Friday Morning Nest Hopping

Sad news arrived on Thursday night. Millie, a young Kakapo, was found deceased. This brings the total number of Kakapo to 204.

Millie sadly died.

In Latvia, the rain has been falling hard all day Thursday. The heavy drops sounded like hail hitting the microphone of the streaming cam. Milda has to work hard to both feed her miracle chick and to keep it warm and dry. That little one has no protection against the weather! That will come when she gets some thermal down but still, she will not be protected fully from the weather until we have juvenile contour feathers.

Rain had stopped on 23 April and Milda looks at her miracle baby.

The wind was really strong on the White-Tailed Eagle nest at Durbe, Latvia Friday morning but the rain had stopped. Milda looks at her little miracle in the nest. By afternoon the winds had calmed and the songbirds sing to Milda as she calls out to Mr C.

Milda is talking to Mr C. 23 April 2021

Milda’s eaglet is so cute and so healthy. Bird World needed something wonderful and the miracle of this little chick hatching in a nest in Latvia was it! It is really endearing to watch Milda feed her last chick with her deceased mate, Raimis.

Milda feeding her chick. 22 April 2021

I wrote with tears running down my cheeks earlier because Tiny Tot had really done well with the feedings, trying to steal a piece of fish from an older sibling, and having success grabbing a large piece from Mom that Dad has just delivered. Well, why did I think that would be the end of the day? At 6:59:57 on Thursday evening Jack arrives on the nest with a really nice headless fish.

One of the older chicks wants that whole fish but Jack seems to be waiting around for Diane to arrive. Maybe he shared the head with her? Let’s hope so. She has done an amazing job today equalizing the feeding on this nest.

But wait! Diane has other ideas. She arrives with another fish at 7:02:58. Wow. Within three minutes the nest has two fish deliveries. This is how this nest should have been going all along. Keep it up!

Of course, 2 thinks she should have both fish.

Diane looks like she is comparing her catfish to the one that the older sibling has from Jack. Oh, Diane’s fish is still alive!

I could paste fifty screen shots but, instead, I will just cut to the chase. 2 has its own fish so Diane is feeding 1. But where is Tiny Tot?

At 7:14:28 Tiny Tot is between mom’s legs getting fed. Diane moves the fish to the right corner of the nest. Tiny Tot only stopped eating to do a ps at 8:09:15.

Tiny Tot is full to the brim and finally quits eating at 8:10:10. He has eaten approximately half a catfish in this last feeding. Look at the picture above. His legs are fatter and you can see his round little bottom again. Tiny Tot staggers to the middle of the nest and passes out in a food coma. Sweet dreams little one!

It was a brilliant day on this nest on Thursday. Jack and Diane seem to have gotten their act together in terms of what is needed for food. Giving the older siblings small fish or their own piece allows Diane to feed Tiny Tot. We know that he can also self-feed. Let us hope they remember this strategy and do the same tomorrow. Diane finished feeding the big ones at 8:28 and she also got some nice bites herself – well deserved.

On Friday morning, there was some catfish left from last night (a bit and the bones) and 2 deliveries on the Achieva Nest. One looked like a flounder (or a flat fish) and another was a chunk of catfish. Tiny Tot did not get any of the first flat fish that I could see but he did get some of the big chunk that came at 8:08:18. Diane fed him some and then he took a piece at 8:28:50 and was self-feeding. Diane also fed Tiny something (perhaps the piece he was self-feeding and the old piece of catfish). There is Tiny Tot standing up nicely at the rim of the nest looking at mom when he is all finished.

Grinnell is doing the late night Thursday feeding at the UC Berkeley falcon nest. Isn’t he handsome? And as of Friday morning we still have three little marshmallows.

22 April 2021. Grinnell comes in for a late feeding of his adorable eyasses.

It is a gorgeous day on Skidiway island and there are two very healthy and alert Osplets on that nest. No sign of anything happening with that third egg (yippee).

Lunch for two. 23 April 2021

Over at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville, Legacy really enjoys her fish delivery early this morning. She is a super strong beautiful ebony coloured eaglet. All eyes are on Samson and Gabby’s 2021 chick as she continues branching. Fledge is coming soon!

Gabby and Samson continue to feed Legacy well and teach her lessons about stealing food – things she did not learn with another sibling in the nest. Legacy is going to be a magnificent eagle!

