Friday in Bird World

24 November 2023

Hello Everyone,

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

Calico watching the hawk!

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

Hope wants to give you a ‘High Five’.

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

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

Wanting out to join the rest of the world!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Observation board for Port Lincoln for yesterday:

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

At Orange, gorgeous Diamond was in the scrape.

Early morning with Diamond and Xavier and..

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

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

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

Gabby and V3 this morning.

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

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

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

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

Why are these birds dying along the Scottish coast?

Missing Hen Harriers?

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

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

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

Beautiful Big Red…Sunday in Bird World

19 November 2023

Hi Everyone,

Saturday was a fantastic day on the Canadian Prairies. 6 degrees C. Snow melting. Blue sky. Bright sunshine. Happy people. I dropped off the pet food donations, picked up some Salmon Oil for Calico (and, of course, all the girls will get it along with the Cod Liver Oil and Lysine), and headed straight to the nature centre for a walk. My neighbour stopped me as I was leaving, wondering if we would get punished in January for all this nice weather…it made me think that we cannot wait to go outside on a nice day; it is a nice day. Go for it!

The girls and I are almost finished reading Margaret Renkl’s book, The Comfort of Crows. Every chapter reminds us to ‘live’. Renkl is just turning 60, and she understands that she has lived most of her life and ponders the shortness of time she has left. Renkl reminds us to slow down – to stop with the meaningless tasks we set before ourselves. To live a meaningful life not one full of just business.

Here is a quote from one of the chapters the girls and I read today: “During the funeral, when my friend spoke about her parents’ long marriage….In her eulogy, my friend reminded us of how much her father had loved to sail:  “He always said that he felt at peace when sailing, where it was serene and quiet”, she said.  “I now appreciate that he enjoyed those days on the boat because the family was together without being in a hurry.”  Instantly, I thought about those Post-it notes stuck all over my house.  How had I allowed myself to become so busy? How long had it been since I’d spent a day in the sun, eating sandwiches from a cooler and watching water ripple across the surface of a lake? Why do I so often behave as though there will be unlimited days to sit quietly with my own beloveds, listening to birdsong and wind in the pines? (129).

That is why I continued on to the nature centre today. To see the squirrels running around, to watch the one hanging on the bird feeder trying to pry out a peanut, to stop and listen to the chickadees. There is so much beauty that surrounds us. You just have to stop and listen. You can do this by simply standing outside your door or walking to the nearest green space. Sometimes, opening a window and letting the fresh air in brings contentment. Today, when I closed my eyes in the forest and took a deep breath, the smell of the damp leaves, some beginning to decompose, was so very lovely. For you see, it is impossible to smell those leaves beneath the snow!!!!!!

I am sure you do not think this looks like winter! One of the things about living on the prairies is the huge sky – the landscape is horizontal. Many modernist Canadian artists focused entirely on the tiny strip of land and the huge sky that is the hallmark of where we live.

There were three Canada Geese. The lake has only a thin sheet of ice in a couple of places. The smaller ponds are melting and there is plenty of food for geese and ducks available. There was the usual banditry of Black-capped chickadees so named as a group because they look like they have black bandanas or are wearing a mask, a single White-breasted Nuthatch, and numerous squirrels, both Red and Grey.

The chart below shows that we are above normal temperatures for this time of year.

Today I hope to get to another park where I am told the ducks are still paddling!

Thank you for your good wishes for Calico. She seems much improved and has been running around the house – something she has not done in a week!

The girls had their lunch and then it was time to ready for a nap. Calico and Missey were in the conservatory and Hope was in Missey’s basket in the sitting room. They love to curl up and stay warm – even with the temperatures outside, the oven has been on and the central heating hasn’t (the thermostat is right by the oven – bad design). Their heated beds arrive on Monday! Just in time for any dip in temperatures.

It is so peaceful. The Feliway continues to work, and there are no hissing or stalking behaviours that I have seen. Calico and Missey can sleep within a few feet of one another, and Calico is no longer concerned when Hope is playing with Missey. Smiling.

There are several videos of Diamond and Xavier feeding a fledgling on top of the tower. As at Sydney, it is not confirmed if both fledglings are being seen or if there is only one. Send positive wishes for both Marri and Barru as well as 31 and 32 – we hope that we are seeing both at each area.

The latest one, from SK Hideaways, is second..

‘A’s report for Orange: “The parents had a lengthy bonding session, which I believe was at about 16:11:05. (These two have had bonding sessions lasting up to four hours, though I think Xavier fell asleep during some of the longer ones!) But they are taking advantage of some adult time. Meanwhile, at least one of the juveniles has been spotted sitting on the roof of the water tower, where we saw at least one yesterday. I am unsure whether both juveniles have been positively ID’d or not. At least one of the fledglings is strong enough to fly to the top of the tower. Now, some landing control practice and we will see at least one of them in the scrape again. Talons crossed for them both.” 

At Port Lincoln, Mum, Giliath, and #2 wait to see who will be first in with the fish. They are hoping for Dad!

It is 10:38 and Mum is telling Dad that it is about that time he leaves the barge and goes out to fish…

It looks like Dad has not gone out fishing yet…it is nearing 0930. Mum and osplets are waiting patiently.

It is 12:30 and so far no fish from Dad. PLO says the fish fairy will be there in half an hour.

A 1.424 kg Trevally was delivered to the nest. It was taken to the ropes. PLO says that two fish were delivered. Mum is eating one on the ropes. Could you look at the size of it? It would feed everyone. I hope she doesn’t lose it overboard. Watchers think something smaller was under the larger fish the chicks nibbled on. It is a bit confusing. There is nothing on the observation board yet to clarify.

OK. Mum took the supplementary fish to the ropes and right after Dad landed on the nest with his own fish.\.

Hopefully Dad will have enough to eat and Mum will not lose the big one and feed herself and the kids for the rest of the day – with maybe some for Dad, too.

Note: Dad’s fish is nice, but that single fish would not be enough to feed 4 for the day. Again, I am thankful to the Fish Fairies.

Confusing. Is Dad feeding part of his fish to the osplets?

Dad is finished with the osplets and is on one of the perches. Mum is still prepping that huge fish. It has to be tough working through that head. She has been at this for more than an hour.

OK. Some clarification. It was a Trevally and a large cleaned squid. Dad fed some of the squid to one of the chicks (#2, I think) while Mum arrives on the nest with the huge lunch. Both will join her.

Mum is going to be exhausted when she finishes feeding this fish.

The chicks are getting quite full. Mum continues to feed them and herself. She has been working on this fish for two and a half hours.

Thank you to the crew of the Calypso Star and the young lad who donated the squid to the osplets. Kindness. Sometimes when the news gets too much, it is these small gestures that make us realise that there is goodness out there.

Today (Monday in Australia), the osplets are 34 and 32 days old. Unless they are females, they will normally peak in growth at 35 days Western Ospreys. Must check and see if this is the case with the Eastern.

The observation board for Port Lincoln. It is unfortunate that Dad lost the fish down on the barge.

The cam ops are not sure who is at the nest with Gabby. I just want Gabby to be able to raise a clutch in peace this season since she lost her fabulous mate, Samson.

I am going with V3 in the nest. Gabby was flirting and V3 was interested.

Handsome couple.

