Monday in Bird World

11 April 2022

The tributes continue to come in for Grinnell! It is more than heart-warming to know that this little falcon touched the hearts and lives of so many in such a positive way.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/11/peregrine-falcons-grinnell-annie-captivated-audience

I have not seen the list of names chosen by Cal Falcons in the naming contest. Will keep you posted.

A soap opera saga is playing out in the Glaslyn Valley in Wales. The four players are Mrs G, the oldest UK Osprey; her mate, Aran, Monty’s son Aeron Z2 at Pont Cresor, and Blue 014. With the late arrival of Aran and Blue 014, Aeron Z2 and Mrs G got a little too comfortable over at Aeron’s Pont Cresor nest. When both Aran and Blue 014 returned yesterday things got a little sticky. It looks like the guys are going to leave the girls to fight it out. I am just not clear which Aran or Aeron Mrs G wants!!!!!!!!

Aran is really handsome and looks in tip top shape. It is interesting, in terms of bird behaviour, what happens to a couple after there has been a loss of chicks on a nest and, to add to that, an injury to the male. That is precisely what happened at Glaslyn last year. We will wait to see how this sorts itself out.

Handsome Aran. 10 April 2022

Aran is enjoying his fish and keeping watch over his nest while the ladies fight it out.

While the drama continues to unfold in Glaslyn, the folks down in Poole Harbour are rejoicing at the reuniting of CJ7 and Blue 022. These two are totally committed to one another. What is at stake? The first Osprey to hatch in Poole Harbour in over 200 years! It is really exciting. CJ7 waited a couple of years for a mate and Blue 022, a youngster, showed up last year very keen – very keen, indeed.

The list of Ospreys left to return to the UK is growing shorter by the hour. Both Louis and Dorcha returned to the Loch Arkaig Nest safe and sound. So happy!

Some of you will remember the 2020 Osprey season at Loch Arkaig with Louis and his mate, Aila. They raised three amazing fledglings. Sadly, Aila did not return last year. Louis moved to a different nest and bonded with the female that is now called Dorcha.

I adore Louis. He is a great provider and a fabulous father. Here he is bringing Dorcha a fish. Louis knows how to take good care of his family.

It is very windy at Loch Arkaig today. It is hard to get a good image of Louis and Dorcha. Louis is on the left and Dorcha is on the right. Notice Louis’s beautiful necklace. I saw someone on one of the chats the other day comment that they thought only females have necklaces. That is not correct; there are quite a few male Ospreys with exquisite necklaces – the envy of many females!

Here is a link to camera 2 at Loch Arkaig:

I started the other day, with my friend ‘S’s list of favourite Osprey nests. So I want to go back to that list because Chesapeake Bay is on that list of great Osprey nests to live stream. The nest is on Kent Island just off the coast of Maryland. It is on the property of ‘The Crazy Osprey Family’. This family has been sponsoring a streaming cam for the Ospreys since 2012.

The Chesapeake Conservancy Osprey nest is the home to Tom and Audrey. Last year, after a couple of eggs broke in the nest, the couple fledged one chick, CJ.

Some viewers have been concerned about what appears to be a cut on Audrey’s chest. I say ‘cut’ because it does not appear to be blood from bringing in a fish. It is amazing how quickly wildlife heal and the water around the nest is 50% salt which is excellent to help cuts heal (Thanks ‘L’ for checking on that amount of salt here). Audrey should be fine.

The couple who returned to the nest from their winter migration to South America – Audrey on the 18th of March and Tom on the 25th – have been caught on camera mating today. If mating is successful, it takes three days to produce an egg. Keep watching!

Here is the link to Tom and Audrey’s camera:

The Osprey family on the light stand at the University of Florida at Gainesville survived the ball game yesterday. All three chicks were wide awake and ready for fish this morning! It is too early to tell how this nest is going to turn out. Middle and Little Bob still do not control their head as well as Big Bob who is right up front for food.

