Update on Little Bit ND17

1 July 2022

I want to thank everyone who wrote, yelled, hollered, screamed, prayed and continued to tell the folks at St Patrick’s County Park that he needed to be in care. Your fight for him made the difference in his life or death.

Please read the information from the wildlife rehabber carefully and be grateful that they were ‘finally’ called as Little Bit would have been dead if he had been left in the bushes much longer. He was not being fed and he could not fly!

Please thank the Humane Wildlife Clinic for all they are doing for Little Bit 17. Go to their FB page or send them an e-mail at druiz2humaneindiana.org

Late Thursday in Bird World

30 June 2022

UPDATE ON LITTLE BIT 17: Message from Humane Indiana Wildlife. ” Hello! We will post an update on ND17 tomorrow. Today was stressful for him, as you can imagine, but he is doing well and receiving much needed care.”

I am feeling some comfort in the news that Little Bit ND17 was taken to Valpo to the Humane Indiana Wildlife clinic for a thorough examination and assessment at 11:40 this morning. This is the best news Bird World has had in a couple of weeks. ——–And in the update ‘much needed care’ indicates that getting him to the clinic was the right decision.

I know that the St Patrick’s County Parks staff could never have foreseen the events that would transpire at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest this season. There is an expectation of stability – business as usual – but as many know, we live in very unstable times. And so it was with the nest. The second hatch ND16 took exception to Little Bit’s existence. The aggression, the deterioration of the nest, and then Little Bit’s 60 foot drop to the ground would never have entered the minds of park staff as spring arrived in South Bend, Indiana. But, it did happen. I am grateful that they were able to get Little Bit 17 removed from the bushes and taken to the Valpo clinic. IDNR has stated that not all rehabbers will take birds now because of Avian Flu – so thank you Humane Wildlife Indiana, too.

We wait to hear how our little eaglet is doing tomorrow!


The Dyfi Osprey Project has published all the information on the ringing along with the video of the ringing and weighing and another earlier one of nest aggression attributed to the fact that all three were females. There is a map showing the rivers and a pronunciation guide to the chick’s names after those rivers. It is a good read. Have a look. This is the kind of information that becomes so useful about the nests. Here is that link:

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/bendigedig-ringing-2022?fbclid=IwAR2OAkzY88lJjf-QaZNhY8Tyvx1AfH_NW6U15ayNz_tvyLlU50BYQhVJdQo

The ringing video is a really good one to watch. They are so careful and the chicks just pancake and stay still. It takes no time. Those colour Darvic rings with their numbers tell us so much information about these amazing birds and their life journeys.

There is also images and information on the ringing of nest 1A at Kielder. This nest had four babies ——yes, I did not get that wrong – 4. I did not mention it but once because I was so afraid that something would happen to little 4. There is a picture of him in there at 1000 grams. His big sister is 50% heavier at 1560. The other two were males. The ringers could not determine the gender of little 4 because he is so small for his age. I hope he proves mighty.

I have been working on and off on a couple of stories about wildlife rehabilitation clinics. They are our go-to when it comes to getting care for our wildlife in need. Each is special in its own way. Some specialize in certain animals and will not take birds. Because of the spread of H5N1 Avian Flu this year, many will not take our feathered friends. So, a bit of a shout out to Valpo for taking Little Bit. They need your support whether it is with your time, volunteering, with a few dollars or a truck load. Every bit is appreciated. Believe it or not, old clean towels are always wanted!!!! So, while we wait to hear about Little Bit 17, I will spend a little time showing you what I did today.

This afternoon was a day to spend at our own rehabilitation clinic. It is the only wildlife clinic in Manitoba with a full time vet, operating room and diagnostic equipment and it is run entirely by donations and volunteers.

Wildlife Haven is not unique. Every facility – those that many of you know by their names – CROW, The Audubon Centre, A Place Called Hope – operate entirely on donations and the generous time offered by volunteers.

I have been working on a blog about 2 other wildlife centres that I will finish up shortly. I was moved to tell you a little bit about our facility because the first thing the Rehabilitation Manager said was, “99% of the injuries to wildlife are human caused.” Everything that we do has the potential to harm the animals that share this planet with us – it can range from kidnapping bunnies from their Mum, to road accidents, taking wildlife in our houses where they imprint on humans, to wind turbines, sticky or glue traps – the list as you know is endless. I am grateful that there is a big campaign to let people know that fishing line is dangerous. It is that time of year when people should be using non-lead fishing tackle, barbless hooks, and helping to clean up the shores as well as taking care of their own area where they fish. I had no idea that so many bunnies arrive at the care facility. Over 900 right now!

Tip regarding rabbits. If you see a brown circle on your lawn and remove the grass covering and see bunnies, do not think that their mother has abandoned them. Take 2 thin sticks and criss-cross them over the top. Go back in 24 hours. If the sticks are moved, the Mum has been in to feed the babies. If the sticks have not been moved, then take the babies to a wildlife rehabber. Put a towel in a box with a lid and holes for air and carefully transport them to the closest facility.

Our centre has been in existence since 1984 but it has only recently been able to have full vet facilities. The amount of rehabilitation work that they are able to do has increased with generous donations for flight and hunting training. That requires trained staff and intense dedication and it is precisely what Little Bit 17 will require. He is missing that by not being with Mum, Dad, 15 and 16. So he is like WBSE28. We want Little Bit kept so that he is able to successfully live in the wild and what I have learned from our local team is that this is a long slow process. It doesn’t happen in weeks. 6 months or more for some birds.

Our wildlife facility, Wildlife Haven, is determined to educate the public through open house days as well as taking the ambassadors to the schools. Start young, teach the children to love and care for the welfare of animals. So every week on Friday they will have what is called a Raptor Rendezvous Day. It was fantastic to see so many people with children at the first event. They also sponsor Open Houses and try hard to let people know how much effort there is in caring for the wildlife patients. From 5 am to 7pm, songbirds are fed every half hour. They constantly need volunteers to do this. The middle of the summer is the most crucial time. Some volunteers are trained in ways to enrich the lives of the raptors that will spend all their lives in the centre. Eagles get bored, too!

