Just when you think everything is going to be ‘normal’ in Bird World and there will not be any drama, it turns. Honestly, those parents of Tiny Tot’s should be giving him a life lease for the Achieva Credit Union nest since he is the only one protecting it. If you are beginning to think the adult intruder returned, you are right! At 1:00:18 Tiny Tot starts alarming and flapping. Nothing gets by this little one. He watches and looks every direction – he continues alarm calling and flapping his wings.
At 1:30:51 Tiny Tot is up on the perch.
And then Tiny Tot flies back to the nest. At 1:39:36 the adult intruder tries landing on the nest. Tiny Tot thwarts their effort getting them off balance.
The adult tries but cannot make landing on the perch. Tiny Tot was successful.
The adult gets their wings and legs together and flies between the nest and the perch. Looks like they are going to go around again. Tiny Tot is alarming at them.
And off she goes.
Tiny Tot is alarming, mantling, and flapping its wings at the same time. He means business. That adult is not going to land on his nest.
Here comes the intruder.
This time around the adult intruder makes a successful landing on the perch. They do not try to attempt a landing on the nest with Tiny Tot there.
The adult perches calmly. You would think by looking at them that they belong to this nest but they do not. It is Tiny’s.
The stand off between Tiny Tot and the adult intruder we on until 2:50 when the adult intruder decided to fly off the perch. Tiny Tot took flight and is chasing that adult out of the territory of the nest! The image below shows Tiny in hot pursuit of that adult.
Tiny Tot is now on sentry duty like his dad, Jack, the other day. Good luck Tiny!
Every day Tiny Tot’s talents for defending the nest have been tested. The third hatch of Jack and Diane is really gaining valuable experience and so far he is doing well. What does the adult intruder want? the nest? or to try and steal one of Tiny’s fish deliveries from Jack?
At the 21:00 feeding on the Urdaibai Nest, Zuri had its beak open wide with the other two siblings. I wish Landa had fed the little Zuri straightaway. I fear that it doesn’t have the energy to stand up yet.
Sadly it appears that Zuri didn’t stay turned around with its beak wide open for Landa. Zuri had some food five hours earlier before the rain. It is really unclear what will happen to this little one.
It is still cold and damp and that will be the last feeding for the day.
This is so incredible. You have to see it rather than seeing screen shots. The video is 51 seconds long and it shows Fauci, the first eyas of Annie and Grinnell to fledge, taking its dinner from its parent in mid-air. Watch how Fauci flies afterwards and look at the parent. This kid is amazing! And just so you know – he watched his parents but this is the FIRST time Fauci has ever done a prey exchange! Way to go Super Star Fauci!
Thank you for stopping in on this brief report on Tiny Tot, our little Braveheart, Fauci, and little Zuri. For Tiny, the day started out so well with an early fish delivery and now the afternoon Tiny had to defend the nest. He did an amazing job. And across the United States in California, Annie and Grinnell’s eyases are learning all of the tricks to being a Peregrine Falcon, the fastest bird in the world. Poor little Zuri doesn’t have a lot of strength. Warm wishes go over to Spain for this little one to make it.
Thanks to the Achieva Credit Union for their streaming cam where I grabbed these screen shots.
This blog will focus on NCO and Laddie at the Loch of the Lowes Nest for the most part. The reason? My goodness. NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest up in Scotland has really kicked up her game in feeding her Two Bobs. She is impressing me! She had me worried for awhile – all first time raptor mothers do. All of ‘us’ – the aunties and uncles – sit and loudly scream into our computer proper instructions for feeding the little bobbling heads. I suspect if we had to do it in real life it would be a far different story! Needless to say I am proud of her. She seems to have stopped the anxiety of the eldest by giving a bite to it and then a bite to Little Bob. Fabulous. NC0 is going to be one of those Osprey mothers that we are giving gold medals to in a few years. She has really come a long way in a couple of weeks.
Just a bit of a recap. This Osprey Nest is located near Dunkeld, Scotland in Perth and Kinross. I pulled up a satellite view of the area around the nest so you can see the trees and the water resources for the Ospreys, LM12 and NC0. It is maintained by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and those who play the People’s Postcode Lottery – and donations.
What a beautiful location! Dunkeld is 25 minutes north and slightly west of Perth.
LM12. known as Laddie, has been breeding at Loch of the Lowes since 2012. That makes him at least eleven years old in 2021. He raised 15 chicks with his previous mates. NC0 is LM12’s third mate. She was ringed at a nest near Loch Ness in 2016 so she is five years old this year. The pair fledged one chick together in 2020.
Laddie returned from his migration to Africa on the 21st of March at 5pm. He immediately went to work restoring the nest. NC0 arrived on the 25th of March. It was unclear whether or not they would again form a bond and raise a family together this year. People waited rather impatiently. I think Laddie almost lost NC0 when he would bring a fish to the nest and then take it away this year! What kind of a provider is that? Well, they did bond and NC0 laid three eggs – on 11 April, 14 April, and 17 April. The chicks hatched on 18, 20, and 22 May. The third chick died on day 3. The cause is unknown.
It is rare for a female to feed herself before she feeds her chicks. She will eat bites that are too big for the chicks when she is feeding. But when they are full and finished food begging, she will eat. Osprey females are known to lose from 10-15% of their body weight while feeding the nestlings. Now how do the researchers know this? They have scales hidden in the nest just like there are microphones to listen to happenings in the nest and cameras for watching. Incredible.
Just look at that crop on that little one in the image below. Of course, Big Tot has a nice crop too. Did you know that Osprey chicks triple their body weight in the first egg days after hatch? Then they will double it in the next four days. So those first 12 days are critical. The fastest growth phase comes between 15 and 30 days, according to Alan Poole, author of Ospreys. The Revival of A Global Raptor. The chicks will gain 2-3% of their body weight each day when, by the time they are a month old, they have attained 70-80% of their adult body weight and their growth will begin to slow. At this point, their energy will go into producing feathers! Today, Big Bob is 12 days old and Little Bob is ten days old.
