Friday in Bird World

24 November 2023

Hello Everyone,

There was some excitement in the garden mid-afternoon on Thursday. A small Sharp-shinned Hawk showed up on the post that Sharpie used to use when he hoped to grab a sparrow at the feeders. It is not a great image – taken with my phone. The branches are so bare. There is no place for a songbird to hide from the hawks so they fly away in a group as fast as they can when they know s/he is in the territory. This one has been coming for a few days, but this is the first time I have seen it. This is an Immature Northern.

Calico watching the hawk!

Hope is feeling better. She is looking out the glass door wanting out…how do you really stop them from running, and jumping and just being cats? One of their aunties asked about putting a cone on Hope…thankfully she has not been licking, but, like her mother, she fought that cone to the point that it was safer for her not to have her wearing it. She did lick the places on her legs where they were shaved for the IV. She is a sweet little thing…but ever so terrified. She played with me for quite some time this afternoon, but she is still quite nervous.

Hope wants to give you a ‘High Five’.

Missey has been a very bad influence on Hope. Last year the little twinkle tree had to be taken down because Lewis and Missey were eating the flocking off the branches. This year Missey has been doing that with reminders to stop. Still Hope saw and copied! Human children do this, too. As adults we have to be ever so careful.

Calico and Hope are so happy to be reunited after her absence. These two can never be separated. They share a traumatic bond – a young kitten having a single surviving kitten in a very dark place. The kitten lost for a week and then by a miracle, Hope finding where Calico was.

Wanting out to join the rest of the world!

Hope has been reminding everyone that there is a Green Friday. She is watching to ensure that I do not purchase anything on Friday, telling me we need nothing. The approach of Canada’s Green Friday reminded me of a woman I met in Beijing after the 2008 Olympics. She had owned a cafe, a cooking school, and a catering business in NYC. She was now enjoying her retired life. Over breakfast at a Hutong near the Drum and Bell Tower, I asked her what she was buying as a souvenir of her time. She smiled and said, “I spent the first 50 years of my life buying stuff, and I will spend the last 50 getting rid of it!” That single statement had a profound impact on me. Instead, because cooking was her passion, she would go to a 15-course Palace-style meal, Ming Style. How appropriate. An experience. A memory.

Ferris Akel was on the Cornell Campus on Thursday and he spotted Big Red and Arthur. I cannot imagine anything more wonderful than seeing the two of them safe and sound on a November day.

Again, there is a lot of activity. The Port Lincoln osplets are getting such beautiful juvenile plumage and they continue to wait patiently for their breakfast to arrive.

Still waiting for fish. The cam operator gives us some gorgeous images of beautiful Mum.

13:11. I wonder when the fish fairy will arrive. Dad is on the ropes.

The fish fairy arrived at 14:16. It was one of those nicely prepared Trevallys with a secret Red Mullet tucked underneath – Mum’s favourite. Thank you FF and to all those who have caught and/or donated fish to keep these babies alive so they can fledge.

‘A’ reflects on Port Lincoln, “At Port Lincoln, the two osplets are just so gorgeous. I love how well they get on with one another and have come to the conclusion that they are both males – Giliath was just first-born and as greedy as most chicks. Barru is fast catching up to Giliath in terms of size. Both are very laid-back and have been pretty much the whole way through, even in the reptilian and itchy phases. Mum works so hard to feed her babies. She is such a good mum and really does seem to do her best to ensure she looks after both osplets. Don’t we just love a peaceful nest? The fish fairy has been such a boon, and doesn’t seem to have stopped either parent from fishing – she just brings in larger fish (those pre-sliced trevally are GIGANTIC but you’re right – mum’s favourite does seem to be red mullet). Here are time stamps for the day so far (it is nearly 18:15 local time). “

Observation board for Port Lincoln for yesterday:

Annie and Lou at The Campanile have a brisk discussion. We are not expecting eggs for a few more months.

At Orange, gorgeous Diamond was in the scrape.

Early morning with Diamond and Xavier and..

They grew so fast…hoping that Marri is still flying. She was such a strong girl.

There is a rumour that Samson has returned to the NEFlorida Eagle nest…not sure who started this, but it looks like Gabby and V3 to me. (Samson would have been gone a year…).

I was reminded that this is the first anniversary of Samson’s disappearance. Oh, what a lovely mate he was for Gabby. Still missed.

Gabby and V3 this morning.

Jackie and Shadow came to check the nest and move a few sticks on Thursday.

There were two eagles in the nest at SW Florida protecting it from the GHOs Thursday night. M15 and F23 are getting serious. We are on egg watch.

We are a fortnight away from hatch at Superbeaks!!!!!!!!!!

There is action at the Webster Texas Bald Eagle nest, too. Look at that nice fish! Wow.

Why are these birds dying along the Scottish coast?

Missing Hen Harriers?

How many have watched the last season of The Crown? In one of the episodes, King George V is out grouse hunting while his cousins, The Romanovs, are being killed in Russia. For those that are not familiar, it is the beaten grouse hunting that has caused the number of raptors deaths in various localities of the UK to rise significantly. The gamekeepers of the land where the hunts take place kill the hawks – sometimes stomping on their chicks in the nests on the ground – so that they will not eat the grouse. Hopefully there will be a growing call and those in power will listen to stop this practice. More on this later…

Thank you for being with me today. There isn’t a lot of news. Sometimes it is nice to slow down before we have eaglets in nests all over the place! Please take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, pictures, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A’, Ferris Akel Tours, PLO, SK Hideaway, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Cilla Kinross, Karen Lang, NEFL-AEF, FOBBV, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Superbeaks, Paul White, The Guardian, and Raptor Persecution UK.

Fish Fairies…Monday in Bird World

13 November 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

Oh, oh….Sunday was so warm. It went up to +6 C. The sky was blue. There was a little bit of wind, and it was a perfect day for a long walk at the nature centre. There were 2 Bald Eagles, a Northern Shrike, 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, many Black-capped Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos, about 26 Hooded Mergansers, a single Cormorant, a host of gulls, a pair of ducks and squirrels running everywhere. Everyone was happy and smiling and greeting their fellow birders. Such a wonderful reprieve!

Here are a few images to share with you. The sun was about 3/4 of the way towards setting, and the light was so bright. I worked on some of the images, but still, they continue to look as if they were in silhouette. Apologies.

One of the nicest parts of my walk was sitting on a bench, closing my eyes, and listening to the sound of the geese honking as they flew in. Oh, how I miss that sound when they are all gone. The silence is simply too much.

A lone Cormorant.

Part of the Hooded-Merganser families that have been at the centre since the babies hatched in the early summer.

Nearer to the feeders, the squirrels were busy trying to pull the peanuts and other seeds out from the wire mesh.

S/he got one!

