Thursday in Bird World

There are a number of Ospreys named Louis but the one that I am writing about today is the Louis of the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. His mate, Aila, did not return from migration this year and there is a new Mrs Louis. Her name is Dorcha. Louis chose not to make their nest on the one that he had shared with Aila. As a result, news of Louis and Dorcha comes from those who have access to see the nest. Today’s news is from the person who ringed the chicks. They report there are two healthy 4-5 week old nestlings. How grand. Louis is a fabulous dad – he even went fishing at night for Aila and the three chicks last year.

I am doing a bit of nest hopping. For whatever reason I am unable to access the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest. Others are having difficulties too but some seem to have some success. It is, of course, slightly frustrating because this is the nest of Tiny Little!

The eaglet on the Bucovina, Romanian Golden Eagle nest is hungry. Yesterday he only had a small bird and a bone. There seem to be days of bounty and then not much of anything on this nest. Is there enough prey? how far to the parents have to travel? are both parents still delivering food for the baby? For many this is the haunting memory of Spilve and Klints last year. The young Golden Eaglet cannot live on a little bird. Zenit is a beautiful bird and it will not be long til fledge. Let us all hope that Zenit gets a large prey drop today.

Zenit saw his reflection in the camera for the first time yesterday. It is so cute when they do this – the reactions to seeing another bird like them! Lady Hawk caught this precious interaction.

Wishes come true! I checked on Zenit just a minute ago and Zenit has an enormous crop! Looks like he swallowed a softball.

Scrolling back, Zenit’s mother came in to feed him. This was at 14:12. It also appears that a bird delivery was made around 17:00. It is not clear what the mother brought but as you can see above, Zenit has a very large crop and this is a good thing. It remains unclear to me how much prey there is in the area. Let us all hope it is good!

When the Royal Albatross chick was weighed on Tuesday (NZ time), she had dropped from 8.2 kg to 8.0. The rangers were monitoring Taiki’s weight and were considering whether or not she needed a supplementary feeding. Perhaps that won’t be necessary after today because her mother Lime-Green-Lime flew in for two feedings and her dad, Lime-Green-Black was there for one. Three feedings in a single day at 9:58 (LGL), 13:57 (LGK), and LGL arrives twenty minutes after LGK departed at 14:17. These were quick in and outs but it looked like Taiki got a lot of food.

LGL is so happy to see her daughter. Taiki would like her mum to dispense with all the formalities – the sky calls, the welcome – but LGL will insist. Her daughter needs to learn all of these and imprint them in her mind. Taiki will fledge in mid-September. She will not return to land for 4-6 years. At that time she will do a skycall just like Mum is doing now. Can you imagine being at sea and never stepping foot on land for that long?

Taiki is so excited to have a parent come in for breakfast.

LGK saunters in after Taiki has had her breakfast and is ready to feed her lunch at 13:57. It always looks like the adults have difficulty walking – and maybe they do if the chicks are digging holes and building play nests everywhere. Here comes dad!

It is so interesting that these little Albies stay put on their nest without moving about so much (at least at this stage). LGK does several sky calls but Taiki just wants food!

Taiki settles down to work on her play nest after LGK leaves and gets dirt all over her beak. It sure doesn’t matter. Look at how beautiful she is.

This is LGL’s second visit to feed her daughter. Taiki is so excited to see her again. I wonder if she told mum that she just missed dad? LGL does several skycalls when she greets her daughter.

The baby down is falling off and revealing a beautiful pattern on the back of Taiki.

LGL always looks like she is smiling.

Taiki must be about to pop after three big feedings! LGL must be fishing near to Taiaroa Head as she is returning so often. Taiki is lucky.

It was a golden morning on the Loch of the Lowes. No one was on the nest- they were all out flying and learning to fish. There are some trees around the nest that are apparently good perches for the birds. What a beautiful place. It looks so tranquil —- and safe for Ospreys.

It was just as beautiful at Mlady Buky in Czechoslovakia this morning. There is a mist, low lying clouds, or a fog hugging the mountains. The three storklings are on the nest. Everything is so quiet – you can almost hear the stillness.

Father Stork arrives at 6:19 with breakfast for the three almost fledging storklings.

The three continue to find small morsels on the nest after the frenzy when dad arrives.

The feeding gives them energy. The sun is up and they are warm and two are flapping madly on the nest.

The female is really covering the nest and moving her wings. She was getting some lift this morning as well. Father Stork and the people of Mlady Buky have done well. After the loss of the female, it has been simply a miracle to watch these three thrive. In a way, the people of the community stepped in and took over when supplementary feeding was necessary – just like the New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers.

Sadly, there is no one stepping in for Zenit if it is needed. I wonder if the people who operate the camera would consider setting up a food table if it were needed?

My goodness. Blue 022, the two year old who returned from his migration and stopped off at the Poole Harbour nest of CJ7, is so enthusiastic. He has been helping fix up the nest and has even provided fish for CJ7. He has also been seen ‘sky dancing’ on several occasions. This morning was no exception!

They make such a lovely couple. Oh, goodness. Everyone is already crossing their fingers and toes that these two return from their migration safely. The months will not pass quickly enough. Imagine – no chicks born in this area of England in 200 years! Incredible. There will be lots of celebrating!

Dylan and Seren are both on the nest at 7am watching and waiting for Only Bob to come and have some breakfast. He loves to go and fly often landing on the camera stand. It is so different when they fledge – at first babies always on the nest and hungry and then parents having to wait with food as they fly about.

