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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uanfnBN6OPI&t=36s. 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/Explore.com, 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.

Has Manaaki fledged? Saturday in Bird World

16 September 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

This is our last blog until we return on Monday 25 September. We hope that you have a great week while we are away!

Today it was cold and rainy. Not a great day for the annual open house at Wildlife Haven, our wildlife rescue hospital, in Ile des Chenes, Manitoba. Normally the grounds outside would be filled with people listening to speakers and visiting with the raptor ambassadors. Today, most huddled inside.

It was good to see so many parents with children aged 5 and up asking questions and being ever so curious about the animals.

One of the highlights of the tour was seeing the new home for Majestic. Majestic is a Bald Eagle that came to Wildlife Haven from Rainy River, Ontario ten years ago. She arrived as a juvenile and is believed to be between 10 and 12 years old. She was starving, dehydrated, and was suffering from an old fracture in her left wing at intake. She cannot live in the wild as she does not have control over her flight feathers but – now – she can fly about landing on various perches within her new enclosure safely.

Meet Una, a Great Horned Owl. Una had problems in the nest, according to the presenter. She was born with a missing right eye and a beak that was not aligned – he is small for the species. As a nestling, Una was neglected by her parents. Today, she is living the good life as an ambassador.

It felt ‘very odd’ holding the tail of an Osprey that was once very much alive.

Or a Red-tail Hawk.

There were tours throughout the surgical wing, the food preparation area, the big flight chambers, and special areas for clients such as otters and fox cubs.

Every wildlife rehab centre relies on donations and volunteers. It is amazing what they do with so little. You can normally find a ‘wish list’ at your local centre of items that are urgently needed and, of course, I will continually remind you about clean used towels and sheets, bleach, washing up liquid, laundry detergent, stainless steel bowls, small hand tools that work, pet food, vegetables from your garden, and items of enrichment such as toys. Clean kennels are particularly helpful in transporting animals or isolating them while they await intake or treatment. So before you bin it, think again. There is some wildlife rehab centre near you that might find those things useful – and they would be very grateful. Thank you!

Meanwhile – the kittens. I am guilty of taking way too many images of Hope. She is growing so fast and every day I can see subtle changes in her appearance.

Calico is getting very restless to get out of the conservatory and back into the house’s main part. The vet says ten days. Meanwhile, Hope is nothing short of energy in a small packet. She wants to play and runs from chair to table to tent and couch and then scurries under the covered area over the dining table and out again. Mamma is tired and, I think, growing weary of this big kid of hers. LOL.

Hope gets excited when anyone enters the conservatory – she wants to play with her favourite feather-dangling toy. She was introduced to healthy cat treats full of flax, cranberries, chicken, and other goodies. Her treats look healthy, like homemade human granola bars with extra protein. I made a line, and sure enough, she followed it to my lap. She is still very nervous, and I try not to breathe or move when this happens. She remains reluctant for me to hold her, so we are going every so slowly.

Lewis wants everyone to know that he is cuddly, adorable and a goof.

Lewis and Missey found a way to look out the window in the old office where Calico first stayed. Little birds were flitting about the apple tree. I am so glad that their closeness has not been jeopardised by the arrival of the two new siblings.

Looks like one of the things that we will be doing next week is building some insulated cat shelters. Winter will arrive on the Canadian Prairies before we know it. The Dark-eyed Juncos showed up in the garden today looking for Millet and Robins are passing through. There are still some hummingbirds being photographed along with Pine Siskins. Geese are everywhere, filling up on grass and grain left on the farmers’ fields before going south.

There is still concern over Hurricane Lee. There are reports that one beloved male Osprey adult, Swoop, is still near the nest at Hog Island in Maine. As I write this, the defined eye of the hurricane appears to have broken up, but this could still bring high winds and heavy rains to NE USA and Atlantic Canada.

Keep all of the wildlife in your thoughts as this system moves. We still have many fledglings and adult Ospreys in Atlantic Canada that have not left for migration.

Annie and Lou are bonding! How sweet. These are rare occurrences this time of year, but what is so good about this behaviour is that we can confirm that both are healthy and doing well.

In South Australia, Ervie is back fishing at Delamere, where he used to join Dad when he was just a youngster. Ervie is now two years old. Happy Birthday, Ervie!

It is always good to see Osprey platforms being replaced or installed for new couples. There are not enough old dead trees in situ for them near good fishing spots. This is a good solution and far superior to them building nests on power poles where they could be electrocuted.

Remember the two Royal Albatross chicks that failed in their first flight? Here is the story of their rescue. Thanks, Holly!

‘H’ brings us up to date on Barnegat Light and Date County:

Barnegat Light – “Duke is enjoying a few days of well-earned rest and relaxation since Dorsett left the area on 9/11.  Duke can often be seen in one of his trees at the north tree line, and Thursday he was wading at the shoreline with some gulls.  Friday Duke enjoyed a nice breakfish on his perch.  Later in the afternoon, he was seen on his perch shaking his tail and drying out his wings.  We love ya’, Duke.”

Dade County – “The juvie, R5, was back at the nest again on 9/15, and this time he was looking for food scraps.  Ah, he is so mature looking!  R5 has been at the nest 5 out of the last 6 days.  There is still some time before nesting season begins for Ron and Rose, but as much as we love R5, some of us are hoping that he will be bitten by the wanderlust bug soon, lol.  R5 is six months old on 9/16.  Happy Birthday, R5 !!”

Flaco, the Eurasian Owl that escaped the Central Park Zoo is doing well despite initial worries some months ago! You can check out more of Flake’s adventures by going to Bruce Yolton’s website urban hawks.com

‘A’ reports: “At Collins Street, F22 had a large crop today when she left the nest at 10:36, and little M22 arrived by 10:41 to take over the incubating until the shadow covered the scrape. He was panting a lot, and both parents this morning were using the technique of standing over the eggs with wings outstretched to shade them, rather than settling down on the clutch. Little dad looks so cute when he does it! He works so hard at enfluffling the eggs. It’s hard work for him to cover them all. He’s going to have major problems when it’s four eyases aged, say, a week to 10 days, without thermal down and exposed to the rain and the direct sunlight.—Yes, I’m going to say it again. WHY OH WHY could they not have strategically placed two small squares of wood to shelter from above and to extend the shelter of the building on the far side!??? What will happen on the first wet day?”