Hairy or Downy? I think it is a female Downy. Remember if you purchase these type of suet feeders to get the ones with the wooden triangle at the bottom. It helps the woodpecker to keep their tail straight and they can feed much more efficiently. They are a little pricer but I promise you they enjoy them that much more.

A Junco hoping to get some seed that one of the birds or squirrels knocks out of the feeders.

It was simply stunning. The light made everything so beautiful. The benches, the empty nests, the lake…even the ice!

The hide is where one of the feeding stations is located. It is perfect for watching the squirrels and little songbirds without scaring them. The wire mesh is to protect the newly planted trees from the deer, while the plastic sleeve around the trunk is to keep the rabbits from destroying the trees.

Before I went for my walk, the girls helped me clean the house. They are too funny. Hope has now managed to take over two of Missey’s favourite spots – the top of the wicker basket looking out to the garden and, of course, the sacred basket with Missey’s baby blanket.

Missey is waiting to see how long it will take Hope to find this other basket in the conservatory! Of course, the good thing is – Hope cannot be in three places at once so there will be a place for Missey (there are many others but Missey is particularly fond of wicker and baskets).

Calico has been getting many brushes during the day and I am rubbing her legs and back. Poor thing. I remember how thin she was when Hope (and any siblings) were newly born. Calico ate and ate…she would rush to finish to get back to her kittens. I worry that her young body paid for that…

They certainly keep me sane.

I missed the photo op, but little Hope was very curious today when ‘the boyfriend’ was eating. His missing fur on the tail and back are coming back in, and he sleeps regularly in the shelter. Geemeff suggested that he might be a good candidate for the male cat in the house…we will see. He was looking in the garden door today!!!!!!!!!!!! You might recall that Calico did that as well when she began to fully trust me.

I want to imagine that all of you are checking on three different nests – you are watching while holding your breath for Marri and Barru to fledge, worried to death about M15 and F23 and the GHOs, and watching those darling babies at PLO and praying for fish deliveries. Certainly that is where my focus has been while also waiting for news of the sea eaglets.

First, thank you to ‘M’, who wrote to remind me that M15 and Harriet had another nest on the Pritchett Property. I had forgotten. This is marvellous news. The GHOs concern me. We have witnessed them taking over eagles’ nests on the streaming cams. The first one that comes to mind is the young eagle couple on Farmer Derek’s property in Kansas.

The GHOs hit F23 three times Saturday evening. M15 came to protect her, and they were on the branch together in the morning. M15 delivered a nice fish in the nest for his new lady, and fingers and talons crossed, things go smoothly.

Lady Hawk put the attacks together in a single short video.

At Port Lincoln, Dad came through with a morning fish for Mum and the kids—those precious babies. Yesterday, one of them fed the other a morsel. It melted my heart. My bet is on these two being males. Gentle little males that will go wild once they fledge fighting for fish! Just like Ervie did with his siblings but, until then, perfect little gentlemen.

One large supplementary fish came on the nest, and my goodness, I am not good at identifying fish, but it sure looks like a shark.

Mom’s eyes look like they will pop out.

The look on Giliath’s face tells it all!!!!!!!!!!

#2 likes the shade of Mamma…this fish will last a long time. Maybe #2 will begin pecking at the tail, too. How wonderful. Thank you, Fish Fairies.

They cleaned up the fish. Giliath might have been in a perfect position, but #2 got lots of fish. Both left the feeding with bulging crops – and happily, Mum could also get a good meal. Let us hope Dad brings another nice fish to the nest for his family later in the day. Otherwise, it will be a long time until the fish arrive tomorrow. Dad came and took the fishtail at 13:53, but Mum seemed to have quite a few scraps in the nest, and the chicks were already thinking it might be good to eat them.

You can see #2’s crop in the image below. Giliath’s head is behind Mum’s right wing.

Food comas.

Ah, and I bet you have noticed…we don’t have reptiles anymore. Look at the beautiful feathers and that deep thermal down that will help our ospreys regulate their temperature. Look at the size of the wings and those cute tails. Growing up!

‘A’ comments on those feedings at PLO: “Every year, there comes a moment when I genuinely wonder whether a crop has ever literally burst. Surely a crop the size of Giliath’s or Little Bob’s must be extremely uncomfortable. I wonder whether they need to leave the food there for a period of time for primary digestion before crop dropping it into their stomachs and whether it is uncomfortable or painful to swallow too much too soon. They don’t seem to do it all that often, though we do see smaller hatches doing it if they’ve waited a long time and suddenly get some fish or occasionally when they are trying to fit more in during a particularly lengthy feeding to which they return several times. (Little Bob has done it once or twice when mum has been particularly insistent during one of her hour-plus feedings. Some of these fairy fish are gigantic, thank goodness.) But this evening (it is 18:20 in Port Lincoln) everyone is full. Mum has eaten heaps. Dad has taken the fish away, eaten, and brought back leftovers. He’s a good dad. He tries. Sometimes, it’s very gusty and the waves are extremely choppy. I imagine it could be very difficult fishing there at those times, which occur most days – some days are just particularly bad. “

Several other news items from Port Lincoln. It was Calypso’s mate (he is the 2019 hatch at Port Lincoln) that was found hanging upside down on a pole. The female flew off but has not been seen. People are watching out for her. Calypso was at the nest looking and calling for her.

Did Ervie go to help search for his brother’s mate? –Sadly, Fran Solly has now posted that Calypso’s mate has been found dead. This is so sad. So many Osprey’s lost, so few because they are so endangered in South Australia. Now for Calypso to find another female. Condolences to all.

Love the Port Lincoln Ospreys? Friends of Osprey Sth Australia have calendars and I understand that it is full of Fran Solly’s amazing photographs – even Ervie!

The money from all of the fundraising projects goes directly to put up the platforms, the trackers, etc. Here is a copy of the August 2023 newsletter telling you what was accomplished up to that date.

I am over the moon that Fran, Bazz, and Janet fought to intervene at the nest this year with supplementary feedings, just like in NZ with the Royal Albatross Chicks. I look forward to their research findings and want to help in any way I can so that they know their compassion for this family is appreciated…that is why I am posting the information about the calendar.

Partney and Marrum lost their only osplet to predation by a raptor (presumed) on Tumby Island. The Crows then took over the nest and the nest is now reclaimed by a pair of ospreys. It is not confirmed if it is Partner and Marrum.

More problems with Crows could have been the cause of the death of the osplet on the Sunshine Coast. So sad.

We have all been biting our fingernails watching Marri and Barru. Barru had a close call slipping out of the scrape, but thankfully, he recovered! It is 2130 on the Canadian Prairies Sunday evening, and neither has fledged, but they sure could while I am sleeping. These two are ready. Their interest is in the outside world. Diamond and Xavier are doing a good job keeping them focused on their flying – doing aerial displays and carrying prey. Everything the adults do is a lesson imprinted on the minds of Marri and Barru to take with them into their futures.