Kindness is getting her legs stronger every day. She is standing straight and walking some on the nest. She is certainly growing fast – an advantage to being the only chick on the nest.

Kindness loves to do kissey-kissey with Mom. It is so funny watching these two.

At the Osprey nest on the Port Lincoln barge, Mom is on the nest and Dad was over on the ropes. Eggs arriving soon.

Oh, it is a bit like a bad joke. The camera at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest just started working. Both 462 and Tiny Little are on the nest. It is around 7am and they are watching for a parent to arrive with breakfast. Look at that nice necklace that Tiny Little has. Interesting. (TL is on the right) They are being kissed by diamond rain from the sun.

And when he wasn’t watching for a delivery, Tiny Little was flapping his wings dreaming of flying.

The more flapping he does the more the last tidbits of baby down disappear. It won’t be long Tiny but you were four days younger than everyone and you were behind in growth. You will get there just like Tiny Tot!

Hopefully that fish arrives! These two are both hungry. And it did. Tiny Little went over and ate some of the remaining fish and Blue 35 comes in and removes what is left (piece at the front) and will fly off with it.

The camera was still on the blink. I just checked and Tiny is fine. It is tea time and both Tiny and big sib are waiting for a delivery. It is so interesting that the big siblings know when to show up for food.

And last but never least, a lovely picture of Aran and Mrs G on the Glaslyn Nest together. This is a beautiful sight. There has been some bonding over the last few days. I was concerned that Aran was not in top form and Z2, Aeron, of the PC nest might want to take over this one. They are being kissed by golden raindrops, too! Mrs G doesn’t look like she is 21 years old, the oldest osprey in the United Kingdom. She is in really good shape. So sad that they lost their three chicks this year. That can cause issues but they seem to be a solid couple.

Thanks for joining me everyone. It is lovely to see the Golden Eaglet doing well today. That nest is a constant worry. And speaking of worry. The comments section on my blog seems to not be working all the time. It is like Tiny Little’s camera. Please feel free to send me an e-mail: maryannsteggles@icloud.com. I know that some of you had concerns and I regret that technology has caused you any worry. For the next while, til things step up in Australia, there may be only one blog per day. I hope to get more local Osprey news for you this coming week.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. This is where I grabbed my screen shots: Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest Cam, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Mlady Buky, Port Lincoln Osprey Cam, Glacier Gardens Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, Clywedog Opsrey Cam and Carnyx Wild, Byrwd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Sunday in Bird World

Today it not just about Ospreys. There have been some nests that have been overlooked lately so I am going to try and catch up on some of those for all of us.

I love how the wildlife rehabbers go to great lengths to make certain that the babies they rescue do not imprint on humans. Have a look at an eaglet that came into care and how it is being fed:

https://fb.watch/v/1NOZVD1I5/

The female White Storkling at the nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia is ready to fledge! Look how beautiful she is with her wings spread. She looks like a dancer bowing to her audience. She was making all the right moves this morning. She began flapping her wings as the sun was rising and got very enthusiastic around 6am. She is restless and continues flapping and looking out to the world beyond the nest.

Father Stork comes in to feed the three youngsters. This generous community continues to provide supplementary food for Father Stork so that he and his three babies can survive. You can see, in the background, Father Stork eating from the fish table that is provided to him and his family. Sadly, their mother was killed on one of the electrical lines and these three are alive today because of this community. It is heart warming to see that the storklings are ready to fledge. Everyone can be so proud of their efforts!

The Bucovina Golden Eaglet, Zenit, grabbed the prey delivery from Mom and completely self-fed today for the first time. Zenit mantled and flapped all the while telling Mum to go away he could do this himself. Wow. Another milestone to independence. Lady Hawk caught this magical moment in a video:

There has been a lot of discussion about goshawks lately because they have raided and killed many Osprey both in Latvia and an eagle in Spain. There is a Crested Goshawk nest in a park in Taipei. The adults failed at their first breeding attempt and had one hatch on their second. The eaglet is three weeks old. So cute.

Crested goshawks live in Asia. Their territory is from the Indian subcontinent to Taiwan. In terms of its range and numbers it is of ‘least concern’. It is, however, a protected species in Hong Kong because of the encroachment on its forest environment. The hawks are now adapting to urban living. The Crested Goshawk is 30-46 cm in length or 12-16 inches. Like other raptors, there is reverse sex size diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. They feed on insects, birds, and mammals. The nest is normally made of sticks in a tree and most often the female will lay between two and three eggs.

The image below shows a Crested Goshawk Female. Look at that gorgeous plumage.

“鳳頭蒼鷹 – 雌鳥 Crested Goshawk (Female)” by alexwhite21 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In size comparison, the Northern Goshawk that has caused issues related to the death of the Osprey chicks in Latvia and Spain is approximately twice the size of the Crested Goshawk. Each species has a long tail and shorter broad wings to help them speed around the forest area where they hunt. They are more adapt at living in the forest and often lure their prey into that environment.

Here is the mom in her nest with her eaglet.

The eaglet has been ringed with two official bands.

The eaglet will fledge in 2-3 weeks. You can watch this little one grow up here:

Now let’s check on some of those Ospreys!