This is an excellent image for you to see the difference in the plumage as the osplets get older. Little Bob still has the soft grey feather down from birth. Big Bob is starting to enter the Reptilian phase. At this stage, that soft natal down is replaced with the darker down. It is woolier. But look closely at Big Bob. Look at the top of his head, behind the eye and around the neck. Do you see the beautiful coppery-gold pinfeathers coming in? These are beautiful healthy babies.
NC0 instinctively shades her Two Bobs from the hot sun. At the age of 2 or 3 weeks they are able to regulate their temperature by panting. So Big and Little Bob are not quite ready to do this for themselves based on their ages. But, she protects their delicate skin from the sun. It will also be later when they can stand in the rain and protect themselves with their own feathers. For now, NC0 has to do it!
She will brood them to keep them warm and dry.
Laddie has brought in a big fish for the last meal of the day. NC0 will feed the chicks, then herself, and then Laddie flies in to have some fish, too, on the nest with his family.
You can watch this osprey family at the Loch of the Lowes here:
Good Night Loch of the Lowes. Have wonderful fish dreams!
Other quick news: There is still only one chick on the Clywedog Osprey Nest of Dylan and Seren. There have been intruders at Mrs G and Aran’s nest at Glaslyn. One of the culprits is KS6, Dinas, a hatch from Llyn Clywedog. KS8 has been bothering Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi Nest. People are hoping that this brother and sister pair will just join forces and find their own nest! Tiny Tot at the Achieva Osprey Nest had an enormous fish gifted to it by Diane and an hour later was still eating. And there is fledge watch at the UC Berkeley Campus. Annie and Grinnell’s Kaknu and Wek-Wek were up on the runway thinking about flying. Annie and Grinnell are doing some spectacular aerial displays to try and encourage them. Big Red is feeding the Ks several meals. She can feel the weather changing in her hollow bones and it seems she concurs with the weather office that rain is heading their way. And down in Australia, the gang is beginning to think that eggs might be appearing on the WBSE Nest around the middle of June.
Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe, stay well. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday wherever you are.
Thank you to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the People’s Postcode Lottery for the streaming cam where I grab my screen shots and to Google Maps.
Every Saturday at noon, Ferris Akel does a live streaming tour of the area around Wildlife Drive, Montezuma, Sapsucker Lake and then on to Ithaca to check on Big Red, Arthur, and the kids. It’s free. There are no ads to monetize the YouTube site and never a hint – never – of a tip jar or wanting anything in return. Ferris Akel loves birds and he loves sharing his Saturdays with a few devoted souls. He is a master at recognizing bird calls and songs, “Oh, I believe I just heard a …..” is common. By traveling with Ferris over the seasons, you get a really good idea of how they impact the wildlife in the area. Water also changes everything and they are draining an area along Wildlife Drive to the dismay of many because it changes the environment that the wetland birds depend on. I have learned a lot.
Ferris has found the nest of a Red-tail Hawk family that live near his home. It is a trio, just like The Love Trio of the Mississippi who are raising their Bald Eagle chicks together. The name of the hawks are Betty, Barney, and Phoenix. How interesting. We saw some beautiful birds today. I am including only a couple. The sightings are on a powerful scope and the images are a little soft – could be half a kilometre away.
There was a beautiful Cedar Waxwing.
Ferris always winds his trip up in Ithaca looking for Big Red and Arthur. Often I am trying to watch what Big Red is doing while I am listening for Ferris to have a sighting. It was so nice that the rain stopped and Big Red and the Ks were able to dry out later on Saturday.
All of the Ks are now walking. Just look at the little one, K3. I have no idea how they do it on all of those twigs but they do.
They had worked up an appetite. K1 had been flapping its wings and moving around the nest. So when Big Red returned with prey, they were right there ready for lunch. The question is: what are they having for lunch. There have been a lot of birds this year. Most of them were Starlings. There was one Robin. But the one that Big Red brought in looked an awful lot like a Blue Jay. What do you think?
Whatever it was, they sure enjoyed it! Normally there are a dozen chipmunks and squirrels in a day. Surely there isn’t a lot of meat on a bird for these growing hawklets – and Big Red has to eat, too. I still wonder why the dramatic change in prey this year. Did Arthur really clean out most of the chipmunks last year?
Big Red was really tired. She tucked her head in her wing after the Ks were full and all of them fell asleep.
If you were following the Duke Farms Bald Eagles, you will recall that both Big and Li’l were branching and both were on the same branch. L’il wanted to get down and started flapping its wings and well, they both fludged. It was a worry. They did not return to the nest right away and some concern was growing. Then they re-appeared. Today, both of them arrived hoping for some fish and there was a food drop. It seems Big was successful – hopefully they will bring something back for Li’l.
Fauci is the only hawklet of Annie and Grinnell’s that has fledged. He returned to the tower and he was ravenous today and joined the others for breakfast. Here is a short video of Grinnell feeding the eyases.
We haven’t checked on the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle cam for some time. I think the last time was when the squirrel climbed up to the nest and quickly got away when one of the eaglets stuck its head up. Well, they are all branching. I just hope one of them doesn’t cause all of them to fludge.
The Osprey nests in the UK are drying. There were some nice temperatures today and some of the babies even got a little sun. How glorious!
Idris decided that he wanted to give Telyn a break and he was going to feed the flounder to the Two Bobs. I love it when the dads want to get involved. Idris is a great provider and he often wants to incubate the Bobs, too. Telyn just doesn’t always want to let him! Wonder what grade the Two Bobs gave Dad for the feeding?
As far as I know, there is still only one little Osplet on the nest of Dylan and Seren at Clywedog. Bob, the only Bob, is really strong and growing. That is what single children do.
It’s Sunday in Wales and Dylan has brought a new fish and is just peeking over Seren to get a peek at wee Bob.
Blue 33 (11) periodically comes in to check to see if there is enough fish. Today he brought a nice one in. You can see how these Two Bobs are doing – they look great to me. They are now getting some of their feathers and will soon leave behind the reptilian phase altogether.