Here is a link to this cam:

https://wec.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/ospreycam/

Richmond and Rosie, the bonded pair of Ospreys whose nest is on a World War II crane at the Richmond Shipping Yards in SF Bay are hilarious. I highly recommend this nest – yes, absolutely. Solid Ospreys.

However, Richmond got a little carried away and decided to bring a small tree to the nest. In the process, he almost broke all the eggs! Richmond!!!!!

Then later Richmond decided he wanted to incubate the two eggs and was tired of waiting so he sat on Rosie! Richmond, maybe Rosie is thinking of laying a third egg??? What do you think?

Doing a quick check on Middle Little at Dale Hollow shows both eaglets ate well, both parents on the nest and a couple of nice hunks of fish. No sign of any monofilament line. All is well.

Middle Little is growing really well and eating good! Look at that big hunk of fish.

Sitting on the Canadian Prairies you would not know that a super storm is set to hit the area tomorrow. Most people are being extremely cautious. Our rivers are full to overflowing and they are predicting ‘the storm of the century’. Is it weatherman hype? In this case I hope they are entirely wrong! Thousands of Dark-eyed Juncos have just descended on our City, the Geese are nesting, the Snowy Owls are migrating north, and more song birds are moving in by the day.

This was Sunday in a rural area. The water is now up over the banks there.

There are tens of thousands of Canada Geese in Manitoba and more arriving daily.

Normally the geese leave you alone unless you get too close to their nest. Then watch out!

This little red squirrel had a stash of corn kernels at the base of the tree in the park.

He was such a cutie.

Oh, he looks like my Dyson with part of the fur on his tail missing. Poor thing.

Speaking of Dyson, I need to go and make sure that there are plenty of solid seed cylinders placed in various locations so that the squirrels can get to them during the storm. It should not be arriving until tomorrow evening – plenty of time to restock wood for the Jotul stove in case the electricity goes out, find candles, and generally get ready to sit back and read for several days. Can’t wait!

I hope that all of you are well. Thank you so much for joining me today. It is a pleasure to have you with us.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig, Explore.org, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, UFL Ospreys at Gainesville, DHEC, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and Poole Harbour Ospreys.

Thursday Morning in Bird World

07 March 2022

It is raining snow and snowing rain on the Canadian Prairies on Wednesday afternoon, 6 April. The huge mounds of snow that have covered every space available have melted from the inside out and are disappearing causing fears for a spring flood. Grey squirrels, Dyson and Scraggles, have come out only in the last light of the day to find food. Little Red must be tucked in nicely in his penthouse. So far only one of the Blue Jays has returned. I hope the others are just delayed. For years it has been the three of them – of course, birds do not live forever but when I look out and see my friends in the garden you want to believe that they will always arrive to say hello. Wildlife in an urban setting has many challenges. I am happy to report that my little corner of the world has four new families feeding the birds which, by the act of seeds falling, also feeds the rabbits and the squirrels. Individuals are now showing their toddlers the birds outside eating out of their feeders and together, we are building a bigger and bigger corridor for the wildlife. Our City no longer takes care of the boulevards in front of our homes and this year I want to encourage, where possible, the planting of bird friendly shrubs or trees on these sites. Wonder if I can get a grant from the City to help pay for the trees for everyone? It’s a thought! Will keep you posted.

You have asked me about Osprey nests with streaming cams now that the US birds are returning – some already have eggs in the nest. My friend ‘S’ loves Ospreys because they only eat fish. She knows the US nests; I tend to watch the ones in the UK and now Europe also. I asked her for her top list of nests to watch and she sent me quite a few. I am going to start with one or two a day. These nests are known to be successful. First up is the Dunrovin Nest in LoLo, Montana, home to Harriet and Swoop. Harriet is home; Swoop has not returned yet.

Here is Harriet on her nest looking out to the Montana hills.