‘A’ continues: “I am genuinely concerned that there is the real possibility of a tragedy at Collins Street this season. Last year was the third consecutive La Nina year. That is not a normal Australian summer. We are about to get back to our usual summers, which include days reaching as high as 43C and I shudder to imagine what that scrape will look like by the time the chicks are, say, 10 days old. There is going to be a period of up to a month when the chicks are very vulnerable to that heat and are unable to escape it along that gutter. Not only that, but dehydration is going to be a potential problem even if they are getting enough food.”

SE31 and 32 were very hot on Friday, too. They were panting to help cool their bodies.

‘A’ reports about breakfast: “Breakfast was something that had been feathered (it looked young, but its feathers may just have been wet – it lacked a head so identifying it was not easy), which Lady brought in at 06:40:35. SE31 was in the right place at the right time, so was already in perfect position for food when it arrived, and shortly after 06:41 tried to help herself to the prey. Lady waited a while for some reason, and SE32 joined SE31 waiting for food. Because he came up on his big sister’s inside, SE32 was in primary position when mum did begin feeding, so was fed first rather than his sister. But Lady is relatively even-handed and is feeding both. The blood appears to be nearly gone from her head. so it must have come from her talons,. perhaps while scratching herself, and there is no apparent sign of what yesterday looked like a wound on her left foot. This is really lovely juicy nutritious red meat, and a decent-sized piece of prey as well. Both eaglets are eagerly grabbing bites, some of them very large. Their manners are impeccable. Neither is being at all aggressive and each is happy to watch the other eat. When they lose a competition for a bite, they just wait for the next one. It is lovely to watch. Lady is doing her best to feed both, and it seems they will end up having roughly equal amounts of this meal.”

‘J’ brings news that there is a new camera at the Centrepoint Bald Eagle Nest.

Gabby and V3 have been very alert at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest on Friday.

The cameras will return to SWFlorida on the 30th of September.

At the Royal Albatross colony, ‘A’ reports: “Manaaki is hovering so high, he is out of camera shot. Twice, I have thought he has fledged, but he has landed far down the hill and walked back up. He may well go today, but he shouldn’t. He is still not in control of his flying and he still has too much fluff. Another three days is my guess, as he is still not tucking his feet and legs up confidently and is unable to surf the thermals with any real control. Still, he is getting great height on his hovers and staying airborne for increasing lengths of time. He is very serious about his practising, and cast another bolus at 01:40 this morning. So he is preparing to leave and it could be at any moment now. Literally.”

‘A’ returns later with what is ‘sad’ news: “Manaaki has not returned to his nest. UQ is waiting for him, in his new spot near Manaaki’s nest. The general consensus on the chat is that Manaaki has fledged, although we need to wait until the rangers do their walkaround and head count tomorrow to know whether he is elsewhere on the headland. Unless of course he returns to his nest during the night. It is agreed that he was last seen on camera at 16:39:45 and has not been seen since. Other sightings thought to be of Manaaki were in fact of UQ chick (whose hovering skills are way better than Manaaki’s). I am still sceptical because he really did not seem to be sufficiently balanced in the air and still looked very uncertain. Not to mention the fluff he still had. If he has fledged and landed on the water in the bay, he will be spotted and if necessary rescued.  If he has fledged successfully, he has done so at 238 days of age. We wish him godspeed and all the luck in the world out there. We pray we (and he) will live long enough to see him return to his birthplace (some return as early as age three, others not until they are five or even older). One or probably both of his parents will visit the nest over the next few days to make sure their baby has fledged and is not hanging around nearby, needing to be fed. It is so bittersweet watching them wait. If their chick does not return to the nest to be fed, then all their devotion and hard work has paid off. They have done their job for the season, successfully raising a chick to fledge. But somehow, there is a pang as they wait. Sometimes, they come back more than once, just to be sure.  

So now, a year after we watched QT fledge, we are waiting for her parents to return for the new season. Mum YRK and dad OGK. Of course, our hope that OKG will return is very slim indeed, but it does remain a possibility. They ring the bells at the colony when the first returnees arrive home, and then the bells ring out all over the area. They love the toroa.” 

There is good news. While I do not know the number of butterflies in Canada this year, we have noticed a considerable number in the garden and the local parks. Others have mentioned this as well. In the UK, the record of butterflies has grown this summer – excellent news. This does not mean that there has been an increase in the number of insects – so vital to the lives of our songbirds.

Indeed, a group of residents at one of the condominiums in Winnipeg has noticed that the songbirds have disappeared from their property after the management had the grass treated by a firm claiming to be ‘Eco’. If it kills weeds, it will kill insects that the birds eat and often kills the birds. If you know of any well-researched articles on the issue of lawn treatments and songbirds, please send them to me. I hope to help some of my former students prepare a united front and argue against this practice in the future.

Do you know the Island of Mull on the west coast of Scotland? It is notorious for its wildlife, and the White-tail Eagles are no exception. There are also dolphins and whales to be seen.

While the Ospreys are away, want to watch a different table feeder in Scotland? Check out the one at RSPB Loch Garten. Here is the link. You might see some of those adorable red squirrels.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Please take care. We look forward to seeing you on the 25th of September when we return from a brief break.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, articles, and streaming cams that helped me to compose my blog this morning: ‘A, H, J’, Geemeff’, Wildlife Haven, NOAA Hurricane Centre, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, PLO, Jeff Kear and UK Osprey Info, Holly Parsons and Albatross Lovers, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, WRDC, Bruce Yolton, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Sydney sea Eagle Cam, NEFL-AEF, The Guardian, and Hakai Magazine.

Skydancing…the plight of the Hen Harrier and Mini is adapting…Friday in Bird World

18 August 2023

Good Morning,

It is Thursday afternoon and it is nearly 1400. A Cooper’s Hawk has just landed above my head on the Conservatory. A summer fledgling who has found the garden and its hundreds and hundreds of Sparrows, the snack of choice for this raptor. You have to look in their eyes – just once – directly and you will melt. It was a long time ago now that I ran into the garden through deep snow for fear that a very large female Shark-shinned Hawk was eating Hedwig, the resident rabbit. She wasn’t but, in an instant, our eyes met one another. There was a meeting of spirits. I understand fully the Circle of Life and for this beautiful raptor she needed food. I love raptors – some people don’t. They see them as big mean birds.