The Two Bobs are having a nice fish up at the Loch of the Lowes Nest with Laddie and NC0. The Big one is getting to be a little rough at times with the little one. No need for that. They could be growing and thriving just like the Two Bobs at Manton Bay. Experience helps and Maya and Blue 33 (11) have been together a long time and they get those difficulties sorted out. NC0 is learning. Little Bob seems to be holding his own. It doesn’t take as much food to fill his tummy and crop as it does so Big Bob will definitely be at the fish trough longer. Remember Tiny was little too. The little ones get clever and most of them know to let the big sib eat its fill and then step up. Rarely do you get a parent that manages feeding them both at once equally – but it does happen.
And it’s Sunday. Laddie brought in a big fish, enough for all of them and then some. And guess who got the first bites? You were right if you said Little Bob. Well done you!
There are only three storklets at the Mlade Budy nest that is being cared for by the villagers. The female was electrocuted last weekend and the people of Mlade Budy have provided three meals a day to dad and the babies. One of the storklets was quite small and, as storks have been doing for eons, it was sadly tossed off the nest by the dad. The other three are growing fast and they are able to eat what the father regurgitates for them in addition to the small fish the community provides.
Of course, the idea of tossing the smallest off the nest for whatever reasons stork do those things made me think of Tiny Tot. I am sure glad that Jack didn’t pick the wee one up and toss it off the Osprey nest. As it stands, and what I have always said, of the three, Tiny Tot will be the one that will survive. For the past two days, Tiny has helped fight off the intruder from the nest. Indeed, in a quick magician’s like trick, Dad was able to hand off a fish to Tiny Tot with the intruder right there. Dad sent that invading adult on its way. Then this evening, Diane brought Tiny Tot a fish. Gosh, he surely deserved it! And lo and behold, guess who comes sniffing around thinking it would get that fish off Tiny. And if you said sibling #2 you would be absolutely right. But guess what? Tiny Tot sent sibling #2 packing. Yes, you read that right. Raise a glass in a toast. Tiny Tot has really gotten its confidence and if an osprey chick learned all its life lessons on a nest, Tiny would be on the list of those who did.
Mrs G tried to remove the three chicks from the nest today. She had two with her but turned around and came back to the nest. The little ones look just like they are sleeping around the rim. It has to be difficult. Aran came to see them after Mrs G returned them to the nest. She isn’t quite ready to let go. She brooded the three of them last night for the last time. How sad this must be for her and Aran.
I want to close with a beautiful image of Aran and Mrs G on the perch together. They are a very strong couple and we want them to heal so that they both have a successful migration and are back next year for another breeding season.
Thank you so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure to be amongst bird lovers. I think that is why I enjoy stopping in on Ferris’s tours for a little while on Saturday – it is nice just to be there amongst people who love the birds.
If you are a regular viewer of the Glaslyn Nest with Mrs G and Aran, I urge you, if you possibly can, to make a donation to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Centre. It doesn’t matter if it is $2 or $200 – everything helps. The donations fund the streaming cam but they also help to keep this family alive.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Cornell Lab and RTH, Dfyi Osprey Project, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Ferris Akel Tour, Clywedog, Achieva Osprey, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, Mlade Budy Streaming Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes.
Grinnell and Annie are working hard to prepare the three boys for fledging and starting their lives outside of the scrape box. Today is 25 May and fledging should fall into 27-29 May – two days away! It is possible the youngest will be the 31st but you never know.
Grinnell has had the three lined up getting lessons and is working hard on teaching them aspects of self-feeding.
Not so sure they are listening to the instructions on plucking the pigeon!
Ever wonder what it might be like feeding your chicks when they are almost as big as you and there are three of them? Have a look.
Here is a very short clip of Kaknu taking the lunch and running away with it today:
This year has been plagued by a lack of chipmunks. Instead, the Ks seem to have been living on Starling. Something unexpected happened this morning – Arthur brought in a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk! Big Red had to have been delighted.
Sometimes Big Red takes a break and flies over to another of the light stands. She can keep a close eye on the Ks from here. On occasion Arthur will do a prey drop for her there and many times you will see the two of them sitting side by side looking out onto their territory.
Big Red was delighted with that chipmunk for breakfast! It looks like there is a partial chipmunk sitting on the nest. Maybe we will see more.
It is not going to be long until these Ks are running and jumping on the ledge, flapping their wings, and getting stronger to fly. Their first flight is usually from this ledge across the street to one of the trees where the parents are waiting for them.
Just look at Big Red’s eyes and face. Oh, she loves being a mother.
Big Red did look tired this morning. Here she is taking some ZZZZs along with the Ks. In three and a half weeks time, the Ks will fledge. It is hard to believe. They will remain with Big Red and Arthur who will teach them to hunt and give them all kinds of exercises to help them later. Big Red and Arthur will also gradually expand the area the Ks are hunting in to include the entire campus. Sometimes they even go on family hunting trips for squirrels – working cooperatively to get the prey out of the tree.
I would like to introduce you to another species of raptor. It is the Booted Eagle, the Hieraaetus Pennatus. This pair of Booted Eagles lives in a pine forest within the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park near Madrid. The elevation is 1400 metres. The Booted Eagles are the largest group of raptors living in the park. They estimate that there are approximately twenty-five pairs. The nest you are looking at has been active every year since 2002.
Just like Annie and Grinnell and Big Red and Arthur, the female is much larger than the male. This is called reverse sexual dimorphism. There are many reasons for this disparity. They are: 1) females need to be larger because they must accumulate reserves in order to produce eggs; 2) the size difference allows the two to hunt different prey and reduce the competition for food. Raptors that hunt birds are generally smaller and faster leaving the females to specialize in larger prey; 3) historically females have selected smaller mates; and 4) to protect the female during mating from being injured by large males.
In Booted Eagles, the male is smaller with darker feathers on its back, yellow ochre on the crown of its head, darker tear shape feathers on its chest which is light. The female tends to the nest and the chicks and the male is primarily responsible for hunting, delivering prey, and territorial protection. You can easily differentiate them in the image above.
There are normally two eggs that are incubated for 37-40 days. The chicks remain on the nest for around 48 days when they began branching and flying. By August, the male is the primary carer. The female has left the territory for a rest. The male will provide prey for the young to self-feed on the nest and will remain with them until mid-September teaching them to hunt and fly.