I think I missed this video of Jackie and Shadow!

Ferris Akel found Big Red on the Cornell Campus on his tour on Saturday. Oh, goodness, isn’t she beautiful. Look at that deep auburn Red plumage. She will be 21 years old in March. My goodness it is so good to see you Big Red.

There are two adults on the Achieva Credit Union nest. Jack and Diane?

Been missing Monty and Hartley? A pair of love birds. Don’t you wish you could talk falconsese?

18 Days until Hatch at Superbeaks!

This is the most recent report on sightings of Lady, Dad, and at least one juvie in Sydney:

‘A’ set this report for the 17th at Sydney and I missed it so I am including it here today: “November 17: an early report of a juvenile in the usual spot in the mangroves, then seen flying to River Roost, near both parents. In the afternoon there was a large drone flying over the wetlands –a new method of mosquito spraying, rather than by helicopter. Parents were away during the day – maybe even at Goat Island, closer to the City. Both returned to River Roost before 5pm, and then to the juvenile’s usual area. Shortly after, both parents were at River Roost, with a vocal greeting. Juvenile was seen at the water edge around 6pm, then went deeper into the mangroves. At 6:45pm, an adult was seen flying from the wetlands with a fish, taken to Mangrove Island. It is unclear if a juvenile ate today. Picture shows juvenile flying yesterday.” — Any report, regardless of the day, is good news when it is about the sea eaglets flying about and being fed!

This is the most recent report from ‘A’ for Sydney: “November 19: At 7.50am, 2 adults and a juvie were near each other. Juvie moved a couple of times like yesterday, before settling on another branch nearby, in the heraldic pose at one point. Heard a couple of duets, and sounded like juvie joined in. At 10am, the parents were in much the same spot, both facing more west. The juvie must have been there somewhere. At 11am, one parent flew to River Roost. Later in the afternoon, both parents were on River Roost, near the juvenile, in the usual spot, and then one circling over Ermington Bay. Numerous people using River Walk stopped to ask about the eagles, but the juvenile is still so hard to spot. I don’t believe a feeding was observed.” 

M15 and F23 were at the nest on Saturday. I do not see them there currently but they might return later in the night.

Lady Hawk posted this video.

This was earlier.

There has been some concern about the new female ‘F’ at ND-LEEF. ‘H’ reports that she was on the nest with Dad this morning. Fantastic news! ‘H reminds us: “‘F’ was last seen at the nest on 11/12.  This morning ‘F’ was back in the nest with Dad, starting about 073341, Dad in first.  They left around 0800.”

I love books and I get so excited when I hear that youngsters are learning about our feathered friends and the challenges that they face. Thank you to one of our readers, ‘R’ who introduced Chile Bird to her second graders! We must start with the youngsters so that their respect and empathy for wildlife will grow. Hakai Magazine always has a good list of children’s books this time of year – for all of the holidays celebrated by the various people around the world – and the gifts that they give BUT also because we should all be reading! This offering is called Ten Coastal Kid’s Books. Their summaries are excellent and very useful in helping to make choices for purchase.

There is another set of books that are meant specifically to inspire empathy and understanding in the young readers.

I recently included an article on how intelligent vultures are. BirdLife International explores the efforts to stop the poisoning of these captivating creatures in Kenya.

I read an article that you mind find interesting – it isn’t directly about raptors or wildlife but it certainly is about the quality of life of our neighbours. As many of you know, wealthier countries export their trash – whether it is plastic waste or donated clothes – to poorer countries, often in Africa. This creates untold harm to the people living there at many levels. I recall my granddaughter – who did her practicum for Social Work in Senegal – telling me never to donate clothes. They are sold cheaply and exported and then sold in the markets where they cause the local textile industry to die. We have all seen the piles of plastic garbage. Now the EU is passing legislation to ban the exporting of plastic. Thank goodness someone is tacking responsibility for their own mess. Now which other countries will follow suit?

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care – keep sending your good wishes to our three Australian families on streaming cams. Their challenges are certainly not over, and we want all those fledglings to be safe and well fed. We hope to have you with us again soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, videos, articles, tours, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H, R, SP’, SK Hideaways, PLO, NEFL-AEF, Ferris Akel Tours, Achieva Credit Union, Superbeaks, Anna Laios, Lady Hawk, Hakai Magazine, BirdLife International, and The Guardian.

Monster Fish, Mini and more…Friday in Bird World

11 August 2023

We are supposed to have rain over the next week. Everyone knows this and was in a bit of a panic to get outside and be in the nature centre today before it rains for 6 or 7 days. Of course, it never rains all day long. It is like Asia when it looks like the forecast is 100% for all day, but the rains begin, on time, at 1600 and are downpours and then stop. That said, it has been raining for the past four hours…Little Red, the Blue Jays, and all the sparrows continue to eat regardless. I am putting a bit of food out every hour so that it does not get wet for them. They also have seed cylinders, the solid ones inside the lilac bushes.

Calico has a covered area where she can eat (along with a few of her friends if they stop by). She comes on the dot just about every 3 hours. Her fur looks better since the worm and flea/tick treatment. I was reminded by ‘RP’ today that often kittens will follow their mother to find food. Maybe a kitten or two or three will show up! I live in hope because Calico surely has them hidden well.

The new wetlands area begins at the lake. The water is pumped to another pond where it flows downwards, filling all of the pool areas in the park. (All photos taken with iPhone).

I went to count goslings. There were only 14 visible but mostly there were mature Mallards, a few American Goldfinches, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Black-capped Chickadees. The animals and birds were quiet. Humans were loud. It was nice to have the nature centre garden market open – lots of freshly picked veggies, the profits going to a good cause.

The day continues to be consumed with Mini and her left leg. There are visible two puncture wounds above the ankle and before the knee of the left leg. Did Mini injure her leg stretching it and having someone’s talons caught in hers? A fish fight? We don’t know.

Indeed, any observer knows very little. We can deduce that she is keeping her balance with her wings. She appears to be in some pain. She is still flying and she is hungry. She is not – and I want to repeat this – she is not lethargic. She is not grounded. My friend ‘R’ and I know that if it is a sprain it will heal. If it is a break, it will heal – maybe not the precise way that it would if set in a cast but there is no guarantee that a wildlife rehabber would —- OK and this is harsh — put Mini’s leg in a cast and keep her in residence til late next spring when she could be released. She would not be ready for this year’s migration. This is something that has to be considered. I know that it is hard to watch her but she is alive, eating, flying, screaming for fish.

My reaction to Mini comes out of remembering many others, like Mini, that did not get a second chance. The first one that comes to mind is WBSE 26. We need to take a deep breath, send positive wishes, and not panic but observe.

1530: Fighting with one of those hard to eat fish unless the head has been taken off…it is good practice for our girl to try and open up these fish, though. No matter how frustrating it is to watch. She will have to do it soon enough in the real world without parents.

The two puncture marks above the left ankle before the knee. Two spaced black dots the distance of talons. We do not want these to get infected. (Mini could we ask that you go and stand in some salt water and soak that leg? Salt water aids healing).

You can see the punctures better here.

Mini has been on and off the nest. She has been fish-calling. Flying down from the perch. It was not a bad landing.

Our beautiful survivor.