Today, there will be little news from nests but I want you to understand, by listening, what all the fuss is about the hunting estates, and the extinction of the Hen Harrier.

So please listen! You also get an explanation of the Inglorious 12th of August. I hope you understand why stomping on a nest of innocent Hen Harrier chicks makes me ill and causes my anxiety to rise. The wealthy pay 1000s of GBP per day to shoot grouse but they also stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, and spend money in the villages. The fines and punishments mean nothing because killing birds is big business with the Driven Grouse Moors seen to be a ‘part of traditional Britain’ – which they are. We live in the 21st century and our attitudes towards killing have changed since medieval times.

There are three episodes. Educate yourself and listen to all of them. Imagine the vast expanse of Scotland because this is where this happens.

Part One. Susie’s Chicks


Part Two. The Perfect Crime.


Part Three. An Open Secret


There are so many good books out there on Hen Harriers. They are such beautiful raptors. These are two of my favourites:

At Patchogue, Mini had four fish on Thursday. She ate the majority of each of them proving that she is adapting to her situation. It has been over a week now that she appeared on the nest with her injury.

When there is not much of the fish left – or if they are small, to begin with – Mini has difficulties because she still cannot put weight on that left leg. She can’t hold down the fish and pull. Today, she was persistent in working on the tail of one of those deliveries. Tried to work on a tiny piece! Dad brought the fourth fish in, a small one, late in the day. Mini worked and worked, and she succeeded – this fish, not a bite of it, went overboard.

Gosh, she is beautiful.

Mini is desperately trying to get every morsel of that fish tail.

Mini worked and worked an she horked all of that fish tail!

All gone.

We have to watch Mini’s progress. She appears more steady on her legs, less wobbly – although at the end of the day – around 1952 when she flew off the perch she appeared to have trouble -, uses her wings to help her, and is enthusiastic in her fish calling. She is flying. Dad continues to feed his youngest. What we know about Mini’s personality is this – she survived against great odds – one of only a few (I have to find those stats) fourth hatches to live this season. She is intelligent, tenacious, and she does not give up. She works hard. If all of my university students had those qualities, teaching would have been a breeze!

Good Night, Mini.

There is good news about Ervie who is enjoying Turnby Bay!

Waiting and watching as Dad continues to deliver fish to Mum at Port Lincoln.

At Sydney Sea Eagles, little 32 (noticeably smaller now than 32) still waits submissively while 31 eats. The fish was very large, and 31 was full, and the baby ate. The pattern of domination was set early. We can still see some of the feathers missing from 32.

“A’ gives us the rundown: “Dad came to the nest shortly after 9.35 and asked Lady whether it was okay for him to have some of the leftover fish. Surprisingly, she actually agreed! She stood up from brooding the chicks and flew off, leaving him to have a snack and then feed the remainder of the fish to SE31 (well, SE32 got about half a dozen or perhaps eight mouthfuls at the beginning of the feed, but as soon as SE31 beaked him, pulled out another beakful of feathers (she can’t shake SE32 any more – he’s too big now – but still grabs a beakful of feathers somewhere on SE32’s head or neck and twists back and forth till he pulls out the feathers, leaving herself spitting out fluff), he went into submission. Late in the feed, Dad tried to offer him a bite but SE32 shrank away, which confused Dad, who didn’t try again. SE32 still has a huge crop from breakfast, so if he doesn’t eat again for the rest of the day, he will be fine… As long as SE31 has had enough, she is perfectly happy to watch her little brother stuffing himself to the brim. On other occasions, though, she continues to return to the table, and as long as she is that close, SE32 is fearful, with good reason, as SE31 will often react to any food given to SE32 by beaking him.”

Friday morning Xavier had stashed a fresh European Starling in the corner of the scrape. We know that this is not Diamond’s favourite breakfast but…she was hungry. Went over and accepted the food gift and out she went. Still waiting for eggs.

Three healthy and happy fledglings at Boulder County hoping that they will be the lucky one to get the fish delivery.

At the time of my writing, Maya was still at Rutland.

Only four so far reported crossing over the Straits of Gibraltar.

This is Thursday’s chart from Hawk Mountain in PA, USA.

Migration is on everyone’s mind and Tiger Mozone posted an older chart showing the relationship between fledge dates and migration from Loch Garten.

A note came to me today stating that the Middle hatch at Achieva is doing very well and is flying around. He needs to gain some weight before release. This is all good. You might recall that he was falling off the nest – dehydration/starvation – and was monitored and picked up for rehab.

Voldis and Milda continue to provide prey items for their two fledglings at the Durbe County White-tail Eagle nest in Latvia. LizM catches one of those deliveries on video.

LizM catches Karl II coming in with a load of fish for his three fledglings in the Karula National Forest nest in Estonia.

Ludo has not had anything to eat as of 0900 Thursday morning due to intruders at Loch Arkaig. Has Dorcha left for migration? Geemeff reminds us that she departed on the 18th last year. Louis is probably fighting intruders. Certainly Ludo is having to deal with them. Poor thing. What is up with these intruders this year?