Do you want to learn more about Ospreys? Then there is a special programme for citizen scientists run by a graduate student in Conservation Biology from William & Mary College. You observe a different nest, take notes, and meet up in a virtual world every Thursday at 14:30. The programme for this year has not started. Check out this link for more information!

https://www.daysatdunrovin.com/awesome-osprey/

One of the biggest challenges on the Dale Hollow nest for Middle Little is Big and her previous intimidation. When food comes to the nest, Little Middle is frightened and becomes defensive. Little Middle is self feeding but there needs to be food on the nest so that it can do this. Wednesday evening at 18:23:23 River brought in a 2 bite teaser. Big shot up immediately, grabbed the tiny minnow, if you like, and horked it down. Little Middle did not, of course, have a chance.

It is Thursday morning and both of the eaglets have eaten well. The nest appears to be drying out, too. Now that Little Middle is nice and full, it is time to go elsewhere and check on all those other nests including Karl II’s movements over night.

While Dale Hollow is drying out, the National Arboretum Nest in Washington DC is getting a bit wet. That little fuzzy ball is sure changing!

Big Red is getting some of that rain in Ithaca, too!

tors

Need another Peregrine Falcon nest? Here is another with four eggs like Utica, like the Red-tail Hawks in Ithaca and Syracuse…Some think that the increase in the number of eggs is to compensate for the loss of birds due to Avian Flu this year.

There is a pip in egg #2 at the US Steel Eagles!

A beautiful image of Jackie and her fast growing baby, Spirit, from yesterday afternoon. It really is a lovely name the children chose.

If you are a fan of the oldest female Osprey in the UK, Mrs G at the Glaslyn nest you might be wondering why – since you know she has returned from migration – she is not on her nest. She is over visiting with Aeron Z2, one of Monty’s boys. She is waiting for Aran and he is waiting for Blue 014. If neither return will these two get together and what nest will they choose, we wait! Aeron Z2 and his brother Tegid, Z1 who has a nest in Snowdonia have been very interested in that Glaslyn nest. Oh, the soap operas of the birds.

https://www.glaslynwildlife.co.uk/where-is-mrs-g/?fbclid=IwAR1gZam2Zsd31n791zACd5Akxsd52QUiZ_jgaBMm6oHT8r8LllHnExNIWqA

I am extremely fond of Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi nest in Wales. If you want to watch an Osprey cam this is one of the good ones in the UK.

Here is the link:

Karl II was near Minsk last night. There is hope that he might be near the Latvian border later today. As well as Karl, his mate and all the other storks in Latvia and Estonia should be on their way and hopefully safe and away from the war. Waiting is hard. Champagne corks will be popping when he lands on his nest!

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources posted an image with a saying yesterday: “Rescuing Wildlife is Legal”. If you see injured wildlife, please notify your local wildlife rehabber. Don’t know who that is? Find out! Because of the spread of the highly pathogenic Avian Flu,, special protocols might be in place. So ask before you help.

The New Guy at the Cal Falcons nest is still doing what he does best — support Annie! Yippeeeee. The romance continues.

Have a wonderful day everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB or pages where I took my screen captures: Google Maps, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Dale Hollow Eagle Cam, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Pix Cams, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, and Dunrovin Ospreys.

What is gorgeous in Ospreyland?

This entire day has been ‘weird’. It started with only four hours sleep after checking on Tiny Tot’s nest all night. I have no idea what I was thinking. Tiny wouldn’t have flown from wherever she was just to be bounced about, would she?

And then there was the intruder on the nest. This intruder is just giving me a headache. I think I want Tiny Tot to show up on that nest so bad that I forget that there have been a number of visitors to the nest, several that Tiny Tot fought off valiantly. Still there is some kind of family resemblance.

This bird is still bugging me. It is nearly 4:30 pm. I know that I took a screen shot similar to the top one where you could see the white ‘V’ and the scalloped white of the crest making the heart. Tiny Tot had that. This bird has the thick short legs of Tiny and the sweep of the feathers is long BUT it is not elegant like Tiny Tot. The eyes are not the same. But then who knows what your eyes would look like after a hurricane.

