21 June 2023
Good Morning Everyone,
It is the end of the week. It is almost the end of July. We are less than a month away from some of the females in Europe and the UK preparing for and possibly leaving for their migration. Indeed, migration is on my mind and I have a book recommendation (below) for those that want to learn more of the history of how scientists discovered where our feathered friends go in the winter or spring/summer for breeding. I am also including a study on the impact of Avian Flu and some suggestions on what must be done to curtail it before populations are decimated. There will be continuing news about fledges and, of course, our Little Mini – not so little anymore – who is hoping to take those beautiful wings of hers and hit the skies.
In the meantime, there was a Crow funeral this morning. At first, I did not know what was happening as a dozen or more Crows gathered and flew in circles over the back lane and in front of the house behind me. I thought the GHO had come into the neighbourhood, and I knew the adults would not have that with their fledglings being out of the nest for less than a fortnight. So I investigated, and sadly, one of the fledglings was dead on the side of the street. They had all come to mourn and say goodbye. Usually, I would pick up the carcass and place it on the boulevard, but a wise and knowledgeable Corvid person once told me that the Crows do not like humans to touch their dead. So, I left the lovely one there. How sad.
One of the fledglings on my fence – along with four of its siblings – waiting for its scrambled eggs and cheesy dogs. Sadly taken through a screen of the conservatory so the image is soft and this is as light as I could push it. They are so beautiful. Their beaks are like highly polished ebony and those dark piercing eyes. They know precisely when I am cooking those eggs and arrive and wait so they can get to them before the Blue Jays. I adore them.
That one little Blue Jay is so funny. He likes to take his naps here and he loves to be in the bird bath. He went to sleep eating and kept his lids closed for over fifteen minutes. He was only woken when another sibling flew in to gnab a peanut. Looking over my photographs, there are more than 600 digital images of this one fledgling. Don’t tell my children!
Did you know it is impossible to tell a male blue Jay from a female one unless you see them during courtship or laying eggs? Blue Jays bond for life just like our raptors.
This little one does not mind sharing the table feeder with the Sparrows.
Take the time to observe the birds around you. They are precious. Listen to their songs. Focus on their behaviour and their markings. Soon you will get to know them and they will become ‘family’.
Speaking of family. Mini will never know all the people who have sent positive energy to the nest so that it might survive but, today, this wee fourth hatch has survived and is ready to leave the nest and become a bird.
Three is on the Patchogue fish calling, and Mini just dreams of flying. She has had two good fish from Dad today – perhaps even more I missed. One was at 0920 and the other at 1523. Nice fish, so Mini is not hungry. Gosh, I am going to miss her when she fledges. What a survivor…I hope all she learned on the nest and her fortitude carry her well through life.
Oh, Mini wants to fly. She is getting some height. 1918 Thursday night. Stay home Mini until Friday.
Good night, Mini.
‘L writes that Mini got a fish at 0740 on Friday and that Three had a fish shortly after, too. That is fantastic news!
Mini got the fish and that darn black bin liner. It continues to stick to Mini’s talons. I hope when she fledges she does not take it with her!
There are lots of fledges and some hard to keep up with. All of the three osplets at Alyth have fledged with the last one flying on the 18th of July, 9 days after the first. They are being fed on the nest by the parents although, like all nests, there is a bit of a scramble.
At the Loch of the Lowes, the scramble between the two siblings for fish is intense. It reminds me of Achieva when Big knocked Middle off – these chicks are hungry! Here is the latest posting about conditions on the nest and why they are what they are from The Loch of the Lowes:
What we want to see is all the fledglings return to the nest for a good month to get fed well, fattened up for migration, and get their flying skills in order and those wings strong for that 5000 km journey most will make starting in August – in a month.
Everyone is home at Rutland! These three are keeping the adults busy catching fish…soon Blue 33 will be the sole provider of fish and I can’t think of a better Dad to fatten up these three for their migration.
Another of the Kielder nest 7 chicks has fledged. This time Blue 2B0 Gilsland.
At the Borders nest, Blue 733 Jed flew on the 20th, Thursday. Time 1600. He was airborne for 3 minutes! Well done. Thanks Rosie Shields for that great blog…congratulations, Jed!
Landing back at the nest.
There are still three chicks on the Boulder County nest but not for long.
Pitkin Open Spaces and Trails: One of the osplets is getting a lot of height and is really working its wings today. Fledge is going to be soon – just like Mini, this one wants to go!
Three beauties at Poole Harbour. I want everyone to send positive energy to the nest of CJ7 and Blue 22 that the goshawk does not return to the nest this year and snatch one or more of these beautiful babies.
At Loch Arkaig, there was a bit of an issue with one of Ludo’s flights. Geemeff says, “Ludo LY7 had a bit of a day today – made his second flight with no problems, but got divebombed by his mum Dorcha on his third flight, and missed his landing, tumbling over the edge of the nest and landing in the branches. Fortunately not hurt, took a few minutes in the tree with a few squeaks, then flew off, did a circuit, and landed properly. Relief!” Here it is on video – thanks, Geemeff.
The chick at Cowlitz has really grown and is hopping and flapping. The metal protective grids are not a bother.
Some information on the translocation project for Ireland that involves removing osplets from Norway and transporting them to their new home. Ireland has no breeding pairs of ospreys at this time.