So today they introduced three of the ambassadors that help educate the public on how to respect wildlife and what to do if they find an injured animal. They were a Swainsons’ Hawk, a Great Horned Owl, and a Great Gray Owl. The Great Grey Owl is the provincial bird of Manitoba.

This is Avro. He is a light morph Swainson’s Hawk. He was hit by a car. The accident caused him to be blind in his right eye. Losing that one eye meant that Avro is unable to hunt and provide for himself in the wild.

There are lots of Swainson’s Hawks that come to the southern part of our province to breed in the summer. They migrate to Argentina in the winter. Avro is 18 years old now.

Uma is a very small Great Horned Owl. Uma’s nest was in the yard of a family that watched. They noticed that Uma was much smaller than the other owlets and it appeared ‘different’ to the other siblings. It was determined that Uma was under developed due to a lack of food — just like Little Bit 17. Uma was also missing an eye and its beak was out of alignment. Uma would never be able to survive in the wild.

Great Horned Owls are very plentiful and they adapt to all manner of environments from the forests of northern Manitoba to the deserts of Southwest United States and beyond. They have excellent hearing – a kind of shallow disk or satellite-shaped face. The tufts on their heads are neither ears or horns. The ears are on the side of the head, like all raptors, and they are covered with feathers. The tufts are feathers. You can see that Una lost his right eye. He is fed rats every day. He can fly and has a enclosure that is large enough for him to do that. Owls hunt from dawn to dusk and mostly within an hour of each of those times of day. They will hunt during the day time to feed their young, if necessary.

You can see the misalignment of the beak in the image below. Imagine trying to tear into a squirrel with that beak.

This is Zoe with Una. She gave an amazing presentation and answered every question and more.

The last ambassador today was Ash the Great Gray Owl. Ash was orphaned and his rescuers took him home to live with them. As a result he imprinted on humans and not owls. This means that Ash believes she is human, not owl. Despite Ash being in excellent health he will never be able to live in the wild and know what it is like to fly free and hunt.

With its excellent hearing, a Great Gray Owl can detect a mouse under 60 cm or 2 feet of snow. Incredible. In the image below you can see the fur covered legs and talons that help the Great Gray in our cold winters.

It was a great afternoon and came on a day to really think about the important work that these people do.

What can you do? Well you can volunteer or you can donate. Want to do something else? Talk to people about caring for the wildlife on our planet. Let them understand how important it is to get them to care quickly if it is needed. Put on window strips to stop bird strike. Talk to people about putting poison on their lawns. Have that chat about fishing line with people you know and the need for lead free equipment. Take a shovel in your car. When you see road kill, pull over. Of course, be careful but move the road kill off the road and away from it. Vultures, hawks, eagles, and all manner of wildlife will find it and it will be cleared down to the bone within a few hours. Put out bird feeders and water…..lobby for protective wind turbine blades…the list is, sadly, endless. Educate yourself and talk to the experts at your local wildlife clinic.

Several of the streaming cams are set to go offline today. One of those is UFlorida-Gainesville. We will look forward to joining Mum and Dad in the new year! Big and Middle are doing exceptionally well.

Tomorrow is Canada Day. I will be posting a short blog in the morning. I hope that some news of Little Bit will be available. I will also try to check on other nests that we are watching closely including Osoyoos, Boathouse, and FortisExshaw that have wee ones in the nest.

Thank you for joining me. Thank you to everyone who cares for our much loved feather friends and to everyone who worked hard and believed that Little Bit 17 needed to be assessed. It is a bit world out there with many polarizing opinions and intervention is one of those. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to Dyfi and Kielder for their ringing updates on their blog that I included here today – and to Wildlife Haven for all they do.

Late Sunday in Bird World

26 June 2022

There is not a lot of news in Bird World today. The rainy cold weather continues for our osprey families in the UK.

Normally ringing in the UK occurs between 35 and 42 days, not after. Fledge watch for these chicks will begin on day 52.

Blue NC0 desperately wanted to keep her chicks dry and they wished to be under Mum but…alas, the pair are just too big. They are 38 and 36 days old.

Thankfully the weather did let up towards the end of the day.

The wet cold windy weather continues at Loch Arkaig. Dorcha is desperately holding on and trying to brood her big chicks too.

Mrs G looks miserable at the Glaslyn nest.

Interesting that the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn seems to have escaped some of it. They will be ringed this week.

Everyone was preening their wet feathers at the Llyn Clywedog Nest of Dylan and Seren. The chicks are 35 days old. Ready for ringing.

The worst place in Wales had to be at the nest at Llyn Brenig. Mom LM6 is trying to keep them dry and there is dad LJ2 who has arrived with a fish.

It was blue sky for CJ7 and Blue 022 at Poole Harbour. Just look at him – he is three years old and is a first time dad. What a great family these two are to kick off the dynasty that will grow in the area!

Maya is a proud Mama. Just look at her and those three big healthy girls! My goodness. We wondered if they would survive the flapping fish but they did and wow. They are 48 days old. Can you believe it but in four days we will be on fledge watch for these big gals.

The two osplets at the Boathouse on Hog Island are growing! Looks like Dory has been better at the feeding and Skiff is getting the fish on the nest. Cute. They are so tiny. They have a long ways to go to be ready for migration.

Just look at the size of the fish that landed on the Mispillion Harbour Osprey platform! That should fill up those two and keep them from fighting! Thanks to Eagle Eyes ‘H’ it appears that bottle in the plastic bag turned out to be a vodka bottle. ‘H’ has watched the chicks use it for a pillow – she says, ‘Who knew a Vodka Bottle could be a pillow?!’ I am just glad that it is not a mesh bag or wire!

