish #1 that JJ had been working on.  JJ started eating fish #2 at 2046, and ate a pretty good amount of it.  Louise landed with fish #3 at 2054, and Banff ate some of it.  JJ quit eating from fish #2 and went to eat from fish #3.  But, Louise wasn’t done yet . . at 2140 she brought in a large live fish.  Louise started to feed Banff, so JJ returned to eating fish #3, but then he changed his mind and ate some more of fish #2.  There was so much fish that JJ had a veritable fish buffet, lol.  At 2150 Banff stopped eating, so Louise was able to eat from fish #4.  At 2153 JJ quit eating from fish #2, walked over to Mom, and Louise fed JJ.  Then, quite a memorable moment . . at 2154 JJ ate the tail of fish #4.  In my mind, JJ scarfing down that fish tail was symbolic of this family having overcome so many challenges.  Happy tears!  In case you were wondering, only fish #1 and #4 were eaten in their entirety.  Pieces of fish #2 and #3 remain somewhere on the nest.  Louise assumed her position on the T-perch for the night at 2200.  Good night to our beloved feathered friends.  SOD.”

Let’s keep going with ‘H’s reports –

Osoyoos – It was another very good day for the Osoyoos ospreys.  Olsen brought in nine fish for his family.  Olsen’s fishing success is especially remarkable in view of the continuing heat wave and smokey air quality. 

Severna Park – The juvies are still occasionally seen at the nest, and Oscar continues to provide meals for his fledglings.

Forsythe – Ollie spent most of the day at the nest, and Oscar brought her one fish.  To my knowledge, Owen was not seen. 

At the Patchogue nest, Mini had some nice fish. I counted at least three nice ones but there could have been more. She has a perch where she can see Dad coming in or she is on the nest waiting. The older ones do not seem to be coming in for fish – they would be fed ‘off camera’. In normal circumstances, the youngsters may try to fish (but not all do) and most are not proficient in fishing until they are on their own during migration.

Mini flies off at 0741 after eating her breakfast fish which had arrived at 0701.

She was full. You can see that lovely fish tail left on the nest. Dad will find it when he delivers Mini her next fish and he will finish it off.

Mini at 0844.

Enjoying a huge fish at 1503.

Collins Marsh: Both chicks have now fledged! Congratulations to everyone on a super successful season.

Clark PUD: Mum and the two osplets were hot and hungry when a big fish came to the nest. Mum wasted no time taking charge of that fish and all three ate. Well done, Mum!

MN Landscape Arboretum: Numerous small fish hitting the nest which is fantastic….sometimes the chick is not even hungry became they can arrive in such rapid succession.

Sandpoint: Two fish arrived – a small one and a medium one -. Like many nests, this one could use more fish!

Cowlitz PUD: The fledgling had at least two very nice sized fish on Saturday. Fantastic.

Boulder County: Cam 1 is back on line! And you can now return and watch the three fledglings eating beautiful fish with Mum and Dad close at hand.

Dyfi: Even with an intruder, all is well with the fledglings. Nice fish and the weather is improving.

Glaslyn: OH1 and OH2 are waiting for some fish! They are definitely not starving. Aran is a fantastic provider.

Poole Harbour: One chick has a crop and two are eating fish. What a fantastic nest this one is. CJ7 got herself a good mate by waiting.

Loch of the Lowes: The only ones around are Laddie LM12 and the first hatch, the female. I feel sad when I look at this nest plagued by intruders all season. Blue NC0 gallantly defended the nest and her babies so many times. she has not been seen since 15 July, and the second hatch, the male, has not been seen for some time. Is Laddie proving for him off camera?

Llyn Brenig: The crop in the top image and the fish in the second say it all. This nest is doing well.

Loch Garten: Asha and Brodie’s two fledglings waiting for fish, too. Brodie often brings in a late one so that Asha can enjoy some fish with whichever chick hasn’t had fish. They, too, have had their issues with intruders but the nest has been successful.

Loch Arkaig: Geemeff reports that there were so many fish brought to the nest by Louis on Saturday that Ludo could not eat them all. He was full to the gills! The nest even had intruders but hopefully Louis got some fine fish, too.

