2 June 2023
Good Morning Everyone!
It has been one of those weeks. Thankfully, it is ‘baby’ season and an excellent reason to get out amongst the ducks and the geese and count the newly hatched. Three duck mamas were quacking away, trying to keep the little ones together. It was hilarious. Those ducklings are so fast, darting hither and yon, enough that Mum just can’t keep track of them. It was adorable. I could see no goslings – yet. Not at this park, but there were 9 male Wood Ducks and not one female in sight. Perhaps they were on the island incubating eggs. At any rate, it was lovely. The day’s heat had cooled, people were smiling, and everyone seemed to want to chat.
As Father’s Day nears, I am eternally grateful that mine taught me the beauty of nature, the happiness of sitting quietly in the garden, that feeling of joy when a Cardinal lands on your upturned hand and takes a seed but, most of all, a responsibility to make the lives of animals and birds better, if I could. He helped me connect to nature and to something far bigger than myself.
‘H’ sent me a link to a TED talk this morning. She knows me well – I get very upset when humans on chats apologise for ‘anthropomorphising’ animal feelings. She knows I am a big follower of Marc Bekoff at the University of Colorado and Jane Goodall and their studies of animals and emotions. She knows that I watch adult raptors grieve when their children die. So she sent me a talk by Ron Magill. Some know Ron Magill as ‘the Eagle Guy’ from the Miami Zoo. The nest that Ron and Rose have was the brainchild of Magill. But, he is more than just eagles, and in this 18-minute talk (please listen to all of it as you will miss the best parts if you don’t!), he tells us the story of Quasi, an orphan lion cub at the Miami Zoo. Keep the link. When anyone on a chat tells you animals don’t have feelings – don’t get mad; educate them! Thanks, ‘H’.
How many Osprey nests had four eggs and four hatches? Blue 80 over at Threave Castle has four in the nest, too. It will be interesting to see how that plays out compared to the US nests. For awhile, the monitors of this nest (there is no streaming cam) thought there to be only three but up popped the fourth head. So far so good.
Yesterday, I said that “If there is a nest that gives me hope, it is Patchogue on Long Island.” Thursday was a pretty good day for Mini so let’s go through it.
This Mini-Bob has attitude! Please look at it below with those three enormous siblings lined up behind it. Mum looks down directly into its eyes. She is good to feed that baby if it gets its beak up close to hers. This Mini has to be a female…oh, how I wish we would know for sure.
Four osplets, one little Mini – and yet so civil. Fish come on the nest – nice ones – every couple of hours and the kids line up and eat if they are hungry. Mini was right up there at 1507 and was still going strong until he was so full – and hot – and got under Mum’s tail for shade at 1531.
I want to give a shout out to this great Dad who just keeps bringing in the fish! I did not count the number today but it certainly makes a difference when you have a nest with chicks spread like this one…just monster sized big siblings and there, in the centre of the nest, Mini – who is just starting to get into the Reptilian phase.
‘L’ writes that a delivery at 1600- a small gold fish – resulted in Little Bob being a little aggressive to Tiny – who did not get any food then.
Dad just delivers fishing – Daddy Door Dash Supreme. He should get some 5 star rating in TripAdvisor! A late fish came on the nest and I could not find Mini. Well, he was right up on the right side of Mum and he did get fed. Mini did not have a huge crop – or he did a crop drop which could have happened – but he did get fed for a period of time (about 15 minutes). I am astonished by this baby on this nest of ‘huge’ siblings.
At the 0930 delivery, Mini did not get any fish. And now I am beginning to worry about Mini’s survival. The big siblings are now bashing one another. Mini got up to the beak and could have eaten but was submissive. He should have snatched those few bites…they all add up. So this nest is far from being out of the woods. A s the three larger siblings grow and require more food, it might be impossible for Mini to get up there. Let us wait and see if he can figure this out.
At the Severna nest, a big fish came on the nest at 10:08:37. Big already had a huge crop from an earlier fish but, she still had to get up front. By 10:33 Middle is eating having previously moved up under Mum’s tail. Middle is still eating at 10:49!
At 16:31, a massive fish comes on the nest. It is big enough to feed both chicks and Mum to the brim!
Big will go first regardless of its already huge crop – Middle still has a crop from an earlier feed, too.
By 1654 Middle has positioned himself on the opposite of Mum and is getting fish. This chick has come a long way in figuring out how to survive on this nest! Bravo Middle.
At the Forsythe nest of Opal and Oscar, Oscar keeps bringing on the fish just like the male at Patchogue. Little Mini is right up there eating. All appears to be well with the world here with so many deliveries on Thursday.
This is Mini getting fed, not Little! Mini is stretching its neck to make it really long.
‘H’ notes the following times at Forsythe: “Forsythe: 1052 feeding, Mini in the back, got two bites (smallish fish). No bonking. 1225 feeding, Mini worked its way up to the front and got at least 32 bites, again it was peaceful. There was a pretty significant beaking match between the two oldest at around 0929, but not at a feeding.”
No bullying at the Dahlgren Osprey nest. The two are both enjoying being side by side eating fish.
There are two osplets for Duke and Daisy at the Barnegat Light Osprey platform on Thursday! Thanks ‘H’.
So far the only Bob at Cowlitz PUD is doing fine…perhaps the other two eggs will be DNH.
The team at Patuxent River Park went to Nest 1 and removed the youngest osplet, and fostered it with another family. They did not, however, go to Patuxent II where it is believed that Mini died at least a day ago.