Still there…it is past midnight in Canada…

The Osprey Cam on Captiva will go live today!

The cameras at the West End are now live, too, and you can see both the old and new nests of Thunder and Akecheta! Amazing, Dr Sharpe. Thank you.

The cameras are back at Lock Arkaig and there are more visitors to Louis and Dorcha’s nest!

Was it Smitty?

‘H’ reports that “‘F’ eagle is back at Notre Dame Eagles, per post by Phillipe Josse 11/12, both she and Dad were in the nest briefly on 11/12.” Wonderful news for Little Bit ND17’s Dad!

Deb Stecyk gives us an update of some of the Bald Eagle nests in Canada and the impact of the wildfires this past summer.

Good news coming out of the Kakapo Recovery on one of the Kakapo that had to go for treatment to Dunedin.

‘A’ sent this to me and I missed it so did not include it with the Sunday newsletter. Hopefully there will be some sightings of the eaglets.”Finally, the report for 11 November from WBSE: November 11: Prey delivery last evening at 6:30 to Mangrove Island, not sure if juvenile was about. This morning at 7:45, an adult, I think Dad, was on mangroves where seen yesterday. Hard to see if a juvenile is there in the shadows. Lots of river traffic, with scullers going close and loud microphones yelling training orders. Rivercats passing, dozens of watercraft – Dad ignores them it seems. At 8:01, I heard a juvenile squawk and a currawong – close to an adult. Lots of rubbish under the mangroves, and I heard another threat. Hearing a Koel – is it yelling at the juvenile as well? Pied Oystercatcher flying past. Striated Heron. Great Egret with breeding plumage. Mangrove Gerygone behind me. Later, around midday, the ground team reported adults on Mangrove Island and circling over the area, but no juvenile or feeding was seen.”

And then the report for yesterday from WBSE, thanks ‘A’: “November 13: Early in the morning, I saw one of the adults down in the mangroves, then the other as well. One soared so high overhead, I could no longer see it. The adults were hard to spot on the river, not always in their familiar roosts, and seemed to be moving further into the mangroves. Later, at last, we saw one of the juveniles on a branch in the mangroves – so hard to spot in the shadows, with its brown colouring (see the picture). It stayed still there for over 2 hours while we were watching, with not a sound. One of the adults was moving in and out, but we saw no prey delivered. Again the mullet are jumping. We saw the male Osprey over the Nature Reserve wetlands, flushing out about a dozen lapwings. No more news during the afternoon. As there is an “empty nest” now, or mostly, we rely on ground observers to report any action on the river.”

Oh, I wished I lived closer to Vancouver! If you do, then here is a real opportunity.

HPAI or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or Bird Flu is claiming so many of the sea and shore birds.

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Take care of yourself. We hope to have you with us again really soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, comments, videos, photographs, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, M’, SW Florida Eagle Cam, Lady Hawk, PLO, Friends of Ospreys Sth Australia, Anita Corran, Eric Kotz, Wildlife at Osprey House, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Window to Wildlife, Jan Gallivan, Geemeff, Deb Stecyk, Kakapo Recovery, Hancock Wildlife Foundation, and Bird Guides.

Good news at Port Lincoln…Wednesday in Bird World

25 October 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

It is currently -1 C on the Canadian Prairies and snow is expected to arrive later today. And so…it begins. Hopefully, we will have spits and starts to winter with some beautiful days full of blue skies and sunshine before the depth of winter sets in.

The news at both Port Lincoln and Sydney is a bit scattered. I put the latest decisions by PLO first and the other news later. It is all good.

I am on a bit of a rant today – leaf blowers. Today, when I travelled to the marsh and then to my daughter’s and home again, at least a third of the homes I saw had people blowing leaves with those noisy machines. It made me go ‘wild’ for a few minutes. What is wrong with having leaves? If someone doesn’t like them scattered over the lawn, then rake them gently into a pile in the corner until next May. You will have benefited the environment and the life of our songbirds. Those noisy leaf blowers – so the leaves under the shrub will move so that the owner can have the ‘perfect’ lawn. Why? And what with the noise?

It is a small way that you can aid in conservation. It costs nothing – not even your energy – to let the leaves sit until the spring! So I am thinking that if the fashion magazines can go from having only 00 models to having real people – young and old – smooth skinned and those with wisdom lines – then maybe those home magazines can go from having flat green lawns aided by toxic chemicals to look healthy and green – to having lawns full of bushes and leaves and no grass (or hardly any). Can you hear me quietly screaming?

Please spread the word. Let us all work together for a healthier planet for all living things. Thank you!

The fear of snow sends everyone outside on the Canadian Prairies if it is a sunny day – and Tuesday was sunny. There was a bit of a brisk wind, and I had my down jacket and toque on, along with a turtle neck sweater hiking boots and big woolly socks. Quite comfy.

The geese are still flying in. There were Canada Geese, Ross’s Geese, Cackling Geese, and Greater White-fronted Geese. There were a number of species of ducks including Gadwalls, Green-wing Teals, Redheads, and Ruddy Ducks.

There were also four Black Terns flitting about one of the ponds, which had hundreds of geese and ducks.

I took my 70-200 mm fast lens – of course, I wish I had taken the big heavy long lens but never mind – you will need to squint. My apologies.

It was simply a fantastic day. There is nothing better to lift one’s spirits after a string of damp grey days than being outside with the birds.

So what is the good news at Port Lincoln? This is going to be out of order but it should put a smile on everyone’s face who reads my blog. You will know that for years we have been calling for supplementary fish at Port Lincoln barge when needed. Much information was sent to various members last year that was collected by myself and I am certain by many others. Well, the response has been positive. ‘H’ put together the chat roll for us:

Fran & Bazz:  “After a review of the latest scientific research we have decided this year to provide a small amount of supplementary feed. Generally nest location would make that hard but we have a unique opportunity here. Fish numbers and size are being monitored and we will record any supplementary fish. We know some will disagree with this stance. So today we have taken the failed egg to have examined, removed the plastic and left some fish. Today was unusual in that we had to go on to the barge (5 minutes) for the egg and the plastic that would not normally be the case. Supplementing will be “when we feel it necessary” “

Port_Lincoln Osprey:  “This is a difficult decision. Some people are very happy about it, some are not, but we are in an ideal situation where we can feed daily if needed. It will be interesting to see the result.”

This action might have saved Middle’s life last year. We cannot go backwards but this is excellent news moving forwards. Thank you Fran and Bazza.

“Watch carefully. This is how you pluck a Starling.”

At Port Lincoln, the chicks had an early breakfast and what appeared to be a snack a couple of hours later. Dad was over on the ropes and Mum is wanting more fish.

