Lots happening in Bird World including a goose taking over a White stork nest!

I love getting notes from everyone with new nests to check on. Tonight my friend ‘T’ in Strasbourg, suggested I check on a beautifully woven nest in Germany. We will go to check on it later in the blog.

Does anyone have any idea how many bird streaming cams there are? I do mean just birds because we live in such a marvellous time that we can watch elephants in Africa, giraffes being born in a zoo, watch the ocean in almost any part of the world, and see a condor hatch.

I have no idea how many Osprey cams exist but, there are only four Red tail Hawk streaming cams in the world. That is one of the reasons that Big Red is such a star.

There she is doing what she loves – feeding and caring for her chicks.

Just look at those feathers. They are all that rich earthy deep dark brown – just like their moms. At the beginning of their second year, these juveniles will get that beautiful burnt orange tail just like Big Red. You can see it in the image below.

So what is with the oak leaves? Some of you will have heard me mention Laura Culley. Culley is a falconer. She has many raptors but one, Mariah, is 28 going on 29, I believe, this year. Culley taught me and a lot of other people many things. One is that the pine brought into the nest is a natural pesticide. Another is that the adults like to bring in a variety of prey for the nestlings. They will imprint those birds and animals so they know what is alright to eat. So, last year, I asked Culley about the oak leaves. Well now. This is interesting. Big Red is telling the nestlings to fly to the oak tree across the road when they fledge – the big oak tree in front of Fernow Tower. How clever!

While Big Red was taking a break this evening, Arthur is doing flying demonstrations. Arthur is really in his element once the Ks fledge – he works with Big Red and teaches them how to hunt their prey and how to fly. I remember both Big Red and Arthur soaring one day. It was an amazing sight.

So, we are going to travel from Ithaca, New York where Big Red has her nest on the Cornell Campus to Germany. Specifically we are going to a region known for both wind turbines and storks – not necessarily a good combination – known as the Minden-Lubbecke District. They even have a Stork Museum! I have placed an arrow on the map below so you can find it.

The specific nest is located at the very edge of the district on the grounds of Schloss Benkhausen (the Castle Bankhausen) indicated by the red symbol in the map below.

The area does not have enough large trees for the storks. In 1987, there were only 3 breeding pairs. In 2019, there were 89 breeding pairs but not enough nests for them. In that year, the Gauselman Family set up a platform on the edge of a hiking trail on the grounds of Schloss Benkhausen. In 2020, they set up a camera for the world to watch the White Storks and their family. Well, something different happened on one of those platforms in 2021!

A lovely little goose has made her nest in the centre of that beautifully woven basket platform in the middle of the fields. I am told this is a White-fronted Goose but, not being familiar with the breeds in the region, I am not 100% certain. Nonetheless, a goose is on that platform and as of today she had laid 12 eggs! Twelve.

The goose will take the down from her body and work to line the nest cup and also to cover the eggs when she is not on the nest. You can see that grey fluffy down that the goose is pulling to cover her eggs in the images below. Look – there are so many eggs! This reminds me of Daisy the Black Pacific Duck that laid her eggs in the White-bellied Sea Eagle nest. Sadly, one day when she left for food, the Raven’s took Daisy’s eggs. Daisy did not have a mate to help her. I wonder if this goose has a mate to defend the nest? Normally the mate would be nearby. Older geese lay more eggs than younger ones. Once she is finished laying, this ‘Mother Goose’ will begin hard or sustained incubating. It is approximately 28-32 days til hatch. Around 24 hours after hatching the goslings will jump to the ground. Their parents will wait for them and walk them to water. It is an amazing sight to witness.

Here is Mother Goose covering her eggs during the night. She needed a wee break.

Here is an image taken earlier in the day. You can clearly see the down lining the egg cup and our beautiful little goose.

Do not worry. The platforms are normally erected to a height of 70 or 80 feet. The record for goslings jumping from a height is 400 feet for Barnacle Goslings from their cliff nest.

This is a better look at our little mother. That looks like a puddle in view but it could be larger – the cameras tend to distort scale – and hopefully it might fill with water before these little ones hatch. There also seems to be a little stream.

You can join in the fun and watch this family through fledging of the goslings here:

And speaking of fledging, one of those ospreys on The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island is sure getting some impressive height to its hovering today.

The chicks on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest in Washington State do not look any worse for wear today. Wattsworth has been in several times with fish and it looks like Electra filled their crops. Regular supplies of fish will stop any food competition. I love seeing that little one with that big crop today. It sent those warm fuzzies up my arms.

