Bon Voyage Mini…Sunday in Bird World

10 September 2023

Hello Everyone!

Saturday was the most gorgeous fall day. It was about 16 degrees C with a beautiful blue sky and some soft puffy white clouds as I travelled north from the City. You could see the geese overhead flying in their standard ‘V’ formation swirling around the fields that have been recently harvested – wheat and flax, mainly. There is something so magical about the rhythm of their lives. They come in late March or April and being heading to their winter homes in September-October. At one of the local nature centres, they fly in by the thousands at dusk (on a good day). Their black silhouettes filling the horizon as the sun begins to slowly set in the West.

One of the best places to see the geese in the afternoon is at Oak Hammock Marsh.

A lone American White Pelican and a Trumpeter Swan with all the geese landing at a small pond by the road.

On the way home there was a beautiful Red-tail Hawk hunting in one of the fields. What a magnificent raptor. No photo…just watched it for a bit and left quietly — we must always remind ourselves that their lives are overtly challenging and any opportunity for a meal should be respected and we should ‘disappear’.

Oak Hammock Marsh is run by Ducks Unlimited and the Province of Manitoba and is an extensive wetland. Being there reminded me that ‘R’ had sent me an article several weeks ago and our discussion about how we need cooperation to protect the birds. What he sent me was about the Excise Tax in NJ – how that comes from the sale of hunting equipment, firearms, permits, etc. goes to help with the conservation of the birds, such as our beloved Ospreys, in the state of New Jersey. We talked about how this could be a blueprint for the future if we want our birds to thrive – and as much as I hate killing of anything, it makes sense. Ducks Unlimited is working across Canada with various groups including some in the province of Alberta to purchase huge tracts of land to protect and restore for wildlife. It is something to think about. In NJ it is called the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Does your state or province promote such a scheme? If not, it might be worth a good conversation!

All of the kittens behaved themselves. Missey and Lewis continue to be in the main house and Calico and Hope in the conservatory annex. Hope has been enjoying her new rich foods a little too much or it is that plus the stress of coming inside…but the poor little darling is now on kaolin probiotic granules for running poop shots. Hoping she is over this very quickly…she was fine when she arrived! A few images from today…Hope insists on doing everything that Mamma does. She resisted her own little dish of organic chicken and sauce to try and eat with Calico, was on the cat tree and it seems that Calico is an excellent pillow.

Giggles all around today – the cats are eating well and their rooms are disinfected and cleaned twice a day – everything. Gosh, the laundry in making those tents…Calico is off for her surgery on Tuesday and Hope will be, by then, surely she will, friendly!

Thank you Jeff Kear – I had not heard about Alyth putting in battery storage units right under the nose of Harry’s Osprey Nest! Does the need to constrict the use of fossil fuels mean that we should not consider the environmental impact and the location? Was any study done? It is not clear when it comes to the ospreys or other wildlife.

‘A’ reports on what is happening ‘down under’ – that is where most of the action is currently!

Sydney Sea Eagles: “Dad brought in a very nice fish at 08:33:22 this morning and Lady was quickly shimmying down the perch branch to take control of it. Lady and Dad have a little chat and seem excited by the fish but the eaglets (especially SE32) are more interested in what’s going on in the tree around them this morning. SE31 is first to the table, while SE32 is looking up and around at everything in his expanding world. The view is somehow different from up on his feet perhaps! At 08:39 he finally moves up to the table and his sister courteously moves aside so her brother can have some breakfast! This is so civil, it’s ridiculous. Someone remind these kids they are apex predators! Just before 08:40 Dad flies in with a stick (the parents have been busy building another level of cot railing over the past five or six days, as the two get up onto their feet and start moving around the nest a lot more – now SE32 has joined his sister up off his tarsi). Dad is very engaged in his stick placement and spends considerable time perfecting the front of the nest. So cute. Lady continues feeding SE32, though SE31 is momentarily fascinated by Dad’s manoeuvrings.” 

Royal Albatross: “In New Zealand, Manaaki is on his nest and there is very little wind today, so I am not anticipating a fledge this morning. The wind may pick up during the afternoon. We will see.” 

This video is from the NZ DOC. It shows our young prime hovering nicely! This was three days ago.