‘H’ reports that it was a good day at Fortis Exshaw: “All things considered, it was a good day.  I think the cam viewers are in agreement that any day where Banff has a couple of fish to eat and she is not snatched from the nest by an intruder, it is a good day!  Louise delivered one of her signature ‘whale’ fish at 0619.  Banff would eat from that monster fish on and off until 1551.  At 0626 Louise flew off the nest with one of the nearly-whole leftover fish that she had delivered in the evening on 8/16.  At 0630 and 0631 Banff was buzzed by an intruder.  Louise quickly flew to the nest holding what appeared to be the same fish she had just removed.  Then, when Louise flew off to chase the intruder, she left that fish in the nest.  Banff picked up the 0632 fish and deftly laid it right beside her ‘whale’ fish.  That was so cute.  So, the 0632 fish brought to the nest seemed to have been a recycled leftover fish from 8/16.  Louise brought a big gob of fluff to the nest at 0720.  We thought that she may have intended to cover JJ’s body with it, but she did not.  Louise flew out at 0742 chasing an intruder.  At 0907 O’Hara landed on the nest and was scanning the skies, then he flew off quickly in pursuit of something a few minutes later.  At 1442 O’Hara was back again and stood on the nest as a sentry until 1502.  Starting at 1618, Banff had been intermittently nibbling on the recycled leftover fish, when an intruder started buzzing and dive bombing her.  She was buzzed at least seven times until 1621.  At 162130 there was an adult that flew higher over the nest, but we weren’t sure if it was the intruder, Louise or O’Hara.  Banff’s response to the attack was to ‘pancake’ as flat as she could until the threat subsided.  Then, cool, calm and collected, Banff finished eating the recycled leftover fish.  She was also dive bombed twice at 1649.   At 1819 Louise delivered the last fish of the day.  Banff was buzzed twice by an intruder at 2004, and she pancaked again.  Then an intruder (or ‘friendly’?) hovered over the nest briefly at 2005.  After all her flying and being chased by intruders the previous few days, and the stress of twice being snatched off the nest, Banff decided to rest and refuel today.  She took no flights, she was a total homebody.”

‘H’ also reports:

Osoyoos – There were five fish brought to the nest at 0604, 1039, 1243, 1357, and 1742.  Despite the ongoing heat wave, this family is doing great.  The young osplet is 53 days old.

Forsythe – Dear Ollie is spending much more time away from the nest, but she did have three fish delivered to the nest for her by Oscar.

Severna Park – At least one of the juvies is still coming to the nest and eating fish provided by Oscar.

Thank you for being with me today. Please take care. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow with a look at what is happening on the European nests.

Thank you to everyone for their notes, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, Geemeff, H, PB, R’, The Guardian, PSEG, Port Lincoln Osprey, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Bart M and LRWT, Jane D and Ospreys, Hawk Mountain, Boulder County Fair Grounds Osprey Cam, Tiger Mozone, Liz M and the LDF, LizM and the Eagle Club of Estonia, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, FortisExshaw, Osoyoos, Severna Park, 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.

Coming to Grips with the loss…Sunday in Bird World

25 June 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

My colleague ‘H’ tells me that storm system over the NE US was the ‘gift that just kept giving’. And it did. Now that the skies are clear all of the volunteers can go out and get a sense of what has happened at the unmonitored nests. The loss was significant but now it is time to pull up our proverbial ‘boots’ or socks and wish those nests that did have survivors the absolute best. Watch them and cheer them on, please! They went through an awful time.

Today has been the worst day for me. The sheer toll of the loss has only sunken in, and the after-effects on the nests will linger – the chicks worrying that it could happen again. I am so grateful to have the garden animals and Lewis and Missey. Dyson is looking so much better these days.

We have a couple of giggles/surprises for the morning. The first one comes from the Glaslyn nest in Wales. If you are a Crow, do not, under any circumstances, land on the nest of Aran and Elen. You might live to regret it. Here is Aran flying in with a fish. Elen has been vocalising since the Crow landed on the perch. Aran took the Crow ‘out’ with the fish and even kept hold of it to take to the nest…ah, isn’t he wonderful?

The second is from Mary Cheadle who has the most extraordinary screen capture of Louis and Dorcha’s osplet.

In the UK, the word on everyone’s lips is ‘ringing’. All of the chicks are getting their bling right now. Let’s take a look and see what happened.

Llyn Clywedog: It is hardly a surprise to say that those two beautiful osplets of Dylan and Blue 5F Seren are boys. Seren has had 8 boys and 1 girl.

Manton Bay: Blue 33 and Maya had three chicks this year – two girls and a boy. The first hatch is a girl and is 3H3. The middle hatch was a boy, 3H4, and the third hatch was a girl, 3H5. They said they would release more details later. There they are with their new bling. What beautiful babes.

Family portrait at Rutland:

Looking for another Osprey nest to watch in the US? The Iowa nests are currently doing well. The weather so far (although there are storms brewing tonight) has been favourable.

This is the Wells Fargo DNR nest in Des Moines. Go to iowadnr.gov

Conner at Window to Wildlife is helping rebuild the Dulles-Greenway Eagle Nest. Way to go!

Two of our favourite Black Stork fledglings, Waba and Bonus (the foster chick of Jan and Jannika on Karl II and Kaia’s nest in 2022) are on the move:

The latest news on Tweed Valleys Glen:

Good news is coming in from South Bend, Indiana.

News about the 2 chicks that fell out of the Great Bay Osprey nest:

The current sadness is Finnish Osprey Nest #3 where the Mum is missing and the Dad has loaded the nest with fish but he is not feeding the chicks. They are hungry and fish crying and are not old enough to self feed. It is hard to watch three healthy chicks starve to death on a nest full of fish.

At Patchogue, Mini has eaten. There are rumours abounding that Mini is not being fed. It is true that Mini is not getting the amount of fish it did a week ago. The Big ones are self-feeding and are up at the beak but Mini has eaten. We just have to wait and see how it pans out. Mini ate from 1330-1336 and then again beginning at 1418 for an unspecified time. He had some fish in the early morning. Again, how much I cannot tell because Mum blocked the view. Please send good positive energy to this nest! Mini is growing. Look at the feather development below. Mini is flapping its wings after eating!

We just must wish for lots of fish.

Mini is eating at 0511!

There have been expressed concerns about the female’s behaviour at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Osprey nest. I am copying the posting made on FB. Also, we have seen first time mothers – regardless of the species – struggle to figure out their new role. Fathers, too. At the falcon nest, Monty wanted to feed the egg! We worried about Soledad…well, she was an only eyas and the three of them certainly managed to figure it out. Let us all hold our breath and hope that this new Mum does, too. She has three little ones on the nest.

I was also reminded by Geemeff today of the phrase ‘wildlife commodification’. Earning money off the wildlife. There is a set of nests that will not be in my blog net year – I will follow them for the data but will not promote them – because of their actions recently. Nests are not to be disturbed. Taking tours to see nests should only take place at a great distance using a scope. You will know the nest I am talking about and the circumstances if you have read my blog in the last couple of days. Animals and raptors have rights. We must respect them.

OK. Off the soap box. A whirl around the nests!

Seaside: both osplets are well fed, growing and doing wonderfully.