I received a nice letter from ‘C’. If I ever implied that an Osprey should go to battle with an eagle of any kind – I did not mean to. I have wondered what would have happened at the Cowlitz PUD nest if the egg cup had been deeper and if Mum could have pancaked along with the three chicks. But, no – not to fight with it. The talons of Ospreys are for carrying fish – not fighting. Because of this their nests with those lovely chicks become prey. I could not find anyone who had seen an Eagle attack an osprey nest and the adult stayed but I did wonder. As ‘C’ says, ‘Ospreys are peaceful in relation to an eagle or an owl.’ Indeed! Ospreys do not attack other raptor’s nests either. They are very gentle birds except with one another! Thanks, ‘C’!

At the UFlorida-Gainesville Nest, Big and Middle are pretty much matched. Middle gets the fish and in the end Big takes it away. They are both healthy! I caught Big with ‘snake eyes’ this morning.

My last nest is that of Little Bit 17. I went to count goslings and ducklings today and kept my fingers crossed that there would be no bad weather and the nest would be in tact. It is – and there should not be any rain or anything else until Friday. Little Bit was resting in the sun when I got home.

I am sad to announce that there were fewer goslings and ducklings north of where I live. The locals told me that the geese and ducks were there and had their nests and the two Colorado Lows came through and they all abandoned the nests and flew further north. Wow. I don’t blame them.

Two geese had a gosling each.
Killdeer

Thank you for being with me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ND, LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Poole Harbour Ospreys, LRWT, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyXWild, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, LOTL and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Explore.org and Audubon.

Late Friday in Bird World

17 June 2022

Oh, it is simply a gorgeous day on the Canadian Prairies. The wind is blowing gently and the temperature is perfect. The tyres in the bikes are topped off and they have had a good wash in anticipation of a ride along the trails this evening. Did I say Canadians love being outside once the snow melts? The ground is still water logged and the flooded areas are drying up.

In the garden. I have seen Dyson a couple of times. The leaves are so thick that I only catch his tail as he weaves in and out. Little Red appears to have found himself a new home in a near by tree!!! Thank goodness. The new rabbit continues to come. The little plants that he likes are under the frame that will hold the sunroom —– where I can ‘spy’ on all of them much better. I will transfer those plants for the bunny to another area of the garden. The real break through has come with Mr Crow. Two years ago I was ‘mad’ at him. He would go to the Grackles nest and take out one of their fluffy chicks and sit so I could see him wolfing it down. Not pleased. It has taken him two years to forgive me and trust me again. Several weeks now have seen him coming for nice Italian bread, cheese, and sausage with cheese in the middle – a sandwich – around 1700. He began calling me at a distance when the food was gone. Now he will come within 2 metres or 6 feet of me. I show him his dinner and walk away. Prior to yesterday he would wait a considerable time to fly down and eat. Now he knows that I am not going to hurt him so he drops down almost immediately.

He likes the little mess that has been created by Dyson & Co with the seeds!

Mr Crow has eaten the cheese first, then the bread, and now he is after the Polish sausage with the cheese in the middle. He will eat the cheese first, take a couple of bites of the sausage, and return to the pile to get another sausage.

Mr Crow has figured out that he can take two sausage pieces together to his nest. Are there babies? Maybe. Last evening a murder of Crows were together and not happy. It appears the GHOW was in the neighbourhood and it is one of their main predators.

He’s got them!

The last thing I want to share with you from the garden is a picture of the tea roses. These wild rose bushes were here when we bought the house. But they were ‘ragged’. Two plantings survived from the former 1902 house on the property – the tea climbing roses and the peony bush. So slowly, ever so slow, they have been cleared out and staked and with all the rain this year they have really taken off. I wish I could bottle the scent for everyone!

I often try to imagine the woman who planted these two flowers. Hopefully they will be here in another 120 years!

There is a really nice article about the fledging of the Pittsburgh-Hayes trio. Publicity and streaming cams along with those fabulous on line discussions educate people and hopefully, the more they know about the wildlife, the more they will respect it and its needs.

https://triblive.com/local/hays-bald-eagle-juveniles-take-flight-share-the-skies-with-young-hawk/?fbclid=IwAR22HzknCr8BaTgQk9XUO_IhwKqPBLabye24nb8xUI4qoa3daQpWvRdlwwE

One of the skills that Little Bit 17 (ND17) from the Notre-Dame nest has learned is how to eat carrion! Thank goodness for those poor raccoons that have been road kill because they have literally kept this wee third hatch alive on that nest. And they will keep him alive after he fledges!!!!! Just think. We are all talking about 17 branching before 16!!!!!! Remember those times when we ached with worry that he would not live another day? He has and he is going to fledge! Yesterday when I was watching with the chatters, 17 had one foot on the nest and one on the branch. If 15 would have moved, Little Bit would have easily branched before 16. Easily.

So today has been another Raccoon day on the nest. It arrived around 13:04. At 14:18 Little Bit 17 gets it. Two minutes later 16 takes it. Little Bit stole it again and around 14:46 Little Bit has it and is eating away.

At 14:17 Little Bit is looking at that Raccoon again and he wants it!

At 14:17:42 Little Bit has the raccoon.

The big sibling will give him a few minutes and then 16 will take it. (I think it is 16).

At 14:45 Little Bit is ready to go back and get some more raccoon. This time he let the older sibling open it up for him instead of doing all that work for them to get the benefit. That is how he will survive!

At 14:46:12, Little Bit has it again!!!!!! Way to go 17.

Little Bit is still eating on the meat of the Raccoon thirty minutes later. Oh, wow. He is going to get some good nourishment from that road kill.

At 15:22, Little Bit appears to be finished. There is not a lot left on that prey item. What are all the words we could use to describe this amazing third hatch? My money is on 17 being a survivor. He has all the skills to live out in the real world, all of them. Wouldn’t just love to set a couple of big fish right in front of him with no other eaglets around? He certainly does deserve them.

Give it up for Little Bit 17 again!!!!!! Big cheers. Adult flew in with what appeared to be a small fish at 17:53:53. Three captures. Adult in, 17 pounches on delivery, 17 horks delivery ——- right in front of 16. Way to go 17, ‘the King of the Snatch and Grab’.