Finland #1: Fledgling waiting for fish. This is what we are seeing on most nests.

Finland #4. Apila really looks miserable – it is damp and its crop is really empty. This baby has yet to fledge according to the obs board for the camera.

Ilomantsin: All of the chicks have now fledged and all have returned to the nest and have, at one time or another, had a nice fish meal.

Sydney Sea Eagles: ‘A’ reports that SE32 got plenty of fish. “But today, like yesterday, the little one got plenty of food. Dad brought in two fish and mum brought in one, as they were a little smaller than those being caught last week. But there was plenty to go around and although SE32 had to wait its turn, it did end up getting three or four very good feedings for the day. The best position for it is behind SE31, so that it can reach over SE31 for food. Otherwise, if SE31 is behind SE32, it finds the back of SE32’s head just irresistible! …SE32 is becoming a trifle more confident, though it varies from feed to feed.”

SK Hideaways gives us a video of 32 getting lots of that fish!

Cornell Red-tail Hawks: Ferris Akel had his traditional Saturday tour and he found Big Red, Arthur, and L3 who was recently released in the area after being in rehab for around 9 months (please feel free to correct me on the time but it was many, many months).

Arthur out hunting new Holey Cow.

Big Red, our beautiful matriarch who is now 20+ years young.

L3 who is now flying beautifully and has her own red tail!

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

Thank you to the following for their notes, observations, videos, photos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H’, Ian L Winter and the Ospreys of Newfoundland and Labrador, Sally Whale and Friends of Dyfi Osprey Project, Dyfi Osprey Project, Osoyoos, Severna Park, Forsythe, PSEG, Collins Marsh, Clark PUD, MN Landscape Arboretum, Sandpoint, Cowlitz PUD, Boulder County, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour, LOTL, Llyn Brenig, RSPB Loch Garten, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Finnish Osprey Foundation, SK Hideaways and Sydney Sea Eagles, and Ferris Akel Tours.

Names for the chicks and saviour male at Fortis Exshaw…Friday in Bird World

4 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Things are starting to quiet down a bit. There are a few more birds left to fledge. We have to imagine that in 2-4 weeks, all of them will be on their way to their winter homes. For the juvies, what an adventure will be in store for them. Let us all hope that those who lived to fledge this year will make it and return in 2 years to try and find a mate and raise their own families.

The images are not good as these two are moving about, but even at a year old (Missey was found in July 2022 and Lewis in August 2022) and not siblings, these two could not be closer. They play together constantly and wash one another, sleep beside one another, and hold paws. I am continually amazed at their remarkable bond.

These two will shortly have a ‘new sister’. I hope that they learn to love her. Since last fall, I have cared for a feral cat, a Calico. This late spring, I began to call her and move the food dish closer and closer to the garden door. At the beginning of July, I accelerated the feedings and attention. The goal (at first) was to trap her and take her to be vaccinated, dewormed, and fixed. Then release her back into the wild. That shifted when she allowed me to stroke her and scratch her head. Now I sit beside her while she eats. We have a trap and release programme in our City for feral cats, and because of Lewis and Missey, I also have a wonderful vet who has offered a significant discount since Calico is a feral. So…the race is on to see who is first. The vet can see her on the 14th for all the health checks, vaccines, deworming, etc but not the surgery. The waiting list for the operation is currently at the end of November. I am unclear about the trap and release programme openings. They will call.

Our neighbourhood has two other feral cats, but this petite female has won our hearts and minds. Her spending another winter in -35 C temperatures doesn’t sit right. It is incomprehensible. (We hope to trap the other two and get them to the Humane Society to be fostered for socialisation and adoption). So, it could be the 14th when Calico joins us. Wish us luck as we integrate her into the family.

Lewis watching Calico eat.

My father loved animals – and could not stand to see one go hungry. He was the one that took care of all the strays in our neighbourhood when I was young, and that practice continued until he died in his 90s. People knew, and they would ‘dump’ their cats at our house, knowing he would care for them until he could find good homes. It feels good to carry on his legacy.