Many have been wondering why Giliath has a name and the second hatch does not. Here is the answer from Bart M, one of the nest/chat moderators:

“We are all waiting for number 2 to be named. Unfortunately that might not happen soon. The process of naming the chicks is very important to Janet: It gives her the chance to honour a person who has contributed to the well being of this nest, or who is just important to her. The name has meaning for the person who she asked to name a chick and is usually gender specific. So sometimes it makes sense to wait until the gender is determined and we are assured the chick has survived.. and that happens at banding in a few weeks. Giliath is a genderless name and therefor it could be given at once, but in hindsight it might have been better to name at a later moment.. and we are sorry if this leads to any confusion.
The number 2 chick won’t mind not being named yet though. So.. It could be that a name is decided on before banding, or it could as well be possible that we as a viewer, will have to wait until banding has occurred. I hope you understand and respect this decision.
Until then.. we will call it #2, number 2 or Two. Thanks, Bart”

‘A’ sent us a round up of the day’s feedings and a visit from the fish fairy who left gifts when they removed the plastic bag and Dudley: “Little at PLO ate very well today. Dad brought in a whole medium-sized breakfish at 06:36. Little was in front position and mum fed the two chicks alternate bites. Both had a good breakfast. Mum finished off the fish at 06:48. Dad brought in a second fish at 09:12. Mum obscured the beginning of the feeding but when we can see, Little is again in front position and mum is feeding the two alternately. Again, both eat well. At 09:22 Little is tired and takes a break. Mum finishes off the second fish. There are then no fish delivered until a convenient pan of the harbour area shortly before pm. When we return to the barge at 14:58, we see that Dudley and the plastic bag have disappeared from the nest and a feeding is underway. There is a fish in mum’s talons and two dead fish to her right. It seems the ‘fish fairy’ has visited the nest. At this meal, while Giliath remained asleep for the first part of the feeding, Little got really well fed, eating bite after bite. Mum feeds hiim first. He has a build-up of fish on his face by 14:59 but is undeterred and continues to eat. Finally, Giliath wakes up and gets to the table at 15:09. Mum finishes off the third of the supplementary fish at 13:17. At 16:36, Dad brings in his third fish of the day (the sixth, including the three supplementary fish). Yet again, Little has the front position and mum feeds the two osplets alternately. The feed ends at 16:49 with Little in a food coma, and takes away the remainder of the fish. At 16:59 he brings back the leftovers from his dinner and mum starts yet another feeding. AGAIN, Little has front position but is still in a food coma from the previous meal, so Giliath has to eat over the top of it! Eventually,it wakes up but is stuck beneath Giliath and take a while to get out. When it does, it has a few more bites. Both are absolutely stuffed. Mum finishes feeding at 17:11 but hangs onto the fish tail. They still haven’t filled in details on the Obs Board after this time, so it will be worth checking to see whether anything exciting happened in the three hours between 5pm and 8pm. According to the chat, I missed nothing important in this period. At 20:08, dad brings in a piece of fish and mum gives the kids a bit of supper before setting down for what will be a chilly night (the temperatures have suddenly plunged in southern Australia, from 30 degrees two days ago to 14/15C yesterday and today, with commensurately cold overnight temperatures). This pair has had a wonderful eating day, and thanks to the decision regarding the role of the fish fairy this season, it is likely that will continue. I wonder whether the total lack of bonking thus far will last – the reptilian phase approaches rapidly.”

My heart still sinks when I think of the Sea Eaglets but inside all this news is some rays of sunshine – at least for SE32..

‘A’ found the latest news for us (earlier news below): “Wednesday 25 October: more adventures. Neither was seen near the nest on camera in the morning. While searching about in the area for either fledgling, we saw an adult fly in over the nest with prey at 11:13 – circled then left – chased by ravens. Alarm calls indicated one under casuarinas just before that –near where we saw one yesterday, then it flew off. We saw one in the forest, just behind the DC at 11:28, sheltering in the leafy canopy, with lots of swoopers. It flew off strongly – and was then seen flying over Silverwater jail at 11:41. Just before that at 11:40 an adult flew over Silverwater jail as well. We assume we have seen at least one eaglet in that time – flying strongly and seeming to be in contact with parents. Lady brought in a bird to the nest at 12:24 and Dad a fish at 12:57 – both ate their own catch. At 2:14, as I approached the nest tree quietly, thinking no eaglets were there, I saw one sitting on the adjacent camera tree -and backed straight out. We feel this is SE32. Then we were able to capture it on camera, sitting below the nest. Late at 18:19, dad brought in a mullet, which was taken by Lady. We have not seen the eaglets being fed yesterday or today but it is pleasing to know that at least one of them has returned to the nest area. . At dark, both parents were near the nest and we are unsure where the eaglets were.”

Image of eaglet in the branches of the nest tree:

Earlier images.

SP just sent me the latest from Ranger Judy. We are both taking this as good news – the fact that the adult knows where one of the eaglets is!

“We saw an adult fly in over the nest with prey at 11:13 [on 25 Oct], circled, then left – chased by ravens. We thought [there was an eaglet] under casuarinas just before that – then flew off. We saw one in the forest, just behind the DC at 11:28, behind the fire hydrant; flew off strongly, then seen flying over Silverwater jail [at] 11:41. Just before that at 11:40, adult [flew] over Silverwater jail as well. We assume we have seen one eaglet in that time flying strongly and seems to be in contact with parent.”

Gabby and V3 continue to work on their nest.

At the Southwest Florida Eagle Nest of M15 and F23, there appears to be a rush to finish the nest. Will they be the first to lay eggs this season?

Just look at that nest. Quite different than I recall Harriet’s nursery.

Pepe was working at Superbeaks. Gosh, any thoughts on who will have the first egg? Superbeaks or SW Florida?

It is so good to see things getting back to normal with Smitty and Bella after Smitty’s 29 day absence from the nest.

The girls have decided that the house is a good race track for playing chase! No more clear photographs unless they have completely stopped and are asleep or falling asleep. Point the camera and they run!!!!!!!!! Hope then Calico and Missey who stops for a minute to look out the window.

Thank you so much for being with me today. I am over the moon with the change of heart at Port Lincoln. Did the fact that the ospreys are so endangered in Southern Australia and the election of the Green Party to power with its mandate for protecting wildlife not help this situation, along with the tonnes of information sent to PLO after Middle died? Whatever it was – thank you. We can rest assured that the two osplets this year have a fighting chance to get to the fledge line.

Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, articles, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, H, SP’, Baltimore County Master Gardener, USDA, Environment, David Suzuki Foundation, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagles, Sassa Bird, NEFL-AEF, Lady Hawk, Superbeaks, and Deb Stecyk.