Time for the reports form ‘H’:
Fortis Exshaw: “It was a peaceful day for this osprey family. There were four fish brought to the nest, including one by stepdad, Mr. O. A couple of the fish were very large, including a monster fish delivered by Louise at 0604, and there were at least 6 feedings. No one went hungry.”
Patuxent Nest 1 – The fledglings were both seen partaking of fish at the nest.
Osoyoos – Dad delivered at least 7 fish on 7/20. The kiddos are 24 and 25 days old, and are doing very well.
Barnegat Light – Thanks to the efforts of Duke and Daisy, there is no shortage of fish at this nest. Little Dorsett is 51 days old, and is not so little any more.
Patuxent Nest 2 – One of the fledglings was seen on the nest enjoying a meal.
Suzanne Arnold Horning is diligent in finding the Ms after they have fledged their nest on the Cornell Campus – she spots Big Red and Arthur too. SAH has ‘hawk eyes’ – for sure! All of the family are safe and sound today.
I wanted to check in on the nest of Bald Eagles in Juneau. Look at beautiful Hope who is now self-feeding rather well.
‘A’ gives us a report on the Royal Cam Albatross: “
Later on 19 July, after GLY came in for that short breakfast feed, have a look at the late afternoon feeding on the same day. Those chunks of octopus or squid of some variety are MASSIVE. Well done dad! And then we had a feeding from mum L around 08.23 yesterday morning (20 July): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXxHaJngJXs (Notice L’s standing feeding position, different from GLY, who tends to get down really low, as he did when Manaaki was still a tiny chick. These little differences are what we rely on when it is impossible to discern leg bands, which is often the case in the half light or the long grass.) It’s a short feed and Manaaki continues to whee away as she leaves (‘Don’t go, mum!’), but then he did have two meals the previous day, including the giant chunks of squid the evening before this feed. He’s certainly not starving, our giant fluff ball. Manaaki was not weighed on Tuesday but we will see how his weight is going next Tuesday. With half the local cephalopod population being swallowed by Manaaki this week, there should be no problems in that department! What a gorgeous albie he really is. No wonder we all call him Prince Manaaki. He is just the most beautiful bird. So healthy and active and with such a curious personality. He loves to explore. We will all miss him a great deal when he does finally fledge. Day 240. It suddenly seems all too close – day 200 is looming.”
Worried about an animal in need that is not in a nest – phone the fire department! A feel-good moment.
Do you know about migration? There are several books on the subject, but Rebecca Heisman’s Flight Paths has been on my reading list. Migration is a topic that is coming up for almost all of our feathered friends. What I liked about the book is that it is full of science and what we have learned about migration through new methods using satellites, satellite tracking as well as boots on the ground, It is a page-turner—primarily black and white text with images in the middle. I didn’t miss seeing the images of birds. The writing is so good it draws you in. I was fascinated with the study of where birds go —so where precisely will the baby Blue Jays in my garden travel for winter? or the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks? What about the birds in the Himalayas that fly through really thin air to those tiny warblers that weigh no more than a ballpoint pin and travel three days over the ocean to get to their winter homes? This is exciting reading – well, to me it is – the history of migration, how humans discovered the amazing journeys our feathered friends take. This book will add much to your knowledge, deep appreciation, and respect for our feathered friends. It was $37 CDN for a hardback copy. Why not ask your local library to order a copy? Surely this is a subject that will interest many!
It isn’t about raptors but, it is about a natural solution to a problem – instead of using herbicides and pesticides. Just like raptors are the solution for rodents!
Canada is working to save the endangered Piping Plover- it is a good news story in amongst the bad – the BC Government allowed shooting and logging in the area of the endangered Spotted Owl – in fact, there is only one of them and there is shooting. Am I angry? You bet’cha. When will nature be a priority and not the economy? Without nature, there is no economy.
Lots to read today but Birdlife International has published a report on Avian Flu and some possible solutions that must be taken if our feathered friends are to survive this global catastrophe. The report states, “Bird Flu has evolved to spread more rapidly and easily in wild bird populations. Previously, this disease spread significantly in farmed bird populations and it was quite rare for wild birds to catch it – when outbreaks did occur, they usually impacted a limited number of species and only lasted a few months. This is no longer the case. With birds under greater threat than ever before, this virulent strain of Bird Flu cannot be categorised as a natural process and left to wreak havoc.”
Lots more nests with fledges to come today. Little Mini is just itching to fly – so keep an eye! But if you feel low, think of Fortis Exshaw and how wonderful this season has been with Mr O. He is our Osprey Super Hero! Thank you for being with me. Take care all.
Thank you to the following for their notes, photographs, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: ‘A, Geemeff, H, L’, PSEG, Alyth, LOTL, LRWT, Rosie Shields, Boulder County FG, Pitkin County Open Trails and Spaces, Anne Ryc and Poole Harbour, Geemeff and the Woodland Trust, Cowlitz Pud, Gregarious Joris Toonen and Ospreys, Fortis Exshaw, Patient River Park, Osoyoos, Wildlife Conserve F of NJ, Suzanne Arnold Horning, Glacier Gardens, NZ DOC, KRCR News 7, Amazon, 27east, The Narwhal, and Birdlife International.