Legacy enjoying her breakfish. 23 April 2021
Legacy looking out to the wide world. She will be flying soon. 23 April 2021

Tomorrow, 24 April is the expected hatch of Big Sur’s California condors, Redwood Queen and Phoenix. Oh, I hope that egg is viable. It was laid on 4 March. What a wonderful thing for these two that both survived huge fires in their lives.

Phoenix coming in to incubate the egg. Hatch watch tomorrow. 23 April 2021

And you might remember that I was looking into third hatch Ospreys – the ones like Tiny Tot that had been battered by their older siblings. My friend ‘T in Strasbourg’ had contacted someone in Wales for me. I am very interested in the ‘survival’ rate of the ‘threes’ and Z1 was identified as an osprey like Tiny Tot who returned as a juvenile as a fierce Osprey. The last sighting I could find of him was 4 April 2020. Well news came this morning in a list on the Loch Garten FB page that Z1 arrived at his nest in Snowdonia on 1 April along with his unringed female mate. Oh, I wish I could put together a list of these third hatches that survived. Z1 is the only one of his clutch to migrate and return – now three years! Fantastic. If you think of any third hatches that were bonked and battered but survived to return from their first migration, please do let me know. I would really appreciate it.

Thank you so much for joining me today. As you can tell I am really excited about the progress that Tiny Tot has made in the past few days. It looks like all of the birds heading into the weekend are doing well. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Ventana Wildlife Society, Achieva Credit Union Osprey, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Latvian Wildlife Fund, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidiway Audubon. Thanks also to the Kakapo Recovery FB Page where I took the image of Millie.

Friday in Bird World – the good and the darn right maddening

It doesn’t ‘feel’ like there is much happening in Bird World today which probably means that a lot will take place just when I finish writing this!

Roy Dennis’s new book was released today. You can get a signed copy with a dedication if you order directly through the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation. The form has tabs for calculating the postage and the funds will go directly to Roy and his projects. Not to you know who. Perhaps that person would like to fund some Osprey Projects – just a thought.

Dennis is featured in an article, Conservation Legend Roy Dennis: We’re facing an ecological crisis, but it’s exciting too in The Guardian’s Environmental section. Dennis is eighty years old and for the past sixty years he has been at the cutting edge, the pioneer in conservation action. Without his efforts, there would be fewer raptors – or any wildlife – for that matter in the United Kingdom. In 1961, he was working hard to protect Osprey eggs from collectors! He was at Rutland Water in attempts to reintroduce the Osprey with translocations from Scotland. His most recent triumph is the reintroduction of the White-tailed Eagle. Dennis says that over the years he has learned something about ecological restoration. “When you suggest something, you get all this opposition,” says Dennis. “When you start doing it, the difficulties just disappear. Once it’s successful, the opposition claim they were supportive at the beginning.” Everyone thought that the eagles would disturb the sheep or starve to death. Neither has been true. The people of the Isle of Wight where the White-tailed Eagles were placed are thriving and Dennis gets news of the delight as people watch them soar and fish. Many say they didn’t know there were so many rabbits in the fields for prey or fish in the seas. Dennis is not-retiring. He has many, many more projects. The book is 18.99 GBP.

As anticipated, Mrs G laid her third egg today at the Glaslyn Nest. Aran was on the nest doing some additions to the walls at the time. Do you realize that this is Mrs G’s 18th season in Wales? Amazing bird. The grand dame of the Welsh ospreys.

16 April 2021

And then…there were 3!

16 April 2021

Blue 3J Telyn and Idris welcomed egg 2 yesterday at the Dyfi Nest in Wales.

There is number 2 egg. 15 April 2021

Now to the Osprey Nest that sends me yelling like someone is pulling out my fingernails. There have actually been three fish delivered on the Achieva Osprey nest today. One came in at 10:43:36. No worries about 2 being sick. It had to have been a pellet because 2 is back to being its normal self – aggressive towards Tiny Tot. While the others are busy being fed by Diane, Tiny Tot looks over and sees a fish! Seriously. A fish just laying in the nest. He must not have believed his eyes. There it is – look!

It wasn’t long until 2 noticed that Tiny Tot was mantling something and went over to investigate. Tiny Tot turned almost an entire 360 degrees protecting ‘his’ fish before 2 took it away. I wish Tiny Tot would get rewarded for being clever.

But no. Diane took the fish and fed it to 1 and 2 while Tiny Tot got nothing – not a single flake of fish.

Later he found a piece of bone in the nest with some flakes of fish and chewed at it.