While I was away…

Hello Everyone,

I did not go anywhere exotic. I rarely left my home and garden, and it was a joyful week – full of time with Hope trying to socialise this bundle of joy, calming and reassuring Lewis, petting and reading to Calico and Missey, and writing two articles. There was also time to do what was intended – begin writing up the report on the 2023 Osprey breeding season data forms, focusing on the deaths and why they occurred. I needed the cats to balance off the sadness. Sometimes, you can see the birds waiting for their mate to return, and they don’t. Or the babies starving on the nests because society has yet to understand our need to care for them. If we are to survive, the birds, the animals, and the insects need to as well. As I mentioned before the break, the cats have taught me to live in the moment, enjoy, be thankful, and not dwell on the past or the future so that it wrecks ‘the now’. Still, there is an obligation to do what can be done to make the lives of those around me – the neighbourhood community cats, the garden animals, or the birds – as good as possible. Having travelled the world many times, missing what is right at one’s doorstep is easy. For me – now – ‘there is no place like Home’. I am as joyful watching the Blue Jays flit into the little covered feeder for peanuts as I would be walking along the waterfront in Kuching or Penang.

There was also another cat tree to put together. Poor Missey has been looking out a small window with bins full of birdseed stacked one on the other and a wicker basket with a blanket at the top. But this cat tree is nothing like the solid one I have had for two decades. It was obnoxious to assemble with the holes and screws not always lining up easily. Tip: If you have the funds and know someone handy with wood, get them to build you a solid one out of good plywood. You can take it to a local upholster to get it covered. At the end of the day, Missey prefers the wicker basket on the bins. Of course. My house looks like I have opened a cat daycare centre at times. Too funny, but it is driving me a little nuts, so there will be some consolidation this week!

Before checking what happened while I was away, Geemeff sent me a link to the BBC1 programme on Birds of Prey. Ospreys are about halfway through the 57 minutes, and the couple is Brodie and Asha from Loch Garten. But don’t just skip ahead because you will miss the most beautiful landscapes, and the images of the raptors are extraordinary. Enjoy.

Ranger Sharon confirms Manaaki fledged. Thanks, ‘R’.

Mum L came to feed Manaaki. She looked for him twice. Bittersweet moments for these dear parents.

Upcoming announcement:

Sunday: It seems that a nest of Ospreys is causing trouble for some organisers of a Green Man Festival in Wales. Let us hope that this does not result in any harm to the platform or any birds.

Ervie travelled and might have met his sister, Calypso.

Ron and Rose began making changes to their refurbished and refortified nest in Miami-Dade County.

PG&E put up a new pole and nest for ospreys in the SF Bay Area. We need more of this!

Many Ospreys are still in Canada and have not started their migration. Lucky is well known in the Newfoundland Virginia Lake area.

Sea Eaglets enjoyed another ‘eel meal’.


Mini visited the nest again Sunday evening at 2018 (17 September). It was already dark. Her leg looked to be bothering her. I wonder if the water has been rough and fishing hard? Mini will be 4 months old, 123 days.

My Mini mug arrived. She and I will have morning coffee together. The screen capture images work well for digital printing on items. The company I used said it was not a high enough resolution, but I told them to print it anyway. The image turned out lovely.

This will be the last sighting of our dear girl. She has come to the nest to say goodbye. Soar high for decades, dear one. May your crop always be full, may your leg heal, and may you thrive. You gave us such joy and showed us what determination can do.

Thunder and Akecheta were together at the West End.

Gabby arrived at the NE-Florida Nest early. She looks out on her territory and its uncertain future. V3 was last seen on the 16th of September. He has been missing for two days now.

Tuesday: Black Storks flying over the Straits of Gibraltar.

Hope is growing and changing. She is no longer ’round’.

Calico loves her cuddles and still wants a story whenever I am with them. It is such a great way to get them used to your voice.

Cuddle time with Mamma and Baby Hope.

How did Avian Flu or HPAI impact the breeding season? News from the BTO gives us insight.

Has HPAI impacted breeding raptors?

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been in the news because of its all too obvious impacts on our breeding seabird colonies and wintering goose populations. However, the disease has affected a wide range of bird species, including birds of prey. Because raptors tend to be more dispersed and often inhabit remote locations, there has been concern that the impact of HPAI on these species could have been underestimated.

BTO Scotland staff Mark Wilson, Anthony Wetherhill and Chris Wernham were commissioned by NatureScot to examine Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme (SRMS) data for any evidence of an impact. The team compared SRMS data from the 2022 breeding season with equivalent data from previous years, assessing whether there had been significant changes in reported numbers or breeding success of raptor pairs, and whether any of the changes detected were likely to be caused by the HPAI outbreak.

The analyses provided strong evidence for declines in breeding success consistent with impacts of HPAI on the productivity of Golden Eagle and White-tailed Eagle in 2022. These impacts were evident in most of the Scottish regions where these eagles breed but, for both species, they appear to have been greater in areas where pairs had access to coastal and marine habitats, indicating a possible link to predation and scavenging of infected seabirds and waterfowl.

Other factors that could explain the differences observed between 2022 and other years, particularly in breeding success, include variation in weather, prey availability and survey effort. Of these, the weather recorded in 2022 may have contributed to the observed differences but seems unlikely to entirely account for all of them.

The work, which has been published as a NatureScot report, highlights the valuable role played by coordinated monitoring of our raptor populations.

BTO, e-mail of 19 September 2023

And in Melbourne…

At Patchogue, a local enthusiast and lover of Mini, Isac, said on Tuesday when he went checking, “just saw an osprey crossing from the creek to the lake and have a fish in her talons. I think this our lil 4”.

Do you live in Alabama?

M15 and F1 are getting serious. Androcat brings us the action.

It is a beautiful poem to the Welsh Ospreys…completely written by AI.

Black Storks on the move. No data from Bonus and no new data from Karl II.

One of Atlantic Canada’s favourite male Ospreys, Lucky, is still providing fish to his chicks.

The fledgling from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum nest was still home.

CORRECTION TO INFORMATION I WAS GIVEN: The male at the Arboretum nest is not 21 years old. Here is the correct information: “This male is G/B MS….a five year old that was hatched in 2018 on a nest in Carver Park.”

RUTLAND WATER, home to many ospreys but my fav male Blue 33 and Maya fledged their 250th Osprey chick in 2023. Congratulations. The event is being celebrated widely and there is even a BBC Radio Programme on the 22nd of September.

Mini has not returned to the nest since Sunday the 17th. That was three days ago. A local believes they saw Mini fishing.

SE 31 and 32 are getting more steady on their feet.

It’s scandalously hot on F22 at the 367 Collins Street nest. Question: Last year, we witnessed the effects of the hot sun and heat on the eyases. So why was the scrape not taken down in that area or, instead, why wasn’t a shade put on it like at the other end?

Thursday: Mark Avery gives us a brief update on Bird Flu in the UK.