Great Bay: A few dominance issues.

Severna Park: some rain, fish, and self-feeding. The two chicks are doing well.

Outerbanks 24/7: Three beautiful osplets, nice fish. All is good.

Chesapeake Conservancy, Tom and Audrey: There were early concerns about new Audrey feeding her chick. She figured it out. ‘H notes that Tom brought six fish to the nest on Saturday.

Maryland Western Shore for Old Town Home: Two beauties flapping their wings. Gorgeous sunset.

All is well at Boulder County Fairgrounds. The two adults appear to work so well together making sure that Little gets fed.

Moraine Preservation Fund: Seems to be quite enough fish and all three doing well.

Cowlitz PUD: Doing great! Chick is getting its feathers…

Forsythe: Oscar is on a mission. Huge fish at 17:15 along with all the others. Two surviving chicks out of four but, despite this, as ‘H’ notes: “
I saw this once yesterday, and so far twice today.  Big has started to push Middle, to the point that Middle has very nearly gone overboard a couple of times.” The stress of the days without food and seeing your siblings die around you has a profound impact on these birds.

Barnegat Light: Daisy continues to hope and wait for Duke’s return. Even then, she is out fishing for her and her only surviving Bob. She has removed the body of Little but brooded Middle. I cannot imagine the sadness that these females are feeling or the sheer mental stress of them and the chicks. So sad but so proud of Daisy and her determination to keep herself and this one chick alive.

Many of you have expressed sheer exasperation about the plight of the ospreys during the storm not least of all Barnegat Light. K notes, “

I was just thinking about Barnegat Light and how initially I was happy to watch a nest be monitored by a nature CONSERVATION. Key word conserve. They are meant to preserve not slowly watch them all suffer to death for online views and not provide them assistance when they are suffering. We vow to protect these animals and we are not helping them in the easiest way we can – providing food. There is a responsibility when setting up a camera and we should take it seriously. 

‘L’ was heart broken beyond words.

Dahlgren: ‘H’ reports that all is well.

Fortix Exshaw: ‘H’ observed “I found fish delivered by Jasper at 0543, 0631, 1041, 1638, and 1821.  There may have been others.  There were more feedings however.  Louise does save leftovers, she hides them inside the nest cup, and pulls them out for additional feedings.  The nest cup is deep, and Louise lays the leftover fish vertically down the side.  She broods her leftovers, lol.  I have seen her do this several times.  At 0631, there was a dual feeding! I want to follow this nest more closely, to make sure Little is getting fed.  The visibility varies from day to day.”


The wait is finally over! After wondering what was happening on the Durbe nest of Milda and Voldis (the camera was totally covered), we now see that there are two beautiful White Tail Eaglets on the Latvian WTE nest. I am so happy for Milda! She lost her earlier mate and suffered two unsuccessful years of breeding. Now success! This is a cause for celebration. Look at those two beautiful eaglets.

Kathryn asked me about intruders and the harm that they might do. Here is a good example.

Intruder storks attacking a nest in Germany.

In Tukums, Latvia, the three white storklets are doing so well now that the rains came and there is food.

Look at the crops on the three storklets of Karl II and Kaia! My goodness. Was so worried about this nest.

Bety and Bukacek’s four are so big and so healthy looking. They will be ready for migration, no problem.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Please send your positive wishes to all of the nests so that those that have suffered or are suffering might get some relief today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, posts, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘Geemeff, H, K, L, L, T, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Mary Cheadle and Friends of Loch Arkaig osprey FB, CarnyXWild, LRWT, Iowa DNR/Wells Fargo, Window to Wildlife, Maria Marika FB, @Jane Dell, WNDU, Carol Craig and Osprey Friends, Finnish Osprey Foundation, PSEG, MN Landscape Arboretum, Seaside Ospreys, Great Bay Ospreys, Severna Park, Outerbanks 24/7 Chesapeake Conservancy, Maryland West Shore for Old Town Home, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Moraine Park, Cowlitz PUD, Forsythe Ospreys, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Dahlgren, Fortis Exshaw, Sassa Bird, Storchennest Kirchzarlen, Latvian Fund for Nature, Eagle Club of Estonia, and Mlady Buky Stork Cam.

Sunday in Bird World

4 June 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I want to thank everyone who has sent in names of nests with three or more osplets and to those who have helped to get each bird’s name on the Memorial Wall that we have lost this year. We are at #50. If you know of a nest or see I am missing a nest on a streaming cam that had a loss, including a parent, please let me know. You can e-mail me at maryannsteggles@icloud.com OR add a comment. Thank you! And thank you to ‘T’, who helped me with some of the Golden and Imperial eagle nests today.

It was hot and humid on the Canadian prairies and the storms that were brewing showed up in the late afternoon. The lilacs and the garden are the richest British Racing Green. Stunning. I did not do a comprehensive check of all the nests today. Sometimes we all need a break and it has been a tough week. Spending time with little ducklings sure helps the spirit! These little ones were running all over the place. Hard to count!

Someone at the park must have tossed birdseed (millet?) into the gravel by the pond’s edge. The ducklings are keen on finding it.

Andy N Condor always puts a smile on my face. Some great news – an adoption!

Please send all your positive wishes to Cal Falcons. We know what intruders can do and Annie appears to have had a fight with someone.

The IWS (Dr Sharpe and colleagues) have a dedicated page to the Bald Canyon eaglet that swallowed the fishing hook. Yes, if you do not know about this, it is terrible. Here is the story and the link for future updates. Thanks, ‘B’.

Please contribute to the rehabilitation of Eagle 45/D from the Bald Canyon eagle nest on San Clemente Island. He swallowed a fishing hook attached to a fish on 6/1/23. We rescued and transported him to a rehab facility near San Diego on 6/2/23. Donations made to IWS for 45/D’s care using the Donate button below will be forwarded directly to the rehab facility. We will provide updates below as we receive them.

Status Updates:

6/3/23: The fish hook is in the lower GI tract and “free-floating”. The veterinarian was unable to remove it endoscopically. A specialist will be examining 45/D on 6/4 and a plan will be developed for the hook removal.


There has been lots of wishful thinking that E22 might just stay at the Fort Myers nest. S/he certainly feels comfortable and has enjoyed the pond. Well, on Saturday, E22 catches its first fish on camera. Heidi McC shows it in real time and then in slow-mo. My goodness. Happiness.