When I last checked on Tiny Tot, he had returned to the nest after being gone most of the day. His feathers looked a little tattered. It was 31 degrees and hot in St Petersburg and no doubt he is really wanting and expecting the parents to bring him an evening fish. Sadly, Tiny went to bed hungry tonight.

Thanks so much for joining me this evening. Lots of good things out there happening on the nests and some interesting developments with that goose! It just takes me back to Daisy the Duck on the WBSE nest in the Sydney Olympic Park in January. I certainly hope this lovely goose has much better luck!

Big thanks go out to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Livestream vom Storchennest-Schloss Benkhausen, Cowlitz PUD, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon.

As the Nest Turns – Monday late edition

My regular readers will know and might be scratching their heads about all the Osprey posts. Like 400,000 others, I rejoiced when Louis helped Aila feed the three chicks on the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. It renewed my faith in Ospreys after having had a rough season with a couple of other nests. Mary Cheadle posted this image taken from the streaming cam last year of Louis helping with the three little ones. That is JJ7 Captain being fed alone so he is not bothered by the two older and bigger siblings. I mean how brilliant is that! It was 3 June 2020. What a beautiful family photo. They all fledged. Sadly, Aila did not return from her winter migration this year. Louis has a new mate off camera on another nest. I hope he is helping with the little ones too. This family gave me hope – hope that not every third chick died of siblicide. And then there was Port Lincoln and Tiny Tot – but Tiny Tot’s survival has really moved me. So, I haven’t stopped my love for Ospreys – it has grown!

Osprey dads vary in their dedication and care of their family just like human dads. Some help with incubation and feeding the wee ones while others bring in lots of fish and do territorial protection. And then there are some who don’t have another nest but still do not bring in any fish and their children starve to death. Then there are the moonlighters like Louis in Missoula, Montana who has two nests but he only takes care of one. A reader asked me if I had heard of or watched the Cowlitz Nest in Washington State. I don’t. I know about it. It is the nest of Electra and Wadsworth. At present there are two chicks. Wadsworth helped incubate the eggs and everyone thought he might have changed his ways but no fish deliveries til this morning – when people feared the little ones would die. After Tiny Tot and then Glaslyn, I am afraid that I do not need the drama. I hope that Wadsworth continues to provide for his family – that is HIS job. Electra’s is to keep the chicks warm and dry and to feed them.

We now know that Ospreys in need will accept fish that they did not catch. The laws in Europe and the UK permit feeding tables. In 2012, Rutland provided one for one of their nests. I heard of an instance in Canada but it is not clear to me what the circumstances were or even when the event took place. I understand the Ospreys did not accept the fish. Mrs G and Aran readily accepted the fish from the staff and volunteers at Glaslyn. They are alive today because of the insights and generosity of these fine caring people. So what about the situation with Electra? On the surface it appears that intervention cannot take place unless the situation has been caused by humans – according to US wildlife laws written more than 50 years ago. But that cannot strictly be the case. This February E17 and E18 were removed from their natal nest by CROW, a wildlife rehabilitation clinic in Fort Myers, Florida, because the eaglets had conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. Humans tend to call it pink eye. The eaglets remained in the care of CROW for five days. To the people that had the backbone to get the care those eaglets needed – bravo! Just how they got around that archaic law of non-interference is unknown to me but they did and I am glad. I put out a call to help Legacy if, in fact, the bout of Avian Pox she had worsened. Thankfully, it was not necessary. But I sure did ruffle a lot of feathers – and they weren’t on birds! At this point in the history of the planet, the unseasonal weather, the lack of prey, the loss of habitat and the resulting woes of the wildlife rests right on the shoulders of us, humans. But if the community were to get permission to supplement the feeding of Electra and her chicks, I would highly recommend that they contact the Glaslyn Center in Wales. It is the fine details that matter. You don’t want Electra to bolt and not return! Still, I hope that Wadsworth shapes up and takes responsibility for his family.

This morning the intruder was back on the Achieva Osprey Nest. Today, it successfully got Tiny Tot off the nest. Jack flew in and dispensed with the intruder and stayed doing guard duty on the perch pole til late in the afternoon.

At 3:58:58 Tiny Tot returned to the nest very hungry! Here is his approach and landing – gosh he is a good pilot!

Here comes Tiny lining up with the runway.

Landing gear down.

Wing tips going down. Perfect.

Now that he is safely home and there is no intruder, Tiny Tot is rather impatient and would really like some lunch!

Looks like sibling 2 has a similar idea. Oh, dear.

Tiny Tot isn’t the only one waiting for dinner rather impatiently. Big and Little from Duke Farms have been sitting on the nest or the branches around the nest hoping for a food drop. You might recall that the pair of them fludged and the parents were able, after a few days, to get them back to the nest. The parents come with prey but sometimes the youngsters timing is wrong. Big got the last drop. Little has to be really hungry. The amount of time they are hanging around the nest tells me two things. The parents are not doing prey drops elsewhere and the juveniles haven’t had much luck hunting on their own. Fingers crossed for them today.