“In 2023, up until 17 September, 46 species have tested positive. The last month has seen just one addition – 4 Pheasants in Moray.  Here’s the list: Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, FulmarMute Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Barnacle Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Teal, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffin, Curlew, Ringed Plover, unspecified heron (!), Grey Heron, dove/pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant, Red Grouse, Sparrowhawk, Goshawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Reed Warbler and Carrion Crow.” 

What is happening at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby? V3 has not been seen in some days and I fear that the tragedy of Samson has beset a potential mate for Gabby. Will there be a clear partner before breeding season in 2023? or will all be lost due to territorial disputes?

Friday: New studies on migration with relation to Black-tailed Godwits and Red Knots reveals much about how young birds travel to their winter homes.

There has been chaos at the scrape of Diamond and Xavier due to the persistent presence of a young female falcon. Diamond has engaged with the female, and as of today, Friday, the nest is calm and back to normal. We need Diamond safe. She is not a youngster and she is incubating eggs.

Here is the video of that moment! This must be very unsettling for Diamond and Xavier.

Lotus and Mr President have been photographed together at the Washington Arboretum Bald Eagle nest.

Ervie is exploring more territory.

The Pritchetts are getting ready for a new season with M15 and his young and beautiful new mate. I hope that they have many successful years – even a decade – together raising little eaglets that spend time at the pond.

Saturday: Ervie is flying inland.

Gabby has been working on the nest with the new visitor. There has been no sightings of V3 and the AEF says they have not seen any fights on camera. There now could be two suitors. ‘As the Nest Turns’ has begun. Poor Gabby. The AEF is labelling them A1, A2, etc. Gabby prefers the smaller A1 and not A2. Hoping that V3 was just run out of the territory but, what a way to start the year.

Now Anna has been injured. She returned to the KNF E-1 nest – limping with a head injury. None of this is good…. but let us hope it is all minor with Anna.

Jackie and Shadow have been seen together in the tree on cam 2. I still love the diamonds that appear on the nest when the sun is just rising at Big Bear.

SE31 and 32 have changed significantly over the past week. Just look at that plumage. My friend, the late Toni Castelli-Rosen, loved the plumage of the White-Bellied Sea Eaglets. The two are much more steady on their feet and they are flapping their wings. Beautiful eaglets.

Dad has been working on the ND-LEEF nest. The new female has also been present. (Home of ND17, that wonderful third hatch survivor that went into care at Humane Wildlife Indiana – finally!).

Eagles at Duke Farms.

Calico has come out of her operation in fine form. She has been playing like a kitten for the past 3 days, and Hope loves it. They both seem to have springs on the pads of their feet. What joy it is to see Mamma and Hope play together. After, they can often be found sleeping side by side on the top of their makeshift tent where they can look out at the garden animals.

The bells will be ringing in New Zealand as the first two Royal Albatross have returned for the 2023-24 breeding season!

This short article explains this much-anticipated event.

‘A’ is very excited and provides more details and a video explanation of the ringing. ” Meanwhile, the official ringing of the bells in nearby Dunedin to welcome the returning toroa will occur this Monday, 25 September, at 13:00 local time (in the US on Sunday 24 September at 3pm Hawaii time/6pm PST/9pm EST). Here is a brief explanation of this beautiful tradition: How adorable is the little girl?”

Sunday: Lady and Dad reinforce the side rails as SE31 and 32 become more active in the nest!

Ervie got home safely!

Speaking of getting home safely, V3 has returned to the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Gabby. He is a little worse for wear in places. Will Gabby show up? Will V3 take the prize? We wait.

Pepe and Muhlady are working on their nest in Central Florida as are many other eagle couples throughout North America.

Akecheta was visiting the West End nest.

This is disgraceful! You can look no further than the driven grouse estates. This is precisely what Hamza was referring to when discussing the persecution of the Hen Harriers in Scotland!

Thank you so much for being with me this morning as I ate back into Bird World. I hope each of you had a good week and are enjoying the crisp autumn air. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my newsletter over the past week: ‘A, H, Geemeff, L’, Geemeff and BBC1, PSEG, Sharyn Broni, Conservation Without Borders, The Sunday Times, PLO, WRDC Pam Kruse and SF Osprey Cam with Rosie and Richmond, Ian Winter and Ospreys of Newfoundland and Labrado, Sydney Sea Eagles, IWS/, NEFL-AEF, Birdlife, BTO, Karen Lang and Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcon, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac Alabama Coastal Briefest. Androcat and SW Florida Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, SK Hideaways, Looduskalendar, Twin Cities Metro Osprey Watch, Mark Avery, Inatra Veidemane and Bald Eagles in the USA, Hakai Magazine, MI McGreer, Karen Long, Gracie Shepherd and Raptors of the World, Katie Phillips Conners, Tonya Irwin and KNF-E1, FOBBV, ND-LEEF, Duke Farms, The Royal Albatross Centre, Superbeaks, Sharon Dunne and Royal Cam Albatross Group NZ, and Raptor Persecution UK.

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.

Tiny Little works its wings…Thursday in Bird World

6 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I went out in nature again today to clear my head about the Newfoundland Nest. The second chick has died, and Hope is brooding it tonight the DNH egg ton. Hope became the resident female in 2019, for those who do not know. Before this time, this nest had fledged many osplets. In 2019, Hope demonstrated that she rarely fed her chicks, forcing them to crawl to the edge to get fed. Two died of starvation; one fledged that year. None of the chicks survived in 2020, 2021, 2022, and now again in 2023. This year Hope showed a little more instinct to care for the chicks than in previous years. It is just extremely sad and now this season is over for the ‘Last Hope’ nest and we must move forward because many things are happening.

I do want to start with a positive note from the FortisExShaw nest as I know it has been difficult lately with all the tragedy. ‘H’ notes that Louise, the female at the FortisExshaw nest, did a really clever thing yesterday. She fed the two big ones til they passed out but had fish remaining. Then she stopped the feeding and did some nest work. Once the big ones were sound asleep, she fed Little. Brilliant! Now this has been seen at other nests where the third hatch was having problems – Tiny Tot Tumbles at Achieva in 2021 and Foulshaw Moss in 2021. Great strategies and both of those tow chicks survived to become the dominant bird on the nest.

My blog is short this morning. Instead, I will also have an update on some of the nests I monitor and those of ‘H’ in the early evening on the 6th. Then things will be back to normal!

These are a few of the birds from the Oak Hammock Marsh from the morning of 5 July. The Red-tailed hawk soared in the thermals above me for about 20 minutes. I left and it was still up in the clouds. What an incredible sight – so peaceful.

A Killdeer.

There was an explosion of Barn Swallows around the pavilion. Are they curious about humans? They are such cuties and look, it is banded.

A Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk who was loving flying.