Foulshaw Moss. Tiny Little is still moving in to get fed. I have seen some people worrying about him but, honestly, this little one is going to be grand. At tea time on Sunday, 464 was self-feeding. Self-feeding is hard work and the chicks spend a lot of time and energy fighting with the bones in the head. They get tired. So when 464 finished eating, Blue 35 took over and fed Tiny Little and Middle Bob.

In the image below, 464 is self-feeding. Mom, Blue 35, is waiting and it is Tiny Little stretching his wing. As we will all be saying, Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore. And that is a good thing!

Blue 35 has taken over the feeding and, of course, Tiny Little is right there for the bites! Tiny Little and Middle Bob have always done well together. It is really good that 464, the big female, fledged first. It is hard to imagine but a couple of days ago Tiny Little looked like an extremely young chick. Now, unless the bands are visible and you follow the chicks it is hard to tell them apart. Now that is magnificent and it shows precisely what getting a good feeding means to these chicks.

Dyfi. Right now it is pitching down rain. Earlier it looked like Dysynni was hovering so high that he was going to fledge – but, he didn’t. Ystwyth is in awe! Dysynni is 52 days old today and Ystwyth is 48 days.

I imagine that Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Galactic’s Unity Spaceplane took off from Spaceport America this morning successfully returning to Earth from space would really like to fly like a bird. Laura Culley, falconer and great mind, told me once that humans have the DNA for feathers and flight we just haven’t turned them on. Any geneticists out there to confirm that?

And then the rains came and Idris delivered a really nice fish that Telyn is feeding the nestlings. No more thoughts of fledging today!

Poole Harbour. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were at the nest at Poole Harbour today. They continue bonding. There is at least a month or six weeks til they head off on their migration. Let us all hope that this lovely new couple return in late March or early April – both of them – and entertain us with their antics while raising chicks.

Clywedog. Oh, it is wet and miserable at this nest in Wales today. Only Bob looks pretty miserable.

Never fear. Dylan went out and got a nice perch for Only Bob’s (Blue 496) tea time treat. Seren is happily feeding her little one. Soon Only Bob is going to be thinking about fledging too.

Look at Dylan’s strong thin legs. The other day he flew 13 km to get a trout for his family’s dinner. Thanks John Williams for confirming that distance!

Loch of the Lowes. It is raining in Scotland, too. NC0 is on the nest feeding her nestling and her fledgling their tea time meal. NC0 has been flying with Fledgling Bob over the loch. It will be wonderful to see her spend time flying with both her babies once Second Bob has fledged. NC0 has become a very good mother. She struggled at the beginning with the feeding and many thought that Second Bob would not survive and perish like little third Bob. But, look at these two now. Fantastic. NC0 really came into her own. Laddie has done his part, too!

Are you interested in France’s plan for their Osprey and White Tailed Eagles? If so, Stephanie Scofield posted the French government’s document on the Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) FB page. If you cannot read French, have a look anyway. The graphics are very helpful. Here is that report:

Thank you so much to the person who forwarded me an image of Z1, Tegid. I do not know who to credit for the image so thank you to that individual. I hope you do not mind my posting it today!

I am so grateful to my friend ‘T’ for telling me about this brave little osprey. As many of you know, I am setting about on a ten year plan to follow the osprey hatches that were beaten and battered and deprived of food but, who made it despite all the odds against them to fledge! I want to see how their lives unfold. Sadly, many like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey nest are not ringed and most are not seen on camera. So my list is short. It includes Z1 Tegid, JJ7 Captain, Tiny Little Bob Blue 463, and Tiny Tot. If you know of others please alert me. You can leave me a comment or send the information through e-mail (maryannsteggles@icloud.com). It is much appreciated.

Here is Tegid. He has a nest with chicks for the second year in Snowdonia in Wales! Look at those strong little legs, too.

It is a soaring hot day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are really enjoying the water dishes and baths – they are keeping us busy filling them. I am taking a break from cleaning my tiny home office. It got stuffed with all manner of everything during the pandemic and now it is time to get that sorted. It is so nice, like now, to stop and check in on our friends with feathers!

Thank you so much for joining me and thank you for all the letters, comments, and pictures. I love hearing from you.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, CarnyX Wildlife and Clywedog Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Crested Goshawk Nest Cam in Taipei, and the Mlady Buky White Stork Nest Cam.

Late Friday and early Saturday in Ospreyland

There is news in Ospreyland, some good and some not so good. I am going to start with all of the good news.

Those who follow and read about Ospreys know that there are certain ‘truths’ that are held dear. These ‘truths’ get passed down through books, Websites, and conversations. One of those is that a male fledgling will ‘always’ return to its natal nest area on its first migration ‘home’. The question is how true is that statement? Is it 90% true or 80% or with all of the unringed birds is it even 50% true? There are always exceptions! It was reported today that Rutland’s Maya and Blue 33’s 2015 male chick S2 has been breeding in the Biesborch National Park in The Netherlands for the past two years. In 2020 S2 and his mate fledged three chicks and in 2021 they have two in the nest. Fabulous news.

Male 022 has been courting CJ7 since he first returned as a two year old from his first migration. Initially, this young male wasn’t quite sure of the ‘process’. What he didn’t know he made up for in enthusiasm. Could he hear everyone shouting “Bring her a fish!” Sometimes he would bring a fish but he would not share. Sometimes he shared. Meanwhile they were mating all over Poole Harbour – seriously, they were. 022 has certainly grown into understanding his role. He has been working on the nest with CJ7 and today he brought her a fish and gave it to her to enjoy – a gift. How sweet. He has done a sky dance for her and now we watch and then we will wait for next spring when everyone hopes that these two will be a couple and raise some chicks. 022’s sky dance was the first seen in 200 years in Poole Harbour. Oh, please let this couple have a nest of healthy chicks next year that fledge! Poole Harbour might announce a holiday in their honour.