The storks that are being fed by the villagers of Mlade Buky in Czechoslavkia are really growing. Here is their delivery of little fish today.

And here is them with their dad a little later. What a wonderful caring community. It looks like these three are going to survive thanks to their help. Let us hope the storks bless this village!

The kindness of the Glaslyn community is helping Mrs G and Aran gather their strength. They continue to provide fish for the pair and will do us until such time Aran is healed and can fish.

Laddie has joined NC0 on the nest. NC0 has just had a bath and her hair has that wind swept pandemic look! Laddie looks at her adoringly! Meanwhile Little Bob is thinking it is time for some fish. Laddie is thinking intruders! He will stay on the nest for awhile helping keep NC0 and the two Bobs safe.

When it is all quiet Laddie brings in a nice fish. Little Bob eats his fill and doesn’t want anymore. NC0 offers to both of them several times before tucking in herself.

There were several other feedings throughout the day. This is the last one as the sun is setting. Take a glimpse of Little Bob. He is beginning to get that reptilian look.

Big Red and the Ks are definitely enjoying the sun. Look at those feathers coming in and it looks like Arthur made another squirrel delivery!

Soon these Ks are going to be running up and down that ledge jumping and flapping and causing everyone to have a small heart attack.

Mom is back on the barge at Port Lincoln and Solly with her satellite tracker is north of Eba Anchorage, past Kiffin Island and Perlubie. Gosh, it is sure good to know that she is alive and surviving. She is 284 days old today. Thanks for the satellite tracking!

It is a beautiful day in Canada. Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the US and Happy Bank Holiday to those in the UK. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Duke Farms, Mlade Buky Streaming Cam, Scottish Woodland Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and the Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page for the information on Solly.

As the Nest Turns – Sunday focus: Loch of the Lowes

This blog will focus on NCO and Laddie at the Loch of the Lowes Nest for the most part. The reason? My goodness. NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest up in Scotland has really kicked up her game in feeding her Two Bobs. She is impressing me! She had me worried for awhile – all first time raptor mothers do. All of ‘us’ – the aunties and uncles – sit and loudly scream into our computer proper instructions for feeding the little bobbling heads. I suspect if we had to do it in real life it would be a far different story! Needless to say I am proud of her. She seems to have stopped the anxiety of the eldest by giving a bite to it and then a bite to Little Bob. Fabulous. NC0 is going to be one of those Osprey mothers that we are giving gold medals to in a few years. She has really come a long way in a couple of weeks.

Just a bit of a recap. This Osprey Nest is located near Dunkeld, Scotland in Perth and Kinross. I pulled up a satellite view of the area around the nest so you can see the trees and the water resources for the Ospreys, LM12 and NC0. It is maintained by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and those who play the People’s Postcode Lottery – and donations.

What a beautiful location! Dunkeld is 25 minutes north and slightly west of Perth.

LM12. known as Laddie, has been breeding at Loch of the Lowes since 2012. That makes him at least eleven years old in 2021. He raised 15 chicks with his previous mates. NC0 is LM12’s third mate. She was ringed at a nest near Loch Ness in 2016 so she is five years old this year. The pair fledged one chick together in 2020.

Laddie returned from his migration to Africa on the 21st of March at 5pm. He immediately went to work restoring the nest. NC0 arrived on the 25th of March. It was unclear whether or not they would again form a bond and raise a family together this year. People waited rather impatiently. I think Laddie almost lost NC0 when he would bring a fish to the nest and then take it away this year! What kind of a provider is that? Well, they did bond and NC0 laid three eggs – on 11 April, 14 April, and 17 April. The chicks hatched on 18, 20, and 22 May. The third chick died on day 3. The cause is unknown.

It is rare for a female to feed herself before she feeds her chicks. She will eat bites that are too big for the chicks when she is feeding. But when they are full and finished food begging, she will eat. Osprey females are known to lose from 10-15% of their body weight while feeding the nestlings. Now how do the researchers know this? They have scales hidden in the nest just like there are microphones to listen to happenings in the nest and cameras for watching. Incredible.

Just look at that crop on that little one in the image below. Of course, Big Tot has a nice crop too. Did you know that Osprey chicks triple their body weight in the first egg days after hatch? Then they will double it in the next four days. So those first 12 days are critical. The fastest growth phase comes between 15 and 30 days, according to Alan Poole, author of Ospreys. The Revival of A Global Raptor. The chicks will gain 2-3% of their body weight each day when, by the time they are a month old, they have attained 70-80% of their adult body weight and their growth will begin to slow. At this point, their energy will go into producing feathers! Today, Big Bob is 12 days old and Little Bob is ten days old.