The oldest sibling at the Outerbanks 24/7 fledged on the 4th of July. It returned to the nest, so all is well, but there were fireworks near the nest on the 4th. Everyone reading my blog knows that fireworks are dangerous to our domesticated pets. Imagine the raptors – all the birds and wildlife- living in the urban centres. Why should they be subjected to this trauma? It is a lot of money just for a little bit of satisfaction when so many other causes could use those funds for the long-term benefit of many. While we work on our less use and purchasing of plastic, we can write to those individuals in our communities that plan events and ask them not to use fireworks or balloons or anything that could harm our precious animals. People do have power and we can guide positive change but we have to let the right people know that these events are no longer acceptable.

Here is an informative article for the CBC in Calgary, Alberta, that addresses the issue of harm to humans and animals froj fireworks. This will help you get started on the logical argument and the science of why we should now stop these loud displays, including the debris left for animals to get entangled, birds abandoning their nests, anxiety, and loss of hearing..There are many similar articles on the Internet also.

At Patchogue today, one of the two oldest siblings hovered magnificently and flew to the perch at 12:26. It flew to the opposite side of the nest at 16:53. For Eagles, we would call this branching so I am not officially saying this osplet fledged but we are ever so close.

One, Two, and Little Mini were all at the rim flapping like crazy today! Maybe they are all males and the Three that pecked at Mini is a female. We will never know! The females tend to fledge after the males but there are always exceptions. Mini has eaten well today even snapping fish bites away from Big at the 18:10 feeding.

You know those lumps in your throat you get…well, Mini is just too curious about this flying business and I thought goodness, this osplet is going to fledge soon. I am not ready for Little Mini to fly! And it looks like she is missing a vital feathery her right wing tip, one of the primaries (it looks like with this image).

Here is an image illustrating the feathers of an osprey that was supplied by Dr Erick Greene of the University of Montana at Missoula several years ago.

Can you pick Tiny Little out of the chicks below? She appears to have surpassed Three in size…Three with is great necklace! So in order from left to right – Big, Third, Tiny Little, Second. Incredible.

This nest is amazing.

There are only 7 breeding pairs of ospreys in Denmark. Today marks a very historic event – the ringing of the first osplets in Danish history. The trio were from the Grim Skive nest wish is the 4th largest forest in Denmark in Northern Zealand. The nest is in a beautiful live tree. The link to the camera is below. Go and check this out!

You might be aware that there are growing concerns with the food supply for the Bald Eagles, which is normally Chum Salmon (the Salmon who have spawned and then die). Here is a good article and it shows us how the Eagles and farmers are adapting in Washington State – something that could be a solution elsewhere if the trend continues with the salmon.

The article comes from the last Living Bird Magazine from Cornell Bird Lab.

Oh, Ervie, it is so nice to see you! Our 2021 third hatch from the Port Lincoln Osprey barge is looking good. I wonder if he is still fishing with Dad at Delamere sometimes? It will not be long til we will be checking on that Port Lincoln nest for eggs as the Australian season begins!

I love the fact that they mention Ernie’s necklace — do not ever judge a bird to be a male or female by its necklace alone!!!!!!!

Checking on another Australian male that we love – Xavier – he brought a grebe as a gift to Diamond on the morning of July 6 and she accepted it! For those of you who do not know this darling falcon couple in Orange, Australia, Diamond is very particular about her prey and she does not like Starlings! A Grebe or parrots are tasty treats.

These lovely images of the Ms out and about on the Cornell campus were taken by Suzanne Arnold Horning on 5 July. They all seem to be doing very well as they navigate trees, buildings, birds, and squirrels. Thank you Suzanne for allowing me to share your wonderful images.

A new nest recommendation for all my falcon and hawk lovers – The Dorest Hobby Falcons is highly recommended by my colleague SP! Their first hatch with two more, hopefully, soon. Have a look at this incredible manmade nest – modelled after that of a crow – and these parents feeding this just-hatched chick.

They are correctly called Eurasian Hobby. They are a small raptor, like a kestrel. You might look at them first and think of a Peregrine Falcon. They eat insects and small birds often caught in flight by the talons and then transferred to the beak. They are capable of very sophisticated “high-speed aerial manoeuvres”, according to the RSPB.

We try to do what we can for our beloved feathered friends. That help takes many forms, from donations to bird feeding stations, bowls or bird baths holding water, volunteering for bird counts, and lobbying our politicians to improve their lives. Sometimes there are also simple fixes that we can make in our homes and gardens. Many are urging that all new buildings be bird-friendly. This includes collision-proof glass or Swift bricks in the UK.

Thank you so much for being with me. Take care, everyone! Check back later for the nest round-up with me and ‘H’.

Thank you so much to the following for their notes, videos, photographs, and streaming cams that helped me write my blog for this morning: ‘SP, T’, CBC Calgary, PSEG, Erick Greene, Naturstyrelsen DK, Cornell Bird Lab, Buxx Hockaday The Guardian, Wildlife Windows, and Friends of Osprey Sth Aus.

Fledges, Zeus missing? and more…Thursday in Bird World

22 June 2023

It is always good to go somewhere and soak in a very different environment and then, it is always good to be ‘home’. It was hard to leave the island. There had to be one last stop by the rocks and the water with the Pelicans and Hooded Mergansers. Before I could get there, a family of Canada Geese swam by! Oh, joy!

This beautiful female Common Merganser sitting on ‘her’ rock watching her babies swim.

Pelicans have to be the comedians of the shore. Notice that the pelican on the right has a ‘caruncle’ – a protrusion from the top beak. It is thought that these are there to attract a mate as they are shed after mating and eggs are laid. Both males and females grow them.

Lake Winnipeg is the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world at 25,514 sq km. It is also very shallow – something that causes these huge swells. At its deepest, it is only 38 m.

The water pounds against the rocks when it is windy – I find it soothing. They were all there, so it was a nice goodbye, and then, crossing the causeway, there was a single Tundra Swan and, to my delight, a Bald Eagle (not an adult but too far at a distance to determine age) who was none too happy that I stopped to say hello! It was near the Black Wolf trail, where their nests are located.

The distance is about 80-90 metres. That eagle with its keen sight knew where I was all the time. It had flown from an old dock to that tree in the distance to keep an eye on me.

I love it when the garden animals realise that I am home! Or maybe it is the smell of those peanuts in the feeders! LOL

Poor Junior looks a little bedraggled now that he is moulting. That Blue Jay in front – well that is the little fledgling that was sitting with the stone birds last week.

Dyson is looking a lot better than she did a few days ago.

There were so many birds getting drinks.

Moorings Park Victor is having a ball, skimming the water for fish, and coming to the nest wet! What a delight!

Little Mini is doing very well despite the Bigs getting some small fish to self feed on previous days. ‘R’ sent me two images of Mini up feeding at dawn and again when another early fish arrives. It seems that things are back to normal with Mini eating well in the early morning and evening. Don’t you just love this little character?