Bobby Horvath has a practice on Long Island. He rescued Pale Male (the 31-year-old celebrity Red-tail Hawk with its nest on one of the most expensive properties in Central Park) and held him as Pale Male was dying. Horvath is willing to come out to help Mini if she is lethargic. Here is the note that he sent ‘L’ and the phone number. Write it down! Bobby might be our best hope that she would get good care instead of being euthanised. But he is busy – like everyone, and please note that he is stressing weak or lethargic – low or on the ground – not on the nest. Please don’t call him otherwise. All the rehabbers are busy. There are strict laws – and we don’t want anyone to get tired of hearing about Mini. We want them to respond when it is necessary. At least one local individual is making trips to check around the nesting area if Mini were to get grounded.

One diagnosis from a trained reader ‘MP’ suggests that this could be a lunated patella (a dislocation). I found an academic paper on this orthopaedic problem.

Steelscape: The third hatch has a huge crop today. And wait…more news. The third hatch had 3 fish today…and one of the older siblings had a huge crop. All is fine. We can relax. Thanks so much for the images and the report ‘PB’.

Fortis: ‘PB gave me the head’s up early that we would be getting a very good report from ‘H’. There were two whoppers brought on to the nest!

‘H’ writes: “It turned out to be a very good day.  The youngest osplet, JJ, had not had very much to eat for the previous three days.  The viewers were all extremely worried for him.  The day started out with Louise delivering a headless fish, which JJ initially acquired.  JJ had the fish for a couple of minutes and managed to pull off a few bites before big sis, Banff, took it away.  Banff ate that entire fish, but JJ managed to grab the tail.  For JJ’s sake, we knew there had to be another fish delivered soon while Banff was still full, but the next fish did not arrive for four hours.  At 1215, Louise delivered the largest fish to date this season.  It was massive.  Louise initially wanted to hold on to the fish to feed, but Banff took it.  It was a tough fish and Banff had not made much headway, when JJ managed to drag the huge fish from Banff at 1242.  They traded possession of the fish a couple more times before Louise returned to the nest at 1355.  She confiscated the fish and fed JJ!  That’s what we were all hoping she would do.  JJ was fed for 10 minutes before he got the boot from Banff, and then Louise fed Banff.  By 1422 Louise was clearly distracted by something and she stopped feeding.  She was on alert.  At least 1/2 of that huge fish was left, and JJ tried to pull off a few more bites.  Louise flew off the nest at 1456 taking the rest of the fish with her!  She returned at 1535, with the same fish.  There was still about 1/2 of the fish remaining, it did not appear as though Louise had eaten any of it.  Banff claimed the fish at that point and ate until 1608.  JJ then fed for an hour before Banff reclaimed the fish at 1707.  When Banff quit eating again, JJ ate from 1730 to 1808.  Then Banff ate some more, and finally downed the tail of that massive fish at 1821.  That had been a 6-hour fish!  So, there were only two fish delivered to the nest, but the monster fish had provided at least six or seven meals each for JJ and Banff.  JJ had his largest crop in days.  The siblings are 54 days old.  Banff has managed to increase her lift off the nest during her wingers, but has not hovered as yet.  JJ has only achieved a few inches of lift off the nest while wingercising.  During the night of 8/11, the siblings both slept upright and tucked for the very first time.”  

Those are two North American nests I have been concerned about in addition to Mini. The other nest is PSPB Loch Garten and the attacks on the two male juveniles by a male fledgling from that same nest in 2020. Remember the males return to their natal nest area and things are getting crowded in parts of Scotland.

There remain intruders including an unringed female at Loch Garten. The injured chick 2C4’s wing has stopped bleeding. Hopeful he will be fine.

Sadly, the 2020 fledgling KL5 is back again this morning at the nest.

Thankfully all is well at the nest of Louis and Dorcha at Loch Arkaig – and Ludo is as noisy as ever.

Suzanne Arnold Horning found all of the hawks on the Cornell Campus Thursday. So grateful for her diligence and kindness in sharing her images of Big Red and Arthur’s family.

‘A’ reports on the Australian and NZ nests:

Sydney Sea Eaglets: “This morning’s breakfast had to wait for Dad to bring in a fish. Eventually, just before 09:20, he came in with a whole fresh small-medium fish, which Lady fed to the chicks and ate herself. After the breakfish was consumed, Lady headed off. Dad brought in part of a fish (slightly less than half – he had eaten the head and then kept going for a bit longer). He stood there for some time, waiting for Lady to arrive and feed the eaglets, but she never came and the chicks were obviously begging him for food, sitting up at the table and trying to move closer to him and the fish. Eventually, he decided to feed them, and both got quite a few bites before Dad downed the tail, fed the kids a few more bites, then took the remaining morsel to the perch branch to eat himself. So now the nest is again devoid of food and we do need a good feeding day today. I was happy to see that both chicks waking up hungry and waiting for a later-than-usual breakfast did not precipitate bonking behaviour. Both were peaceful while they waited for food to arrive and once it did, there was negligible bonking. SE32 has taken to pushing itself forward, in front of SE31, to ensure it gets fed, and SE31 is allowing it to eat without interference most of the time. SE32 is still wary, and ducks for cover if SE31 does beak it, but the shaking by the back of the neck has largely ceased.”

Royal Cam Albatross: “We are hoping that Manaaki gets his supplementary feeding today – he looks literally flattened as he lies in his nest and seems to be low on energy (or just conserving it). He had built up significant reserves, according to the rangers, and is not on the high priority list but is still scheduled to be fed by today. As every day passes, I worry more and more about his parents.”

I just noted before I closed the blog this morning that the supplementary feeding was given to the Royal Cam chick. This is a great relief to everyone who sat and worried about this little bundle of joy.

Collins Street: “Cameras won’t be back up at Collins Street until the first egg is laid (last year, that was 25 August, so some time in the next two weeks is likely).”

Port Lincoln: “At Port Lincoln, they are on egg watch. To be honest, every time I watch and see mum sitting on the nest, I wonder whether she is laying that first egg. She is in that position now and I am wondering if this is the big moment. Surely, there will be at least one egg on that barge before the weekend is over.”

Orange Falcons: “Orange is as it always is – Diamond with a full crop, Xavier dancing about looking handsome. It’s just after 1pm in eastern Australia. A lovely day in Sydney, Orange and Melbourne, though they are expecting rain in Port Lincoln.”

Wondering about Dmitri and his stork? Excellent post on Thursday from Karla Pilz!

At the nest of Karl II, the three fledglings slept on the nest and then were there for the morning and flew off.

‘H’s other reports!

Kent Island – This Chesapeake osprey family is doing very well, and dear Mollie seems to be very close to fledging.  She hovered high out of sight for several seconds, and for a while we didn’t know if she had fledged.  Audrey and Tom’s youngster is 60 days old.

Barnegat Light – Life is grand for the fledgling, Dorsett.  And, she has shown a definite preference for eating her meals on the utility pole.  Dorsett is 72 days old, and fledged 12 days ago.

The Osoyoos osprey cam was offline for the second straight day.  We miss the ‘O’s and we are anxious to see how they are doing.  The young nestling is 46 days old.

Thanks ‘H’.

Skipping to a couple of other nests before I close for the morning.

Boulder County: All three fledglings were perched for the night and off the nest in the morning. They are being fed off cam it appears and all is well for this family as it prepares to migrate.