There is a lot of news about rescues, unusual bird sightings, and near tragedies. I am going to share a little more with you than usual today. It is all very interesting and should motivate us to get out and help – including stopping people from cutting down trees where there are active nests. More birds are getting caught in fishing lines, not just our raptors. This is a massive problem in North America.

We can help by committing to cleaning up a specific area once or twice a year. You can do this alone or organise a group. Wear latex gloves and have a container that will not allow you to be pricked by the hooks. The problem, then, is how to dispose of this mess. Every lake area should place containers for people to leave their broken lines and hooks or dispose of found debris. If not, contact your local wildlife rehabber to ask how to dispose of the items safely so they do not return to the environment.

Is it really possible not to see one of those huge Bald Eagle nests in a tree?

It has been three years since the Dolan fire swept through Big Sur. The new release pen for the condors is now open.

How are the birds adapting to survive in the heat? This is a great article by Bay Nature. Please have a read…I learned so much. Tactical pooping?

It isn’t about raptors but it is about the growing threats to wetlands which are essential for our birds and other wildlife. So what did happen to Grace? and her wetlands?

Lots of bird counts going on right now. Many are coming up with some surprises. These are Red-Billed Cloughs – pronounced ‘Chuff’. They live along the western shores of the UK and Ireland.

In 2002 a pair of Cloughs was noticed in Cornwall. It was later discovered that they had arrived from Ireland. The population has grown. These birds eat insects and larvae and are often mistaken for Crows. Aren’t they gorgeous with their shiny scarlet bills and legs? Even those yellow Darvin Bands look perfectly selected, but the deep ebony plumage with that hint of blue-green on the wings is also so dramatic. Notice the curve of the long beak. It is perfect for going after the insects and larvae that the Cloughs eat.

Big Red and Arthur’s 2022 fledgling L3 was released on Wednesday. A bittersweet moment. So happy to see her with her beautiful red tail flying in the wild but so sad for her sibling M2 who died of a collision on the Cornell Campus the same day.

It is relatively quiet in the nests. There are a few more birds to fledge, some raptors thinking about eggs in Australia, and now beaking at the Sea Eagle nest. Quiet is nice for a change.

Around the nests:

WRDC: I have not watched this nest for some time since R4 and R5 fledged, but goodness – today, R5 grabbed a fish right out of Rose’s talons as she flew by. Way to go, R5 – didn’t even drop it. But this was only the beginning. Rose tried to steal the fish, but R5 held strong and then R4 appeared in the nest. These two are getting really good training for when they are out living independent lives.

Hellgate Canyon: Marlene Harris got a great screen capture of Iris. She is still here – and should be for the rest of August! Gosh, isn’t she looking good?

Let’s go to some good news coming out of Fortis Exshaw from ‘H’: “

First, the news: they have names!  Names for the 47-day-old osplets: Chick #1, believed to be a female, has been named Banff, after the nearby Banff National Park in Alberta.  Chick #2, believed to be male, has been aptly named Jasper Junior, or ‘JJ’ for short.  In addition, Mr. O, the family’s savior who came on the scene to help Louise shortly after Louise’s long-time mate Jasper disappeared, has been named O’Hara, after Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, British Columbia.  Lake O’Hara is located about six miles from Lake Louise in Alberta.There were no fish delivered until the afternoon.  Banff and JJ had eaten well on 8/2, so we weren’t  worried.  Intruders may have been the reason for Louise and O’Hara not bringing in fish.  Both Louise and O’Hara had flown to the nest a few times to ward off intruders.  Then, as if it had been choreographed, two fish were delivered eight minutes apart.  (Conversation between Louise and O’Hara: “OK, O’Hara, it looks like the intruders have vacated the area, so let’s feed the kids.”  O’Hara replied, “Yes, Louise, let’s do this!”).  O’Hara delivered a nice size fish at 1405, and it was claimed by Banff.  Then, Louise delivered an even larger fish at 1413.  Banff abandoned her fish in an attempt to grab the new fish.  So Louise said, “Okay, kiddo, then I’m going to take the fish you had,” and she jumped over Banff and picked up the first fish.  But, Banff said, “No, wait Mom, that’s mine,” and reclaimed it.  That made it easy for JJ who was able to claim the second fish.  Perfect!  Each sibling ate their entire fish and had huge crops.  (the quality of the images is poor, as parts of the video screen remain severely pixelated)”

Patchogue: I could stare at Mini all day long. Soon she will be gone and these moments are very precious. What a beautiful bird she is.