There is another fish delivery at 1:40:25. Of course, 1 and 2 are still not full form the two other fish they have eaten. Tiny is waiting as I write this. It is 2:26:42, forty-seven minutes into the feeding and he is up trying to get a few bites. The question is: will there even be a morsel left for Tiny? We need steady fish deliveries today if Tiny is to be fed well.

By 2:39:40 Tiny Tot has moved away. There is fish left but the two are still eating. All I can do is hope and breathe. Tiny Tot needs food today.

At 3:10, Tiny is still chewing on his bone and the others are still eating. That fish is almost gone. What we need is another fish delivery quickly so that Tiny can have it all to himself. Not a long wait with a delivery at 7:30 pm and the others are hungry again. Hang in there Tiny Tot.

At 3:14:40 the fish tail was in Diane’s mouth and Tiny Tot had not eaten. The last good feed to fill Tiny’s crop was that early morning fish at 3:21:36 on 15 April. He still had a crop yesterday at 12:04:16. Breathe, Mary Ann. Maybe if another fish comes in he will get some of it. It is very disappointing.

Ever since the 12th of March when the competition on the Achieva nest began to fester – yes, it has been going on that long – I have thought an awful lot about the third hatch on these Osprey nests. As I have said many times, the male is called the tercel in falconry terms because it was believed in medieval times that the third egg was always a male. Tiny has survived what Tapps at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, one at Hellsgate, another at Savannah and on and on did not. Tiny Tot is still alive. Yes, he is small, yes his growth is stunted. In the 42 days that he has been alive – ten of them or nearly 25% of the time he does not get fed. It is no wonder that he is smaller. Good feeds like he had on a couple of days would make a world of difference now that he should be growing faster.

I began to think about all of the younger sibs that survived some extremely brutal attacks by their older sibs to become great hunters and flyers. Clearly Tiny understands mantling, being alert, keeping his head down so he does not get physically injured. I still say that 2 could kill Tiny Tot if it set its mind to it. Indeed, I have seen 2 intimidate Diane, the mother. But what about this runt business? ‘The Survival of the Fittest’? Is the fittest the larger one, the more aggressive one? what about being clever and figuring out all the work arounds.

So I began to ask people about the runts who surprised everyone. Thanks to my friend ‘T’ in Strasbourg who contacted someone else in Wales they came up with two examples, out of many, to debunk the myth that I did not know about. One example is Green 5R (04). Green 5R (04) was the son of White 03 (97) and female, Green 05 (00). Was treated with great aggression by its older sister, a female. But Green 5R (04) goes on to make history. He was the first osprey to return to England in 150 years! Green 5R (04) did this in 2006 at the age of two years. Green 5R (04) went on to breed at Rutland’s Mantou Bay from 2010-13. He failed to return from his winter migration in 2014. — I am sure glad he didn’t get tossed over the edge of the nest! Then there was Blue IZ (2016) beaten up badly by Blue 24. His father is Monty who at the time had two females on his arm. Blue 24 is on one nest and Glesni is on another. Monty eventually abandons Blue 24 in favour of Glesni. But Blue 24 was a tough bird. We all know how hard it is to hatch an egg being a single bird mom. Blue 24 had three eggs but only two hatched. It is a wonder they survived. One was Cerie Z0 (16) and the other was 1Z or Tegid. Tegid fledged when he was 50 days old on 18 July. He began his first winter migration on 26 August. Tegid returned as a fierce Osprey on 19 May 2018. Two days later, on 21 May, he visited the nest where he had hatched.

In 2019, Tegid challenged Aran for the Glaslyn Nest. He got Aran off the nest for a bit but, in the end, Aran is still at the Dyfi nest with his mate, Mrs G, in 2021. So where is Tegid?

On 4 April 2020, Tegin had landed on the Clywedog Nest and was there with Blue 5F. Watchers thought it was great that the two were together and maybe they would strike up a partnership but they needed to find their own nest! Another noted, ‘Blue 5F and Blue Z1 were together most of last year and spent a lot of time together at two different platforms , one being the Pont Croesor at Glaslyn’.

So what did Tegid do after the sighting above and where is he in 2021? If you know, please do send me a comment. It is possible that he is alive at an unmonitored nest?

Thank you for joining me and thank you to ‘T’ and her source for the information on runt ospreys. We all continue to wait. I am waiting for the hatch at UC Berkeley Peregrine Falcons, the arrival of Alia at the Loch Arkaig Nest, and for Tiny Tot to get fed. It is going to be a long night!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I grabbed my images: Achieva Osprey, Clywedog, Cors Dyfi Wildlife Reserve, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.