The eyas at the San Jose City Hall continues to do well. ‘M’ asked me about the shiny black area on the crop. This is nothing to worry about. The crop gets full, the chick goes into food coma and rolls on the stones/gravel of the nest rubbing the feathers off. Those will grow in and be beautiful before fledge!
The eyas at the Evergy Topeka Falcon Cam is getting some more feathers. Notice, however, that the wing and contour feathers have not broken out of the quills. ‘SP’ contacted the administrators of the nest about the condition of Little, and she was delighted with this response: “I have been in contact with our wildlife biologist . We’ll be banding the chicks on Friday and wildlife personnel will check on the viability of the smaller bird. If it needs to be rehabbed or needs any special attention, we’ll learn that on Friday and ensure that it gets the help it needs.” Now that is the kind of response we want from those in charge of these streaming cams. This is fantastic news.
Checking on some Canadian Osprey nests. There are three eggs at Newfoundland Power. If it is a typical year, there will be no fledges. I hope it isn’t for a change.
At Osoyoos, Soo and Olsen laid their eggs on the 21, 23, and 25th of May so we have a ways to go til fledge.
Fortis Exshaw has had to endure much smoke from the wildfires. Eggs laid on May 9, 12, and 15.
The Dulles-Greenway trio have been named!
At the UK, nests there is often all manner of information available. For example, look at this fish delivery table for Llyn Clywedog! Dylan does not quite double his deliveries from last year but, almost.
When asked where the fish came from, this was Alastair’s reply. Please note the amount of fish that are put in the Reservoir each year. Imagine how that might impact some of the US nests positively!
Alastair Cameron: “based on observations by John Williams the perch seem to come from the shallower “fingers” of the reservoir as it merges into smaller gulleys at the edge of the reservoir. Dylan certainly seems to go to perch when the weather is wet (perhaps easier to see when there is rain on the surface) or hot, when the trout are swimming deeper. John has also observed that at least some of the brown trout seem to come from another reservoir called Nant y Moch, a few kilometers away. Llyn Clywedog Trout fishery stock the reservoir with around 40,000 trout per year, mainly rainbows but some browns as well.”
It is difficult to image – my goodness do you ever wonder where time goes? – but the eldest osplet on the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn is now turning into a reptile. The soft downy is gone from the back of its head and that oil spot is starting to come!
Elen and Aran seem to be doing fine. the wee Bobs got covered with grasses and Aran spent some time uncovering them while Elen had her tea.
Louis and Dorcha’s only Bob having some fish supper before the sun goes down at Loch Arkaig. Some are ‘hearing’ chupping from the second egg. Could we really have another hatch? I doubt it.
CJ7 was busy feeding her two Bobs at Poole Harbour before dusk as well..fill them up and maybe they won’t wiggle all night! gosh, these Mums must get tired…and by morning, CJ7 and Blue 022 had their third!
Geemeff brings us Scottish Osprey nest real estate news. Louis’s old nest at Loch Arkaig is currently occupied by Affric & Prince. The couple keep returning to Nest One, and even had two mating attempts there last night. No idea why their own nest failed, but this one’s available and we’d love to have a resident pair again.” That is fantastic news. Louis is busy with Dorcha and the Only Bob at nest 2 so, perhaps, he will give this couple a lease!
There has also been a hatch at Kielder Forest, nest 5A. Mr and Mrs UV.
What about Angel and Tom’s little RTH5? ‘A’ gave me a big giggle – which one needs after some of the nest sadness, when she told me, “I woke up this morning (it is 9am) and immediately checked my darling Angel and RTH5 and suddenly, there was this strange hawk in the nest. It stands up all the time and looks upwards instead of down. It swallows voles, mice, birds, lizards and every other small thing that moves. It had six feedings before noon today, and then continued on eating in the late afternoon. It just eats and eats and eats. I had no idea a RTH could consume so much in such a short time. They are hunting and eating machines (or at least RTH5 is insatiable). She (I do think we may have a female here, though it is still too early to tell, and the hawklet is still way smaller than mum, but I wonder about the sturdy legs) is even more adorable.”
We could say the same for Big Red and Arthur’s Ms…simply adorable. Walking eating cutie pie machines. The advantage that Big Red’s kids have is the long ‘runway’ for them to strengthen their legs and wings.
Wetlands are one of the most important aspects of biodiversity. We are seeing them destroyed around the world and yet, they might hold part of the secret for revitalising our planet. Around the world, these wetlands are under attack by industry wanting mining and now a huge area near Lake Victoria could fall to agricultural development. The area is the largest wetlands in Kenya, Yala Swamp. What are humans thinking? and why are there individuals who are not trying to fix our relationship with nature instead of harming it?
Not a great image – really cropped – but look at Murphy’s Baby flapping its big wings! Smile. Murphy and Baby doing fine. Nest not so much!
Thank you so much for being with me today. Please take care. See you soon.
I am very grateful to the following individuals and groups for their notes, posts, videos, tweets, and streaming cams that helped to make up the information in my blog today: ‘A’, ‘H’, Geemeff, ‘L’, ‘M’, ‘SP’, TED Talks, PSEG, Severna ospreys, Forsythe Ospreys, Dahlgren Ospreys, new Jersey Conservancy, Cowlitz PUD, Patuxent River Park, San Jose City Hall Falcons, Everay Topeka Falcon Cam, Newfoundland Power, Osoyoos, Fortis Exshaw, Dulles Greenway, Alastair Cameron and Llyn Clywedog Osprey Group, Window to Wildlife, Cornell RTH, Birdlife International, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Poole Harbour Ospreys, and World Bird Sanctuary.