I received a letter from one of my readers asking about Kisatchie. Kisatchie is the eagle from the Kisatchie National Forest Nest in Central Louisiana. His parents are Anna and Louis (great names). You might recall that Kisatchie is the first eaglet to hatch on this nest since 2013. He brought so much joy and then he fledged and now the camera is down. This is the current information from the Forest Services personnel:
“If you have visited the eagle cam in the past 72 hours, you will have noticed the nest is empty and more recently, the eagle cam is down. This is because our Kisatchie eagle flew the nest on Saturday, May 22, around 3:30 p.m. As luck would have it, Kisatchie chose to take its first flight from a branch ABOVE the camera, so we were unable to capture Kisatchie soaring over the Kisatchie National Forest. Bummer. The eagles will now migrate north for the summer and will return late fall/early winter. Our wildlife biologists will use the summer months to make any repairs on the eagle cam, checking wiring, camera housing, and things like that. We want to be ready for the next round! Thank you for joining us on this journey of watching our first captured-on-camera eaglet hatching. Through ice storms and thunderstorms, it was an exciting 88 days (from hatching to fledging) and a great learning experience for us all.”
Everyone is wondering if anyone has seen Kisatchie or heard. I have written a letter to the Forestry Services and if I hear anything, I will let you know. Here is an image of Kisatchie on 17 May during his branching phase looking out over Lake Kincaid:
There is absolutely no news coming out of the Glaslyn Osprey Nest. As soon as there is any news about Aran and Mrs G and the Bob 2 and 3, I will let you know.
Thank you for joining me today. Take care!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: the KNF Service, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Cal Falcons, and SEO Birdlife.
The staff at the Glaslyn Osprey Nest in Wales are issuing statements on their FB page about the situation at the nest of Mrs G, Aran, and their three little ones. Aran has returned to the nest without any fish. The three little ones are still alive but for how long without food, no one knows. The weather in the area is not improving.
The Raven attack on the Glaslyn Nest can be seen here:
Watchers of Tiny Tot cried and cheered this morning when the third hatch of the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida fledged. It was 9:52:24. Everyone is hoping to catch more glimpses of Tiny as he returns to the nest for fish dinner. Fingers crossed.
Tiny Tot grew up to be a magnificient Osprey. We wish him a life full of fish and no drama! Oh, how I would like to know where you go and what you do, Tiny Tot. You are such an example of a survivor.
From the moment that E24 hatched, he has brought us great joy. That was the 8th of February. The little one was strong and survived an irritation of the eye as well as a bout of Avian Flu. The popular choice for a name was Legacy and it was very fitting.
Tears rolled down everyone’s face when Legacy left the nest and was missing in action for three days. She found her way home on 1 May and stayed with us for more than three weeks. She flew off the nest tree yesterday, 22 May 2021, at 11:31. It feels like this is goodbye. Samson bought in a fish to try and lure him back to the nest but, Legacy did not come for it.
Legacy’s father, Samson, returned to this very nest, the nest where he hatched, to raise his family. Because of the dire circumstances that happened to Romeo and Juliet, Samson really did create a legacy to his dad at this nest. Last year him and Gabby fledged Jules and Romy and this year, Legacy (such a great choice of name). Maybe Legacy will return in four years time and raise his family, if dad is retired!
Legacy will be 15 weeks old on 24 May. She is right in the sweet spot of the average fledge.
This little one brought us great joy – seeing her fight with her parents who were being surrogate siblings. I enjoyed particularly her interactions with Samson who is just the most amazing dad. Fly high Legacy! Take care. Return to us one day.
Legacy is a week younger than E17 and E18 over at the Southwest Florida Bald Eagle Nest in Fort Myers. Talk about tears. These two were bonking maniacs. Then they got Conjunctivitis. And despite all the pecks, E18 protected E17 when danger came to the nest. They have grown to be best buddies – the twins that they are. They have played in the water in the ponds, caught prey on their own, returned to be fed by Harriet and M15. Here they are today sitting by one another on the branch. They haven’t left permanently. The time is, however, coming when that could be a reality. Buckets of tears will fall not only because that event will mark the end of a very successful season for Harriet and M15 but because it might mean that these two are separated. Each to their own territory. I wish, like Legacy and Tiny Tot, that they had a tracker.
There is an interesting story coming out of the United Kingdom of a brother and sister duo like these two actually setting up a nest together. (We do not know the gender of E17/18). The scientists have indicated that they are not concerned. So we wait but we might never know, sadly, the fate of E17 and E18. Whenever that last day arrives, they are ready to survive and we wish them boy voyage.
There was enough of a break in the weather at the Dyfi Nest of Telyn and Idris that Big Bob got to have two feeds. One of mullet and another of trout. A big crack has been noted in egg 3. Sadly, Bob 2 suffocated about eight hours after it was born. It was at a time when Telyn was desperately trying to keep the chicks dry and warm.
Here is Big Bob enjoying his trout dinner! Let us hope that this dire weather over in Wales settles down so that Little Bob will not have any difficulties. It has to be a worrisome time for all.
The miserable weather has continued over in Rutland where Blue 33 has been very fortunate in his fishing. The water has been choppy and murky. You can see how windy it is by the new punk hair styles of Blue 33 and Maya.
The Two Bobs are fine. Their plumage has changed and they truly look like their ancient relatives.
The same cold rain is still up at the Loch of the Lowes. Laddie and Nessie (NC0) are doing the best they can to both feed and keep the three little ones dry.
The cold rainy weather continues in Missoula, Montana. It was 4 degrees C. Iris returned to her nest with a nice crop at 10:17:42. She had not spent the night there and she has not, so far, gotten on to the nest with the eggs. The lingering cold and wet have insured that the eggs are not viable. So Iris will not have to go through the tragedies of past years. For now, I am simply glad that she visits the nest so that we can see she is alright! That is the main thing, isn’t it? Iris is, after all, the oldest Osprey in the world and we should enjoy every minute that we can with her. She is truly a survivor and when she doesn’t return from her migration, it will be the end of an era. Buckets of tears will flow. But for now, let us be joyful in her presence.