The Pritchett Family website for the SW Florida cam has confirmed this…and I have seen the image blown up. It is not pond debris – it is a fish!

I sure would like to see Big and Middle over at the Achieva Osprey nest catching their own fish. Some chatters believe that Diane is back bringing in some fish after injuring a foot. That would be fantastic as the dust-ups are getting pretty rough. They remind me of Ervie and his sibling, Bazza, at Port Lincoln.

At 1625 both are eating fish but Big always seems to get the largest. Another fish comes in later and Big gets it as well. That time is 1937. It could be the last delivery from Jack of the day.


The 1937 delivery:

Send some good wishes for these two. They need some fish to get strong and then go on their own way. There will be no love lost between the two of them!

As I look at all of the struggling osprey nests, I often see the term ‘survival of the fittest’ in the chat comments. In his book, Reconnection. Fixing our Broken Relationship with Nature, Miles Richardson says that Charles Darwin in his Descent of Man regularly used the term ‘love’ instead of the survival of the fittest. He argues that Darwin moved away from the term stating that he was not referring to the “victory of one over the other”. Einstein suggests that we are all part of something larger, just a piece of nature where we all belong together and survive by cooperation – as many Eastern religions have stressed since their origins. Watching Big and Middle at Achieva it is hard to think about love and cooperation. Once animals became objects – for example, in modern farming – our connectedness to them ceased to exist. Richardson believes we need to get this back – to realise that it is not a competition but that we must cooperate for our planet’s survival. I wish to travel and return to a place pre-human, pre-industrial, to see our ospreys. They have been here for more than 60 million years.

At Patchogue, Mini has been eating but Big has also been beaking at times. Very unpleasant because that older sibling is just so much bigger. Mum is very much aware of her tiny baby though and makes sure it gets under her and I also believe that she makes certain it gets fed. We can only hope that the huge fish that are coming on this nest continue so that the three big ones are full and Mini gets fed and none of the others notices! or cares.

Where’s Mini? Big sibs are full. Three is eating. Is Mini on the other side?

Mum tucking in Mini carefully.

The last feeding of the day and Mini is up there having some good fish. After being fed for a bit, one of the bigger sibs seems to take exception but Mini went to bed after doing a full crop drop. No major aggression – the Big ones just have to stand tall and ‘look’.

1906: Really nice crop. Everyone else sleeping except for big whose head you can see above Mum’s. She wants some more fish but Mini has a nice crop.

We take this nest and be joyful – one day at a time. If Mini survives, I have a tiny bottle of champagne sitting and waiting.

Early Sunday morning, Mini waits and gets a private feeding. Do you get the distinct impression that this wonderful Mum keeps some food back form the Big ones for Mini? It sure seems like it!

Three preening after breakfast. Big goes up for more. So far so good. A day at a time.

The trio at the other PSEG nest at Oyster Bay seem to be doing alright as well. Gosh, they are so much closer in size.

At Severna Park, Middle waits and watches rather than engaging with Big. If there is fish left or Big is full, Middle eats. Middle has gone without on Saturday for all feedings. This is the 0807 feeding.

13:59. You will notice that the fish deliveries are down. Big got all of this fish, too.

1558 Feeding.  “Middle started out in submission, but worked his way around the other side of Olivia, and managed to get bites for 6 minutes, then Olivia moved!  So, big attacked.  Olivia pulled the fish to the other side of the nest and fed Big.  Middle snuck around and got a few more bites.  Ended up with a small crop.” Thanks, ‘H’.

‘H’ reports that the feeding at the Patuxent I Osprey platform was super. No aggression at the feeding observed and both ate well.

At the Patuxent II nest. “A slightly different story, there is aggression by Big.  At 1317 they all ate harmoniously for the first 10 minutes, then Big decided s/he wanted to dine alone, and beaked Middle and Little, so they were out.  After several minutes, Middle worked its way back to the table, but it took quite a while longer for Little to get back.  Big decided it was OK, and dropped out shortly thereafter anyway.  The net result is that all were well fed.  It was 40 minute feeding.”

As far as I am aware, the other nests are doing alright. We have no other deaths on Saturday.

Iris’s nest, full of leaves, tells it all but Iris is a survivor and amidst the floods and droughts, she knows where to find the fish. Here she is on Saturday with one of her ‘whopper’s on the Owl Pole. It is unfortunate that she did not have a reliable mate after Stanley. She certainly has good DNA on her side of the genetic markers – she knows how to build the best osprey nest I have seen and wow, can she fish…she is as good as it gets.

Just look at that fish!

At the UK nests, everything is going well for Idris and Telyn and their two Bobs at the Dyfi nest. Those kids have grown fast and as you can see, we are in the Reptile phase. They are 10 and 12 days old today.

Aran and his new mate Elen are keeping the two Bobs at Glaslyn well fed.

CJ7 and her mate Blue 022 have three beautiful and healthy osplets at Poole Harbour. No issues!

Condensation on the Manton Bay nest and the way that Maya stands to feed the Bobs tends to obscure what is happening. That said, there is nothing to worry about on this nest. The wee Bobs of a few weeks ago are now getting their juvenile plumage!

Loch Arkaig – the home of Louis and Dorcha – is doing just fine with its Onoy Bob. Louis is right there for a deliver for his mate and wee one.

Except for Llyn Brenig where the third hatch died, all of the other UK nests appear to be doing well.

The two Dulles-Greenway eaglets that fell from the collapsing nest of their parents, Martin and Rosa, are together again in rehab – . That is wonderful news. They can work those wings and get to be strong fliers.

Poor Flora. Earlier she was up on a high branch with one of the adults but tonight a strong wind is blowing and she is all alone and the branch is very thin. You can see that this eaglet is frightened in the storm.

I do not know if it is the same storm system or not but Daisy is holding on for dear life at the Barnegat Light osprey platform in New Jersey. She has two osplets under there that hatched on the 31 May and 1 June that can’t be fed due to the high winds. I do not know if Duke can even fish. there is a coastal flood advisory for Barnegat Light and the winds are blowing at 31 kph. ‘H’ reports that the third egg hatched at 05:13 for Daisy and Duke. Let us wish them good weather and calm winds.