Melbourne Peregrine Falcons: “At Collins Street, F22 takes a break shortly after 9am (that time stamp is SO hard to read) and little M22 is soon in to take over incubation. He settles down in his customary jerky manner and then finds he has a spare egg he has failed to cover. So he has to start his enfluffling all over again. Such a sweetie. I love these falcon dads.” 

Port Lincoln: “No third egg at Port Lincoln and I certainly hope there won’t be, given the gap between the first two eggs is 74 hours. A third egg could therefore be as far away as Tuesday. I do hope there isn’t another one. I’m not looking forward to the huge gap between the first two. A third hatch would be so nerve-wracking. We really don’t need that sort of stress.”

There are still only 2 eggs at Port Lincoln.

I certainly agree with ‘A’. A third hatch at Port Lincoln does not need that kind of stress! But then again, we have a new Dad and a new season and anything is possible.

Thanks, ‘A’.

Let us go and check on Diamond and Xavier – Xavier flew in with a nice prey for Diamond’s breakfast, and he then worked hard rolling the three big eggs and trying to fit them under him. He was successful, but gosh, it is a good thing there are not four of them.

‘A’ writes about the intruder that has been bothering Xavier and Diamond: “That intruder is still worrying at Orange, although Diamond and Xavier have things sorted. This morning, the intruder was spotted. Diamond called Xavier to come and mind the eggs. He arrived and took over incubation. Diamond dealt with the intruder (visible from tower cam) and returned to the nest box. All is well. I am SO glad they have this routine. Diamond is twice Xavier’s size and makes short work of an intruder. Any injury to Xavier at this point would be a disaster for the clutch. They know this. We are grateful. But I do wish this intruder would move on. I do keep wondering whether it is Izzi, as the males do tend to move no more than 50 km from their natal nest, from what I have read, whereas the female fledglings spread much further away. It is so funny that Indigo, too, proved impossible to persuade it was time to leave home, so that Diamond and Xavier had to physically bar him entry to the scrape! At least they got rid of him before the eggs were laid, which was only just the case the year Izzi was there. He was persistent in the extreme. I think it was early August before they gently told him “grow up and find your own territory, son!” and moved him on.”

So do we think that this might be Izzi? That would be interesting. (Note that raptors normally engage other raptors of the same gender).

‘H’ sent me a quote today from one of David Gessner’s books on Ospreys. It is so appropriate and she believes it is form the Return of the Osprey but neither of us had the time to dig through the book to find the right page:

  “To love the Osprey is to be constantly open to loss.” 

Mini was not seen at the Patchogue nest after she flew off in the early morning. It is now 2100 nest time, and she has not flown in. Mini, you taught us to persevere, not give up hope, be smart, and figure things out. Safe travels – good winds, a full crop, a good life.

‘H’ brings us up to date on the last two nests she has observed for me. She officially monitored ten nests, but it was always more than that. Over the course of osprey season, the number of eggs grew to over 350 that were monitored. I am very grateful for her help and keen eye and instincts – thank you, ‘H’. You came to Ospreys, naturally.

Kent Island – It seems that Molly may have already started on her journey.  September 9th was the fourth full day without a sighting of our precious Molly.  Both Tom and Audrey were seen in ‘Joe’s tree’ during the day.  At 1800 Audrey came to the nest for a while to dry off after her bath.  And, Audrey flew to the nest at 2300 to spend her third straight night on the nest.

Barnegat Light – There were intermittent periods of live stream buffering throughout the day.  We did not observe Duke delivering a fish to Dorsett at the nest, but Dorsett was seen a few times at the nest and on Duke’s perch.

Louise and Banff are no longer at the Fortis Exshaw Nest. As the sun sets Saturday evening near Canmore, Alberta, not far away from Lake Louise, they have had snow on the 6th! By vehicle, it is 5 hours through the mountains, according to Google. The girls will happen to be sunning themselves in the south.

The two surviving chicks at Osprey House in Brisbane, Australia are doing well.

There is extremely sad news coming out of Big Bear Valley today – confirming losses from several years ago.

I am attaching the article.

How has the earthquake in Morocco impacted Ospreys migrating from Europe and the UK? Certainly transmissions might be garbled but what about the environment where they are fishing, living, or flying through?