Little Bit is having a rest on the nest – raccoon and a fish with the fish taken before 16 could even think about it. Sweet Eagle nap dreams, 17.

Birds are soooooooo intelligent. Tiger Mozone posted this BBC video on our FB group today and I hope that he doesn’t mind if I put it here. I want to add that there are other notorious birds that have done precisely what Henry did – Stanley, Iris’s mate, for one! I knew that but Tiger added that both Oden smashed the eggs and Red 8T just kicked them to the side of the nest. What I also found interesting was that EJ went missing for 9 days from Loch Garten in 2005 and Henry had to go get her and take her home – and when they got there, there was another couple on the nest! I continue to say that watching bird cams is much more interesting than much of what is on the streaming movie stations!!

Don’t miss watching this one. It is delightful. The BBC presenter says it is a tale of ‘revenge, jealousy, and murder’ worthy of any soap opera. Absolutely.

In total, Henry kicked out 8 eggs of EJ’s – four in 2005 and 4 again in 2007.

I want to do a couple of quick nest checks. The Loch of the Lowes lost a chick when the oldest prevented it from eating and then killed it a few days ago. How is that nest doing today?

Both had a good feed at tea time.

Dylan delivered such a large trout to Seren to feed the three Bobs at Llyn Clywedog that she was still feeding the trio an hour later!!!!!!! Those kids are going to sleep with sweet Osprey dreams for sure.

Despite the gale force winds at Loch Arkaig, Louis has been bringing in fish for Dorcha and the two chicks. Meanwhile, she tried to cover them with moss and keep hunkered down. Then they got a break. Oh, I hope they get more some good weather -nice sun and no rain – and no wind.

Louis delivered a whole trout and everyone had a really good feed. Just lovely. Time: 22:25.

Blue 33 and Maya have three big osplets!!!!!! When will they ring them?

It has been a good day at the UK Osprey nests – and it was a good day for Little Bit 17.

The White storklets at the Mlade Buky nest of Betty and Bukacek are doing marvellous. Mum Betty looks down as they wrestle with a single large fish. Then Betty gives them lots of smaller fish! All is well on this nest now. I do not believe there will be another elimination.

As I write this, Lindsay and Grinnell Jr have not flown and neither has RTH L4 at Cornell. Those are both a relief.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. Smile – Little Bit is going to bed tonight quite full. So happy! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages: Capi Mlade Buky Storks, LRWT, Friends of Loch Arkaig and the Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, CarnyXWild, Tiger Mozone and BBC.

Little Bit 17 has a great afternoon!

16 June 2022

Hip Hip Hurray for Little Bit 17!

Little Bit 17 has gotten very good at opening up road kill and, in particular, raccoons. Today, a raccoon was delivered at 13:41:40. Little Bit 17 immediately grabbed it and mantled. At the time, 16 was on the nest and 15 was up in the branches dreaming of fledging. As some of the chatters have said on and off for a long time, 16 is lazy. She won’t fight Little Bit for the raccoon until he gets it nicely unzipped. It is simply too much work for 16 to be bothered. She has already had a fish today.

Little Bit 17 grabs the raccoon delivery at 13:41:40. He is quick.

Little Bit worked on that raccoon until 14:26 when ND16 steals it. At that point Little Bit runs over to the porch. The porch appears to be Little Bit’s security spot – away from 16.

16 is right there at the rim of the nest – waiting. Thankfully she did not attack Little Bit which fits in with her already having that salmon and also, not wanting to do the hard work.

It is difficult to know how much of the meat of the raccoon Little Bit was able to get since it takes some time to get through that fur and skin.

16 ate on the raccoon and now 15 has got it and is eating the meaty part. Little Bit 17 has come from the porch – he is not afraid of 15 – and is inching towards trying to steal some of that juicy raccoon he worked so hard to open up. — Surely 15 will leave something if 17 can’t steal it!

Neither 15 or 16 like the head of the raccoon – or at least, not to date. Normally Little Bit 17 gets to clean that up – there is a lot of fat and good nutrition in that head but it is work. Little Bit 17 is not afraid of working hard for its dinner — indeed, that is all the wee one knows. I sure hope he finds a territory that is full of nice fish! What a reward that would be.

Little Bit stole the raccoon from 15 around 15:14 and he is very busy eating up every last bit of it – fur and all!!!!!!!!!! Little Bit. You are amazing.

Everything you do on this nest is going to help you out there in the real world. Just like the little hawklet on the Bald Eagle nest, you are fast and quick. Sometimes small is not a bad thing!!!!!!

Moving over into the shade. You can see there is still some good meat on this raccoon. Little Bit is going to benefit from it all. He should have a nice crop after.

Little Bit 17 finished the raccoon and was so happy he did a great big wing flap. Oh, Little Bit if you only knew all the people that want you to have a wonderful life — with lots of big fish.

This is all that is left of that raccoon after Little Bit had it, then 16, then 15, and then Little Bit again. Still, the raptors do not let any part of the prey item go to waste, except turtle shells!!!!!!

Mum flies in at 16:13:42. At first 16 flies down thinking he might have a fish – but he doesn’t. Remember – Eagles do not waste anything. When 16 leaves, Little Bit moves up and Dad feeds him – but because 16 is on the nest, Little Bit is scared. So Little Bit 17 does the snatch and grab while Dad breaks off more raccoon pieces for him.

I thought Little Bit was going to choke on some of the bones but, no way. He got them down and got some great calcium in the process! Did I say Little Bit 17 amazes me.

The Big siblings are not interested and Little Bit 17 has relaxed even with 16 sitting on the rim. He has another bone in his beak working on getting it down.

All done. It was so nice to see Mum on the nest and to have her there to finish off that Raccoon with Little Bit. He is happy and full. Lovely. Relief. Mum is going to finish what is left.

Little Bit moved over to get some of the shade. It is 90 degrees at ground level.

And guess what? Little Bit is telling 15 to get higher up the tree…he wants to branch, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 16:39:27 an adult flew onto the nest with a small fish. It looks like 16 got that one and then 15 steals it. Meanwhile, Little Bit 17 is having something from Mum (fish?) or was she plucking. Whatever it is, Little Bit is getting some great bites in the process.