This is an excellent image for you to see the difference in the plumage as the osplets get older. Little Bob still has the soft grey feather down from birth. Big Bob is starting to enter the Reptilian phase. At this stage, that soft natal down is replaced with the darker down. It is woolier. But look closely at Big Bob. Look at the top of his head, behind the eye and around the neck. Do you see the beautiful coppery-gold pinfeathers coming in? These are beautiful healthy babies.

NC0 instinctively shades her Two Bobs from the hot sun. At the age of 2 or 3 weeks they are able to regulate their temperature by panting. So Big and Little Bob are not quite ready to do this for themselves based on their ages. But, she protects their delicate skin from the sun. It will also be later when they can stand in the rain and protect themselves with their own feathers. For now, NC0 has to do it!

She will brood them to keep them warm and dry.

Laddie has brought in a big fish for the last meal of the day. NC0 will feed the chicks, then herself, and then Laddie flies in to have some fish, too, on the nest with his family.

You can watch this osprey family at the Loch of the Lowes here:

Good Night Loch of the Lowes. Have wonderful fish dreams!

Other quick news: There is still only one chick on the Clywedog Osprey Nest of Dylan and Seren. There have been intruders at Mrs G and Aran’s nest at Glaslyn. One of the culprits is KS6, Dinas, a hatch from Llyn Clywedog. KS8 has been bothering Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi Nest. People are hoping that this brother and sister pair will just join forces and find their own nest! Tiny Tot at the Achieva Osprey Nest had an enormous fish gifted to it by Diane and an hour later was still eating. And there is fledge watch at the UC Berkeley Campus. Annie and Grinnell’s Kaknu and Wek-Wek were up on the runway thinking about flying. Annie and Grinnell are doing some spectacular aerial displays to try and encourage them. Big Red is feeding the Ks several meals. She can feel the weather changing in her hollow bones and it seems she concurs with the weather office that rain is heading their way. And down in Australia, the gang is beginning to think that eggs might be appearing on the WBSE Nest around the middle of June.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe, stay well. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday wherever you are.

Thank you to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the People’s Postcode Lottery for the streaming cam where I grab my screen shots and to Google Maps.

Thursday hoppin’ and skippin’ through Bird World

Oh, there are so many happy people today. The Glaslyn Wildlife Center started the streaming cam on Aran, Mrs G and chicks 2 & 3 at 8am this morning. Thanks to the advice of Dr Tim Mackrill, the staff, and all the volunteers for jumping in there and doing what they could to save this iconic Osprey family. It worked. Aran is getting stronger, Mrs G is getting stronger, and the two remaining chicks are thriving. Just look at the fish on that nest – what wonderful people.

Aran is on the perch protecting the nest from intruders – and there still remain intruders!

Aran is one handsome Osprey with that beautiful crest of his.

So many were relieved and that soon turned to a state of elation when Aran accepted the fish.

Mrs G is also alert to the intruders.

No one ever imagined these little ones could go without food for at least two days. They did. Chicks 2 and 3 survived. It is not clear what happened to the first hatch but it died late Sunday afternoon after eating all day. But, it is time for the joy and everyone is rejoicing that there are 2 strong little ones left!

Here is a really good look at those two plump strong little chicks of Mrs G and Aran. Gosh, just look at them with those strong necks and wings and little fat bottoms. My goodness I never would have imagined.

Everything seems to be going pretty well up at Loch of the Lowes. NC0 took a break and had Laddie doing incubation. Laddie appears to be very uncomfortable around the chicks but he stepped up to the job and did it well. He is keeping the nest supplied with fish and the two remaining chicks are looking good – albeit one much smaller than the other. NC0 is a first time mom and let us hope that she makes sure the little one gets food at every meal. I have to say I am worried because that tiny one is so thin. I hope I am worried for nothing. Sadly we have already lost one chick, the last hatch, on this nest. It would certainly be nice if these both fledged.

Over at the Clywedog Nest with Dylan and Seren, there is one healthy chick and we are waiting for egg 2 to begin to pip. Tonight? Possibly.

Seren is restless. She can hear the chick in the egg. But, stop for a moment and look at Seren’s gorgeous yellow eyes. They are stunners.

A mysterious unringed Osprey has appeared on the Loch Arkaig Nest. Look at that fabulous dark plumage. Surely someone recognizes this Osprey as it is so distinctive.

Blue 33 (11) brings in an early morning fish delivery for Maya and the Two Bobs over at the Rutland Manton Bay nest. These two are really in the growth phase.