We know that Osprey fish for their food but Iris is starting to look particularly miserable with all the rain and cold weather. This is supposed to be her summer holiday!
For the lovers of Grinnell and Annie’s little falcons, this week is going to fly by fast. We could be on fledge watch in five days! How quickly they have grown. Today, the white dandelions have almost disappeared on the two oldest. You can see that the juvenile plumage is coming in nicely.
It is a damp day on the Canadian prairies. We have had that much needed rain and sun would be welcome. Outside my window Mr Crow is being difficult. The neighbours have been leaving kibble for a stray kitten. Instead of the kitten eating it, Mr Crow has been enjoying the crunchy bits. The dish is empty!
A friend of mine who lives in Maine says that this has been a different year for her watching the birds. This year she is more aware of the challenges that they face in their daily lives than she was last year. It is so true. They have brought much joy to us, now it is time for us to optimistically step forward and figure out ways to turn their world around.
Thank you for joining me today. I want to leave you with an image of a truly great bird mom, Big Red. I cannot even begin to imagine the mourning that will go on when she is no longer with us. She is eighteen this year. Every minute is precious. Here she is checking out the chicks as they sleep. She sees some things she doesn’t like and starts being the great mom she is – she is preening!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. This is where I get my scaps: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Achieva Credit Union St. Petersburg, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, SW Florida Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, LRWT, UC Falcon Cam, Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, and the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.
Annie and Grinnell are very famous Peregrine Falcons. They first established their territory in the beautiful Campanile on the UC Berkeley Campus in December 2016. It is the penthouse that looks out all over the campus.
What an amazing place to raise falcons! The scrape box is located above the bell tower and apparently the ringing of the bells does not bother Grinnell, Annie, or the eyases. It is a well protected and safe place to raise chicks.
Annie and Grinnell have hatched 13 chicks. Three of those are in the nest now. The other ten fledged. Of those ten, one died by window strike and another, a female, Lawrencium, who hatched in 2018 is nesting on Alcatraz Island. The whereabouts of the remaining eight is unknown.
We do not know how old Annie is but Grinnell hatched in Martinez, California which is near to San Francisco in 2013. So Grinnell is eight years old.
Here are the eyases on banding day. The oldest two were born on the 17th of April and the youngest was born on the 19th of April.
Every year a contest is held to name the UC Berkeley falcons. The names this year are Fauci after Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (Red Band), Kaknu which is the name ‘falcon’ in the Ohlone Tradition (Yellow Band), and Wek’-Wek’ which is the traditional falcon of the Miwok Tribes.
The Ohlone lived along the coast and the land around San Francisco was the traditional lands of the Ohlone. In the mythology of the Ohlone, the coyote is the advisor and grandfather of the mythical hero of the people, the Kaknu or peregrine falcon. Kaknu features in the creation myths of the Ohlone as well as in the mythology of another San Francisco native tribe, the Miwok where the falcon is known as Wek’-Wek’. The Coyote was also the creator god of the Miwok and his grandson is also the peregrine falcon. Wek’-Wek’s father was the condor.
The three falcons chicks of Annie and Grinnell are all males. Indeed, out of the thirteen eyases of Annie and Grinnell only three of them have been females. Because the males are much smaller than the females, it does not take as long for their bodies to be covered with feathers. As a result, male falcons fledge earlier than females. (This is a similar situation with hawks). The biologists at Berkeley feel that the feathers will have completed their growth by 28 of May and are expecting the two oldest, Fauci and Kaknu to fledge 28-29 of May with Wek’-Wek’ joining them on the 31st. The eyases will then be trained by their parents for a couple of months to hunt so that they are independent and ready to live in the world successfully. They will do prey drops and aerial exchanges. Oh, can you imagine? The fastest birds in the world doing prey exchanges with their children. Wow!
You can see how quickly their plumage has changed from the image above which was on banding day, 15 May, only six days ago. In one week, they will have their juvenile feathers and be ready to fly.
Look at all that beautiful peach feathering. Gorgeous.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that our friends in Bird World are bringing you much joy!
Thank you to UC Berkeley Falcon cams that is where I grab my screen shots.
Wednesday started off with the sudden death of EE2 at the White-tail Eagle Nest in Estonia. The little one was up, bright and cheery at 4:04 and then gone. There has been a lot of speculation. A heat wave went through the area with temperatures doing from 1 to 26 degrees C in a day. Those dramatic changes can put stress on wildlife. Eve and Eerik had plenty of food and the eaglets were, as far as I could tell, growing and filling up the egg cup. Yes, there could have been a toxin and for sure, everyone has been watching EE1 closely. It could also have been a tragic accident of some sort. We won’t know because the body of the little one will not be taken – so I am going to stop speculating myself and hope that EE1 thrives and fledges. EE1 was fed five times between 13:22 and 19:14 and appears healthy.
The three eyases of Annie And Grinnell were banded today. The chick on the left has been banded. The one whose wings are back and looks totally frightened is just getting ready to be banded. It looks a little frightened.
The eyases receive two bands. One is metal and has a 9 digit aluminum band. There is a second coloured band with four digits that is unique to Peregrine Falcons in the SF Bay region. No gloves are used in the banding process so that the banders can handle the birds safely. Banding helps with studies in survival and movement. It does not hurt the birds.
The three are all males.
The banding was an on line event with two people from the centre answering questions as they discussed the process. You can see the whole procedure here and listen to the questions being answered:
Can you tell which of the two ospreys on the nest is Tiny Tot?
Oh, my, that bird has grown! Someone looking over my shoulder said, ‘The one with the beard!’ Well, if those feathers were smoothed down, it sure would be hard to pick Tiny out because Tiny isn’t Tiny anymore. Tiny Tot needs to grow some more feathers for flight. Look at sibling #2 at the back. See the length of the wing tip feathers? And the next layer? It would be really good if Tiny got all that feather growth before setting out on its own. Hopefully Tiny will hang around the nest, as #2 has done, to get some more flight training and to let the parents, Jack and Diane, feed it.