The eldest chick has fledged at Foulshaw Moss, Blue 464. The others look surprised! Who will be next? That special moment was caught here on a short video:

Tiny Little has been doing a lot of wingersizing. Will he be next? He is doing a great job and I know that he is going to grow up and be as strong and fierce as Z1, Tegin.

And Tiny Little is clever, like Tiny Tot in the Achieva Nest. Today, he sniffed about and found a piece of leftover fish that the other siblings had forgotten. Tiny Little had a nice little self-feed over in that front corner. He is a survivor.

You can see that he is still Tiny but not as tiny as he once was! What a little cutie. In addition, his eyes are fine. There were some early issues, perhaps from one of the older siblings pecking him about but all seems fine now. Tiny Little is in the clown feet stage!

White YW brought in a nice fish for Blue 35 for breakfast. Guess who was first in line? You got that right – Tiny Little! Go Tiny Little, Go!

Everyone ate and had nice crops and Mom even got the fish tail.

At Loch Arkaig, there appears to be a new couple working on bonding. YP and Blue 152 have been bringing in moss and sticks to add to what Louis did in the early spring while he waited for Aila. It will be grand to have a couple in this nest next year although I have to admit that I wish it were Louis and the new Mrs Louis.

After the heat and the storms the two Osprey nests in Albert, Exshaw at Canmore and the nest at Red Deer appear to be doing well.

This is Exshaw this morning. It is a sunny dry day and the chicks are sleeping after a 5:35 am breakfast.

Legacy is doing fine, growing like a bad garden weed, down in Red Deer:

Good news coming in from Loch of the Lowes is that the first fledgling has returned to the nest and taken its second flight with mom, NC0. The first fledgling at Foulshaw Moss, has also returned to the nest. Well done!

Now for some of the sadness. The concern in Canada’s West is the growing number of wild fires active in the province of British Columbia. Last week 330 were added to a growing list of over 780 fires. The impact on wildlife now and in the future is alarming not counting, of course, the human and property cost. The province desperately needs rain and lots of it.

News has come to me from my friend, ‘T’ that goshawks have taken the lives of two banded Osprey chicks in a single Latvian nest and another chick at a nest in Spain. This is so very, very sad. The chicks were big – already ringed – in earshot of fledging.

“Goshawk” by Andy Morffew is licensed under CC BY 2.0

‘L’ has reported that a fledgling Bald Eagle was killed when it landed on a power line in Dayton, Ohio. This is so very sad because we have known for decades the problems with power lines. There could be a silver lining to this story – the community has spoken to the local power company and they seem willing to do something to their poles so that these tragedies will not happen again. Let us hope that they work fast. There are other fledglings in that nest! Indeed, every power line needs to be ‘bird friendly’. This should be standard practice.

Thank you for joining me on a sunny and going to be crispy hot Sunday on the Canadian Prairies. The news in my garden is curious. After the extreme heat wave, the number of birds at the feeders seems to be less. Strange, however, is the now regular appearance of a dozen or more Blue Jays. We always had 3. Mr Crow and family are not happy about the Blue Jays but they won’t enter the yard to try and escort them away. Perhaps the number of Blue Jays has driven the other birds away — except for Mr Woodpecker and baby. The tiny Downy fledgling was here yesterday! They are always so quick and gone by the time I have grabbed my camera.

Take care everyone. I hope to have news of Big Red, Arthur and the Ks this evening. Stay safe, stay cool. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Fortis Albert Red Deer Osprey Nest, Fortis Albert Exshaw Osprey Nest, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Here a fish, there a fish, everywhere a fish!

One of the things that I have learned but which I continually have to remind myself is this: birds are individuals. They may have instincts that have developed over 50 million years but, at the same time, they definitely have their own character. One of the first times I noticed this was with the Royal Albatross Family in 2020. The Royal Cam chick was Atawhai (Pippa was her nick name). Her parents are OGK (orange-green-black) and YRK (yellow-red-black). OGK hatched in 1998 and he was 22 years old last year when Atawhai hatched. YRK hatched in 1994 and was 26 years old when Atawhai hatched. They have been a bonded pair since 2006 and 2020 was their seventh breeding attempt. They have four children and one foster chick as of 2020. So they are not ‘new’ parents. OGK would fly in to feed Atawhai. He loved to sit next to his baby girl and have the most animated conversations. OGK was never in a hurry to leave. Atawhai adored him and would go running when he would land. Sometimes he would even spend the night with Atawhai. In contrast, YRK liked to feed her daughter and leave! Then there are the adults that I call over providers. A case this year was Louis, the partner of Anna, at the Kisatchie Forest Bald Eagle Nest. They were first time parents of Kisatchie. At first I didn’t think that Anna would ever figure out how to feed her wee chick. The parents try to look straight at their chick and keep their beak straight and vertical but in fact, because of the way the raptors see, the mother needs to angle her beak. Anna figured it out – thankfully. Louis was the envy of all the people fishing on Lake Kincaid. One day there were eighteen fish piled up on that Bald Eagle Nest – 18! He had enough food for all the Bald Eagle nests in the southern US. Unbelievable. And then there are those nests where you just sit down and weep. I said I was not going to watch the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest but one day I peeked. How bad could this dad be? I know that I often called Jack at the Achieva Osprey Nest a dead beat dad and for several weeks he was but I didn’t think it could get worse than Jack. Oh, but yes it can! Wattsworth. I only have to say his name and those that watch the nest know precisely what he does and doesn’t do. Wattsworth gets caught not bringing in fish but if Electra catches one he is right on the nest expecting her to give it to him! Meanwhile the two barely living chicks – those poor little things – have barely enough food to live. They certainly don’t get enough food to thrive. And Electra is worn out and ever so hungry, too.