At the Dyfi Osprey Centre, they are remembering Monty. Monty was the male at Dyfi from 2011-19. He had three mates – Nora, Glesni, and Telyn. Of their children, 8 have returned as two year olds. A remarkable number and his DNA continues throughout the area….his perch is inside the new Centre.

The Dyfi website adds: “Monty was the breeding male at the Dyfi from 2011 to 2019 and he is arguably the most famous, and loved, osprey in the world!
Monty was unringed so we never knew exactly how old he was or where he came from. We know that he has been around on the Dyfi since at least 2008 and probably 2007, so his year of birth has to be 2005 or earlier…Monty was a fantastic fisherman whose fishing habits have been closely studied.  Two separate scientific studies conducted in 2013 and 2015 have concluded that there is no correlation between the fish species that Monty catches and environmental factors such as tidal phase, temperature, time of day etc. It seemed he was able to catch a fish whenever he (or his family) was hungry and did not need to link his fishing trips to any other factor. Monty’s typical catch was grey mullet but he has been known to bring home some more unusual fish including a long eel-like garfish, a poisonous greater weaver fish and the occasional twait shad!”

The other nest I want to mention is Iris. She is still with us in Missoula and she has not been visited by Louis as much this year (it seems) as in years past. Pe chaps it is the weather and the challenge of feeding the trio and Starr. Iris has had a persistent visitor, a ringed male and here is some information posted on him this morning. Iris is, by the way, not chasing him off.

Thank you for being with me today…please send good wishes to Mini. Take care. See you soon!

I am so grateful to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog this morning: “A, H, L, MP, PB, RM, RP’, PSEG, Steelscape, Veterinary Quarterly, Fortis Exshaw, RSPB Loch Garten, Sue Wallbanks and Friends of Loch Arkaig Ospreys, Geemeff and The Woodland Trust, Suzanne Arnold Horning, SK Hideaways and Sydney Sea Eagles, NZ DOC, Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Karla Pilz and Stork 40, Eagle Club of Estonia, Kent Island, Conserve Wildlife of NJ, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Mary Anne Miller and Montana Ospreys at Hellgate.

Does Mini have an injury…Tuesday in Bird World

8 August 2023

Hi Everyone,

I hope the beginning of the week has been kind to each of you! It is nearing 1700 on Monday as I begin to write after spending some time checking on the birds – both on the screen and in the garden. Things are winding down. Spotters in the UK are starting to see migrating ospreys flying south. Here it was sunny and is now overcast. The Blue Jays and a single Crow have offered joy in the garden today. It will not be long before the migrating birds appear, including the hummingbirds and the Baltimore Orioles looking for their grape jelly and oranges, before continuing their southern journeys. I plan to get to the nature centre on Wednesday for a long walk and check on the ducklings and goslings. They should be all grown up! Little Red was there, too, and Dyson and the gang will, hopefully, be around later this evening.

There is severe weather headed for the east coast of the US that is predicted to produce 75-80 mph winds, hail, and tornadoes. Thinking of all our nests including, potentially, our Mini – and all of you. Stay safe.

Mini was on the nest at least twice today. In the image below, at 16:32, she has a crop. She got the 0601 fish delivery! Not huge, but a fish, and she will have another during the day for sure – as is noted in that 16:32 crop.

It is hard to see Mini’s nest empty…one day soon she will not show up, she will be on her way south. While we will never know for certain what will happen to this young lady, she has been a survivor. There is some concern Monday evening that Mini might have an injury to her left leg. Let us all just breathe. We have seen ‘slight’ injuries on nests take several days to heal. Mini will rest and Dad will bring fish if she is, indeed, having an issue.

Oh, goodness. Mini is still favouring that left leg this morning. She cannot put much weight on it. She has a fish and let us all hope that our little one heals..she has plenty of time before she might think about migrating in September. Just rest, Mini!

Can she hold down the fish hard well enough to eat…let’s keep an eye.

We fretted over the debris in Mini’s nest and thankfully, none of the twine or the bin bags endangered the health of the adults or the osplets. In Montana, they continue to find osprey chicks when they are being banded in nests where they are tangled – dangerously so. Thankful for the intervention.

Oh, what a cute little one. So grateful he is recovering.

A hope, skip, and jump around the nests. There is not a lot of action – that is a good thing.

MN Landscape: Chick is self-feeding, but when Mum has a fish she is eating, this baby is loud with the fish begging!

Boulder County: That nest just seems to get smaller and smaller when all three of the fledglings are home!

Seaside: Naika and Kawok continue to fly in and off the nest. Naika had a beautiful big fish that could not be finished. Kawok got to finish the best part – the tail half!

Clark PUD: One osplet has fledged. Both on the nest and being fed. All looks good.

Loch of the Lowes: Please note that Blue NC0 has not been seen since 15 July and the male, Blue PF5 for several days now.

Janakkala, Finland: Ospreys watching for Dad who delivers fish – and then the great tug o war begins.

Muonio, Finland. Video of the ringing of the chicks has been released.

Port Lincoln Osprey: The date of Zoe’s egg tells it all. Soon we will be staring at incubation in Southern Australia.

Mum and Dad on the nest of the barge at Port Lincoln. They are both anticipating the arrival of the first egg.

It is time for ‘H’s report:

Fortis Exshaw: “It was not the best of days for the youngest chick, JJ.  In the early morning, both Banff and JJ took turns trying to eat the large fish tail left over from the very tough fish the previous day.  The tail also had a large piece of attached skin dangling from it.  JJ finally managed to eat the skin and tail at 0816.  As it turned out, that was all that JJ had to eat on 8/7.  Two large fish were delivered to the nest, the first one by O’Hara at 0844, and Louise delivered one at 1352.  The older sibling, Banff, ate both of those fish. JJ did have a couple of good meals the previous day, however, and we’re hoping the fishing improves for Louise and O’Hara today.  The air was visibly smoky or foggy for most of the day, and a nearby viewer confirmed it was smoke from a distant fire.  Perhaps the smoke had made fishing more difficult for the adults.  There were no major intruder issues that we could see.”

Osoyoos –  It was another good day for the family. There were six fish delivered to the nest.  The body of chick #2 had been slipping off the edge of the nest for a few hours, and at 1205 when Soo shook the nest as she flew, the body finally fell to the ground.  A member of the Facebook group who lives in Osoyoos was going to try to retrieve #2’s body.

Kent Island – A severe storm system went through the area in the evening, with heavy rains and wind gusts that were predicted to be up to 70 mph.  The live video stream went off, and the cam is showing highlights.  During the day, young Molly had been ‘helicoptering’ so high that she was out of cam view a couple of times.  I hope she wasn’t too excited with all the wind and continued practicing her hovers.  We hope that Molly and her parents, Audrey and Tom, stayed safe during the storm.  We anxiously await the return of the live stream, and for any news from the Com family.  

Barnegat Light – A couple of ‘firsts’ for this osprey family on 8/7:  On 6/28 Dorsett was banded, and afterward the bander installed a new perch for Duke near the Bay.  On 8/4, the fledgling Dorsett, was on the perch for the first time, and then on 8/7 Daisy tried the perch for the first time!  The other ‘first’ was that Dorsett flew in and landed on the railing with a big gob of soft nesting material in her talon.  A surprised Daisy said, “Well how lovely, thank you very much, Dear!”