A lovely Red-tail Hawk – juvenile – visited the WRDC nest of Rose and Ron yesterday. ‘H’ was the first to alert me and Pat Burke has posted an image.

That’s a wrap for Sunday, September 10. Thank you for being with us. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for the notes, comments, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H, Jeff Kear’, Alyth, Sydney Sea Eagles, NZ DOC, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, PSEG, Snow Seekers, Osprey House, Tonya Irwin and Raptors of the World, Pat Burke and Eagle Nest Watchers, Bloom Biological, and The Guardian.

Introducing Hope…Thursday in Bird World

7 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Whew! What a day. ‘The yet-to-be-named kitten’ was let out of the kennel in the Conservatory, allowing her to run around with Mamma Calico. It brought tears to my eyes seeing Calico lick her kitten for the first time in 10-11 days. Of course, the kitten loved being with its Mamma and wanted to suckle immediately! Then, it wanted to play with Mamma’s tail. What a sheer delight to see the wee one following Calico around copying everything she did. It is like a Mini Calico – at first glance, it is hard to tell which is which. They are six months apart in age, but Calico took such good care of her single surviving kitten that it is plump and robust and Calico is still trying to put on some fat. Thanks also to the neighbours who have their feral feeding stations this one was in good health when I trapped her.

Calico loves the cat tree, and she quickly found Lewis’s favourite spot – the little house. The kitten could not stand it and kept jumping up and around, trying to get in with Mamma. I have, at times, wondered how happy Calico is to see her baby. Still, I made her a promise, and I am still tearful that I was able to follow through. To see the two of them on a chair together, cuddling and washing, brings so much joy. I still have to pinch myself to realise that everything worked out. The lesson for all of us is never to give up! To not lose ‘hope’.

Calico washing her kitten for the first time in 10 or 11 days.

Mamma is very protective. Lewis and Missey will be staying in the main part of the house while Calico and baby are in the Conservatory for the next week. Then we will try them in a few rooms. Thank you ‘Geemeff’ for all the tips. We appreciate them!

Promises should never be made. A friend in Berlin and I were talking about this. It caused such anxiety that promise. T he night when Calico wanted to come into the house and leave the dark deck where these two had been living, I promised her I would find her kitten if it was alive. No one had seen the kitten. Everyone believed that a white kitten that had been found in the area was Calico’s wasn’t. It was simply too young. So what did happen to Calico’s kitten? Flyers, walking the streets, putting food under the deck where the kitten was born, stopping people on the street, and postings to FB groups netted nothing. From now on, there will be no more promises. It will simply be that I will do my best to make something happen – but, no promises.

I almost was going to name the kitten ‘Promise’ but ‘J’ pointed out that the word has a negative connotation because of the anxiety it caused me. After many fantastic suggestions, the name finally just came when Calico and her kitten were having ‘story time’. Her name is Hope. Hope is something that each of us needs in our lives.

Hope loves to play with toys. The tiny little crochet ones with the catnip inside which cling to their ever so sharp nails appear to the favourite for the moment.

Meanwhile, Missey and Lewis are, as always, together. They seem to nap more since they are a year old. Missey has slowed down more, but Lewis still loves having someone to play with and run through the house. Perhaps Hope will join the midnight romp.

Trips to the park to check on the ducks and geese have been neglected lately. It was time for me to get moving before they are all gone. The afternoon was beautiful. The leaves are turning quickly. You can see the yellow kissing the tops of what was once emerald-clad trees.

The small garden at the park is still beautiful. There were lots of bees and butterflies feeding on the flowers and this Mallard leading the way.

Many of the gardens have been planted for bees and butterflies with a nod to plants that are more drought tolerant.

On the island where most of the ducks and geese were having their afternoon nap, the trees have really turned yellow.

This goose was not being very nice to the two female Wood Ducks.

Others were napping on the warm walkway.

There is something marvellous about being outside. It was a lovely walk and it felt so good to sit with the warm sun on my face enjoying the geese and the few ducks that were meandering around. The kittens were all having their ‘nap’ time while I was away. They didn’t even notice I was gone! Fresh air not ‘sardine’ air was most welcome.

Taking this lovely walk and spending much time with the four kittens did not allow me to spend the hours required to give you a good run down of the nests. Today’s report is, thus, a little thin.