Can a nest be an indication of the success the couple will have with their nestlings? I know it sounds like one of those really stupid questions. The day that Louis landed on the rim of the nest at Loch Arkaig, the nest he shares with his mate Aila, he began to do nestorations. He repaired the walls of the nest, brought in new seaweed from the loch to dry and got everything ready for Aila’s arrival. As the days passed and Aila didn’t show up, Louis continued to work on the nest in case she was really late. Have a look at this nest. There has been snow, lots of rain, and some pretty windy storms but the nest is more or less the way Louis left it when Aila did not return this year.

From the moment Iris arrived at her Hellgate Missoula Montana nest she began to repair it. Iris had a lot to do. Last year she went on a rampage when a squirrel climbed up and tried to get in the nest cup. This was after the raven had eaten her egg. There wasn’t much left of the walls. So in 2021 it was almost like starting from scratch. One of the people who belong to the FB page of the Montana Ospreys commented on how Iris was still doing her best even though Iris knows that the outcome in 2021 will not be any different than previous years. The key is that she is doing her best, regardless.

Even CJ7 and 022, who are currently bonding on the Poole Harbour Nest but will not have chicks this year, are working on their nest!

Just yesterday one of the two chicks on the Cowlitz Nest almost fell out of the nest. There is no wall on the far side! You can see it plainly in the photo below.

Is this because there are no sticks to bring to continue building? or there are so many intruders there is no time to secure the nest? or is it indifference? or is Jack just lazy? or does he have another family or two? If anyone knows the answer, write to me – I would sure like to know!

How can you tell if a raptor has food in their system? We all know by looking to see if they have a crop but is there any other way? I happened to catch Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest tonight doing his ‘ps’. That white streak ends between the C and the H in the Achieva logo below. The PS left Tiny Tot’s body like a cork popping out of a champagne bottle. The point of all of this is that Electra had such a tiny ps yesterday that you knew her system was almost entirely void of food. The same for those babies. They fight now – they each want to live. It is sad because that clobbering one another uses up their precious energy.

Tiny Tot doing a PS. 15 June 2021

The Cowlitz kids had feedings from two fish today and Electra was eating too. We can hope that all of that small fish will go to Electra and the babies and not into the talons of Wattsworth who was waiting to claim it! Wattsworth certainly gets the Dead Beat Dad award for the past two weeks!

Speaking of Dead Beat Osprey Dads. I have to give Jack a gold star. He has really turned around. Every day he brings at least one fish to Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest. One day – was it Sunday? – he even brought in four – FOUR – fish for Tiny. Jack has not forgotten his little one protecting the nest!

Here comes Jack with that fish for Tiny at 7:05:17.

White YW and Blue 35 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest have also been working on the nest. White YW is getting much better at bringing in fish to the nest for Blue 35 and the three chicks, too. My concern is really only Tiny Little Tot. Oh, he is starting to get clever like Tiny Tot did when he was starving and being picked on by the bigger siblings. One of the FB friends of the nest said it well today, “Little One saw the fish coming in and made sure he was in pole position!” Her observations were absolutely spot on. Tiny Tot got right in front of mama so that she could see him clearly and Tiny Little Tot didn’t move. Not only did he not move but he also took bites meant for one of the bigger siblings. Oh, I just adore this little sweetie. He could go on that list of third hatches that survive and thrive!

That was just brilliant! And the older ones didn’t even seem to mind. What a relief. Tiny Little Tot had a really good feed.

Speaking of crops, have a look at the crop of Little Bob on Loch of the Lowes. Looks like everything has straightened itself out on that nest as well. Both Bobs are really thriving.

Today’s winner of provider of the day goes to Idris, however. Sorry Laddie! Just look at that whale that he hauled in for Telyn and the Bobs. He didn’t even eat the head!

Oh, thanks so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure. I will be checking in on Big Red and Arthur and the Ks first thing tomorrow. Fledge watch is truly on for that Red tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Nest, Achieva Credit Union, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig.

Get the worry beads and the tissue…

Those Ks look too small to start thinking about fledging but we know the time is coming. Big Red is showing them where to stand on the fledge post for their first flight. She is leaving hints on where to go with those oak leaves, and the other day Arthur started his aerial flying demonstrations for the three of them. Gosh, they look too little to fledge. Did I say that twice?! They don’t have all of their feathers on their heads even! But get your worry beads out they are hopping and flapping.

I don’t think K3 appreciates all of this – oh just wait, K3, you will be flapping soon.

This video was posted by Rebecca Alexander on the Cornell Red Tail Hawk FB page and there was a ‘share’ button. I shortened her original version to fit on this blog. Enjoy.

They may be getting big but those Ks still like it better when Big Red feeds them.