What a day! What a good day. Little Bit got raccoon and some fish. I got to chat with some of the chatters and that was great too. We all love Little Bit!

Wow. Just look at the three of them. Now if 15 would move up some, Little Bit could branch before 16!!!!!! That would just be perfect.

Wonder what they are watching? A flying demonstration from one of the parents trying to encourage fledging?

Gosh. It was an absolutely great day at the ND-LEEF nest. Little Bit 17 is truly a survivor and is an inspiration to us all —— never give up. Give it your bet shot always.

Thank you everyone for joining me this afternoon. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the ND-LEEF streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Tragedy to tragedy. Late Monday and early Tuesday in Bird World

13-14 June 2022

The Cape Henlopen State Park Osprey nest kept me occupied for a large part of Monday . It is a very complicated situation. There are two intruder birds. They are distinctive in the very thick eye band. One has quite a good necklace and the other does not. Their eyes are close and often look like when we say ‘snake eyes’.

As the sun was setting both of the adult birds were on the nest. You can see their distinctive eye bands that are thick and go right to the shoulder. Except for their necklaces you might want to think they are twins.

One of the birds has some feather damage. It is the one who moved the chicks out of the nest. At first I thought the little chick had its wing caught in the talon but watching the bird try to remove and then in a second try achieve getting one of the bigger chicks off the nest – it was deliberate. She just didn’t have a good hold on that wee third hatch and it is probably – or was – at the base of the platform.

This bird has some interesting feather damage in at least two areas. I hope to get someone who knows about feather issues to examine the photo. It looks like a section around the scapula V on the right has been cut or torn or there are feathers missing. You can see the feather on the right hanging. The bird has flown on and off the nest carrying the chicks but returns quickly so she is just dumping them close by.

It appears that there is a third bird that is around the nest that these two are concerned about and it could be the Mum of the three dead chicks. Of course, this is simply speculation on my part. We have not seen that bird and none are ringed.

There are no adult ospreys on the Cape Helopen Osprey nest tonight, 13 June.

I have received word from ‘A’ and ‘EJ’ that the two intruders were at the Henlopen Osprey nest this morning and at one time a fish was brought and removed. The female intruder has also removed the third dead osplet from the nest. ‘A’ mentions the third osprey that has been bothering me. Is it Mum? is she injured? If it is her – our hearts go out to her. She has sadly lost her entire family.

I remember in an online discussion and chat with Sean and Lynn at Cal Falcons, they mentioned that the problem with the success of reintroducing these species is that there are too many birds. There are territorial fights, etc. Perhaps also it is the amount of habitat loss due to population growth and building, climate change and being able to get adequate food that is also a problem. For the Osprey there is then the issue of trees. Unlike Bald Eagles, Ospreys like to have their nests at the top of a dead tree. So many trees have been lost to deforestation and wildfires and in my community if someone sees a dead tree, it is cut down. Only in the marshes and mangroves do I see them. In South Australia they are busy building platforms in good places for the Ospreys if they have seen Ospreys nesting like Turnby Island. The new platform is up and the Ospreys are already on it along with most of their old nest. Do we need to get building more platforms? And if lakes and streams can be stocked for people to go fishing, what about the birds? It does appear – from many nests – that the success of both the Osprey and Eagle reintroduction programmes have caused issues for established nests – some outright tragedies. There must be some solutions.

Little Bob at the Loch of the Lowes was shut out from the evening feeding. Indeed, he had not eaten all day Monday that I am aware. Both Little and Middle stayed well out of the way of Big and just let him eat. Then Middle went up. By the time Little got up to the table the fish was gone. If this is a problem with Laddie not bringing in enough fish now – then Blue NC0 needs to step up the game and go fishing.

Big ate almost all that fish and has a big crop and so does Middle. Poor wee Bob. They can last for several days. We have seen this on many nests but it is time Little Bob had a good feed. Fingers crossed for Tuesday.

This is Blue NC0 defending the nest and chicks against the intruder.

The situation at the Loch of the Lowes has not improved. There is a ringed intruder and as such Laddie and Blue NC0 are both dealing with that. A fish finally came in at 16:00 but both Little and Middle Bob are getting pounded. Little Bob did not even raise its head and beg for food. There are any number of people worrying about this nest. I will be checking on it later. Some of the Osprey groups are already posting thoughts for Little Bob – he cannot go much longer if he is to live. I do not think he will make it either. So sad. Middle ate yesterday.

I started making a list of all the sadness at the nests this year and will post it later today. It has been a year of tragedy.

The West End fledglings – Ahote and Kana’kini – are really using their wings and learning how to land. Two of the chicks on the natal nest watch one of the siblings (I believe it is Kana’kini) fly off the nest and land on Transmitter Rock.

Perfect landing.

Kana’kini was still on Wray’s Rock Tuesday morning. She had flown there on Monday. Tuesday morning Ahote and Sky were on the natal nest when a fish delivery came in at 05:42. Waiting for Sky to fledge.

Kana’kini and Ahote have since flown off leaving Sky on the natal nest.

At the Two Harbours nest of Chase and Cholyn, Lancer will be 10 weeks old (70 days) tomorrow, the 15th. Cholyn is still flying in to feed their big girl!

There are big storms moving through the area of the ND-LEEF nest. The camera is out of sorts. This could seriously impact any prey deliveries for tomorrow. Little Bit 17 really needs a good meal tomorrow.

The system is going to impact a large area that have nests.

The camera is down because of the storm at the ND-LEEF nest. The eaglets are ND15 75 days old, ND16 74 days old and Little Bit ND17 is 70 days old. It sure would be a shame to lose this little fighter now. What a time to have a storm – backed up with days of little food. My goodness.

I haven’t checked on E1 and Nancy at the MN-DNR nest lately. Nancy made a prey delivery, E1 mantled quickly and was very aggressive to the adult. This is normal behaviour in eaglets getting ready to fledge.