Severna Park was another nest impacted by the strong storm system on 8/7. Here is a photo of the two fledglings after the worst of the storm was over.

Patuxent Nest-1 was also inundated by the storm on 8/7.  In this photo the two fledglings are waiting for their ‘breakfish’ delivery on 8/8.

Audubon Boathouse – It is not very often that Skiff and Dory are seen together at the Boathouse nest, but they were on 8/6.  Little Skipper was predated by an owl 15 days ago.  The view from the Boathouse nest cam is one of the most picturesque of any osprey streaming cam, and perhaps soon I will be able to find solace in its beauty.  But, it’s just not happening yet.

Black Stork Karula Forest: This is the nest of Karl II and Kaia. Karl II has the sole responsibility for feeding the three storklets since 23 July at 16:19 when Kaia was last seen on the nest. She is not dead. She is foraging in an area with a brook about 6km from the nest site. Storklet 7194 fledged on 7 August.

Big Red and Arthur’s Red Tail Hawk Nest:

Ferris Akel has some really good footage of the Ms and family!

A good article on L2’s release with video.

The 2023 season highlights – life with the Ms.

San Jose City Hall: SK Hideaways caught more bonding between Monty and Hartley. Wonder where Soledad is and how she is doing?

Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange: Xavier and Diamond continue bonding and mating as the 2023 breeding season is getting ready to begin in Australia. ‘A’ remarks, “At Orange, bonding activities are increasing, including mating up to several times an hour and much prey being brought to the scrape. Diamond will occasionally accept a starling but only if she is particularly hungry, which is rare – she is not often seen without a noticeable crop. Xavier brought her an eastern rosella she was happy about the other day and a pigeon was on today’s menu, but he usually dances around with his starlings before leaving again, taking his starling with him. He is so svelte and handsome with his snowy bib and his orange feet.”

Sydney Sea Eagles: Both eaglets are being fed very well. There is a variety of food including fish and today an eel! Their big crops have made lovely cushions to sleep on. What a relief.

Roy Cam Albatross: ‘A’ reports “The big news is that Manaaki weighed only 8 kg at today’s weighing (he is 200 days old today, only 40 days from the average fledge age, and today was one of 20 chicks at the colony, 10 males and 10 females, to be fitted with a data logger). The 8 kg he weighed today is down from his peak weight of 11 kg, and a supplementary feeding is scheduled for him tomorrow or Thursday. Imagine, we never thought we would see our big boy needing supplementary feeding, but that is what happens when a parent fails to return, and sadly, it has been way too long since we last saw L (20 July). GLY has done his best but he is unable to sustain a male chick on his own. At this point, GLY has not been in since 30 July, which is a very long time for GLY, who usually has half that time between visits. Before this absence, L was gone for 15 days in April and again in May, but this is significantly longer than those absences. So we are all worried about both parents at this stage and Manaaki has obviously been hungry for several days, begging other chicks’ parents for food. It would be a tragedy to lose either one of this couple, who had already successfully fledged two chicks before Manaaki so were a well-established pair.”

Lady Hawk gives us a video of the GPS tracking device and the weighing.

Going back to Port Lincoln, there is news of Ervie and Zoe from the Port Lincoln FB page today:

Please send all your most positive energy to our Mini if she has an injury to her leg so that she rests and recovers fully.

Thanks, everyone for being with me today. Please take care. I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, images, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, H’, CNN Weather, NOAA, PSEG, Wild Skies Raptor Centre, MN Landscape Arboretum, Boulder County, Seaside, Clark PUD, LOTL, FOF, PLO, Fortis Exshaw, Osoyoos, Audubon Boathouse, Patuxent River Park, Severna, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, Kent Island Ospreys, Eagle Club of Estonia, Looduskalender, Ferris Akel Tours, Cornell Bird Lab, SK Hideaways and San Jose City Hall, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, and Lady Hawk and NZ DOC, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam and Port Lincoln Ospreys FB.

Ervie has a female friend, M2 dies…Wednesday in Bird World

2 August 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

Before we get on with the news…I really want to put a smile on everyone’s face this morning. Ervie. Dear Ervie. A female was hanging out in Ervie’s territory. Now Ervie is visiting hers. Jumping up and down for joy and little tears…Can we even begin to imagine? Just remembering that tenacious little third hatch taking on big Bazza continues to bring joy…and of course, all the scraps with Falky. The puffers. The worry and now this!

Gosh, I thought I would not be adding to the Memorial Page at this time of year, but here we are at # 127. Three new additions in the last 24 hours. One of them is the second hatch of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus, who was discovered in bushes under a roof, indicating a building or window collision. M1 and M3 had been spotted on Campus. Condolences…everything was just going so well, and it would not be long until they would be leaving the territory and finding their way.

The other two deaths were the Black Stork fledglings, Jola and Derek.

Just breathe. That seems to be the mantra this season. Just breathe because balancing out all the deaths are some very good things that are happening.

You might recall that the Friends of Big Bear Valley were petitioning to have Labour Day fireworks cancelled in the Valley because of the stress put on Jackie and Shadow. This year it was several days before they returned to their nest. FOBBV asked for and received many articles on the damage fireworks cause to wildlife and domestic pets. ‘B’ wrote me this afternoon to inform me that there will be no more fireworks in the Big Bear Valley. Isn’t this wonderful? It should give us the understanding that what we do can matter – that our actions can drive meaningful change. We cannot give up in despair.

Sandy wrote in her FB post on 31 July: “Thank you for keeping up with Jackie and Shadow even as they are enjoying their summer break. They would like to announce that all of us can now relax—they heard that the Labor Day fireworks show planned for September in Big Bear Lake has been cancelled. Hooray!! Sandy”

This is the latest news from Loch of the Lowes. Blue NC0 has not been seen since 15 July and PF5 has not been seen since 28 July.

More good people helping an Osprey!

Oh, these Osprey fledglings are getting themselves into some mischief. Another rescue.

Checking in on a few nests:

At Patchogue, Mini continues to fare rather well. On Tuesday a fish arrived at 0826. I believe it was Mini that took the fish and flew off the nest with it. If it wasn’t she was definitely on the nest at 1028 and received a smaller fish. At 12:53 she was on the nest watching for Dad to fly through with a fish.

At 1700, Mini was ready and waiting when Dad delivered a magnificent fish! Look at the size of that fish. Mini will not need a late night top up. Way to go Dad!

Mini flies off with that big fish!

It is difficult to measure just how well each of the three osplets is being fed at Steelscape in comparison one to the other but the third hatch is still with us.

Pont Cresor: Home to Aeron Z2 and Blue 014. Three chicks fledged – 11, 16, and 19 July. Congratulations!

Collins Marsh: This nest continues to do amazingly well. Nice fish and the two chicks growing – one already fledged.

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails: It is good to remind ourselves that the battles for fish on the nest are helping our fledglings learn how to survive in the wild when there are many more vying for that fish they have in their talons. We have to breathe. In order to live, the ospreys must eat and that often means being ruthless.

Imperial Eagles, Tatarstan RU:

Port Lincoln Osprey: Dad brings Mum a fish on the nest!

Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange: Loving Xavier and Diamond. Wishing for a good season.

Sydney Sea Eagles: So delicate how Lady gives the tiniest of fish flakes to SE31 and SE32. Dad is keeping the pantry nice and full. He even fed Lady while she was brooding.

“Dad brought in the customary fresh fish at 06:52:25 this morning. It was intact and relatively large for this area. A lovely breakfast for the family. Mum had already fed them a first breakfast about an hour earlier, but SE32 was not really over-interested in eating at that time of day (exactly as it did yesterday morning). By the end of the morning, both had eaten plenty of lovely fresh fish. Always a happy sight.” – ‘A’ reports.

‘PB’ has been keeping an eye with ‘H’ on Fortis Exshaw. In fact, I am pretty certain that many of you are checking in and sending your wishes to this nest that is struggling with intruders. ‘PB’ writes: “Small fish 18:16 that #1 gets (from Mr O?), then Louise with bigger fish 18:26 and she feeds 2 and herself, mom is on extreme alert.”

Fortunately that chick 1 was busy with the earlier fish so Louise and 2 could eat.

I noted another fish that came in at 19:55. Chick 1 got that one and is getting really good at self-feeding! It is a good thing that Louise and chick 2 had the fish that Louise brought in – they must have been very hungry! In fact, we often forget that the parents have to eat as well…not just the chicks on the nest.

Oh, another fish at 2128! Did 2 get this one? It was mantling the delivery.

And ‘PB’ writes that Louise brought another fish in right after this one. Well, that is one way to make sure the very hungry second chick gets fed – one fish right after another and then another and another til the big one is so full it doesn’t care.

Louise flew off the nest. Has she engaged with an intruder? Two cannot self-feed and is picking at the fish – chick on the left.

One eventually goes into a food coma, while Two really tries to figure out what to do with his fish. And bravo…self-feeding for the very first time. This is a good thing.

‘H’ was keeping track and she put it very well…I love how she says Louse went into high gear! “It was touch-and-go for a while at the Exshaw nest.  On 7/31, Chick #2 only had one meal, around noon.  Chick #1 has begun to rush Mom or Mr.O to grab the fish upon delivery.  #1 is quite capable of self-feeding an entire fish.  Chick #2 is not at that level as yet, in fact #2 is downright polite about it, and won’t even try to steal a piece from #1.  By 1800, there had only been two fish delivered, and #1 had claimed and eaten both of them.  We were very worried about #2.  Well, then Louise kicked it into high gear and delivered five fish between 1813 and 2137.  Oh, bless her!  Chick #1 grabbed the fish at 1813.  And for the first time, #2 grabbed the fish at 1825, and tried to self feed.  After a few minutes, Louise took the fish and fed #2.  Yeah!  Chick #1 claimed the fish delivered at 1955.  Then at the 2128 delivery, chick #2 grabbed the fish from Louise and mantled it!  Yeah!  Chick #1 had designs on that fish too, and she seemed quite taken aback at #2’s new confident behavior, lol.  There was one more fish brought by Louise at 2137, which was claimed by #1.  Chick #2 did a nice job self-feeding from his fish, and was still eating it well after dark.  I believe that Louise delivered all of the fish to the nest on 8/1.  There was a delivery at 1103 where we had a very limited view of the adult, but there was a brief view of Louise’s distinctive back-of-head markings (quite different from Mr.O).  Another questionable identification of the adult was at 2128, however both top and back head markings proved it to be Louise.  In my opinion, Mr.O did not make an appearance on camera on 8/1.  But, don’t worry, Mr.O was probably guarding the area so that Louise was free to do her thing.”

367 Collins Street: Not live yet. They were just testing the system! That said, it could be up and running right now.

Boulder County: ‘PB’ notes that the storm that swept through the area has taken out the camera on the Osprey nest. At the time all three osplets were on the nest. Let us hope that everyone is fine.

Cowlitz PUD: Everything appears to be just fine and the metal guards have protected the nest and not impeded any movement of the adults or the fledgling.

Hellgate Canyon, Montana: Everyone has a picture of Iris with her huge fish today on the Owl Pole. It is always good to see her here or on the nest! Looking’ good, Iris.

Osoyoos: There has been a question about removing the Middle chick’s body from the body. All of you have watched Osprey nests and chicks dying at various ages. Sometimes the adults remove the body of their dead chick while, at other times, it is left on the nest and becomes part of that historical object.

‘H’ reports: “Olsen brought 9 fish to the nest on 8/1, and a few of them were large.  Soo, and her remaining chick were well fed.  I have seen a few nests where a chick died from siblicide from aggression that was fueled by a lack of fish on the nest, and then the next day there were lots of fish.  Chatters would ask, “where were all those fish when they needed them?”  The weather conditions have not improved at Osoyoos . . it is still quite hot, and the air is smokey from the nearby wildfire.  One difference seems to be that Soo was missing the last 52 hours of chick #2’s life.  The Osoyoos osprey family of three carries on . . and we support them.  The youngster is 37 days old.”

‘H’s other reports:

Kent Island – The livestream returned after having been down for nearly four days.  It seems that Audrey and Tom’s 51-day-old chick may have grown a bit in those four days.

Severna Park – It was so nice to find both juvies on the nest in the afternoon.  Earlier, one of the fledglings landed on the nest carrying a partial fish.

Barnegat Light – News Flash: Dorsett went diving and swimming!  Dorsett spent a fair amount of time on a piling at the Bay beach, when at 1002 she decided to take the plunge into the Bay.  Later in the afternoon she waded in the water and took a bath at the shoreline of Barnegat Bay.

Dahlgren –  Members of this lovely osprey family are often seen at the nest.  It is always good to see them.

Forsythe – In a flurry of fishing, Oscar delivered six fish to the nest for his two fledglings between 0724 and 0920.  Owen and Ollie each received three fish.  There were no fish delivered to the nest later in the day.  The older sibling, Owen, seems to be spending the most time away from the nest.  

Thank you so very much for being with me today. Please take care. L ooking forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, B. H, PB’, Fran Solly and Friends of Sth Australia, Cornell Bird Lab, Maria Marika, FOBBV, Loch of the Lowes Visitor’s Centre and Wildlife Reserve, Laura Asbell Stansfield, Barbara Walker and Osprey Friends, PSEG, Steelscape, Inc., Nyth Pont Cresor, Collins Marsh, Pitkin County Open Trails and Spaces, Imperial Eagles RU, PLO, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Sydney Sea Eagles, Fortis Exshaw, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Cowlitz PUD, Montana Osprey Project, Osoyoos, Kent Island, Forsythe Ospreys, Wildlife Conserve of NJ, and Dahlgren Ospreys.

Crash landings, itchy wings…Friday in Bird World

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): (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.

Foster fledges…Monday in Bird World

3 July 2023

Good Morning Everyone,

I spent most of early Sunday doing some clerical work. The joy of finding new osprey nests with healthy chicks like Loch Don raises my spirits. Hopefully, by today I will have caught up with everything Claudio needs me to do. His programme for monitoring the nests for my research is exceptional, and I am so grateful to him and to ‘H’ for helping track quite many nests for me. Now it is time for me to get all the details of the nests I am following cleaned up and updated! As a result, this blog could be a mishmash. Still, there are always good things that come out of tidying.