The two chicks of Idris and Telyn are doing fantastic. They sure know what to do when mom walks over to the fish! Lunch time!

Lined up nicely! Idris brought in another one of his whoppers – actually he has brought in several. One just about knocked the poor babies right off the nest.

It is sure good to see these Welsh nests drying out from all of the rain and wind last week.

Going stealth like a Peregrine Falcon from Wales to San Francisco and all eyes are on the tower of the Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus today. It is fledge watch for Annie and Grinnell’s three boys and Fauci has been on the ledge since yesterday! While Fauci is occupied with ‘the world out there’, the other two, Kaknu and Wek-Wek, are having their lunch.

I put in an arrow so you can see where Fauci is on the ledge. He moves, of course!

Here is the link to the fledging camera:

In Ithaca, the skies opened up to some torrential rains last evening and Big Red rushed to get the Ks under cover.

The sun came out Thursday morning and everyone was floofed by breakfast.

Just about three weeks to fledge. Time has melted this year. These three are standing and getting their legs strong and attempting to walk. Soon they will be running and flapping all over the ledge. Everyone needs a pocket of worry beads then.

Around 6pm on 26 May, the Raven arrived at Iris’s nest in Hellgate while she was away. It took all of Iris’s eggs and ate them.

The mist is rising over the mountains in Missoula this morning. It is a new day for Iris. She is no longer tied to the nest because of the eggs. She is now free to enjoy her summer fishing and building up her strength for her long migration in early September. While many would like Iris to have had a loyal supportive mate, the fact is, she doesn’t. She hasn’t since Stanley died and she won’t as long as Louis is alive. Is it better for the Raven to eat the eggs or the chicks starve on the nest? For me, there is no question – let the Raven have them.

There is no reason for Iris to be at the nest so we will not see her as much. But, last year she stopped by once in awhile even just before she migrated. So fingers crossed. Catch fish, get really healthy, enjoy your summer break, Iris – you certainly have earned it.

If I pulled the image below out of a pile of photographs, would you recognize these two beauties? They are both standing and walking now, their juvenile plumage is really coming in with all its peach and they certainly don’t look like reptiles anymore – ah, that was a hint. Yes they are the chicks of The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island in the ‘Peach’ State of Georgia. Gosh, Rhett and Scarlett make beautiful babies. Goodness.

The Achieva Osprey Nest has settled into a routine. In the morning Jack brings a fish for sibling 2 and Diane brings a fish for Tiny Tot. It means they both have a nice meal in the morning. This method is working and 2 is not ‘hogging’ all of the fish that come on the nest. The parents maintain this effort 2 or 3 times a day. Tiny Tot remains on the nest and is still doing its practice flights. This is one smart fledgling! Sibling 2 is in and out, mostly coming for fish. He must roost somewhere close to the nest.

After sibling 2 departs, Tiny Tot decides he is going to get up there and try out that perch! These days are precious. Tiny won’t necessarily give us any warning. One morning he will go for a flight and he will be off on his journey.

The only osplet on the Lake Murray Nest in New Hampshire is being well taken care of – just look at that crop! That ‘little’ one looks like he is trying out for the role of Hulk in some new movie. Lucy and Ricky have certainly taken good care of their only chick! Mom has a big crop too. Fantastic! This is the way it should be.

It is really green in Minnesota just like it is here on the Canadian prairies. We have had a good rain. Harry and Nancy’s two are soaked through. Don’t think they plan on leaving the nest today!

For those of you who watched Kisatchie hatch and grow up on this historical nest near Lake Kincaid in the Kisatchie National Park, it has been a great disappointment that he did not return to the nest after his fledge on 22 May. The Wildlife Services have had no sightings of Kistachie up to yesterday. The streaming cam will remain on until 11 June at which time it will be shut off until next season. The adult eagles, Anna and Louis, will migrate north to cooler weather returning in the fall.

The Bald Eagle juveniles that are ready might get the same phone call telling them it is time to leave their natal nests. Legacy’s nest is empty as is the nest of E17 and E18. Both of the fledglings at Duke Farms are now away.

Thank you for joining me today. It is a blessing getting to watch these birds live their lives day after day meeting enormous challenges. Thank you to the people at Glaslyn for their fortitude.