There was a lot of strong winds and rain over night at the MN-DNR. The system is due to be about the same as the one in my city. It will calm down and may begin again. E1 survived it fine – thank goodness.

At the nest of Big Red and Arthur, it appears that the only eyas left to fledge is L4. Little cutie pie. And little cutie pie took advantage of having its big siblings off flying and getting prey elsewhere to eat up two prey items on the nest and get an enormous crop! Sometimes there are advantages to having your other siblings fledge. This might also work for Little Bit if everything came come together to get the parents able to find prey to deliver. I understand that this time of year at this particular nest prey deliveries suffer.

Big Red’s kids do not have that problem. Arthur is excellent at delivering food and Big Red is often hunting herself. They did a marvellous job this year. Amazing.

L4 could fledge. He has 5 going on 6 dark stripes and he is 47 days old. remember the average age of fledge is 46.5 days at this nest.

I love the stretching exercises after the meal. He stretched both sides like this.

The UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys are not sleeping on the natal nest tonight.

The adults are dropping off fish on the nest and both of the fledglings, Big and Middle, make their way there when they see the parents flying in that direction. Big had the fish and then Middle got tired of waiting and took it. Both had a decent feed. These two are doing fantastic.

It is always good to remember that what you want to see are the chicks being fed by the parents on the nest after fledge. At other times, they will feed them off nest like they did with Little MiniO at Captiva. Often times the fledglings bolt and well, they need to get home. You might recall if you watched the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest that Legacy (2021) was missing for about six days. She was so glad to find home she didn’t leave for another month!

It is early morning in The Czech Republic and Betty is feeding the four White storklets at the Mlade Buky nest. Oh, look. They are getting their pin feathers. Fantastic. Note: The smallest, the 5th storklet was eliminated on Sunday.

It is also lousy weather in Estonia but Karl II has been out fishing for these babies. Did you know he flies 10 km to get the little fish? It is monitored by his tracker.

Liz did a lovely – and short video (I always appreciate her short videos getting right to the heart of the matter) – of the three Black storklets of Jan and Janika’s in care late Tuesday having a meal. They are doing so very well. I think that you are witnessing an intervention that is going to go very, very well.

All three osplets on the nest of Aran and Mrs G in the Glaslyn Valley are doing quite fine. Just look at that face of Mrs G. I certainly would not want to mess with this Osprey Mum. In the second image all have crops after their afternoon tea time meal.

Idris taking the head off of the tea time fish for Telyn and the three Bobs. There is definitely not a problem at this nest!

Little Bob is in the middle and Telyn has been feeding him – and he will be fed til his crop is full! (or they run out of fish)

Llyn Brenig Ospreys have had their troubles. The third hatch died but the two surviving osplets appear to be doing very well. Let us hope that the horrible weather that has swept through the nests dissipates and gives these families a break!

The two surviving osplets at the Loch Arkaig nest have been enjoying all that nice fish that Louis brings in. The tea time one was a little too close to the lads or lasses but both got fed. Big Bob looks like he could be a problem. Let us hope that he isn’t! There is always fish on this nest of Dorcha and Louis.

They have had their problems up at Llyn Clywedog but it looks like those are behind them. Dylan brought in a huge Mullet for Seren and the three Bobs at 16:00:03. Just look at their crops after their tea.

That is a hop, skip, and jump through the nests with troubles and some of those that are doing so well. Seeing those three at Llyn Clywedog after the fear that Dylan was missing just warms the heart.

Last, Alden delivered what appears to be a pigeon. Annie gets it and this translates into a food fight between Lindsay and Grinnell, Jr. Neither have fledged yet but it is just morning in California! Fledge watch at Cal Falcons.

We may never know what ultimately happens at the Cape Henlopen State Park Osprey nest until we see who is on the nest for the next breeding season. If it is Mum who has been trying to get her nest back, let us hope that she either does so safely or she leaves the territory in good health to find another nest and mate.

I am working on two different pieces for you. One of Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres and their importance and another on the birds that we have lost since last 1 July. It is sadly a very long list. I had hoped to have the one on the rehabilitation centres finished this week but the events at some of the nests took over.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages or videos that I have captured and used for this blog: Liz M, Cape Henlopen State Park Ospreys, Cornell RTH Cam, ND-LEEF, Friends of the Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, CarnyXWild, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, MN-DNR, Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlade Buky White Storks, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and NOAA.

L2 fledges at Cornell!

8 June 2022

Everyone expected the first hatch of Big Red and Arthur to fledge first. She has been real antsy and jumping all around the railing. Instead, it was L2 the second hatch who took flight this morning at 0531 (very difficult to see the time under the Cornell information).

L2 is 45 days old!

Ready!

Gone!

It was a perfect flight over to Rice Hall.

Congratulations to Big Red and Arthur, Cornell and all those who love these beautiful Red-tail Hawks!

Thank you for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to Cornell for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Late Monday and early Tuesday in Bird World

6-7 June 2022

‘R’ sent me a lovely note. She had trouble with the link that I provided for the fundraising by the Eagle Club of Estonia for the three surviving storklets of Jan and Janika. If you had difficulties, too, please try this link that ‘R’ sent to me:

https://www.leetchi.com/c/kotkaklubi

There is good news coming from Robert Fuller. The first of the six kestrels raised by Papa Kestrel fledged on 6 June. Oh, what a joyous day! No one knew what would happen when Mum Kestrel did not return. The males are so tuned in to providing prey and security that feeding and brooding chicks can be problematic. Imagine trying to be both Mum and Dad to six fast growing Kestrels. You might recall that Robert Fuller removed the youngest and smallest three. They were kept warm and fed regularly to give them a good start when they would be returned to the nest with their bigger siblings. Father Kestrel learned how to feed his chicks and brood them. The first flight of one of the six really shows how working together -humans and raptors – success can be achieved.

Here is a quick video of that first fledge:

So far, Bukacek and Betty are still feeding five White Storklets on their nest in Mlade Buky. No brood reduction has taken place yet despite the youngest being substantially smaller than the others.