All the nests along this coast will be impacted.

There is something to smile about. Look at this beautiful White-tailed eaglet that was banded on Saturday in Tatarstan region of Russia near the Volga River. Isn’t it adorable! Just look at that big beak! It is a boy! Thanks ‘T’ and thank you for letting me know that this area is rich in prey for the eagles. Let us hope that Sarpike moves her nest to this region!

As I say often, every nest can change on a ‘dime’. They need habitat, strong old trees, birds and mammals to eat, fish to catch, and clean water without toxins. Begin at home. Help when and where you can. Educate others. Build a web of caring people. Everything helps. If you see an animal in need, stop and observe. Have the number of the wildlife rehabber in your phone. Call them! You will feel better for every life you save.

And one more thought. Do you grow a garden? do you have extra produce? do you know someone who does? Our wildlife rehabber has just asked for donations of fresh veggies or for people to grow a row in their garden for the animals – kale, carrots, lettuces, beans….I suspect that every rehab centre needs fresh veggies. Check it out.

Thank you so much for being with me today. Take care all. See you soon.

A special thanks to those who sent notes, created videos, wrote FB posts, articles, or run streaming cams that helped to create my blog this morning: ‘B’, ‘H’, ‘R’, ‘T’, Andy N Condor, Cal Falcons, IWS, Heidi MC and SWFlorida Eagle Cam, Achieva Credit Union, PSEG, Severna Ospreys, Patuxent River Park, Montana Osprey Project, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwylld Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, LRWT, Geemeff and Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Loudontimes.com, Dulles-Greenway, Barnegat Light and NJ Conservancy, Tartasan WTE.

Saturday in Bird World

3 June 2023

It is 32 degrees, with the promise of thunderstorms later today. The garden grew like RTH5 into a wild wilderness overnight with the humidity and the rain we had a couple of days ago. The heat is making it a jungle! I owe you pictures of kittens and the garden animals! This weekend. Lewis and Missey are doing well. Dyson and the gang continue to entertain them when they run onto the deck to get their morning and evening peanuts but it is getting harder and harder to see the birds in the foliage. Yesterday I decided to clear some branches and, to my dismay, felt quite ill after being out in the heat for just about 30-45 minutes. So learn from my mistake – stay inside when it is hot outside! Stay cool. Stay hydrated. At the same time, we hope that each of you has a lovely weekend.

Your morning smile comes from the Patchogue nest where Mini is up there having breakfast! Mini is turning into a Reptile..and growing. Indeed, the older ones will begin to slow while Mini will be at its peak growth period. We get a good comparison in the image below of just how different the older siblings are in size from Mini.

Let’s get the bad over with first. The youngest chick from the Patuxent I nest that was removed and fostered has died. One of the chicks at the Llyn Brenig platform in Wales has also died.

One brave eaglet, Flora, on the Dulles-Greenway Nest that is collapsing; the other two are in care. Flora has had two feedings and is doing well despite their small space! The other two are doing well in care – neither had any injuries from their fall.

The three falcons in Topeka’s Evergy scrape were ringed today. The little one was deemed to be fit BUT has anyone ever seen feathers stay in the quill/shaft like this?

Congratulations to Rosie and Richmond of the Whirley Crane nest in SF Bay by the Richmond Shipping Yards. Their first hatch of the season on Friday 2 June.

What a Friday morning it was. ‘R’ reported that Big was attacking Middle at the Achieva nest, and Big certainly was, but, it did not stop Middle from snagging the 10:50 fish delivery.

These two are not siblings but rivals for food and survival now.

Middle got it! Thank goodness.

Middle intent on eating as much of that fish as it can before Big gets it.

Middle ate lots and left a bit for Big.

The later fish went to Big after another battle. ‘R’ reports that Middle almost fell off the nest again. Ironically, so did R5…almost, again. Is it the heat? dehydration?

Patchogue Osprey nest had four fish deliveries before 11:08. Mini got some fish at the 0802 feeding but had nothing from the catfish at 0927. That is alright because a nice fish arrived at 1108, and the three big siblings were full and uninterested. Mini got a private feeding, and then, in the end, Mum fed Dad some fish. It was very touching.

Too far back to get up to the beak at 0927.

Private feeding for Mini at 11:08. All is well with the world.

Mum feeding Dad at Patchogue at 11:25. This is an amazing male…this family is so lucky!

There was more fish at Patchogue. This dad is amazing. I watched the two late feedings – one around 15:30 and then the 17:28 one. Mini was right up front but Big ‘looked at’ Mini and he went into submission. Mini ate last but he wound up with a huge crop before bed. Mini is now losing his baby down and going into the reptilian phase while the three older chicks are getting their juvenile feathers. This could help Mini. We continue to live in hope for this amazing little osplet.

Smart Mini. Keep your head down. Watch but don’t leave the table. Your turn will come – so much fish is coming to the nest. Look at those crops on the big ones. Just sit them out, Mini.

The male at Severna hauled in four fish before noon. Times were 05:41:46, 07:49, 08:26:00, and 11:35:45. Everyone ate well!

Mum fed Big and then she turned around and fed Middle!

At 0838.

Another delivery at 11:35.

So many more fish deliveries. The one at 18:21 was very civil.

Middle goes to bed with a bulging crop.

The female at Carthage TN is not interested in the egg or in incubation any longer. This is a good thing. something has gone terribly wrong at this nest in 2023. Some believe it is the same female from previous years with a new male. This female does not ‘act’ experienced…Sadly, we will not have the answers to so many questions about her behaviour. Both osplets dead.

‘H’ reports on the Forsythe Nest: “1255 to 1316, Third feeding of the day, the nestlings were sitting in a diamond shape, Mini at the point, Big and Middle at the sides, Little at the rear.  Little waited the longest to get fed, just couldn’t reach.  By 1304 Mini was in her first food coma, and that’s when Little started getting bites, reaching over Mini. Everyone except Little eventually was in a food coma, and by then Little got a short private feeding.  So they all did pretty good.  No aggression during the meal.  In between feedings, I did see some bonking between the oldest two at 0910, but Middle started it, lol.”