Thanks go to the following organizations or companies who streaming cams provide my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Falcon Cam, LRWT, Scottish Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Clywedog, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Lake Murray Ospreys, KNF, MN DNR, Dyfi Osprey Project, and last, but not least, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

Sample Bags and a Miracle at Manton Bay Rutland

Around 18:00, the team to retrieve the bodies of EE1 and EE2 begin their work in the Matsula National Park. The person who climbed the tree was named Gunnar. The bodies of the two eaglets were examined carefully at the nest. It was noted that EE2 had a large swollen belly. However, it appeared that EE1 had a pellet stuck in their throat that they had been trying to cast for some time as there was vomit. Those were the general observations. The tests on all nest items will hopefully reveal causes. All of the prey items, every feather, and each piece of bone were removed from the nest for testing to discover what caused the deaths of the two White-tail eaglets of Eve and Eerik.

The chicks were retrieved very professionally and placed into sealed sample bags.

The cleaning of the nest of any prey items that could have harmed the chicks and/or the parents. The results of the testing and the post-mortem will be posted to the public forum for the nests. There are both Estonian and English sites. The tests will take some time. Remember that they will try to conduct them at the University of Estonia but if they cannot then the samples will be sent out of the country. Here is the link:

It is a beautiful morning in Ithaca, New York. Big Red wakes up to a golden glow and promises of a mostly sunny day and highs of 21. The eyases will be warm! And this heat and sun will give a chance to dry out the nest from the rains earlier in the week.

Already you can see the eyases prefer to sleep on the fur of the animals instead of the pokey sticks! The Ks are fine. Chatters have been worried about K3. K3, at the top, uses a Starling (I think) as a cushion. Look at its fat little bottom and strong wings and long neck. No one ever needs to worry about Big Red’s kiddos being hungry. It doesn’t happen. No one needs to worry they will fall off the tower either – they don’t! They are afraid of heights – yes, isn’t that funny?

Tiny Tot is ten weeks old today!!!!!!! Congratulations! Oh, goodness. So many didn’t think he would live to be this old. 70 days. But do not let the number of days fool you. For 12 full days Tiny did not eat and those days were mostly in the critical rapid growth phase. Tiny still has feathers to come in and lots of hovering to do before s/he fledges. Just as well she likes being on the nest and takes her time. We want her to succeed and not be rushed.

By noon both Tiny Tot and sibling #2 had had a fish each. Not bad. Tiny got the 7:55 am food drop from Jack. It was hazy and oh, is it going to be hot – up to 29 or 30 degrees C today. That nest must be even hotter. Poor babies.

At the Hellsgate Osprey nest of Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, Iris was missing in action. She did not spend the night incubating the two eggs of hers and Louis’s and she was not there at dawn (image below is at 6:23 am).

Iris flew in around 8:11. She began alarming almost immediately after she arrived. She flew off the nest and returned at 9:11 when she began alarming again. Iris was on and off the nest – mostly off – as the morning progressed. Again I am not an expert but Iris does not appear to be too concerned about incubating the eggs in the nest. She is much more involved in protecting her territory.

It is 13:27 in Jacksonville, Florida. Legacy has been hunkered down on her nest since morning due to the high winds in the area. Wind is 32 kph with gusts even higher. Fishing would be very choppy and Samson will come in with fish for Legacy when he can. She has eaten well and we also know that eagles can go several days without eating – that is the way it is in the wide world that Legacy will enter one day.

You may recall that the nest of the Ospreys, LM6 and LJ2, at Lyn Brenig in Wales was cut down during the night with someone using a chainsaw and boat. With considerable effort the people in Wales renovated another portable nest for the couple and then replaced the old nest. An update was provided this morning.

LM6 and LJ2 have shown considerable interest in the new nest. However, a Greylag Goose has now laid eggs on that nest. This presents a problem and the folks in Wales have decided not to seek a permit to move the eggs of the goose but to leave it in place and create another nest at that site for the Ospreys.

Raising the new nest so it can be placed on its pole.

And now for the lead story. Blue 33 (11) brought in a headless fish for Maya to feed to the Two Bobs. Everything was going well for a few minutes when the fish began to flap, of its own accord, on the nest cup right where the Two Bobs and the third egg were. I will show you this in a sequence of images.

Look at Maya’s expression. She is scared!

Maya moves around to the other side of the nest to figure out what to do and the fish starts flapping directly, up and down, on top of the babies – again.

This was the scene when the fish finally stopped moving. It is horrific. No one knew if either of the little ones were alive. One’s body is caught underneath and the head of the little one is under the fish on the opposite side.

Everyone held their breath. After the two eaglets at the White-tail nest in Estonia, it was hard to believe that anything good could come out of his incident.

In a few minutes the little ones pull themselves from that fish.

Maya alerts Blue 33 (11) to remove ‘that’ fish from the nest! And she broods her babies.

What began as a horrible incident became a miracle. By 15:00 the Two Little Bobs were up and ready to eat again.