Sibling #2 is on the perch post eating a fish and Tiny Tot has just acquired the 3:47 pm fish delivery. No doubt s/he is going to be really full! Look at the size of that fish!
Big Red and Arthur’s little ones are doing fine. K3 really is a corker. Poor thing. I watched it yesterday when it got behind siblings 1 and 2 and wasn’t getting any bites. Oh, that little one – not scared at all – pecked at that big sib. I was rolling with laughter. It was like a comedy routine. Early this morning, for the first feeding, K3 was up front. It takes a few days to figure out the strategy but those little ones have spunk and drive. No one needs to worry about getting fed on Big Red’s nest!
This nest has a lot of different food items for the Ks. Believe it or not, at this age, they are already imprinting those birds and mammals so that when they are older, they will know that it is OK to eat them. The eyases have to pack a lot of knowledge into a few short months.
Big Red goes off for a break. It is a nice warm day. Arthur delivers a grey squirrel and then returns with a Starling! Everything is fine on the nest of the Ks.
I did a quick check on the little osplets on the Savannah nest. They had nice crops – both of them – around 13:30 – left over from the earlier feeding.
The second sibling is getting a nice feed from mom. That is nice to see. There remains some rivalry that can be unpleasant at times.
The image below was taken yesterday, 11 May. It is Iris and for those of you who do not know, Iris got her name from the specks in her right eye. You can see them clearly below. So, even without any band, everyone knows that this is Iris!
Iris did not incubate the eggs in the nest last night nor did she spend the night on the perch. In fact, she left her nest in good time to go and get herself a good fish dinner and did not return until this morning.
Iris had a nice fish breakfast before heading over to the nest nearby.
Iris returned to the nest at 6:42. She had been away at least twelve hours. Iris is taking care of herself.
As the graduate student at the UC Falcon Cam said today when asked if Annie and Grinnell would remember the banding every year. He said, “Birds have memories.” There is no doubt in my mind that Iris is chained to her hormones during the breeding season. She migrates to Montana and begins working on her nest. She lays eggs regardless or not of mating. She has some urge to incubate them BUT no doubt, over the past four or five years she remembers what has happened. Perhaps she remembers and isn’t caring so much this year? I cannot answer that. Perhaps she knows that both of those eggs are not fertile. ——- I just want to continue to enjoy seeing her. She is an amazing Osprey.
Legacy at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam in Jacksonville was waiting for a food drop this morning.
Isn’t ‘he’ gorgeous? He, you ask. The reasoning is in part because of the ‘flat’ head but more important the mandible – the yellow portion of the beak/mouth does not extend to 90% of the back of the eye. I hope that makes sense. Instead, the bright yellow area below stops almost level with the front of the eye. Take your finger to see – and then notice how much longer it would be if it extended to the back of the eye. Are you a boy, Legacy? Of course, there is never 100% certainty unless a DNA test is taken or you see Legacy lay an egg but, it is a good indicator.
Samson came in with a fish delivery at 2:11:32 and he got out of Legacy’s way fast!
Wow. By 2:31 – twenty minutes later – there is hardly anything left of that fish! Good work, Legacy. You are a pro at self-feeding.
I want to close with a look at a power couple in the Osprey world: Maya and Blue 33 (11). Blue 33 (11) has brought a fish to Maya so she can feed the two Bobs.
There was mention about Blue 33 (11) and this nest at Mantou Bay at Rutland. Tiger Mozone said something very ensightful: “Blue 33 (11) not only wanted the nest but Maya, too.” Right on. As Tiger pointed out, Maya had first been paired with 32 (05) who was shot. Then she was with 5R (04) but he didn’t return in 2014. In 2014, Maya paired with 28 (10) who Tiger calls Wonky Wing – Blue 33 (11) made short shift of him evicting him from the nest. Maya and Blue 33 (11) did not breed that year but they started in 2015 and have since had twenty-one chicks!!!!!!!! Blue 33 (11) knew a good female as well as a good nest.
Look at those healthy Bobs. I cannot think of a better way to end the day than seeing these two strong future ospreys.
Thank you for joining me today. It is nice to have you here with me.
Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: LRWT, NEFlorida Eagle cam and the AEF, Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab, Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, UC Falcons, and the Eagle Club of Estonia.
There are so many bird babies around the world today thankful for their great moms that I thought we would stop in and check on some of them – and take a look back in some cases. I apologize if I didn’t include your favourite.
Thanks Mom Bonnie and Dad Clyde for finding us a beautiful nest tree and then stealing it from those Bald Eagles.
We did well. Look at us! Lily Rose and I fly all over the farm but we love to come back to the nest for you and dad to bring us some food.
You kept us really warm and full with all those mice when it was snowy and cold.
Thanks Mom. Look at how big we are – #1 Daughter and #2 Son.
Thanks Mom Gabby. I inherited your and Dad Samson’s stunning beauty and also your loud squeal – not sure Dad Samson likes it when I chase him! You and Dad have taken such good care of me.
Thank you for keeping me on the nest and teaching me all those lessons after I got lost!
Mom, it’s Mother’s Day and I really thought I would be a great mom like you are. But there are people looking at the beak line and my eye ratio and the length of my hallux and they are saying I am a boy!
Thanks Dad Jack for coming to help Mom Harriet feed us this morning! And thanks Dad for not bringing in anymore toys so Mom can find us to feed us.
Look, Mom Anna. We did it! I grew up – your first baby ever. Thank you for keeping me safe when that other juvenile came to steal my fish the other day.
Boy, Dad Louis sure kept that nest full of fish. Good thing we can’t smell very well, right Mom Anna? Do you remember?
Thanks Mom, Annie. You are always fair when you feed us. Look how big we are growing. And just look at our pretty pantaloons!!!!!!!!!
Look how much we have grown! Thanks for taking such good care of us and feeding us all that pigeon.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I hatched just in time! Can I have some fish please?
Aren’t I gorgeous? Just like my mom Lime Green Lime. My mom travels thousands of kilometres to find food for me. Then she flies back to Taiaroa Head to give me my squid shake. I don’t have a name yet. People are voting and I will know soon. Stay tuned.