This picture of Tiny was taken on 4 July the day before she ‘seemingly’ left the nest permanently for broader horizons. You will notice the white line above the wing is the same. Each of the birds have some dark on their legs, a little strip like a band but not a band.

And this is Tiny mantling her fish on 4 July.

Sadly, these birds are not banded and we only have images to compare that aren’t always sharp and from the same angle. What do you think?

Now, I think every bird is extraordinarily beautiful, but some more so than others. Today, the Dyfi Osprey Project posted an image taken by the individual who ringed two Ospreys in a nest in the Lake District in Cumbria England. They are females, Blue 460 and Blue 461. I took a deep breath and knew that I had to redefine what ‘gorgeous’ means when looking at an Osprey chick.

These are Monty and Glesni’s grandchildren. Their father is Merin. He hatched at Dyfi in 2015. They have Monty’s piercing orange eyes! Gosh I hope they do not lose them to become yellow. Look at the crest with the peach, the soft little white beards. I will be staring at these two beauties for days.

There are reams of files, both analog and digital, tracking UK Ospreys. And this again shows why it is important to get these birds banded. It is now known that at least four of Monty and Glesni’s chicks have returned to successfully breed. Of course, there could well be others. There is Aeron (Z2) who has been chasing intruders away from his PC nest at Glaslyn, then there is Tegid (Z1), one of my third hatch wonder children, who has a nest in Snowdonia, and Clarach in Aberfoyle, Scotland. Gosh, I would love to get a close look at the chicks of Tegid and Aeron!

Mama and Legacy were both asleep when I checked in at the Fortis Red Deer Osprey Nest.

There are both parents on the nest with Legacy yesterday. She is really growing now that the hot weather is gone.

There has been a lot of bad weather going around Alberta and there are dark clouds still around the Fortis Osprey nest at Canmore today. You can just see the two Bobs if you squint. Everything in the nests seems stabilized after a turbulent period of heat and storms. Warm wishes that it stays this way.

Here is a quick check in of a few of the nests. The Two Bobs at Rutland Manton Bay continue to perfect their flying skills after fledging. The Only Bob in the Clywedog Nest in Wales has been doing some wingersizes and the Two Bobs up at Loch of the Lowes are starting to think they might like to hover and fly. There could be a number of fledges coming up in the nest week. Mrs G has been catching fish and so has Aran. The overzealous two year old, Blue 022 has been bonding some more with CJ7 at the Poole Harbour Nest. If they both return from migration it will be great to see some chicks on that nest – the first chicks in 200 years born in Poole Harbour. Will that be the headline? The eldest fledgling of Big Red and Arthur, K1, the Red tail hawks at Cornell, probably caught her first prey item today – a little vole – witnessed by the Hornings. K3 enjoyed observing! Those two are excellent fliers. Can’t wait to take another tour with Ferris Akel to see how they are doing. Will be sure to let you know.

My friend, ‘R’ knows more about Albatross and Petrels than I will ever know. She is curious about the Goony Albatross that ended up in Bempton Cliffs in the UK. He should be in the South Atlantic. Maybe he thinks he is a yellow headed Short-tailed Albatross of the North Pacific? or a gannet? ‘R’ and I will try and put our heads around this one over the coming week. Here is the story on the BBC:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-57683184

And what is this about the fish being addicted to meth? What happens to the birds that eat the fish? I will be following up on that along with a tribute to Tiny Tot and a story of a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo in a Renaissance painting. Those are coming up this week.

Thank you for joining me today. Have a really enjoyable rest of the day no matter where you are.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Fortis Alberta Red Deer, Fortis Alberta Exshaw, and the Achieva Credit Union. I also want to thank the Dyfi Osprey FB Page where I took the screen shot of Merin’s chicks.