Smile! Just look at the two of them. Fantastic. I cannot think of a better way to end my blog today.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. And smile….think of the Two Bobs and the miracle that saved them if you start feeling ‘blue’. Wonderful things happen.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I gather my screen shots: LRWT and Rutland Osprey Project, Achieva Credit Union, The Eagle Club of Estonia, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab, Montana Osprey Project, and Lyn Brenig Osprey Project.

Tuesday Nest Hopping

I watched Legacy this morning. She seemed occupied by what was happening beyond the nest.

Then she moved to another branch and looked out.

She turned back to look at us. Then, Legacy lowered her head, did a ‘ps’, and flew off. It was 11:51:00 on 11 May.

It was a fabulous push off – and whoosh. Legacy left the nest.

There she is leaving the branch and flying out beyond the nest tree – in the two images below. What a gorgeous silhouette.

Notice the wing positions as she goes up and then thrusts forward.

Are Samson and Gabby training her to find prey elsewhere? Will she return?

And here is our answer. At 2:42 Samson coaxes Legacy back to the nest. He flies in and drops a small piece of fish on the nest. Sometimes Samson looks like a cartoon character – I promise you that is really Legacy’s dad standing on the nest! He has the most amazing legs!!!!!!! Almost like skinny jeans.

Here comes Legacy – she messes up her landing and has to fly around and come back on the other side. Meanwhile, Samson waits.

Samson sees Legacy coming and he is out of there. She mantled it and took only a few minutes to eat that small piece of fish.

Legacy was up on her branch looking out over the territory of her parents Samson and Gabby and hoping for another chunk of fish! So glad to see you Legacy.

Across the state of Florida, from Jacksonville and Legacy’s nest to the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest in St. Petersburg, Diane appears to be giving more advice to Tiny Tot. Is it one of those mother-daughter chats about survival and raising her own chicks?

Oh, I hope that Tiny Tot hangs around the nest for 3 or 4 weeks building up her skills! The research indicates that the more food and the longer on the nest the stronger the possibility is of survival.

Blue 152 (female) and unringed male were still at Loch Arkaig at 16:09. Fingers crossed for a new couple. They are surveying what could be their territory. Looks like Louis might not give them any trouble. He is busy with his new mate since Aila did not return from migration on the other nest. Rumour has it Louis and her have at least one egg on that nest.

This is not the best screen capture, apologies. The female has a very beautiful necklace (she is on the right with the blue band). And look at the difference in eye colour from that of Tiny Tot. Osprey eyes are darker, an amber or orange-yellow, as a juvenile lightening up to a bright yellow as an adult. The female appears to have a bit of a crop – she was crying for a fish this morning – while the male’s seems to be fairly flat. Remember the crop is a pouch under the throat which is part of the bird’s (all raptors but owls) digestive system. I like to think of it as a holding tank. They might find prey one day and get ‘full to the brim’ – both the stomach and the crop bulging – to not have any food for a couple of days. The raptor can ‘crop drop’ – releasing food into the stomach.

The female spent some time rearranging the nest and the pair mated just after 4pm. Now bring your lady a fish!

Boy does he look grumpy. I hope it is just the angle of the camera.

Blue 33 (11) gets his status as super star of the Osprey world for his great devotion to Maya and his chicks. Here he is delivering a nice big one for the evening meal for the ‘Bobs’.

Of course raising 11 chicks in three years (2019, 2020, and this year if the third egg hatches) gives both him and Maya super Osprey status.

Blue 33 (11) is a very devoted dad and often spends time sitting nest to Maya in the nest while she incubates or broods.

Big Red took a break and the Ks all cuddled up together to keep warm. When she returned she had a fresh chippie for lunch. Watching the Ks learn to eat in the midst of a little bonking is fascinating. Big Red is so patient!

You can catch this entire feeding on a video. See if you can tell which K is which.

This morning the Ks were a little disorganized. Look at them five hours later standing still all lined up to eat. K3 knows that being in the front is important. This is more like it. They have dried out more and so has the nest. Almost looks like they have had a bath.

Grinnell was doing a great job feeding the three this afternoon. Those juvenile feathers are really starting to come in. Love the ‘peach’ at the end of the tail.

It is hard to imagine but they will look like Izzi in about a month.

Izzi is such a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon. Here he is at just a little over seven months old – 5 May 2021. Of course, we all want him to stay in his parent’s scrape box but, do they? In a nutshell, Izzi had three fledges – yes, three! One fludge, one that sent him into a window and rehab, and then a fantastic one. Each time he was returned to the scrape box so this parents, Xavier and Diamond, would accept him. But now, maybe he thinks the penthouse apartment on top of the water tower is his!

Look at those eyes. Izzi loves to see his reflection in the camera casing.