Bukacek has returned to the nest allowing Betty to go for a break and to get some food while he feeds the storklets and broods them.

Here is another feeding. You can see just how quickly the little storklets grow – and it is so nice that the sun is shining and the nest has dried out.

Karl II and Kaia have all their storklets as well. Karl arrived and fed the storklets an enormous feed! You would almost think he found Urmas’s fish basket! Notice how yellow the beaks are. It is a sign of a healthy storklet.

Liberty and Freedom seem to be liking their new nest in Glacier Gardens in Alaska. Didn’t we just get news of a pip and then a hatch and now – . Well. GG7 is named Love and s/he is 8 days old. GG8 is called Peace and s/he is 5 days old. Both are doing well. Gosh, I really appreciate those names. The world could seriously use much more ‘love’ and ‘peace’. Very appropriate for the times we live in. Oh, so delicate. Look at that teeny little flake of fish being held by that huge beak. So cute.

Takota is 70 days old. Mr President and Lotus have been busy bringing in food to their bouncy branching eaglet at the National Arboretum nest in Washington, DC.

The fledge times for Bald Eagles is normally 10-12 weeks so Takota is right at the beginning of that range. Males normally fledge earlier than females. Takota has really been working those wings! They are getting stronger and stronger.

Was it a fludge? or a fledge? When Ahote took off from the West End nest and wound up on Transmitter Hill? Ahote returned to the natal nest and to his siblings, Kana’kini and Sky on Monday after being off nest for 4 days. He stayed 7 hours before taking off again. Don’t blink. The video is short but it shows Ahote totally in command of his flying. Well done, Ahote!

A fish was delivered and Ahote took it so he has eaten -. Well done. You might well notice that the parents do not always fly right in with the kids after fledge. The fledglings are as large as their parents – actually slightly larger – and could injure them in the transfer of prey items. The adults are, thus, very cautious.

It looks like it could be a fledge for L1 today at the nest of Big Red and Arthur in Ithaca, New York. The little red-tail hawk has been antsy for days. The winds are strong. She has been up on the rails doing cute faces to the camera and on and off the fledge ledge all morning.

Just look at that face – sweet. And that beautiful peach plumage. Red-tail hawklets are gorgeous! (OK. They all are!).

So far, Middle has not fledged at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest since all the hovering and flapping activity yesterday. It rained heavy and the nest is soaking. Middle did get the fish off of Big this morning that was delivered at 11:11:01. This is the second day in a row that Middle’s confidence is up and he is taking what he wants.

R2 paid a visit to the nest of his parents Ron and Rita at the Miami Zoo. Normally a parent would fly in with food. R2 waited but nothing was delivered.

Grinnell Jr and Lindsay are losing their baby down quickly. Breakfast came at 0533 and the morning was spent flapping and running and exploring around the scrape. Annie and Alden have done a super job with these two.

Grinnell Jr has the blue leg ring.

It could be building up to be an exciting day with so many set to fledge. It is not clear if Little Bit 17 at the ND-LEEF has had any food. There is the possibility of some when 15 got the fish this morning. The lack of camera coverage on the porch area means that we just don’t know for certain when the little one gets food – or not. Hoping for fish, lots of fish.

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

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: The Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlade Buky Storks, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, WRDC, Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Glacier Gardens, and the NADC-AEF.

An ‘Almost’ Fledge and more nest news in Bird World

6 June 2022

Oh, what a day it has been. Pretty exciting stuff happening on the nests. I was just told by my friend ‘G’ that a hatch is happening at Cape May Osprey nest. If you follow that nest, check it out!

First news first. Ahote returned to the natal nest of the West End Eagles, Thunder and Akecheta at 06:54:08 this morning. Whew! He spent 4 days over on Transmission Hill. It is sure nice to see the Three Amigos back together.

Thunder and Akecheta have not delivered food. One of the eaglets has flown off the main nest. It is not clear which male it was. Kana’kini is on the branch on the ocean side. It is thought to be Ahote but no confirmation.

Ahote is back on the nest. So controlled. Oh, I hope those parents get some food on this nest. He needs a big reward for all that effort.

As many of you are aware, Urmas Sellis undertook the rescue of Jan and Janika’s storklets. He originally placed a fish basket for Janika in the hopes that she would find it and be able to feed herself and the four storklets. He also put a pail of small fishes on the nest. Janika did not find the fish table. Two days later, Urmas returned to take the storklets after cold nights without warmth, etc. Sadly, the fourth one died right before the rescue. The three surviving chicks are in incubators. There is a fundraiser. Here is the information if you feel so inclined to contribute.

Fledges are going to overlap one another once they start. At the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, the average age to fledge is 46.5 days. Today L1 is 46 days, L2 is 43, L3 is 42 and L4 is 39 days old. It is believed that to fly well, the hawklets need to have at least 5 dark bands showing. L1 has her 6th band peeking out. L2 has the 5th band peeking out while L3 has 4 dark bands and L4 has 3.

Big Red brought in some unidentified prey and some wanted to eat while others wanted to run and flap. It was rather chaotic!!!!!

The hawklets are pretty sedentary on the nest – even with all the flapping. After fledging, during the first 3 weeks, their activity level is believed to double. After 6-7 weeks, they will begin to catch small vertebrae. The parents will continue to feed them (more at first) and teach them hunting tricks until they leave the territory.

To my knowledge, Little Bit 17 at the ND-LEEF has not had prey yet today.

At the UFlorida-Gainesville nest, Middle almost fledged today. He would have if a storm had not quickly rolled in with high winds, rain, and some hail. Have a look at a couple of clips of Middle’s hovering. He is impressive!

At least twice today, Middle got the fish and Big did not! His confidence level is growing and growing.

Even soaking wet, Middle just doesn’t want to give up. Expect a fledge anytime!!!!!!! Nothing is going to stop him.

Middle is full of vinegar. Is this osplet going to fledge soaking wet?