Patchogue: Observing their crop is one way to know if a raptor has been eating. Some also look at the amount and force of the ‘poop shot’ or ‘ps’. The proper term is guano. “To most people, bird poop is just something they scrape off the windshield of their cars, but it’s more important than we may think. In fact, droppings were once a very important commodity in the United States. Buying and selling bird poop is not as featherbrained as it may seem either. This stinky substance, referred to as bird guano, was sailed around the world during the 19th century to be sold as the principal agricultural fertiliser in the United States. (Natural History Museum)

Mini has been eating. One of the chatters has been keeping track of Mini’s ‘ps’. Here is the times from ElizaG: “10:13pm, 11:17pm 1:10am, 3:13am.” Mini flew off to the lake and returned to the nest at 19:19 (thanks, L for the alert). She is resting that leg, thank goodness.

She put the weight on her right leg, not her left. It seems to be the typical pattern where the leg is giving her trouble at the end of the day.

Good Night Mini. SOD.

Wonderful news comes from John Williams at Llyn Clywedog. He had spotted an Osprey and thought it was Dylan (of Dylan and Seren at the Llyn Clywedog Nest) but it wasn’t. It was another unringed male and it turned out that this male had a nest with a female Blue Z5. Now she is rather special because she is the daughter of one of my favourite ospreys, Tegid Z1. Monty’s boy. Blue Z5 hatched in 2020. She is the granddaughter of Monty. Turns out the couple raised one female chick to fledge, ringed as Blue 7B9. She weighed 1670 grams. What a fantastic surprise and another osprey family for the forms. John tells us about it in his blog.

A family portrait of Dylan and Seren and the two fledglings this year. The one was sadly killed by the goshawk when there was a fish delivery and the hawk attacked the nest directly while Seren was feeding.

Mum is still home at the Boulder County Fair Grounds Osprey Nest in Colorado. So is Dad!

The fledgling at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (the only one of three to survive) is being well fed.

Keo delivered at least three fish for Coco at the Sandpoint Nest on Wednesday. Mum Keke is still home and there was relief when she did not fight her osplet for the food. Keke should be out fishing! And preparing for migration.

The Cowlitz PUD cam was buffering so bad, but there is at least one osprey still home at that nest. The protective grids worked well! Spread the news.

For all the nests that are emptying out, good winds, safe travels and full crops. See you next year Idris and Telyn!

‘H’ brings her reports for us – looks like Molly might have started her migration!

Kent Island, 9/6 – “We had not seen Audrey since 8/29.  Today At 0645, Audrey landed on the nest with a large common carp.  Audrey must have had to dive deep for that one, because she was soaked to the bone!  Audrey nibbled on the fish, but she was waiting for Molly.  When Molly didn’t arrive, Audrey ate more fervently.  Soon, some crows started to harass Audrey, so Tom flew in to the rescue.  Tom stayed on the nest for about 25 minutes helping to ward off the unwelcome visitors, and he was later seen eating his own breakfast on the back of an Adirondack chair.  Audrey would eat some, then wait some, and by 0830 Audrey was still holding a large portion of the fish.  She was waiting for her girl to appear.  By 0910 Audrey had completely consumed the fish, but she still stood on the nest, seemingly waiting for Molly.  Molly never arrived to claim the fish her mom had brought for her.  Audrey flew away at 0953.  We have not seen Molly since she flew away from the boat lift at 0745 on 9/5.”

Barnegat Light, 9/6 – “Dorsett was a bit more of a homebody, staying at the nest or on Duke’s perch much of the day.  Duke delivered three fish to Dorsett.  She took the first fish (a whole black sea bass) to eat on top of a flag pole across the cove.  But, when she returned an hour later, she did not have as large a crop as one would expect, so she may have let part of the fish fall to the ground.  Dorsett chose to eat her next two fish at the nest.”