My need for additional information allowed me to reconnect with Diane and others at the Tweed Valley Ospreys. Tweed Valley chicks will be ringed and fitted with satellite trackers soon. Last year they had three lovely males. Sadly, it appears that two perished, but Blue 708 Glen is still alive and loving his life in Morocco as of 14 June.

First up I reported that the osplet at Snow Lane in Newfoundland died on 1 July. That poor little one is still suffering and dying on the 2nd. Meanwhile Mum Hope is eating away and sometimes feeds the other chick. (Wishing someone would go up and retireve that baby and foster it).

The situation at the nest of Hope and Beau grows more dire as it appears that the healthy chick was injured with sticks being brought in on Sunday. The poor little one that was dying on 1 July does seem to have passed.

Did I say someone should have rescued this healthy first chick and fostered it? There is something ‘wrong’ with this female.

The second chick is lodged at an angle this morning in Newfoundland. Hope is feeding it but it appears to have been injured with those stick movements. This nest is so sad – it makes you wonder about the female’s presence of mind.

The Mum at MN-Landscape Arboretum sure likes to eat her fish, too. I wonder what that 21 year old male thinks??? The female is doing better and she is shading the chick much of the time as well as feeding. It is extremely hot in our region (32 C in Winnipeg and this nest is about 8 hours south of me). The wee two week old is losing its down and getting its black oily head and turning into a Reptile. Oh, I so hope this baby survives!

There is good news coming in my mailbox about Soledad from ‘SP’. “Soledad slept on the rotunda across from City Hall and then flew to the top of an apartment building this morning, where her parents met her for breakfast. By all counts, so far, she’s a strong flyer. Now talons crossed that she avoids all those mirrored buildings downtown.” ‘B’ reports that Soledad was brought back to the area around the natal nest and that it is quite hot in San Jose. After a bit of a loaf, she was running along the ledge and flying off. Hopefully, she saw one of the parents with prey! The latest report from ‘B’: “At 8:10:10 pm that Soledad took off.  About a minute and a half later, a falcon landed on the ledge where she took off, and I thought at first she was back — juvie coloring — but I think it was Monty, because I saw no bands.  He stood there for a few minutes, scanning about, then took off in the direction Soledad departed.”  Like ‘B’, I hope that there was prey being delivered by Hartley and that all three are together at night. Here is a video of Soledad’s adventures on Sunday.

‘SP’ and I have also been keeping a worried eye on the Evergy third hatch. It “hopped/flew to the roof above his perch. I did not see it happen, only the resulting move of the camera. I learned about his move when I inquired on their FB page. They said the camera angle was changed “in case he passes by the area”. What? I reviewed yesterday’s stream and just reviewed it again. I did not hear or see any sign of him.” ‘SP’ and I strongly felt that this chick should have been taken into care early on and wrote and wrote when the others fledged. No one seemed to care! How sad is that?

At the Patchogue nest on Sunday, Dad was fishing overtime. Lots of fish coming on the nest. Little Mini gets fed some and misses out on others but the nest is so civil! All four are doing well because these parents work so hard for them. Just look at the four today. It is worth noting that Little Mini is continuing to grow and with lots of fish she could easily be as big as 3 if she is not already. Having trouble recognising her? She is the third from the right, nearest the rim of the nest.

‘M’ writes that there was a milestone at the nest today. Big had a fish and walked away when it was full and Mini went over and ate the rest, self-feeding. Then Mum came and fed Mini a fish! Excellent news. Looks like we are going to have four fledges at this amazing nest. — Mini had lots of feedings on Sunday, too, including 0801.

Mini self feeding.

Mini on the far right but being fed some fish, too.

Mum feeding Mini.

There is so much fish and so much wing-flapping on the Patchogue nest on Sunday that it is hard to keep up!

At least two have fish, Mini look directly at us from the back.

Mini continued to get fed, continued to self-feed, and was finding scraps in the side of the nest. What a character – and a survivor. Always alert now for opportunities for fish in case she gets locked out from the Bigs.

Mini finds a fish tail in the rim of the nest.

Mum feeds Mini again.

Lots of flapping from the older siblings. Look at the wing span on this one and those long skinny legs…my bet would be a male despite the necklace (yes, some males do have necklaces) – and some females leave their nests and do not return when terrible things happen but are not dead – as my friend ‘T’ reminded me today. Think Florence at Captiva.

Mini self-feeding. Good night Mini…Your tail is getting longer. You are growing…we never thought we would see this day and that is why we are paying so much attention to you – a fourth hatch!

All three osplets at Boulder County Fair Grounds are getting their beautiful juvenile plumage. All three are thriving – and again we thank the wonderful work of these two adults. They have consistently made sure that the smaller third hatch was fed.

The fish are small and slow to arrive but the only chick at Cowlitz PUD is still doing alright.

The three osplets at Dunrovin Ranch are doing splendidly.

Betsy feeding her three ‘great big’ chicks at the Outerbanks 24/7 nest. She doesn’t mind and remember, it always allows the females to have some fish, too.

There are so many three chick nests this year! The ones at Alyth SSEN substation are starting to flap their wings and get some air. The nest is too high for ringing, sadly. These are sure beautiful birds.

Two beautiful big Bobs of Dylan and Seren. This is one of my favourite nests. I love how the Reservoir is stocked – yes, probably more those fishing but, I would like to think it is for the wildlife, too. Much ask John Williams unless someone knows.

Dylan and his first mate (he ousted the very popular Dai Dot), Delyth, from 2016-2020 have had 4 chicks return. They were KS7 and KS8 (both 2018) and KA6 and KA7 (both 2019). Dylan and Seren have been together for three years, 2020-23) and they have had 2 of their chicks return, 550 and 551 (both 2020). Of those six returns, four were male and two were female. Thanks, John Williams for your great blog and all those stats!

Idris and Telyn have two beautiful chicks at Dyfi, too – another favourite couple. Idris replaced Monty at Dyfi in 2020. There were sightings of his 2020 chick Teifi KC6 in Santander, Spain in 2022 but the chick has not been seen in Wales. This does not mean that others have not returned. They have to have verified sightings to be recorded. Many males do return to their natal nest.

That chick of Louis and Dorcha continues to amuse. What a feisty independent osplet!

It looks like ‘H’ has some good reports for the nests she is monitoring today!

“Barnegat Light – This little family of three is doing quite well.  There has not been a name announced as yet for 09/N, who is 33 days old on 7/3.”

“Audrey, Tom, and the Babe at Kent Island had a good day.  Tom delivered 5 fish that I saw.  I wonder if the youngster will be given a name?  Three weeks old on 7/3.”

“Severna Park – Life is good.  Oscar and Olivia are great providers for their two good looking kids, ages 56 and 55 days on 7/3.  There’s a lot of wingersizing taking place on that nest.”