A big fish came into the nest at 18:44, and Mum happily fed Mini from 19:54-19:21, when she was too full to eat another bite. Mum got to enjoy some nice fish. We should no longer have to worry about Mini, but because she is a fourth, I will continue to watch her closely until she fledges! It is simply a delight to see this little one work hard to stay alive and is now thriving.

Mini also had the most amazing ‘ps’ at 20:31. That wide ribbon of white going in front of the perch is going to make a big splash on the sidewalk.

Deyani fledged on Wednesday and returned to the nest. Perfect.

Angel arrived to an empty nest.

Deyani returns to get the little bird for her lunch that Angel brought. This is excellent—the continuation of the nest as a place for prey.

On Wednesday, the Ms were getting a little antsy. One was on the fledge ledge and the railing today sending out the signal that they could fly anytime now and M1 did. She flew Thursday morning.

We almost had an ooops.

Here is the video of that flight!

Perhaps I am the only one but this eyas at the Evergy Topeka scrape – while it has now its back and wing feathers broken out of their shafts – still has the most peculiar head. Where is its plumage?

Climate change is revealing new places for our birds to try and live. Here is some news from Sanibel Islands.

Storms are really playing havoc with the osprey nests along the NE coast of the US today. This is the report from ‘H’. “Ospreys near the Mid-Atlantic coast are not eating well today.  Rain and heavy winds.  So far today as of 1955:

Barnegat Light, three early fish – Little had 36 bites at the first meal, and at the other two meals the view was blocked. I note that the wind is terrible and Mum is soaked as night begins to descend.

Kent Island, one early fish (two meals)

Dahlgren, two early fish

Patuxent 1, one afternoon fish

Severna Park, two early fish (I think that’s all) 

SCMM, no fish so far !!! And now we may know why. ‘H’ reports: “Worrisome.  Zeus was not seen at all yesterday.  We assume he had no luck fishing for the family, but he did not stop by the nest.  Hera flew off the nest this morning at 0810 and did not return until 0953.  We assume she went fishing.  When she returned, she did not have a fish and her crop was flat.  It is damp and chilly, 63 degrees.  For some reason, she has not returned to brooding the chicks at 10:20.”

This is very sad, indeed. Hera might know that something has happened to Zeus and that she cannot care for the osplets alone. We wait. Send good wishes to all of these nests, please.

Forsythe, no fish so far (Big and Middle self-fed Mini’s carcass) !!!

Boathouse, plenty of fish and feeds.

Exshaw, three feedings so far.  I watched the feeding at 1630 (mdt) to make sure Little was getting fed, and the answer is a very big YES.  Louise went out of her way to make sure Little in the back row had many bites, even some big ones that the little stinker surprisingly managed to swallow.

As you can see, some of the nests are doing splendidly and do not have weather issues – others have severe wind and rain causing a lack of food and those horrid wet and cold conditions that can make osplets vulnerable. We may lose some chicks off these nests. I am particularly concerned about Barnegat Light.

Here is a sweep of some other nests:

Cowlitz PUD: The osplet was seen attacking Mum’s beak because it is hungry. The fish are small and most often not enough of them.


Boulder County Fair Grounds: Everything appears to be alright. Little got a private feeding!

Outerbanks, North Carolina: Everything is good. Chicks are self-feeding and also being fed.

Dunrovin: Three healthy osplets!

At the Finnish Nests:

#1. It appears that all three are doing good.

#3. Little sometimes hangs back but manages to get up front and get some of the big fish that are brought to the nest.

#4. Everything appears to be alright. Lined up nicely for meals with a wee bit of bother sometimes – but not during feedings that I have observed.

#LS5: Everything looks alright with this nest and its two osplets. It is the only Finnish nest with only two this year.

Janakkalan: The third hatch often gets fed after the two big ones.

In the UK, banding will occur at all of the nests we have monitored as long as the weather holds and there are banners. Chicks cannot be banded after 45 days for fear of causing a premature fledge/fludge. The ideal time is 35-38 days.

Loch of the Lowes: Blue NC0 has to protect her chicks from bad weather.

Nice fish for a late night meal. Laddie has been delivering a lot of fish. On the 15th of June, he delivered a record eleven for the nest.

Dyfi Osprey Project: The ringing of the two osplets of Idris and Telyn will take place on 27 June, weather permitting. Awwwww, sleeping sweeties.

Glaslyn: I love seeing Aran and Elen sharing the perch. The chicks are growing and healthy and all is well.

Loch Arkaig: Geemeff catches the delivery of fish number two in the early afternoon….It is identified as a whole Silver Tourist (a species I do not know but gosh, what a nice one!). I can only imagine if a fish like this landed on the Cowlitz PUD.

Poole Harbour: Breakfast is served at 0426. Blue 022 is really an early bird.

Llyn Clywedog: Dylan fed the Bobs a really nice Brown Trout for their tea on Wednesday.

For the fans of the Albatross, the Royal Cam chick has a name. A really nice compilation by Sharon Dunne aka Lady Hawk.

Does M15 – our amazing SW Florida Dad – have a new mate? Oh, this is fantastic – let us hope that these two bond and we see them in the late fall at the nest. So grateful to those photographers on the ground.

You might really enjoy seeing the winners of the Audubon Photography Awards. There are so many talented individuals!

And now for something extraordinary – we really could use a pick me up after the weather and Zeus missing…Middle at Achieva. He is fattening up at the Tampa Bay Raptor Centre and will attend flight school next week. How wonderful is that? Thanks, ‘H’.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon – and do not forget to send good wishes to these beautiful nests. Many of them might be in some trouble today.

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, postings, photographs, and streaming cams that help make up my blog today: “A, H, L, R’, Moorings Park, PSEG, Window to Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab, Evergy Topeka, NBC2 News, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Chesapeake Conservancy, Dahlgren Ospreys, Patuxent River Park, Severna Ospreys, SCMM, Forsythe Ospreys, Audubon Boat House, Fortis Exshaw, Cowlitz PUD, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Outerbank ospreys, Dunrovin Ranch, Finnish Osprey Foundation, LOTL, Dyfi, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Laura Davis Nelson and SWFL Eagles, and Audubon.

Sunday in Bird World

16 April 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

On Saturday, a grey day in Manitoba started drizzly and cold. The birds were at the garden feeders an hour early. It was pretty interesting. There were more Black-capped chickadees and woodpeckers today than in previous days. The conservatory has genuinely been a blessing. It is like sitting with them in the middle of the garden but separate, not bothering them. They seem unaware of my presence, looking out the windows, often with my camera. Thankfully, the sun is up, and it is a bright day in Manitoba this morning.

Missy has taken to enjoying looking out the window from inside a large ceramic platter that has become a new sleeping spot!

Lewis is such an ‘angel’ when he is sleeping.