The Sea Eaglets had an early breakfast for a change! As I am writing no other food has come to the nest but ‘A’ spots another one of those great eels that Lady has been bringing to the nest. “After a nice breakfast of leftover eel, the eaglets went the rest of the day until Lady brought in another of her giant eels soon after 15:36. Immediately, SE32 is up to her beak and pecking at the eel. Lady immediately starts feeding him. SE31 waits next to SE32 but further from Lady’s beak for her turn to eat. There is no attempt to push in or intimidate SE32, who is eating fast and with great confidence. This eel means that there is now plenty of food here for everybody. These are nice big eels that Lady has been catching. She returns with them intact, panting a little but not particularly wet, and she is not gone long. Once again, it was as though she made a decision that food was required now and she went to get it, returning within 10 minutes or so with this eel. Perhaps this mid-afternoon feeding schedule is not so much teaching the eaglets about food availability in grown-up life as a wild sea eagle as it is Lady deciding she cannot wait any longer for Dad to bring home the bacon, as it were. She has definitely been doing extra hunting over the past few days, and it makes me wonder whether Dad’s advanced age is starting to tell, so that now the two eaglets’ appetites have increased dramatically, he is finding it difficult to hunt for four alone. Just a thought. It is an explanation that would fit the facts equally well.”

At Taiaroa Head, ‘A’ remarks: Manaaki is tucked and fast asleep on his nest. But our gorgeous little man is almost ready to leave us. Look at his hovers during flight practice this morning: Look how strong his wings are getting, though he is still working on his balance. He is almost on his way, just as soon as he sorts out those face-plants! We need to enjoy every moment, because once he leaves, it will be at least four or five years (and up to eight years) before we might be lucky enough to see him again. If he comes home at all, Manaaki will return to that same headland. He will land, after all that time and up to a million miles, within 40 or 50 metres of the nest where he was born. He has been imprinting its location over recent days. I am not sure if he has cast his pre-fledge bolus but I know the rangers are picking them up all around the colony and Manaaki is one of the oldest couple of chicks there. I think he is within a week of leaving, but they can surprise us and fledge early if the winds are right, so the time is nigh. QT was 220 days when she fledged, remember, while Manaaki is 230 days old. On this headland, the two females (NTF and Quarry) are definitely ahead of the two males (UQ and Manaaki) in their flight skills.” 

Are you watching multiple eagle nests and wanting to keep up with what is happening? Elfruler has a calendar that spans decades with a space for this year.

We will be looking to see if there are further eggs at 367 Collins Street and Port Lincoln Osprey Barge today.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Missey, Lewis, Calico and Hope remind you to please put out water and to also turn off your lights at night for the migrating songbirds. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L, PB’, PSEG, John Williams, George Green and the Clywedog Osprey Group, Boulder County, Pam Breci and The Joy of Ospreys, Sandpoint, Kent Island, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, NZ DOC, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Sydney Sea Eagles.

Soo returns to the nest…Tuesday in Bird World

1 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At Steelscape, things continue to look good.

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

Mini enjoying another fish! Our girl is doing well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you, ‘H’!

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

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

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

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

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

Little Skipper predated by GHO…Monday in Bird World

24 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here comes Mini trying to line up with the runway!

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

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

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

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

Good Night Mini!

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

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

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

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

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

What would happen if we stopped fishing?

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

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

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

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

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

Now for a spin around the nests:

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

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

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

Here it is on video:

MN Landscape Arboretum: Everything is good.

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

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

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

At Dunrovin, we are on fledge watch.

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you ‘H’.

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

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

Good Morning Mini!

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

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

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

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

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

OH1 at Glaslyn just took off…Thursday in Bird World

20 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It has rained every day for ever so many days. The garden is emerald green. Without even looking at the forecast – the storm clouds roll in quickly – you can tell that something is going to happen by the frantic activity of everyone trying to eat!

One of Dyson’s kits got so excited and then lost its peanut over the edge of the feeder. Ahhhh….

The little sparrows lined up on the branch of Abigale’s tree hoping to get fed or get a turn at the feeder after the squirrel.

It was delightful to see Little Red at the feeders! He knew I was watching and thwarted my gaze.

Baby Blue Jay having a nap.

The little one only woke up when a sibling came to pester. There are five of the babies alive out of the original six…they were all in the garden on the feeders, having baths, and eating today. That is pretty good…they bring me such joy I cannot even describe it properly sometimes.

The baby on the left (above) is the one that slept with the little garden ornamental birds. Its crest finally has blue on it! But I can still tell which one this wee baby is from its behaviour. Adorable. Always loves a good long bath.

Lewis, of course, could care less. These days he is either sleeping or eating!