Three fledglings were at the nest Friday. (I do not know the two older siblings well enough to tell if both have been coming to the nest or only one of them.) Mini was wanting a fish, and so were they.

Steelscape: Still on highlights.

MN Landscape: Hot. Chick is trying to stay cool and hoping for fish.

Boulder County: Only cam #2 is operating.

Finland #1: No one on the net and then they see Dad flying in with breakfast. Dad really stretches to try and protect his legs.

Finland #4. Wet and hungry and fish crying – very loud!

Ilomantsin: Wet and hungry, too. Dad leaves after bringing in a breakfast fish. The other sibling is hoping he returns soon with one for it.

Kuopio: Oh, the winds are powerful. One chick has a nice crop, and another digs into a fish. Three is hoping more will arrive.

Port Lincoln: Dad continues to bring Mum fish as she stays on the nest. When will we have that first egg?

Time to return to ‘H’s other reports:

Forsythe: Ollie is very hungry.  Oscar delivered one fish to the nest on 8/3, at 0724.  Both Owen and Ollie vied for the fish, with Owen the victor.  Owen took her fish off the nest, and to the best of my knowledge was not seen on camera the rest of the day.  The last time Ollie had a fish to eat (that we know of) was at 0920 on 8/1 (Ollie did acquire one fish on 8/2, but lost it).  Is Owen being fed off-nest?  If so, it wouldn’t make sense for Oscar not to bring fish to the nest for his other fledgling.  Perhaps Owen has learned to catch her own fish.  There are two ‘ponds’ near the nest, and basically they are simply holes in the marsh that trap water, and perhaps small fish as the tide goes out.  Ollie was seen diving into those ponds three or four times on 8/3.  She apparently did not catch a fish.  Ollie knows that she has to try to feed herself at this point to survive.  This is a sad situation.  I hope Oscar will bring Ollie an early breakfish today.

And great news just coming in from ‘H’: “Oscar delivered a small whole fish to Ollie at the nest at 0926.”

Osoyoos – Olsen delivered 6 fish for his family, and Soo also fed a meal from a leftover fish.  Junior has been starting to exercise his wings a bit.

Barnegat Light – Lol, Dorsett is a real beach kid.  She simply loves spending time along the shore of the Bay.  Dorsett worked up a voracious appetite, and made sure she was on the nest at supper time when Daisy served up her daily bluefish!

Thanks so much ‘H’ for all your reports today!

Let’s continue to send out most positive wishes to all those nests that continue to struggle.

Despite it being nearly the end of Osprey season in the Northern Hemisphere, I want to recommend one of the best Osprey books on the market. In Canada, it is $20 plus $3.99 shipping. This is an amazing price.

Tim Mackrill graduated from my old alma mater in the UK, the University of Leicester. He managed the Rutland Water Project and wrote the incredible history of their Ospreys for ten years before moving over to the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation. His speciality is Osprey migration. The images are excellent; thorough information covers everything from the different sub-species of ospreys and their plumage to their habits, breeding, migration, translocations, building nests, and everything to know about the chicks from breeding, development, and fledging. Tim did not miss a beat when writing this easy-to-understand book on our favourite raptor. If you only have one reference book for ospreys on your shelf – this is the one I recommend.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. 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: ‘H’ – for your great reports and the cover image, CBC New Brunswick, Joan Dice and the Trio and Other Eagle Nest News, Ventana Wildlife Society, The Narwhal, BirdGuide.Com, Cornell Bird Lab, WRDC, Marlene Harris and Cornell Hawk Chatters, Fortis Exshaw, PSEG, MN Landscape, Boulder County, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Forsythe, Osoyoos, NJ Wildlife Conserve Foundation, and Tim Mackrill and the RSPB.

Soo returns to the nest…Tuesday in Bird World

1 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

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

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

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

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