Arthur delivered a chippie – gosh it is good to see chippies on this nest instead of Starlings – but K3 told the others if they waited and left it Big Red would come in and feed them before bedtime! K3 is guarding it in case it runs up the light box like one did last year for the Js. Seriously. If you didn’t see it there is a YouTube video. I will find that and post it at the bottom. It is so funny!

Tiny Tot has been on and off the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. Jack brought in two fish this morning. Oh, Tiny was hungry! And he left and he returned to the nest at 1:52:44.

Just stop for a minute and look at that form. Beautiful. He will nail that landing.

Someone wrote to me wondering if the parents were teaching Tiny Tot to fish. The answer is: No. The Osprey instinctively know how to fish. The precise programme of how to hold their feet, fit their wings together in that beautiful delta profile and go down head and talons first is in their long, long history – more than 50 million years of it. That doesn’t mean that Tiny is going to go in and catch his first fish easily! Nope. They say on average it takes 15 tries. That could be tiring. I assume the choppier the water the harder the fishing. There are some super star osprey, like Blue 33 (11) who seem to always get their fish on the first try but most don’t.

Everyone is already missing Tiny Tot and he has not left the nest yet. There is a sadness that comes over all that love him just thinking about it. Certainly by September the Ospreys in the north – Canada and the northern US – will get that twitch that calls them to migrate – even for the first time. It just happens. I love the description in Belle’s Journey:

Higher and higher she climbed, making big circles in the sky. As she turned south and faced the ocean, she could feel the earth’s magnetic pull. Something told her that she should go toward the ocean. Soon the water would get cold, and the fish would go down too deep for Belle to catch them. her instincts told her she had to go south, where it would be warm during the winter and food would be abundant.”

Belle had a satellite tracker that showed her migration from Martha’s Vineyard to Brazil. But it doesn’t get cold in Florida like it does farther north. Florida is, in fact, a place where many osprey stay the entire year. Neither Jack or Diane are ringed. They do not have trackers. We do not know if they stay or go. Or one does and one doesn’t. Richmond stays in the San Francisco Bay area – always has. Rosie migrates. They meet at the nest around Valentine’s Day! How utterly sweet.

One thing that is known is that males return to the territory of their natal nest to raise their families. Many take over the nests of their fathers. We do not know if Tiny Tot is a male or a female. Both males and females have necklaces. In fact, Blue 022 on the Poole Harbour Nest has a pretty nice necklace! There he is in front flapping his wings.

If Tiny Tot is a male, I have said that I want to draw and log images of his head. His body will change but not the markings on his head. I want to recognize him if he returns. And, as I am always grumbling, those chicks were not banded! Drives me nuts.

But back to Tiny Tot. Breeding season is a long way off. The only thing that will cause Tiny Tot to naturally move off the nest is his instinct or the parents shifting him off. But since the parents won’t be using the nest again until 2022, they have a free security guard in Tiny Tot. Who knows how long he will be on the nest. Who knows when he will leave. Enjoy every moment he is there – it is all we can do.

And last but not least, if you are missing or thinking you are going to be missing your favourite bird, you can get a fridge magnet. I had one made of Tiny Tot by our local photography store. They are reasonably priced everywhere.

I can talk to Tiny every time I open the fridge!

Thank you for joining me. The birds give me so much joy and there are so many it is hard to keep track. Right now my focus remains on Tiny Tot and Big Red and her family. Then I will be switching to some of the Ospreys that will be fledging soon – and then to the lovely Royal Albatross Cam Chick as she approaches fledge.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, and Cornell Bird Lab and the RTHs. I also want to thank Rebecca Alexander for the video she posted that I have shared and to Lady Hawk for keeping me up to date on the owls and the pigeon.

It really is a great day in Bird World

Can the little Albino Osprey named Zuri see to grab prey from its mom, Landa? That is the question today at the Urdaibai. Yesterday the wee one with its pink eyes and beak had a few tiny bites of fish and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Today, it appears that its eyesight might cause issues in seeing the fish in order to grab it. Let us all send warm wishes over that way in the hope that this is sorted for the better!

Storms moved into the area later in the day. Let us hope that the damp cold moves out quickly!

And there is some good news coming out of Urdaibai. At 16:24:17, Zuri ate some fish. He was able to grab it. Continue with your warm wishes.

Here is a really good image of the nest and perch at the Urdaibai Biosphere.

The BBC did a special programme on Poole Harbour Ospreys. Poole Harbour is on the southern coast of England.

It is hard to imagine, in 2021, that it was 1993 that the first idea for reintroducing Ospreys to the southern coast of Britain began with discussions between Roy Dennis and Colin and Jenni Tubbs. Sadly, Colin died four years later and the project sat. Dennis discussed the possibility with others making several trips to the site and plotting out potential nest sites but, the Poole Harbour Osprey Project got its wings so to speak in July 2016 when funding came through. Eight birds were released successfully with trackers in late June in the area. Between 25 August and 23 September Dennis says that all eight set off for migration for Africa. It was 2017 and three were known to have arrived successfully in Africa. Dennis describes the details and all those involved in pages 393-407 of his most recent book, Restoring the Wild.

The following April, 2018, Blue ringed CJ7, a Rutland three year old arrived looking for a mate. That mate was Blue L57 but in 2020 he did not return from his migration. CJ7 was the subject of the BBC programme. In 2020, CJ7 took ownership of the main nest of the Poole Harbour osprey Project. She wanted a mate. In 2021, she laid five unfertilized eggs which the Ravens acquired.