Oh, my goodness, the ospreys were fledging on Wednesday! I am going to lose count of all of them quickly! It took great effort to get all of the data in my forms along with the continued quest to find more French and German osprey nests.

And they were fledging on Thursday. OH1 just took off not long ago at the Glaslyn Nest! Congratulations! Time was 14:33.

‘D’ wrote and told me that it looks like it is possible all three on the Crooked Lake, Iowa osprey platform of parents Nobel and Whitley fledged on the 19th. Sunnie Day was going over to the footage to make sure that the first hatch CL16 also flew – and the verdict is ‘yes’ – all three flew today.

Take off and return for the first chick’s flight.

Siblings watching.

A great return.

‘H’ wrote and the second chick at Dahlgren flew!

Geemeff wrote that Ludo, the newly named osplet of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig, fledged before he got his official name. It was apparently the shortest trip ever from the nest take-off to the return landing.

Here is the video of that short flight:

Blue 5H3 took off at Poole Harbour at 1719 on the 19th.

These are exciting times for these young birds but, we have to remember that their journey is just beginning. Like many others less fortunate, these birds got to fly and we hope they will be safe.

The news coming out of the Chesapeake Bay Area that has been hit with storms and whose ospreys are starving to death underscores the coming challenges for the osprey population in the area.

“Williamsburg, VA – In 2023, The Center for Conservation Biology has documented the highest rate of osprey nest failure ever recorded within the lower Chesapeake Bay.  Only 17 of 167 nests monitored during the season produced any young.  The nesting population produced only 21 young resulting in a reproductive rate of 0.13 young per pair.  This rate is below that recorded during the height of the DDT era.  In order for the population to sustain itself, pairs should produce 1.15 young per pair.”

Here is the full report:

When a goshawk attacks a fledgling osplet on the nest while it is eating along with its sibling and Mum, my heart stops. Those are dangerous raptors and all of you know that predation by goshawks occurs throughout Europe and the UK. The loss of these chicks is personal to those who live and work around the nests – to whom the birds really are family. Have a read of John William’s poignant blog regarding the loss of the Llyn Clywedog fledgling on the 18th of July.

Translocation projects continue.

Instead of chopping down the Osprey platform for the demolition, it will be left standing long after the osplets fledge! We needed a good news story like this one. Thanks, Geemeff – it is “one for the good guys” as you say.

Rare bird spotted in the UK. Accident? Intentional? Black winged Kites are a “Small and distinctive falconlike kite. Light underneath, blue-gray above with conspicuous black shoulders formed by black wing coverts. Juveniles have a scaly back and brownish-washed breast. Found in open savannah, semi-desert, and agricultural lands with scattered woods; frequently seen on exposed perches. Varied flight style, hovering like a kestrel or gliding like a harrier with deep wingbeats and raised wings.. ” (eBird).

Time for a spin around some of the nests not covered above:

Boulder County Fair Grounds: A Fantastic news with diligent devoted adults and three very healthy nearly ready to fledge osplets.

MN Landscape Arboretum: It is all good. Lots of nice fish meals beginning very early. Our 21 year old Dad is doing fantastic.

Patchogue: Little Mini had a nice fish first thing as the sun was coming up.

The time was 0525 and Mini scrambled with that fish stuck on its foot!

Cowlitz PUD: All is well. Chick is eating, sleeping, and growing. And the metal grids are still holding out against the Bald Eagle predation. At the suggestion of ‘MB’, I wrote to Tweed Valley and Llyn Clywedog about the metal grids erected on the nest at Cowlitz to try and stop predation. It is something that the UK nests might have to consider if the goshawk threat to ospreys continues.

Oyster Bay: All present and accounted for.

Wolf Bay: Fledglings come to the nest hoping for a fish dinner.

Dunrovin: Everything is fantastic.

Poole Harbour: Getting lift and then gone. Blue 5H3 fledged at 1719 while its siblings watched.

Glaslyn: I thought it was the best screen capture I had seen of Aran’s new mate Elen and their two lads. Everything is fine. No fledges as yet. Soon.