How lovely it is going to be when Middle flies off with confidence. There was a time when it was not clear if we would get to this day. Middle has grown into a fantastic, getting more confident, healthy bird. Am I saying it twice? how nice the feathers are on these two? Mum and Dad can be proud. We lost Little Bit but will have two super fledglings when Middle takes off. I hope he finds his way back to the nest as easily as Big. OGK and YRK have been a bonded pair since 2006 – 16 years.

If you watch the Royal Albatross cam, today marks the 21st day that OGK has been away. Let us hope he returns to QT chick soon. Mum YRK is doing double duty at the nest and the NZ DOC rangers on Taiaroa Head are providing supplementary feedings for several chicks.

D

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clips: Institute for Wildlife Studies and Explore.org, the Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys.

Early Monday in Bird World

6 June 2022

Liz has posted a video of Urmas and his team removing the Black Storklets from Janika’s nest in Jegova County, Estonia on 5 June. I reported earlier that a glove like a Black Stork shape had been used to place the storklets in the basket. That information is incorrect and my apologies. Bare hands were used. One storklet, sadly, died in the nest over night before the intervention. They need temperatures of 22-28 degrees C. They cannot thermoregulate their temperatures yet. In addition, it rained and well – I hope the remaining chicks survive and thrive. It will be a first for the Veterinary College to raise Black Storklets to fledging. Good luck to Urmas and his team!

Here is the video that Liz posted:

The White Storks Bukachek and Betty still have five storklets in their nest in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic. You can see the difference in size from the oldest to the youngest known as ‘Little Finger’ by the chatters.

Bukachek (male) is making sure that the wee storklet gets food in the image below.

It has been raining on and off. The rich Red Iron in the clay makes all of the Storks look dirty. Maybe when it is not so rainy more straw will be brought to the nest! That would help.

Awhile ago I mentioned the Lesser Spotted Eagles. Andris and Anna, at their nest in Zemgale, Latvia. The camera was down for awhile but it is now back and running. In the meantime, a beautiful little Lesser Spotted eaglet has hatched!

It is so cute and fluffy! There was only one egg so this is the only chick. Had there been two eggs, the first hatch most always predates the second. So having only one is a good thing! The parents can focus on bringing food to this cutie pie.

Voldis came to the White-tailed Eagle nest that he shares with Milda near Durbe, Latvia. He arrived at 05:30 and stayed for well over an hour.

Milda has had a terrible time since her long time mate, Raimis disappeared two years ago. I hope that Milda and her mate if it is to be Voldis have a very successful next breeding season. This year the eggs were predated.

Margit hatched on 25 April and is growing by leaps and bounds with the tender care of the parents, Kalju and Helju. This Golden Eaglet’s nest is in Soomaa National Park in the southwest of Estonia.

Oh, such a beautiful eaglet. Margit is waking up. The black dot behind the eye is the ear. It will be covered over with feathers before the eaglet fledges.

Helju just brought breakfast for Margit. Liz caught it in a video:

This is the streaming cam for this nest:

What is happening with Ahote? Ahote, the youngest of the three eaglets at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta, fledged on June 2. He has spent the time since then on Transmission Rock and is getting hungry unless food was delivered. Working his way back to the nest, he got some wind on his wings and got to the nest but was blown off course. No doubt he will get there! Very determined.

In the image below you can see him directly below and slightly to the right of Kana’kini and Sky.

Checking on Osprey nests in the UK, the third chick hatched at Llyn Brenig but did not survive.

Aeron Z2 and Blue 014 have had their first hatch at the Pont Cresor nest in the Glaslyn Valley.

Laddie LM12 delivered nine – yes, 9 – to the nest for Blue NC0 to feed their three Bobs at the Loch of the Lowes.

All three Bobs seem to be doing fine at the Glaslyn nest of Aran and Mrs G. Just look at how dark Mrs G’s plumage is and that necklace.

Aran has been busy delivering fish. Little Bob is not always in the most perfect position!

I do have to admit that Idris and Telyn are my favourite Ospreys in the UK along with Blue 33 and Maya.

Telyn is feeding the two older Bobs while Bobbie Bach is asleep.

Food coma!

Oh, could that be comfortable?

There is Bobbi Bach ready for his meal while the others sleep. Poor Telyn. They are surely keeping her busy.

It looks like it is starting to dry out for Dylan and Seren at the Llyn Clywedog nest. Gosh, Seren was just so wet and hunkered down keeping the three Bobs warm and dry. Let us hope the sun comes out, too, to warm them up.

Both of the Ospreys were on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest sleeping during the night.

Both are back on the nest waiting for a breakfast delivery!

Good Morning Little Bit 17! Everyone is waiting for prey deliveries at the ND-LEEF nest. I hope that the adults will feed Little Bit like they did yesterday. That would be grand.

The scrape box at Manchester NH is getting to be quite the mess! A good wind will help clear it out. It is hard to believe but this scrape will be on fledge watch beginning on the 10th or 11th of June – this coming weekend!

Nancy is on the nest at 08:40 feeding E1. It looks like they will have a beautiful day at that Bald Eagle nest in Minnesota. Wonder when E1 is going to take to the skies? Nancy has done wonders taking care of E1 and fending off intruders.

Fledge watch is on for the three at the Pittsburgh-Hayes Bald Eagle nest. It looks like only two but 17 is up higher in the tree.

There are still two eaglets – Sentry and Star – on the Redding nest of Liberty and Guardian. We are on fledge watch for these two also! It could be a very busy week!!!!!!

We are definitely on fledge watch for the eyases on the nest of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell campus. The chicks are restless and L1 is definitely ready!

Oh, the excitement of a nest of four hawks – each itching to fly including the youngest, L4. Wonder if L1 will be the first of the oldest to go? Stay tuned.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: the Eagle Club of Estonia, Mlade Buky White Storks, Latvian Fund for Nature, IWS and Explore.org, Friends of LOTL and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyXWild, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, ND-LEEF, Peregrine Networks, MN-DNR, Pix Cams, Friends of Redding Eagles, and Cornell Bird Lab RTH.