And then, when the interview was being filmed, as if by magic, a male appeared on the nest, a two year old, a 2019 bird, Blue 022. He got busy with mating with CJ7 right on camera to the surprise of the live audience! It is too late for chicks this year but let us hope that this couple have a long productive life on the Poole Harbour nest.

Blue 022 is a two year old. So happy he stopped in at Poole on his return journey from Africa. Let us hope that this couple raises many chicks on this prime nest on the southern coast of England. Their mating marked a first in 200 years for this part of England. Imagine the celebration when there are chicks on the nest!!!!!

Tiny Tot had an early morning fish delivery to add to the late night one on 2 June. So far Jack is rewarding Tiny with fish as Tiny continues to protect the natal nest. That morning fish delivery came at 6:26:54. sibling #2 hasn’t been around for a day and a bit. Maybe he doesn’t want to battle with the intruder. But better, he is off catching his own fish! That would be brilliant.

After his breakfast, Tiny Tot started doing some nestorations. Gosh, remember. Males return to their natal nest. Oh, how grand it would be if this became Tiny’s nest in the future (now I really hope that Tiny Tot is a male!).

So a fish late last night and one this morning. All of us can relax for the rest of the day.

Good news is also coming out of Glaslyn. Aran’s wing is visually improving and his flight feathers are aligned. Oh, that is simply wonderful. We were all concerned about Aran being able to make his migration to Africa and here it is 3 June and he is healing splendidly. He has taken a fish from the nest and is eating it on the perch. Mrs G would really like some of it! The males are hard wired to provide so let us hope that Aran shares.

And good news out in San Francisco. Fauci and Wek-Wek, two of the fledgling Peregrine Falcons of Annie and Grinnell were on the tower this morning prey calling. Oh, it is so good to see them!

Oh, I couldn’t leave without checking on the storks today. Let us make it one more good moment! My friend, ‘R’ in Pennsylvania really likes the storks so these images are for you, ‘R’.

The community is doing splendid. Both dad and the three storklets are in fine health and the nest has lovely dry straw on it. What an amazing effort.

Dad stork is protecting his babies from the direct sun.

I wonder if they are watching for a fish delivery.

It is nice to close this Thursday posting on a real positive note. So far everything that is going on at the nests appears to be good. Fledglings are returning, storks are growing, the Poole Harbour Osprey Project has its legs so to speak, Tiny Tot has had a fish, and sweet little Zuri has grabbed some fish.

Thanks so much for joining me. Stay cool if you are in the heat warning area of the Canadian prairies, take care, stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Osprey Cam, Urdaibai Biosphere Park, Mlady Buky, UC Falcon Cam, Poole Harbour Ospreys FB Page, and Bwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

Force 11 winds – up to 72 mph – hit Welsh Osprey Nests!

The force 11 winds that hit the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn has scared the pair. Indeed, it hit all of the nests in Wales. As I write this, it is Friday mid-afternoon in Wales and it is only at the Glaslyn nest of Mrs G and Aran that the wind and rain are finally letting up – for now. Just imagine, new born chicks need to be kept dry but they need also to be fed – they can last for a bit after hatching, some say 24 hours. How do you do this when you can’t stand up? and the water is too choppy for fishing? The weather forecast for the long weekend in the United Kingdom is that some areas will receive snow with temperatures dropping to -10. Please send wishes, warm ones, to our friends in the UK.

You could see the fear in the eyes of Telyn desperately trying to hold on to the nest. Idris’s and Telyn’s first chick hatched during the storm. They are both standing on the nest hoping to feed the poor little thing and then worrying that it would literally get picked up and tossed off the nest. Telyn is, as I write this at 9:40 pm on a Thursday night on the Canadian prairies, holding on as best she can.

Idris has brought in a nice piece of fish to feed the little one and Blue 3J, Telyn but the wind is blowing so hard the little one can’t raise its head. 20 May 2021
Telyn hanging on for all her might. She has one new hatch and two eggs under there she is protecting. 21 May 2021
Telyn is soaked. 2o May 2021

I cannot include the sound of the wind whipping this nest around. It is frightening.

Mrs G and Aran have faced the same horrible rain and force 11 winds but they are not as exposed as Telyn and Idris at the Dyfi Nest. It is finally starting to slow down for the Glaslyn nest bringing the hope that soon all of the Osprey nests will get a break.

Mrs G will be giving Aran an earful about not having a fish on that nest for when she can feed the babies! Or, just as likely, she will put him on incubation duties and she will go and catch it herself! I think she has a small fish tail under her with the two Bobs.

That same weather system is impacting all of the Osprey nests – the same system that brought the heavy rain earlier. Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay Osprey nest is also hanging on to the nest.

One can also imagine the difficult fishing conditions that this is going to present to the males who now have little ones who will need to eat in a few hours.

Maya hanging on with her beak and her talons to the nest protecting the Two Bobs. 21 May 2021

Blue 33 (11) showed why he is one of the great super dads in the world of Osprey – he made sure there was fish sitting on the nest for Maya the minute she needs it! I am really impressed. The waters around Manton Bay have been really choppy. These other younger males, such as Laddie, should be doing this. They know when the bad weather is coming albeit they might not be able to gauge just how bad it will be.

It is still really windy on the 21st of May. Maya is sporting one of the new punk hair dos.