Dalgren gets a good report as well: ” 1156, Third feeding of the day.  Very smooth.  Both had good crops, no aggression.  I am pleasantly surprised by this nest.  I feared the worst when they hatched 4 days apart.  Fingers crossed that the harmony continues.”

Kathryn has been observing the Outer Banks 24/7 nest at Carova Beach and those three are doing well. So happy that she has a lovely family to watch after Carthage and Lake Murray…I always tell people to have a box of tissues if they watch osprey nests – for the bad times and for the good.

In the UK, Louis delivers a huge fish to Dorcha and the wee and only babe late Friday and that fish gives the chick a whacking…Thanks, Geemeff and thank goodness, all is well.

Oh, this baby is such a cutie.

There are cute babies everywhere! Aran looks on as Elen prepares to feed their duo from his fish delivery at Glaslyn.

Polly Turner caught White YW bringing a fish to Blue 035 to their nest at Foulshaw Moss.

You would not need an alarm clock if you had Blue 33 as a mate. 0500 fish…

Not to be outdone by Rutland, Idris was out fishing early, too.

Louis delivered early at Loch Arkaig as well. Gosh, they are all fishing at 0500!

Dylan was at the nest with fish at Llyn Clywedog, too! I am impressed with all of these UK males. Notice the reservoir in the image above the nest. It is the one that is annually stocked with 40,000 fish. Just think. 40,000 fish.

It appears that River now has a suitor at the Dale Hollow nest who is delivering fish to DH17! Now isn’t this wonderful! Thank you Celia Aliengirl for the FB posting. I had missed it. Three days in a row….beautiful.

At the Golden Eagle nest of Sarpike and Hevel, the second eaglet has died. ‘T’ reports that a shortage of small mammals caused by a lack of farming in the area might have caused the eldest to be aggressive to the second hatch. The baby wound up on the rim of the nest and died of hypothermia. This was on Wednesday the 31st of May. One chick remains. Let us hope that there is enough food for it. People moving from the rural areas or the change in farming methods are causing havoc to the lives of some of our beautiful raptors.

This is the link to Sarpike’s camera:

The Bucovina Golden Eagle nest appears to have food for the eagle. There are at least two roe deer or parts of on the nest of adults Lucina and Caliman.

Here is a link to that camera in Romania:

The chick of Ella and Elmar at the Estonian White-tail Eagle nest in the Matsalu National Park appears to be doing well. You might recall that in 2021, the couple on this nest were Eve and Eerik. Their two adorable eaglets died of H5N1, the first two eaglets known to have died of Bird Flu in the spring breeding season. That event had profound implications for the virologists who predicted Avian Flu would not die during the next winter. They were correct. This nest fledged 30 WTE from 1996-202. No breeding in 2022, and now we have a new couple.

The beautiful adults, Ella and Elmar.

They had one egg and one beautiful chick hatch.

Estonian Black Storks Karl II and Kaia welcomed hatch 1 and 2 on the 1st of June!

The four White Storklets of Bety and Bukacek in Mlady Buky The Czech Republic are doing fantastic.

An update on the little storklet rescued by Dmitri in Russia. It is doing fantastic. Have a look! It has really grown. My goodness and this baby looks ‘happy’. What a nice safe enclosure and lots of frogs and little fish and worms to eat without a sibling or parent pecking it to death.

To warm your heart:

There is a problem with the storklets in Spain this season; they are dying. The water that runs off of the huge garbage dumps forming little areas with frogs and little fish is full of toxins that people have placed in their bins. It goes to the dump, the rain falls and the poisons accumulate in the pools of water. The storks feed they’re going to the nest and regurgitating to feed their storklets. The storklets die. There are reasons that specific items to not go to landfills…please be aware. This can happen anywhere because more and more of our beautiful raptors and storks are losing their habitat and having to eat garbage. If you want to see a Bald Eagle in Winnipeg, go to the Brady Land Fill. How sad is this?

The Cromer Peregrine Falcons are doing fantastic…you might want to turn your volume down!

The Cal Falcons are doing fantastic! What a joy to be able to continue to see them this year. Adorable.

RTH5 waiting for breakfast. This little one is fed constantly by Tom and Angel. ‘A’ is thinking RTH5 is a female ‘eating machine’. What do you think?

And, last, but always at the top of my list – Big Red and her Ms and Arthur.It is all good!

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Please take care. See you soon! — Continue to send your most positive wishes to all the nests. They need it.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped to make up my blog today: ‘A’, Geemeff, ‘H’, Kathryn, ‘R’, ‘SP’, ‘T’, Dulles-Greenway, Evergy Topeka, Lucille Powell and Raptors of the World, Achieva Credit Union, PSEG, Severna Ospreys, Carthage TN, Forsythe Ospreys, Dahlgren, Outer Banks 24/7, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Geemeff and Loch Arkaig, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Polly Turner and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, LRWT, CarnyXWild, Celia Aliengirl and DHEC, Sarpike WTE, Bucovina, Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlady Buky White Storks, Dmitri Stork Cam, SK Hideaways and Cromer Peregrine Falcons, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, Window to Wildlife, and Cornell RTH.

The Ospreys are Hatching…Monday Morning in Bird World

22 May 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I continue to brag about my little garden ‘for the birds’ but, today, once again, there were more species there than at the nature centre! The wilding of the space continues to bring the migrating birds into the garden to eat and rest. There is a new book by Isabella Tree, who took land at Knepp Farm in the south of England and wilded it…this one is called The Book of Wilding. There are some chapters devoted to helping urbanites wild their spaces. It was just released and is on its way from the UK. I will let you know about it when it arrives!

Gosh..good news is always welcome and on Sunday, the good news is that River was at the nest delivering a fish to DH17. The bad news is that DH17 mantled and River could not get the fish to her only surviving eaglet. What remains of the nest is too small for her to land. Let us all hope that 17 will follow River from the nest to a place where she can feed it! So happy she is alright. Dale Hollow has had enough drama this season.

Both eaglets have fledged at Duke Farms! Big flew first and soon after Middle followed. Congratulations to Duke Farms on another fantastic eagle season.

Dylan and Seren have their second hatch at Llyn Clywedgog, just around 0600 on Monday the 22nd.

First hatch for White YW and Blue 35 at Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria this morning…oh, folks, it is beginning to happen..hatches everywhere!