‘H’ reports on the nests she is monitoring:

Fortis Exshaw: “Thankfully it was a mostly intruder-free day for this blended Osprey family.  There were a couple of minor intruder issues, with Mr. O quickly flying to the nest at 0624 and 0651 to assist with defense.  There were a total of 5 fish brought to the nest, one by Mr. O.  At 1249 Mr. O landed on the nest and got an earful from Louise.  She may have been telling him to go fishing, and even the two kids got involved and had a ‘talk’ with their stepdad, lol.  This went on for about three minutes, with poor Mr. O just standing there and responding with soft chirps.  It was comical.  He showed up later with a headless fish.  After Louise had brought the last fish of the day at 1951, Mr. O came to the nest and simply stood by for 27 minutes, while Louise fed the kids and enjoyed a meal for herself.  Very cool, Mr. O.”

Dahlgren – At 1246 D12 became a fledgling at 58 days of age, although it was unclear if that was her intention at the time.  She flew across the nest and may have intended to land on the other side, but miscalculated and tumbled over the edge.  There was the sound of sticks hitting the water, but no splash or ripples were seen.  Several seconds later, D12 was seen flying low past the nest toward a nearby dock.  D12 landed safely back on the nest 4 1/2 hours later.  Enjoy your new life as a flighted bird, D12! 

Kent Island – All is well on the Chesapeake for Audrey, Tom, and their 38 day old youngster.

Severna Park – Olivia and Oscar continue to provide for their two fledglings at the nest.

Forsythe –  At 57 days of age, Ollie jumped up, flapped three times and landed on the camera pole.  Then 52 minutes later she jumped back down to the nest.  Perhaps she will fly away from the nest and take a spin around the marsh today.

Boathouse –  At 40 days of age, Skipper has been taking wingercising very seriously.

Thanks so very much, ‘H’!

Dorset Hobby: Oh, my goodness gracious. These little Hobbies are adorable.

Port Lincoln: Mum and Dad seem to be staying more and more on the barge nest as egg-laying approaches in August. ‘A’ reports some failed mating attempts, and you might recall that there was some concern for Dad last season.

Sydney Sea Eagles: ‘A’ reports that the 19th was “another quiet night, possums passing a few times. Lady left for a short break just before 7am and back straight away. Dad brought part of a fish shortly after, which she took away to eat. Both were then in and out during the day though Lady spend more than 2 hours longer than Dad on the eggs today. In the whole incubation period to date both have spent an almost equal time on the eggs. At dusk, Lady was settled as usual for the night.”

Durbe County, Latvia: Milda and Voldis’s male eaglet returns to the nest looking for a meal. Isn’t he gorgeous?

The female fledgling also visited the nest! both are safe and flying well.

Lesser Spotted Eaglet Nest in Zemgale Latvia of Anna and Andris. the eaglet enjoyed having a vole and a frog for a meal. I wonder how scarce food is in the forest?

Three beautiful storklets at the nest of Karl II and Kai in Estonia.

Four beautiful storklets of Bety and Bukacek are superb.

Lady Hawk captures a feeding at the Selati Verreaux Black Eagle Nest in South Africa.

Black Eagles are large raptors that live in various parts of Africa. The pair will lay two eggs four days apart. Incubation is 40-45 days. If two eggs and both hatch, the oldest chick will kill the second one. There will be only one chick to raise and fledge. They eat mammals such as monkeys, small antelope, squirrels, and rabbits.

Thank you so much for being with me today. P lease take care. Have a good end of the week. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their alerts, notes, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, D, Geemeff, H, MB’, Timothy Dygert Live Street, Pool Harbour Ospreys, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, The Centre for Conservation Biology, John Williams Blog, Gregorious Joris Toonjen and Ospreys, CBS2, ITV News, BBC News, Boulder County Fair Grounds, MN Landscape Arboretum, Wolf Bay, Dunrovin Ranch, PSEG, Annie Roc and The Glaslyn Osprey Group, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Fortis Exshaw, Dahlgren Ospreys, Kent Island Ospreys, Severna Park, Forsythe Ospreys, Boathouse/Audubon, Dorset Hobby Nest, Pool Harbour Ospreys, Cowlitz PUD, Port Lincoln Ospreys, Sydney Sea Eagles, LizNM and the Latvian Fund for Nature, Latvian Fund for Nature, Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlade Buky Storks,Lady Hawk and Selati Verreaux Black Eagles.