The same treacherous winds are rocking the Poole Harbour Osprey Nest around. Blue 022, the 2019 translocated male, and CJ7 have been working on the nest and mating to the delight of hundreds. CJ7 waited for a mate last year and laid eggs here – not fertilized – that were taken by Ravens. Now she has a chance for a very keen two year old to bond with and create a family at her nest. I wonder, however, if it isn’t too late for the 2021 season? Would love to be proved wrong.

What you are seeing below is the work on the nest. You can not hear the ferocious winds or see that nest moving. Fingers crossed that this system moves out of the area quickly!

The unringed young man courting Blue 152 at the Loch Arkaig nest decided that it would be a good time to bond when the winds were whipping around – don’t think it worked out quite the way he was expected! He was blow off his lady!

Sometimes wind is welcome. There is nothing more stunning than seeing a pair of juvenile Red-tail hawks find the thermals and go soaring in the sky. I remember watching Big Red soar last year – it was so beautiful. I can still see J2 and J3 soaring together last summer. What a grand sight it was – the two brothers (or at least we thought they were two males) out having great fun together. J3 kept going that day, the little one, finding his way in the world while J2 came back down and stayed another week or so.

Tonight on the Achieva Osprey Nest, the wind was also gusting. Tiny Tot has, of course, been doing more wingersizing and has started hovering. This evening that seemed to take on a new intensity in part because sibling 2 was on the nest. It is easy to forget that sibling 2 was responsible for Tiny Tot not eating, sometimes for three days at a time. I can still see, if I close my eyes, the two instances where Tiny Tot went into a rage and went for sibling #2. I am sure he felt he had nothing to lose – he was already going to die if he didn’t get some food. It was the second instance that I believe Diane took some notice because it was that day or the morning after that she brought in a big catfish and made sure Tiny Tot ate its fill. With that little bit of background, it is easy to understand that there is a higher level of competition between the siblings now that #2 is returning to the nest for food.

Synchronized wingersizing. Tiny Tot and sibling #2. 20 May 2021

Tonight, around 8:15 Tiny Tot put on a performance. He let the wind hit his wings and he flapped and he hovered jumping all over part of the nest. You could almost see him saying, ‘See, I can do it, too!’

I hope that the presence of sibling 2 does not encourage him to fledge – although, Tiny Tot will fledge. Let us all quietly wish that he knows to fly out and return to the nest, exploring his surroundings for several weeks while still being fed by mom.

Wheeeeeee. Look at the height that Tiny got on that hover! Of course, he’s a bird and flying is what he lives to do.

At one time it looked like he was flapping a lot so he would irritate sibling #2 and he would get off the nest!

Oh, Tiny Tot. When the wind takes you away, remember to come back – stay with us a little longer and get your bearings. You are certainly equipped to survive and if only 1 out of 3 does survive, my money is on you!

What a gorgeous bird you have become!

It was soooooooo nice to wake up and have Tiny Tot still on the nest this morning!

Switching gears quite a bit, you may recall the two White-tail eaglets at the nest in the Matsula National Park in Estonia. EE1 and EE2 died within approximately 24 hours of one another. When the chicks were removed from the nest for the post-mortem, many felt that it had been poison consumed by a prey item that they had eaten. They thought they had died of secondary poisoning. The results have come in and both of the little ones died of Avian Influenza Virus (AIV).

There are many subspecies of AIV and the posting did not specify which one the eaglets had. We commonly think of ‘bird flu’ with caged chickens, geese, and other water fowl but AIV is also found in raptors. They can ‘catch it’ from eating infected carcasses. The virology journals have a large number of studies on the transmission. While it is very sad that the little ones died, there was absolutely nothing that the parents, Eve and Eerik, could have done to prevent the deaths. They are opportunistic hunters and take what food they can get – the prey isn’t labelled contaminated with bird flu virus or rodenticide. It is very sad but there is great hope that the parents are large enough and strong enough to overcome AIV – because they would have eaten the same carcasses. I do hope Eve and Eerik are alright.

I want to leave you with a few images of Big Red and Arthur’s Ks. They are growing so fast and are sooooo cute.

It is really going to be a hot one for Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks. The temperatures are heading up to 31 degrees C. Yesterday, in the image above, Big Red provides shade for the Ks. She positioned herself in different areas of the nest so that the little ones would not get over heated.

It is noon and the shade is still on the nest. The Ks are having their lunch, lined up nicely just like Big Red teaches them to do. She will remain vigilant in keeping her wee ones cool as she can. I wonder if these high temperatures are impacting Arthur’s hunting?

The weather is raking havoc for many bird families – from the high winds and rain to unseasonable snow and -10 degree temperatures forecast for much of the UK nests to the heat in the US.

At 4am on 21 May 2021, snow began falling on the nest of Iris in Missoula, Montana. The eggs were exposed. If there was any thought that they could have been viable, they definitely are not now.

Snow begins to fall on Iris’s eggs in the early morning hours of 21 May 2021.

I think just about everyone is having a long weekend. We may call it by a different name but, for those working, it is a chance for an extra day not to be at the office. So, please enjoy! The much needed rain has come to the Canadian prairies. The leaves have burst and my garden is green and full of Brown Thrashers thumping the ground. It is cool and winter socks and sweaters are the order of our Friday!

Thank you to the following streaming cameras and their sponsors where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Scottish Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Brwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, and LRWT Manton Bay.