H loves the foster at Patuxent! “I can’t say enough about this young foster Osplet.  She was placed in this nest by park personnel on 6/29.  Her behavior is unique to this viewer.  ‘Foster’ is so polite and reserved.  I would love to have known the dynamics between her and her siblings at her nest on the “tower” from which she was rescued.  Perhaps she was an only ‘child’.  Dad delivered a fish at 1828 on 7/2, and they had not eaten for about 5 hours.  ‘Foster’ looked just as eager as the others when the fish arrived, and for a brief second, it looked as though she might take the fish from Mom, but she didn’t.  We have seen her self-feed.  Instead, ‘Foster’ stood patiently and stoically on the rim and watched Mom feed her own two kids.  It’s almost as if ‘Foster’ wants to respect her hosts, by not being intrusive, but of course we cannot ascribe those thoughts to her.  Typically the fish brought to this nest are huge, but this fish wasn’t that large.  In the end, ‘Foster’ only received a few bites, and that was the last fish of the day.  I felt a little sorry for her, but she did eat two nice meals earlier in the day.’Foster’ often flaps and exercises her wings, and manages to get a little lift.  She is almost able to go from rim to rim.  But, ‘Foster’ is a big girl, and she has a lot of weight to lift.”

Foster fledged at 08:26:24! Congratulations!

“The Forsythe nest of Oscar, Opal, and their two surviving kids are doing great.  There were at least five fish that I saw.  Opal brought in a huge live fish at 0934 that lasted for three long meals.  What a Gal!  The kids are 42 and 41 days old.”

It was a rainy day at the Boathouse nest for Dory, Skiff, and little Skipper.  Skipper sought his/her Mom’s protection from the weather, but Dory can no longer cover her growing nestling.  Skipper is  23 days old on 7/3.” 

This year is particularly interesting at the nest of Big Red and Arthur. Normally, Big Red does not like to feed her fledglings at the natal nest. This year, with the construction across the street, she is delivering more prey there. The little one was on the nest when she arrived at 13:29:50 and mantled quickly but was accosted by what appears to be its oldest sibling. Big Red took note of who got the prey and quickly left the scene.

Maria Mariko reports that history has been made in Poland. Seven Black Storks have been ringed and fitted with trackers.

We always worry about fledglings. Always. We watch the eggs, we wait up for the hatch, we bite our nails when there are problems, we cry, we jump for joy, and then they fledge – and we often do not see the fledglings or hear them. Two other nests with recent fledges are the Decorah Hatchery and the Cornell RTHs, who we know are safe from the posting above.

DH2 has been located.

‘A’ reports on the Sydney Eagle nest of Dad and Lady: “Dad is presumably doing fine at this stage, as he is hunting normally and doing his incubation shifts. July 3; a few possum visits in the night, Lady up and down many times, but eggs uncovered for only short times. Early duet as usual & Dad relieved her at 6:40. After a flight away she finished off the fish leftover from last evening. During the day both were in and out a lot, but eggs only uncovered briefly. Dad brought in a coot just after 2pm, which he plucked & de-gutted away from the nest, ate most himself & brought her a few scraps. By dusk, both were settled for the night as usual. Today she spent slightly longer on the eggs than he did As per the report, Lady did longer on the nest than Dad today, which is unusual, but she is probably doing a bit of hunting for herself at this stage until Dad is 100% again. He can still do a perfectly good job of sitting on the eggs, even with an injured leg. I have not seen any signs of injury over the weekend, so let us hope that all is now well.”

Sadly, another bird with fishing line and hook. Do you ever just wonder how many there are that die with this situation – never seen? How sad that we cannot find a way to clean up the shores and all the dead trees in the water and rid the waterways of human debris.

Oh, my goodness, P20 shows up at the Pittsburgh-Hayes nest to get some food from Mum today!

The only surviving eaglet at the Fort Vrain Bald Eagle nest in Colorado fledged today. Congratulations!

Thank you so very much for being with me today. All of the UK nests are doing fantastic! While I continue to worry about Little Mini at Patchogue, I am much more optimistic that this survivor will fledge. The worrisome nests are Newfoundland Power and MN Landscape at the moment. So rest assured that the nests are doing well, some better than others. Having a good location is key. Having a good location with a stocked source of fish is paramount to success. So send your best wishes to all the nests. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their notes, posts, videos, and streaming cams that helped me to write my blog today: ‘A, B, Geemeff, H, SP, T’, Newfoundland Power, MN-Landscape, SK Hideaways and San Jose City Hall Ospreys, PSEG, Boulder County Fair Grounds, Cowlitz PUD, Dunrovin, Outerbanks 24/7, Alyth SSEN, CarnyXWild, John Williams, Dyfi, Geemeff and The Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Cornell RTH, Maria Marika, Laura Rose and Decorah Eagles love nest, Kathleen Moore and Nor Cal Birding, Pix Cams, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, Kent Island, Severna Park, Patuxent River Park I, Forsythe Ospreys, Explore/Audubon, Sydney Sea Eagles, and Fort St Vrain.

Mini Picks Fights, M3 fledges…Friday in Bird World

30 June 2023

Good Morning Everyone!

I got up early – it was cool for a change and not so humid and headed to Fort Whyte Alive. It has been a few days since I walked around that trail checking on the little ones and oh, was it good, to get out and get some exercise. What is that phrase? “Use it or lose it!” I remember a surgeon telling my mother that after she had broken her hip and it was all pinned…she did not want to get up. Well, she did when she realised that laying there might mean spending her entire life like that. Thank goodness.

The cutest Little Red wasn’t afraid of anyone walking by.

There were little ones around. Here are some images of them..and their proud parents. There are not many families and it was such a delight to turn a corner and encounter a family out foraging.

Hooded Merganser chicks! There were 18 of them at the final count.

The Canada Goose family with four chicks is doing fine. The males always follow behind, keeping the little ones in line! The rain has provided much-wanted new grass for everyone! And no worries, that chick is wet from the recent rain – is not ill!

The giggle for your morning continues to come from the Loch Arkaig nest. Gosh that chick is a character. Thanks, Geemeff.

Mini missed out on breakfast which must have caused her to be a little grumpy. Then she had a nice feed of fish around 11:42 before the Bigs came over and Mini moved away…she would definitely have linked more fish. Our girl is so skinny. She really needs to bulk up with the weight but it is difficult with the three Bigs. Well, Mini started staring at Three after puffing herself up…and then…

Despite having some fish, Mini’s crop is hollow and it is very hungry. This chick – as I will keep saying – needs fish to ‘bulk up’ for migration. Note the ‘thick’ legs and toes.

‘R’ reports that Mini picked another fight in the afternoon. Mini is hungry! Watch the video again and see how she puffs herself up to look bigger—perhaps sizing out the siblings. She needs to eat…and today, like other days, has been slim pickings. At 20:32, Mini finally – in desperation – grabs a bite meant for a larger chick. That bite was all Mini got. The fish was gone. This nest desperately needs more fish so that Mini can get a nice big crop…she is so thin.

When Ferris Akel was on the Cornell Campus Thursday evening, M3, the third hatch of Big Red and Arthur for the 2023 season fledged from the light tower to Rice to join the two other siblings who had previously fledged. Congratulations. Stay safe, sweetie.

The little one at the MN Landscape Arboretum nest had a few feedings on Thursday. Not much fish and adult female eating often and not offering, often off the nest for long periods not protecting the chick from the weather…makes me ache.

A nice fish came on the Collins Marsh nest and both chicks and Mum ate well. Nice.

Only Bob at Cowlitz PUD had a nice fish feed before tuck in Thursday night! In fact, this little one had several nice fish dinners on Thursday…and just look at it grow.