Yeah, the sun is out and the wind is warm and our mom, Big Red is drying out just like we are. Isn’t she the best? She takes good care of us even if it is snowing or raining and flooding everything. Big Red is the best mom ever.
Mom Big Red. You endure any kind of weather to keep your little ones safe!
Thanks Mom for yelling at dad to bring in more fish so we both can eat. We are growing really big. And I promise to try not and be so bad to my little brother, Mom.
Thank you Mom for staying with me when I get scared. It is lonely in this nest sometimes. You were so great at keeping me warm when it got really cold here in Colorado. But, today, what do you think of the new hair style?
Thank you Mom Eve for keeping us warm and being fair with the feeding. We both get fed and we both grow the same! You and dad Eerik keep the nest stocked with food so we never are hungry.
Thanks Mom for not giving up on us when you were buried in snow for a month. We are going to get our satellite trackers soon and you can follow us wherever we go after we fledge! And also Mom, thanks for not letting Big get all the food!
Thank you Mama Lucy. It’s just me so far and that is OK. You are a great Mom.
Lucy and Ricky have a beautiful place and a new platform in 2020 to raise their little ones. The couple arrived in the area in 2013. Since then their nests have been destroyed by storms. Hope this wonderful new Osprey platform survives.
Mama Harriet, we had to go away and get our eye infection taken care of by CROW. Mom, I am sorry I had to have time out because I was so bad to my little brother, E18. I promise we will be the best of friends in the future.
Mama Harriet, I kept my promise. E18 and I are the best of mates now that we are growing up.
You did good, Mom. We only fight over food drops now – just like we did when we were at CROW. Sorry!
Tiny Tot: “Thanks Mom Diane for bringing in all that extra fish. It was literally life and death for me. I promise to grow into a great mom. You will be proud of me.”
Thank you for joining me today. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Bird Moms and to each of you that has inspired, raised/reared someone or something else. It takes a village!
Thank you to all the streaming cams listed under the images. That is where I captured those screen shots.
Around the beginning of May, people in Manitoba get ‘itchy’ to get out in the garden. The garden centre catalogues have been sitting since December, the days are getting warmer, and that urge to get out and plant starts taking over our thoughts. Today was a quick trip to a garden centre just outside of the city near the river. On the way there I was delighted by the hawks soaring. One Red Tailed Hawk (RTH) was being chased by a couple of crows while a Broad-winged Hawk was flying above the banks of the river. I did not stop and take photographs. By the time I would have pulled over they would have been gone. But, thank heavens, for a book that I got at Christmas. The RTH I recognized immediately but not the second raptor. That book is Hawks from Every Angle. How to Identify raptors in flight by Jerry Liguori. I wish the images were bigger but, other than that, it has been a great help in identification.
Speaking of identification, the two eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest were banded on 4 May. I tried to catch a good image of their legs but those two are not giving one thing away!
Here is a close up of their young father, Harry. No, he isn’t dirty! He hasn’t completely ‘matured’ (someone might have to adjust that) as he is not believed to be five years old yet! Well, Harry, you are a great dad. You stepped up to the plate and incubated your babies, learned how to feed them, and brought in prey. It took you a bit to catch on – but, you did!
The cameras at the MN DNR Bald Eagle nest were turned off during the process of banding. They also did a health check and took blood samples. Soon we will know the genders of the two eaglets! Here is a video from 2015 at the same nest showing the process:
Many were very sad when California Condor’s Redwood Queen and Phoenix’s egg was deemed non-viable. Those two will try again next year. But congratulations go out to California Condors Condor 589 and Phoebe (569) known as the Pinnacle Power Couple. Their baby hatched on 12 April and is #1078. #1078 will need to survive for six months in the nest being fed by 589 and 569. #1078 will be learning to fly in mid-October. The couple have been together for five years and this is the third chick – hence the designation ‘power couple’. Most California Condors only breed every two years.
Over in Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana, the oldest Osprey in the world, Iris, landed a whopper!
Just look at the size of that fish and the perfect form Iris has. I am impressed.
Iris got to enjoy some of that magnificent catch and then Louis must have heard about that great catch and thought she might share. In the end, he did steal part of that fish and took it to the pole to eat. Darn that Louis. Iris doesn’t fish for him! He is supposed to be taking care of her.
Gabby has been with Legacy all day at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville, Florida. It seems that Samson and Gabby are keeping a close eye on Legacy so she doesn’t get lost again! Well, was she lost? She sure might have been. She has stayed at the nest. It is another hot and very windy day but, if Samson continues his regular food drop, Legacy will have some dinner around 5:30 nest time.
Legacy is sure watching for Samson to appear with her dinner! It is nearing 5pm nest time. Good training for Legacy once she gets the confidence to fly about more.
Arthur has made several prey drops trying to encourage Big Red to let him incubate the Ks but Big Red is steadfast. It is raining and she still doesn’t trust Arthur enough to let him take over when the rain is pitching down! K1 and K2 got a quick feed. Meanwhile, K3 is hatching. The progress is unclear – cannot see the egg!
It’s dinner time at the Achieva Osprey nest and Diane brought in a catfish for #2 and Tiny Tot. It has not been that long since Tiny polished off an entire fish so he is not rushing to get in line. In addition, Tiny might have figured out that the best meat on the catfish comes a little later. Mom has to fight with the head to get it all open. Diane doesn’t like a flake of fish to be wasted! No doubt. She is a good fisher, like Iris, and takes great care of her kids.
Oh, Tiny Tot is so smart. See. He waited. If you look carefully there is really good fish left – nice big chunks of flaky catfish! Sometimes it is good to not rush. Diane is happy to feed that back half of that fish to Tiny and have some bites herself. So Tiny had at least one entire fish to itself and half of another big catfish. He’s set for the night!
There were alarms in the Matsalu National Park in Estonia. Eerik stayed on the White-tailed Eagle nest tree with Eve in order to protect the family. If he wasn’t on the nest, he was on a close branch in case there was an intruder.
Oh, everyone is eating!!!!!!