Jack brought in a nice fish for Harriet to feed the two osplets on the Dahlgren Osprey Nest in King George County, Virginia. It is nice to see Jack staying on the nest while Harriet feeds the babies. There is one egg lost in the nest that didn’t get incubated and another in the nest cup but from my calculations it is too late for it to hatch. That is probably a very good thing. Look at how big those two are!

I didn’t know if we would ever see Tiger or Lily Rose back on the nest tree in Kansas. And there, at 5:09 am is one of them sitting on a branch hoping for a food delivery. I think it is Lily Rose but I cannot be 100% certain. Bonnie and Clyde will continue to help them until they such time as they are able to catch their own prey – and that won’t be long.

Thank you so very much for dropping in to check on ‘the birds’ today with me. I hope that your day was good and that you are safe and well wherever you are. Tomorrow the Duke Farm eaglets will get banded.

Thank you to the following for their steaming cams. That is where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab, Farmer Derek, Achieva Osprey, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Falcon Cam, Charles Sturt University at Orange, Australia and the Falcon Project, Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and the LRWT Manton Bay Ospreys.

Monday Nest Spotlight

The female Royal Cam Chick of 2021 now has a name. It is Taiki. There were 1016 votes cast and 31% voted for Taiki! That was 494 votes. Coming in second was Ururaki.

Every year there is a theme and this year, the theme was the Maori concept of guardianship of the seas, the land, and the sky. Taiki (tee-ak-ee) means to protect, preserve, and care. It is a beautiful name and fits the concept perfectly. Sure fits this gorgeous little princess. If you are wondering, only Royal cam chicks get Maori names in addition to their colour bands and numbers.

There is Taiki a few minutes after the official name ceremony. Isn’t she just a cutie, as soft as a cloud?

11 May 2021

Remember, you can watch the comings and goings of the Royal Albatross and the Royal Cam Chick on this link:

There is also a fun game of guessing the chick’s weight each week. Today, her dad, Lime Green Black came in an hour or so before her weight check. Could have been a spoiler! To join in, you need to join the Royal Albatross FB page.

LGK flies in to feed his now named daughter, Taiki, a squid shake and then back to the sea.
11 May 2021

I learned something today – don’t think I had ever thought about it but I am going to pass it along to you. For those of you who are not familiar with Iris, the oldest living osprey in the world, whose summer home is in Missoula, Montana, then I will give you the capsule history.

Iris is unringed but it is believed that she could be 28 years old. I have heard ages from 23-28. She has, on average, raised approximately 30-40 osprey to fledge in her lifetime. Her last responsible mate, Stanley, did not return from migration in 2017. Her current mate, Louis, has two nests – his primary one is with Starr at the baseball park. It is often called ‘moonlighting’. Iris has only successfully fledged one chick, in 2018, with Louis. He doesn’t feed her and she has to do everything alone. It is impossible! This year she returned to her nest and worked hard at getting it spic and span. She laid her first egg on May 6 and the second one this morning at 6:41 (May 10). Iris has not incubated the other egg very much. She might not incubate this one either. What I learned is this: it is hormonal. Iris will lay the eggs even if they are not fertile. She has to go through the process. — Which means, hopefully, they are not fertile and I can simply relax. Iris will not tend them and will enjoy her fish from the river and have a nice summer!——— Did everyone else know this???? Like my grandmother’s chickens every day.

Iris looked around to show her mate the egg but, of course, no mate. So she showed us!

6:41 am 10 May 2021. Iris lays her second egg.

Isn’t she gorgeous? She went out during the day and caught herself a whopper of a fish – typical Iris style!

10 May 2021

Big Red is drying out. She fed the Ks a lot before all of the rain set in and then brooded them – keeping them warm and dry – until they could be fed today. I won’t bore you with the amount of feedings those little ones have had but the pantry has been restocked. You will get very good identifying prey items if you watch a hawk nest. Unlike Iris an Osprey, who only eats fish unless she is absolutely starving, hawks are opportunistic and eat what is front of them that they can catch.

Look at that smile! Oh, her feathers are all floofed. Big Red looks like she has been down to the stylist.

The freshest item on the menu seems to be the chipmunk that Arthur brought in a short time ago.

Sadly, it appears that some goslings and a baby heron will turn into hawk.

The little ones are in need of a good scrub/preening. If there is no more rain overnight, they should be nice and fluffy tomorrow.

There is K3 standing up. He is ready for dinner! Those little ones are so spunky and this one is no exception.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope that you like the name of the Royal Cam chick. It is quite beautiful. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab, the NZ DOC, and the Montana Opsrey Project for their streaming cams. That is where I grab my screen shots.