It is Happy Hatch Day for Izzi, the Peregrine falcon eyass of Xavier and Diamond. Their scrape box is on the water tower on the grounds of the Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Izzi has not left home. Will Izzi ever leave home? Many are probably asking the same question. For me, it is a joy to see him grow into a healthy capable falcon!
And it wouldn’t be fair to check on Izzi and not on the trio at the UC Berkeley Campus. Oh, my how they have changed from the marshmallows last week with the pink beaks and legs. So imagine these three growing up and looking like Izzi in a few months. They will, I promise. They are already charging Annie and Grinnell and trying to self feed. Oh, they are adorable!
It is Day 36 for Maya and Blue 33 (11)’s first egg. Eggs have been rolled and Maya has been enjoying the nice weather. That one egg looks terribly suspicious but no word of a pip or a hatch yet!
Thanks everyone for joining me. I hope where ever you are that your Wednesday has been a good one. Take care. See you soon in Bird World.
Remember: 8 May is Bird Count Day. Get all the information on how you can participate here:
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, UC Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, Eagle Club of Estonia, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab RTH Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, MN DNR, Ventana Wildlife, and Pinnacle Wildlife.
All of the babies, old and new, were wanting food this morning. Just a quick hop through Bird World on a Monday morning to check on how our friends are doing this Monday.
The first egg at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest in Machodoc and William’s Creek in King George, Virginia hatched on 2 May, Sunday. Jack brought in a fish when Harriet was getting the little one ready for a feeding today and about pulled the baby out of the nest cup! Squint. The little one is right below Harriet’s beak.
Big Red fed K1 this morning. Arthur had a part of a rabbit in the pantry and there was also the remaining Starling that Big Red had for dinner last night.
Big Red is always so gentle with her babies picking off tiny pieces of meat to try and fit in their little beaks.
Eve and Eerik’s little ones are growing and they are always ready for a good feed! They are now old enough to understand what all of this is about. Cute little bobble heads.
Annie and Grinnell’s trio are already grabbing prey and wanting to start self feeding. My goodness the marshmallows have really turned that pigeon into falcon over the past week.
If Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot was not being harassed by Blue Jays this morning, he was eating! Looks like two fish deliveries before 11am for the Achieva Osprey Nest. Both of its siblings have fledged but Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot still has some feather development to go before fledge. I would also like for him to stay around a bit. What joy it has been to see this lovely osprey survive and begin to thrive.
The two little osplets at The Landings, Skidaway Island Osprey Nest had a nice fresh fish this morning. The oldest has been fed and now it is time for the youngest! Both of them are doing well.
The Royal Cam Chick lucked out. On 1 May, she had a double feeding from her parents LGL and LGK. How grand. Notice how she takes her bill and clacks on the side of the parent’s bill. It stimulates the parent to be able to feed the chick. LGL arrived first followed quickly by LGK.
The parent regurgitates the squid and channels inside their bills allow for the little one to catch the rich liquid shake.
The Royal Cam princess almost had a family reunion. The parents arrived and left within minutes of one another!
Oh, the green leaves of the Minnesota forest look so good. It is still cold on the Canadian prairies where the leaves are only ‘thinking’ about bursting out. It is 6 degrees C this morning with a grey dreary sky.
The two eaglets of Harry and Nancy are growing and starting to self-feed. Do you remember when we wondered if Harry would ever catch on to what his duties were as dad to these two? Seems he was a fast learner!
E17 and E18, the juvenile Bald Eagles of Harriet and M15 at the SW Florida Bald Eagle Nest on the Pritchett Farm in Fort Myers seem to never be in need of food. Food drops are frequent with one getting all the prey and sometimes they even share!
They have had some unusual items on the buffet table including a heron chick the other day.
That is a wonderful crop on E18 who managed to keep the entire fish delivery to himself. You might still remember when E17 was bonking the daylights out of its younger sibling. That, of course, stopped and if eagles can be buddies then these two are best mates.
Kisatachie is busy cleaning up the leftovers brought in on Sunday. My goodness this eaglet is growing up quickly. Do you remember when Kisatchie and his mom, Anna, couldn’t quite figure out how to feed and eat? or when Louis had 18 fish stacked up in the pantry? I am sure there were a few other nests that would have loved some of the fish he brought on to this nest! Kisatchie will be fledging soon.
Someone mentioned to me how Legacy and Kistachie seem so lonely. Bald Eagles by their nature are loners. They spend hours and hours sitting and waiting for prey. I have learned that this is just their way of life and not to put on human feelings on the eagles.
And while all the others are chowing down, Legacy is waiting for a parent to return and bring some prey. I am so glad that she is staying on her nest. The camera mods said Legacy still had some food in her crop yesterday so she is not starving despite her squealing. Still, it would be very reassuring to us ‘aunties and uncles’ to see a parent bring in some food. Gabby and Samson were seen together at The Lumberyard last night around 8:30 so both of the parents are safe and sound. I am human and I worry – but there are lessons from Legacy’s parents that she will need to help her survive in the real world of eagles when food will not be scarce. I am breathing knowing that they raised a beautiful juvenile to fledge and that Samson and Gabby will carry her through to full independence.
Legacy is not the only eaglet waiting for a food drop or a feeding. The trio at the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Nest ate so much on 2 May that they still have crops this morning. It is pitching down rain in Pittsburg and they are all cuddled together. Sometimes one or another will go over and pick at some of the bones left on the nest just like Legacy was finding old fish tails yesterday embedded in the nest.
Ah, wow. I had no more than finished loading the image above and a parent flew onto the nest with prey for the trio. Yippeeee. Maybe I should go back and check on Legacy!
Thank you so much for joining me today! I am so glad that you are enjoying what is going on in Bird World. There is so much happening. Today was a skip around the nests but more attention will be paid to Big Red and her brood once all are hatched and to the Manitoba Peregrine Falcons who have been breeding on The Golden Boy on top of our Legislative Building downtown.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Falcon Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and the NZ DOC, Achieva Credit Union, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, MN DNR, SW Florida and D Pritchett, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, KNF Eagle Cam, and Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon.