Early Monday in Bird World

18 April 2022

The sun is shining bright, the sky is blue with some clouds, and the Dark-eyed Juncos and European Starlings arrived in the garden three or four hours ago! There is not supposed to be more snow for another five or six days – thankfully.

Mr Woodpecker came for some of the suet a few hours later. Normally he goes to the suet cylinder with the wooden flap that helps him sit better but today he decided he wanted the peanut suet.

I love the rustic garden we have created that allows us to interact with wildlife in an urban setting rather than setting boundaries to keep the birds, the squirrels, the rabbits, and sometimes a raccoon separate and apart. We seem to have all found a way to coexist which certainly brings a lot of joy.

I received a note from a friend of forty years this morning. They live in a beautiful flat in New Zealand near a place where they can observe ducks and swans but, with the sale of the family cottage, they are now longing for a home with a large garden. Whether it is a large or small space, each of us can bring joy to our lives by helping our feathered or furred friends. In fact, it is often so much easier to manage a small space with a single feeder. Everything helps! Yesterday a huge flock of robins came to our neighbours. She didn’t have seed of any kind but she had dried cranberries, frozen blueberries, and some apples she chopped up. The Robins were very grateful.

The day started off really well for Little Bit at the UFlorida Osprey nest in Gainesville. Mum called and Dad brought another fish to her at 09:34.

Little Bit – in the middle – stretches its neck really far and gets some amazing bites of fish. This little one is not bothered at all when it comes to putting its head in front of Big sibling. Did I actually think at one time this wee baby would not survive? He is so feisty and what a great Mum he has. She tries each beak when she has flakes of fish. Not one of the chicks is ever left out. Slow and methodical. I am so impressed by her.

Big Bob (left) has its dark oily head today and has been seen doing a lot of preening as its new darker-grey wooly down comes in. Little Bit (middle) still looks rather soft and young. It is healthy – look at that fat little bottom. Middle Bob (top right) is in between the other two siblings. Tomorrow Middle Bob will look much more like Big Bob. The dinosaur phase is upon us.

Yesterday, at the Captiva osprey nest, the last fish was delivered around noon. Was recreational boat traffic the cause of no deliveries later in the day? I always wonder especially on a holiday weekend.

The first fish today came in and Middle grabbed it. I think Lena was planning on dividing it up but she didn’t get a chance. [Chat uses the term ‘Little’ when I say Middle]. I hope Andy brings in another fish soon for Lena and Little [Mini].

Idris brought in a super fish for Telyn at the Dyfi nest and then incubated the eggs for her so she could have a good feed.

Idris is one of my favourites.

Aran and Mrs G have both been on the alert this morning at the Glaslyn nest. No eggs so far – that’s a good thing.

Aran looking around from the rim of the nest.

Mrs G. looking at the intruder above the nest.

Both on the look out from the perch. There are still floaters around looking for a mate and a nest. They often cause a bit of chaos.

Yesterday, Blue NC0 laid her third and, hopefully, last egg of the 2022 season. If all three hatch, Laddie LM12 is going to be one busy male at the Loch of the Lowes. Last year the couple fledged two chicks.

Here is a short video clip of the third egg being laid.

Maya and Blue 33 (11) will have the first Osprey chicks to hatch on the streaming cams in the UK. I will alert you as we approach pip.

All three eaglets at the West End had a nice early breakfast. Thunder told them to stay away from the edge!

There were some gorgeous views from the Two Harbours nest at sunrise.

Chase wanted some time with the eaglet so he brought in a big stick and coaxed Cholyn off the nest. Sounds just like Shadow at the Big Bear Valley nest! You can see that stick to the side of Chase.

The Pittsburgh Hayes eagle nest would sure like some of that warm California Sun today. Everyone looks miserable. I can only imagine what that stock of fish smells like.

Unbelievable. Only Bob at the National Arboretum nest is no longer a fluffy little white teddy bear. Just look at that eaglet with that big crop. There is still some white natal down on its head.

The image below is the eaglet on 6 April. Twelve days ago! The saying is: An eaglet grows from three inches to 3 feet in 3 months. That is incredible.

Mother Goose has her eggs in the old abandoned Bald Eagle nest at Decorah North in Iowa. She seems to be doing fine. No disturbances and unlike dear sweet Diasy, Mother Goose has help.

The camera operator searched and found the Bald Eagles working on their new nest this morning. It is really windy!!!!!!!!

Harry and Nancy were both on the Minnesota DNR nest as snow was falling this morning. Everyone was having a big feast. Each parent was eating and feeding an eaglet. Beautiful.

Liberty and Guardian were both on the Redding Bald Eagle nest this morning too. It looks, from the size of all of these eaglets, that we are really going to be busy when they all start fledging at once!

Would you like an opportunity to name the two Redding eaglets? Here is where you go to fill in the form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepb87S7zrcMZI6PXzhLCeFD6t21xj5sjw7mEV9n2aT_34CWg/viewform

Names already used include the following: Liberty, Patriot, Spirit, Guardian, Conehead, Freedom, Hope, Peace, Shasta, Justice, Stormy, Windy, Lassen, Pi, Paddy, Poppy, Birdie, Bogey, Solo, River, Sky, Hope, Honor, Glory & Rebel.

The whole family was on the nest this morning at Big Bear after Shadow brought in a really super fish.

What a peaceful image. Spirit looking out on Big Bear Lake while Jackie finishes up some fish. Spirit has such a huge crop! Glad there was some fish left for Jackie.

While the ‘New Guy’ is incubating, Annie chases an unwanted male from The Campanile. Oh, and we so wished Annie would have some peace and quiet.

We are waiting for the announcement of the name for ‘The New Guy’.

Jan brought some moss to soften the nest that he shares with his mate, Janika. Their artificial nest is in Jogeva County in Estonia. It was built in 2021. Black Storks are very rare in Estonia and everything is done to encourage them to nest successfully. If you look carefully you can see that there are two eggs already in the nest.

Big Red and Arthur have been taking turns incubating the four eggs. In fact, this year, Arthur has become a bit bolder in his attempts to get Big Red off the nest so that he can care for the eggs, too. We will be on pip watch at the end of the week. I won’t be able to sleep!!!!!!

In past years we have seen Big Red encrusted in snow, blow off by high winds, and drenched by torrential rains. With four eyases it will be imperative that they get under the adult until they are able to regulate their own temperature if bad weather hits the Cornell campus.

Big Red is certainly a good name for the Queen of Red-tail Hawks. She has the most gorgeous deep red plumage whereas Arthur is lighter.

You can really tell the difference in the couple’s colouring by looking at BR above and then Arthur below.

It has been a wonderful day, so far, at the nests. That is a great way to begin the week. Thank you so much for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey Cam, Captiva Osprey Cam and Window for Wildlife, Dyfi Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Scottish Wildlife Trust, LRWT, Explore.org, Pix Cams, NADE-AEF, MN-DNR, Redding Eagles, FOBBV, Cal Falcons, Eagle Club of Estonia, and Cornell Bird Lab RTH.

Sunday in Bird World

10 April 2022

Hi Everyone. It has been a nice day on the Canadian Prairies. The Dark Eyed-Juncos, that I have mentioned earlier, are descending on lawns all over our City today. It is lovely to have them back with us!

Cal Falcons posted a link to an Instagram feed that features some beautiful images and a lovely tribute to our beloved, Grinnell. Please read the text. Go to the feed to see the images. If you missed this, here is the link:

Cal Falcons also had a super cute image of ‘New Guy’ relaxing on the ledge. Like everyone in Berkeley, I hope – as I know you do – that the rest of the time for hatching and feeding eyases and fledging is completely and utterly boring and uneventful. This Peregrine Falcon nest has had enough drama!

New Guy is really growing on me.

Thought the day could not get any better until it was discovered that both female CJ7 who has been longing for a mate and found one too late last year – and Blue 022 – who became smitten with her – have reunited on the Poole Harbour nest!!!!!

If this couple hatches osprey chicks this year, it will be the first time Ospreys have hatched in Poole Harbour in over 200 years. And that is a big Wow in the Osprey world.

Aran returned as previously reported and him and Mrs G are getting reacquainted. Aran is one handsome Osprey!

Here is the link to the streaming cam for Mrs G and Aran at Glaslyn:

One of the things that I really admire about Emyr Evans and the Dyfi team is the amount of data they collect on their Ospreys. Here is Telyn on the nest.

Idris is unringed. Tely is Blue 5F. Idris is known for his great fishing abilities and his long legs which often earns him the nickname, ‘Daddy Longlegs’. Here he is enjoying a fish on his perch today.

If you look at the chart below, you will see that Idris replaced Monty at the Dyfi nest in 2020. They fledged two chicks and in 2021 they also fledged two chicks, a male and a female, not recorded yet on the chart.

This is a highly recommended Osprey nest to watch with chat. Emry Evans often stops in to answer questions and say hi. Here is the link to the streaming cam.

There are expectations that Blue NC0 is thinking of laying her first egg of the season with mate LM12, Laddie, grew more intense today as she kept close to the nest.

Ospreys have been breeding at the idyllic site for more than 50 years.

No eggs yet. I often think that Laddie could treat NC0 a little better. Last year she proved that she was as good a fisher as he was – if not better – hauling in large fish for the kids as they grew bigger and demanded more.

Here is the link to the camera at the Loch of the Lowes:

Blue 33 (11) and Maya always seem to be ahead of everyone else! They arrive early and get down to business. Their three eggs were laid on 31 March, 3 and 6th of April.

Their nest is often comical and/or sweet. Blue 33 is a great dad. There is fish on the nest at first light for Maya and the kids once the osplets hatch. Here is the link to their webcam at Rutland Water:

It is always a great day when Middle Little at Dale Hollow eats well and has a big crop. That would be today. Click on the streaming cam and Middle Little is looking good.

A big headless fish came in at 13:01:04. The parent did not immediately feed the eaglets but returned at 14:50:37 and fed Middle Little with Big looking on (below).

Middle Little did a lot of snatch and grabs when Big came up to get some nice fish, too.

Middle Little’s crop looks like it wants to pop. All is well.

The Ospreys at Skidaway Island have checked on their nest on and off while the Great Horned Owl raised Little Grey. Little Grey has branched and the Ospreys are anxious to reclaim their nest and start working on it.

As I have always said, Thunder and Akecheta’s triplets just put a smile on my face. This nest has done fabulous this year – no pecking, no fighting, no one scared to eat. Well done!

Thank you so much for joining me today in Bird World. Always good to have you here. Take care everyone. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, People’s Post Code Lottery and Scottish Wildlife Trust, LWRT, DHEC, Cornell Bird Lab, and Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

Tuesday Nest Hopping

Well, dear Tiny Tot did return to the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest this morning. Made me feel all joyful! He was on the perch and a bird buzzed him at 12:09:58. A full seconds later Tiny Tot leaves the perch. Was he in hot pursuit? Or was he just fed up being annoyed? The adult intruder had been on the nest earlier, too, when Tiny Tot was not there but it seems to be the Mockingbird that was a nuisance. Small birds love to annoy Big Birds. And how much longer will Tiny come to the nest? I wonder.

That adult intruder comes in every so often just to check things out. When Tiny arrives, it leaves! Tiny has made an impression – don’t mess with Tiny! Good.

Here comes Tiny heading for the perch at 11:07:27! You don’t see the adult Osprey – it took off the minute it saw Tiny arriving. Jack really does need to agree on a hefty amount of fish for this little one for securing the family nest all the time. :)))))

Oh, it is so nice to see you, Tiny Tot.

Tiny Tot is on the perch. If you look to the right and slightly up you will see the nuisance bird flying away from the nest.

Tiny flew off at 12:10:28 to the left.

Across the continent, Rosie is on the Whirley Crane nest in Richmond, California, with the trio. The chicks were banded on 4 June.

Isn’t that just a gorgeous location for a nest? Richmond is a great provider. This is their fifth season as parents. Rosie will stay around til the trio are well and truly fledged and independent then she will migrate. Richmond does not leave the area in the winter so he will be there helping the fledglings if necessary until they leave the territory.

Those white storks in Mlady Buky are really growing. Just miss a day and they look all grown up! And look how clean and dry they are. This is one of the best feel good stories of this year – it really is. I would love to wake up every morning and be surrounded by people who care about all living things.

Look carefully. You can see the throat pouch in the image below. Remember storks make a lot of sounds but they do not have vocal chords like songbirds. Instead, they clatter their bill together very, very fast and the noise resonates in this throat pouch making it much louder – like an amplifier.

Looking at how quickly these three are growing made me realize that I also need to check on Karl II and Kaia’s three storklings. They are the Black Storks in a nest in Southern Estonia.

Here is Kaia looking down at the three of them. Oh, I am so hoping that enough food arrives on this nest so that the little third hatch will survive. Kaia is a new mother and Karl II’s old mate, Kita, laid 5-7 eggs and they could not feed them all. Kita was known for tossing one or two of the small ones off the side of the nest. It is understandable when there is a food shortage but it looks like Karl II might have this under control and if Kaia only lays three eggs then they might fledge all their storklings without hardship.

Karl II and Kaia take turns feeding and watching the storklings. That is Kaia above. She has no bands on her legs – makes her easy to recognize. Those long legs help her wade through the long grasses and water in search of food.

Here comes Karl II. See his band. Kaia moves off the nest for her break to eat and forage for food for the storklings. So everything is just fine on this nest also. So far the day has been good for the birds I have checked on.

Taking turns.

In Wales, the camera operator gave everyone a good tour of the landscape that is the territory around the nest of Aran and Mrs G. For those of you unfamiliar, Mrs G is the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom. She is 21. Her and Aran lost all three of their 2021 hatches due to Aran being injured while protecting the nest. He lost some primary feathers and could not fish. The community provided a fish table. Everyone ate but the wee ones not having food for 48 hours meant they could not be saved. Aran and Mrs G are getting their strength back and Aran is now flying much better. They are a strong established couple and will return next year from their African migration to try again.

Isn’t this just the most idyllic setting? There is a beautiful pond, an old stone fence along with cows and sheep. You can almost ‘hear’ the landscape!

All the rain made the Welsh countryside emerald green.

Now look carefully. Can you spot the Osprey?

Gorgeous landscape around the Glaslyn Osprey Nest.

The Two Bobs at the Rutland Manton Nest look almost as big as Maya and Blue 33 (11). Looks like it is time for some fish!

Blue 33 brings in a nice fish for Maya and the lads.

Now this image is really making me happy. The other day Idris got one of those mesh bags that holds produce – like oranges – caught on either his talons or a fish. It got into the nest with Telyn and the two Bobs. Thankfully no one was injured. The staff were watching it closely and if necessary, they would remove it. Otherwise they were going to wait to remove the mesh when the Bobs are banded at the end of the month.

Here is an image of the Two Bobs and the mesh the other day. You can imagine how worrying this was for everyone. You can also see the flat crops of each of the osplets, the down off their heads and the feathers growing in, and their deep amber eyes. They are in the reptile phase and for some, this is not so attractive as when they have either their natal down or their juvenile feathers. They really do remind us that Ospreys were around 50 million years ago – and as my son tells me – scientists only figured out that dinosaurs had feathers a few years ago so are they birds? or dinosaurs?

Another way that humans endanger wildlife is not disposing properly of our rubbish.

And this is today. Oh, what a relief. I hope someone finds that mesh and disposes of it properly.

Mesh is gone fron the Dyfi nest! Yeah.

Wattsworth has brought in a really nice fish to Electra on the Cowlicks PUD Osprey Nest in Washington State. I sure hope she takes the time to feed each oproperly. There was an awful lot of aggression on this nest yesterday and I am going to put it flatly on Electra for the lack of feeding when she had fish in hand on Sunday.

Wattsworth delivers a big fish – now feed your babies til they are bursting Electra!

And speaking of little bobs – oh, my. The third hatch at Foulshaw Moss of White YW and Blue 35 is really a wee lad. Everything is fine as long as food is not around but there is also a lot of aggression and it seems that there needs to be more fish delivered. Come on White YW!

Bob Three is really so tiny. He is cuddled up with sibling 2 having a nap. Of course sibling 1 is so big that it wants all the food but – Bob 3 is still here with us today and that is a good day in my books.

Wee little hatch 2 at Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria.

The only child of Dylan and Seren is just in fish heaven. Growing up with no competition, s/he will need the parents to help it understand how to survive in the wild – the fight for the fish! I wonder if they will do that?? Certainly Bald Eagles train their only eaglets by pretending to be surrogate siblings. Samson did a wonderful job with Legacy on the Northeast Florida nest in Jacksonville.

All that chartreuse is moss. The first time I looked I thought it was another mesh bag. Is it just me or does this nest need some tidying?

And my last check in, the two Bobs up at Loch of the Lowes with Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Gosh. They are looking good, too.

It is so nice to stop in and find that everyone seems to be doing alright on a Tuesday. No telling what Wednesday will bring but for now, these birds are surviving.

I want to thank ‘S’ for writing to me and telling me that Tiny Tot had returned to the nest. It is much appreciated as are all your letters. Tomorrow I am going to explain something I learned today – the difference between the Migratory Birds Treaty of 1917-18 and the Wildlife Protection Acts of each individual province including my own.

Thank you for joining me. Smile. It is a great day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Mlady Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, LRWT and Rutland Water, Clywedog Osprey Project, Carnyx Wild, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Achieva Credit Union, Bwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD, and Golden Gate Audubon.

Excitement in Osprey Land

There is a lot of excitement today in Wales. First up it is the tenth anniversary of the very first hatch at Dyfi in almost 400 years. At the time people were getting in their cars and driving as fast as they could to get there to see the historic birth.

The parents were the infamous Monty and White 03/08, a Rutland hatch, who was called ‘Nora’. Monty is named after the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. Monty arrived at the newly erected platforms on the western coast of mid-Wales in 2008 but he did not breed until 2011. This historic hatch, the first of many future ones, turns out to be Einon (Blue DH), the second egg. The first egg hatched second andit was Dulas (Blue 99) followed by Leri (Blue DJ).

They were all fitted with satellite trackers and this is what they looked like at the time:

Here is an image of that historic hatch. Monty is unringed and he was incubating the eggs at the time. Nora looks on. Monty’s first hatch!

And here is the video. The camera work is a little grainy but it is a historic document and how wonderful. The reintroduction of Ospreys to Wales was on its way. Many of Monty’s chicks now have their own nest and there are, of course, Monty’s grandchildren.

Today, Monty’s last mate, Telyn, is on the Dyfi Nest with Idris. Telyn picked a good mate to try and fill Monty’s shoes. Here they are today with their two Bobs, a big fish, and a worrisome piece of netting. Idris is standing on the fish he just brought in and Telyn has the blue Darvin ring, 3J.

One of my favourites out of Monty’s and Glasni’s (before Telyn) chicks is one that my friend ‘T’ introduced me to – Z1 or Tegid of the ‘white egg’. He was a tiny scrapper who survived his migrations and has been breeding on an unmonitored nest in Wales for the past two years. He hatched in 2016. Tegid is one of the little third hatches that I am acquiring information on – you see I don’t always buy the fact that the idea of the survival of the fittest always means the big bully sibling. It is like Tiny Tot, the third hatch on the Achieva Osprey nest in 2021. He almost starved to death and today, through being clever, tenacious, persistent and having a strong urge to live, Tiny Tot has been protecting his natal nest from intruders. I hope one day it is his! (if he is really a he).

Z1 is really a handsome bird. My goodness. I wonder if his sibling, Z2 Aeron on the PC nest near Dyfi this year, is as good looking.

Just stopping in to catch up a couple of other nests. Only one egg out of the three hatched for Dylan and Seren at the Clywedog Nest this year. That Bob is really spoiled!

Everything is fine up at the Loch of the Lowes. Both of the chicks are really in the reptileian phase of their plumage. They are so dark!

I love the image below – little Bob staring Big Bog straight in the eyes like he is telling her not to mess with him!

NC0 filled both of them up and they went into food comas. She had some fish and a nap herself.

The two remaining osplets on the Urdaibai Biosphere Osprey nest appear to be fine. There is some concern about their eyes but, hopefully it will prove to be just an irritant.

Landa removed the body of sweet little Zuri from the nest where she had buried it at 17:31:03.

The three Bobs at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria had a nice big feed by mom today. It was especially nice to see the smallest Bob get its fill. Sometimes it is hard to be the smallest one but, again, look at Z1 Tegid or Tiny Tot. These little ones can do great things. Little Bob is two weeks old today and its two bigger siblings are entering their biggest growth spurt where they will gain 40g a day. That is the equivalent, Foulshaw Moss says, of a human gaining 2kg a day! Wow.

There is lots more news but one event that also got everyone cheering today was the skycalling of Poole Harbour translocated Blue 019 and her landing on the Glaslyn Nest. She was last seen in January 2020 when she was photographed in the Gunjur Quarry in The Gambia. No one knew if she survived. She put on a good show for everyone today surprising them since normally it is the males that do the skycalling. Skycalling is a high pitched peeep-peeep-peeep sound. She is gorgeous.

Maybe this Poole Harbour girl will find her a Welsh mate!

And for me, Tiny Tot has had at least two deliveries today. Diane brought him a breakfish at 8:37:17 and there was another delivery at 2:50:14. Maybe he will get an evening one, too! He certainly deserves it.

Thanks for joining me. What a fabulous day in the history of the reintroduction of Ospreys in Wales. Take care. Stay well and cool if you are in the area of the heat wave.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Urdaibai Biosphere Park, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project and Carnyx Wild.

Wednesday edition of ‘As the Nest Turns’

Gosh, what a day it has been with the hatch of the first known albino Osprey chick at the Urdaibai Biosphere Park in Spain. Let us hope that despite the challenges that being an albino faces in the wild, that this little one thrives!

Little Albino Osprey. First known. Born in Urdaibai, Spain. 2 June 2021

And surprise. I often just check in on nests that are thought to be vacant after the juveniles fledge and lo and behold, look what is on one of the branches of Legacy’s natal tree – an Osprey! It isn’t Legacy our beautiful ebony plumed juvenile Bald Eagle but hey, it is a bird and a nice surprise!

Well, hello. Did Legacy give you permission to use her nest?

It has been raining in Wales and that means it is wet on the nest of Mrs G and Aran. Since there are no chicks to brood, the pair more than likely come to the nest to retrieve their fish, eat them on the perch or off camera, and perch and roost in nearby trees. They need to still protect that valuable nest of theirs for next year’s season and we already know that there are two year old juveniles sniffing around.

Another damp day at the nest of Mrs G and Aran

The Glaslyn Wildlife Centre has received so many questions that instead of trying to answer each one individually or go on FB with postings, they wrote a detailed blog titled, ‘The Not So Perfect Storm’. I was impressed with the range of subjects they covered and the detailed sound information provided. The topics ranged from Why Did Mrs G Stop feeding the chicks? to What will happen to the Glaslyn pair now? to describing how Aran and Z2, Aeron, who occupies the PC nest with Blue 014, worked together to drive a male osprey away that had intruded at both nests. Wow! Cooperative territorial patrols. I like that. If you would like to read this very informative document, please go to:

https://www.glaslynwildlife.co.uk/2021/06/the-not-so-perfect-storm/?fbclid=IwAR2XsSXG68wolURyB6DYXI5KLe_7yPJIJuOm2Zmx3iMGe66RHknNzBUdbgY

Idris is know for his whoppers and here is another one!
Telyn feeding the two osplets that huge fish Idris brought to them.

I posted this image so you could see the change the plumage of these two little ones. Bobby Bach is 9 days old and still retains his light grey natal down and hair on its head. Bob, the oldest, is changing plumage and as their Twitter feed said, “now resembles ancient theropod lineage of the Cretaceous period, 66 million years ago”. Bob’s hair on its head is ‘thinning’. He is getting coppery coloured feathers around its head and neck. The body plumage will be getting quite dark.

Osplet on the right still has natal down while osplet on the left is moving into Reptilian Phase.

That is the stage that Big Bob is currently at. He is the eldest chick on the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest and he is beginning his Reptilian Phase.

Big Bob at the Loch of the Lowes Nest in his full reptilian phase!

Then the little ones will begin to be covered with their beautiful feathers. Have a look at the pair at The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island. Aren’t they gorgeous? They have retained some of that peach on their heads or necks and look at those gorgeous dark white tipped feathers on their wings and back. Stunning. The eldest at the Landings nest is started to self-feed a tiny bit.

The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island. aka Savannah Ospreys. Gorgeous feathers and starting to think about self feeding.

In the image of the Two Bobs at the Rutland Nest today, they are just leaving the reptilian phase and starting to get their gorgeous juvenile plumage. Look at them and look at the ones above at The Landing. In a couple of days the Rutland chicks will look like them! They change so quickly.

Maya is feeding the Two Bobs

It has been raining off and on in Ithaca, New York. Big Red’s Ks have wet feathers. It is a good way to see the changing plumage from K1, the eldest, to K3, the youngest.

In the image below, K3 is causing everyone to hold their breath as it looks down from the light tower ledge. Look at the beautiful dark feathers with their peach on the other two siblings. K3 is just getting its juvenile plumage on its wings. Both of the older siblings still have some down that will be covered soon.

The Ks are curious

Here they are standing up. Note the beautiful peach on the one on the left. If I could get the middle K to turn around you would see they have some peach, too. They look like they are wearing medieval costumes complete with pantaloons, vest, and morning coat. Quite dignified. Big Red is a very dark Red -tail Hawk with Arthur’s plumage being quite light in comparison. Big Red has a magnificent dark apron.

Don’t you just love their feathery costumes?

In terms of plumage that beautiful apron or low necklace of Big Red’s is a stunner. Also note her head, neck, and shoulders.

Here she is from the back. The Ks will not get their red tail til after their first year moult.

My friend in Maine spotted the bleeding from K1’s ear over a week ago and was worried. This is today and there is still some blood there. The ears are not protected until they get their feathers. Big Red works on them to clean them. One of the reasons for the greenery – especially the pine – which is a natural insecticide – is to keep away the insects that could lay eggs in the hawklets ears. In avian studies, they have observed no ill effects to the bird.

Here is a link to a very good and not so long article about parasites in birds including their ears:

Tiny Tot has been on and off the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest in St Petersburg on and off today. He had a nice fish delivery early this morning and is probably hoping for another!

I want to memorize the way this juvenile looks but it will be little help to me if I try to track him down as an adult. Perhaps he will return and take over his natal nest in 4 years time! or maybe he will be a little precocious like the 2 year old juvenile male at Poole Harbour and we might see him scraping with Jack in a couple of years.

Here comes Tiny, the extraordinary, our Super Hero! He will do a perfect landing on the perch pole.

And there it is. Bingo. On the top. No fumbling around.

All those feathers have grown in for our incredible flyer.

And there he is ready to take on any intruders that might want to come to this nest and take his fish today.

There are, as we have all been noticing, other birds that intrude on the territory of others. Then there are people. There were people close to one of the osprey nests in Wales and more recently, the staff put up a camera at the Bucovina Golden Eagle nest in Bulgaria. Golden Eagles are very rare. The couple has one chick on the nest. The camera spooked the male and he left the nest for several days. This meant that the female wound up being a single mom like Spilve and Milda. She had to hunt, feed, brood, and protect the nest. Thankfully, the male returned to the nest yesterday, 1 June. It is a good lesson to everyone. The slightest disturbance can have catastrophic implications for the birds. Some are more sensitive than others to human presence.

You can see the chick below and this video shows the joyful return of the Dad to the nest after many days.

I will close with a beautiful image of the Dad Stork and the three storklets earlier today. The villagers in Mlade Buky Czechoslovakia are feeding then after the mother was electrocuted on power lines. Such generous caring people. Look at the crop on that one standing! They are doing very well, don’t you think?

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please stay safe and take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Mlady Buky, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Bucovina Bulgaria, Dyfi Osprey Project and Montgomeryshire Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Trust, LRWT, Achieva Osprey, NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, and Association Wild Bucovina.

Late Wednesday Nest Hopping in Bird World

Blue 3J, fondly called Telyn, allowed Idris to incubate the three eggs this morning for a short time. As the first hatch is close, she will more and more take sole responsibility for those duties. It wasn’t clear if Idris wanted to get up this afternoon! Some of the dads really enjoy being on the nest. For me, these two are among the power couples of the Welsh Osprey.

There is, indeed, a tiny pip in one of their eggs which was seen at 15:31. In the egg near the top you can see ‘white’ instead of the rust or cream. Hatch is coming at Dyfi!

You can watch Idris and Telyn here:

Mrs G was a little tired after the second hatch and Aran had a nice fish on the nest which she used for a pillow!

Aran is a great dad and provider. Mrs G picked a good one. I love seeing both of them on the nest with the two little ones. It reminds me of Blue 33 (11) and Maya.

Just imagine. Those two little ones in the image above will be the size of Maya and Blue 33 (11)’s babies in a week!

Here is the link to Aran and Mrs G:

Maya is still being careful with the fish that are coming in but Little Bob doesn’t care, he just wants fish! He has scrambled out of the nest cup up to mom and is whispering “Fish, please”. Maya is listening carefully.

It wasn’t long until Dad had a nice big one on the nest for all three to enjoy. Little Bob got his ‘fish wish’.

You can watch Maya and Blue 33 (11) and the Two Bobs here:

Blue NC0 or Nessie has gotten the hang of feeding. I still have to giggle. She has decided that it is best if she sticks her entire beak into the little one’s mouth to make certain it gets the food.

That little one’s down looks like it would be super soft to the touch. Nessie has done a splendid job of keeping the wee one warm and dry with all the rain they are having up at Loch of the Lowes.

I observed Laddie bringing in three fish yesterday and there could have been more. NC0 is so funny. She is not so graceful on that wet nest and when she went to get the third fish her wing batted the little one. That didn’t hamper its appetite – it was right back up saying, “Fish, please!” You can see its tiny head sticking up amidst that beautiful rust coloured moss.

While we don’t see Laddie often, he is, in fact, perched on a tree to the left of the nest keeping guard on his family.

You can watch Laddie and Nessie and their wee ones here:

Darting across the pond, there are no food insecurity worries on The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island – commonly known as the Savannah Ospreys – anymore. The eldest was a bit of a beast the first week but wow, the crops of those two were bursting this morning.

That is the youngest one closest to the front. You can tell it because of its very dark chest feathers. These two have the most gorgeous plumage I have seen – there is peach bursting out everywhere!

Notice the oldest calling for another fish! It has a very nice crop. Wonder how much room is in there??????

You can watch Scarlett and Rhett and the two osplets here:

It looks like Diane and Tiny Tot are happy to have sibling 2 off the nest and back to their routine. Diane loves feeding Tiny Tot! —— and Tiny doesn’t mind either. He is strengthening his wings and hovering a bit more but Tiny doesn’t look like he is in a hurry to leave. I don’t blame him. Nature isn’t kind and it definitely isn’t Disneyland!

Pesky older sibling showed up later in the day getting another fish from Jack. Jack, Diane and Tiny need another fish! And he heard us. He brought in a really nice flounder and guess who claimed it? Tiny Tot!!!!!!!! Yippee. That’s Tiny with its wings up making the claim. Jack is in the front and there is sibling 2 who recently had a fish sneaking up the back.

You can connect with Jack, Diane, Tiny and elder sibling (2 probably) here:

Oh, those Ks are growing like bad weeds! K1 has discovered standing and is starting to figure out walking while K3 insisted on horking the leg of the Starling they had for late lunch.

Big Red kept trying to take that leg back but K3 was not going to give it up. Big Red watches as the little one gets the hang of horking. Horking has many meanings but with hawks it is getting an item of prey down whole (or almost whole) without chewing it. Is this a bit of a badge of honour for the youngest of the three?

You can see the little leg hanging out of K3’s beak. Big Red doesn’t know what to think.

K2 looks at K3 in disbelief as the last of the foot went down!

Little K3 is quite the character. It has seen K1 ‘walking’ – early stages – and it is even giving it a go. K3 held out its wings for balance and then started spinning and landed on its fat little bottom.

Kerplunk.

Big Red gathered up two Starlings and none of the Ks seemed interested in food. She looked over, saw the top of K3s head and started preening it. Oh, that must feel good. Maybe like getting a shampoo at the Salon! But, alas, it has been so long for so many of us maybe we have forgotten how nice that felt.

Big Red is one of the most beautiful Red-tail Hawks ever. Look at her gorgeous dark plumage! And that amazing red tail.

The link to Big Red, Arthur’s and the Ks camera is here:

There is absolutely no place like home if you are a juvenile eaglet and you fludged. Today, both of the eaglets were back on the nest at Duke Farms. What a relief.

I cannot promise how long they will be there but maybe they both won’t get on the same branch together any more! Be sure to look up if you go to this streaming cam. They are often on the branches like they are in the image below.

Here is the link to this nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey:

I will close with Iris. Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, laid her third egg at the Hellgate Nest in Missoula, Montana, at dawn this morning. It has been 9 days since she laid her second egg. Eggs are normally laid every 3 days. If you have followed me, Iris has sporadically incubated the eggs. Her hormones require her to lay them but she seems personally not interested. She knows if they are viable or not – or so the experts tell me. Iris raised many ospreys with her partner Stanley – at least, you might think, 30-40. She has done her part. She deserves to have a summer of fishing and taking care of herself. People continue to think that a new mate might appear for her but that will not happen unless something happens to Louis. And then you still have the problem of the other female, Starr, in the same territory. Iris might think we were foolish for feeling sad for her – but, we are human and we do. We want happy endings.

It is 6 degrees C in Missoula and it is raining. Snow and 1 degree C is predicted for Friday.

I have tried to ascertain how long eggs can maintain their protective coating if exposed to continual rain. How much rain is enough to ruin the eggs? Do you know? Message me.

Maybe Iris has her own message to Louis. I wonder. If she does, it is a pretty loud one this year. “I might have to lay those eggs but I don’t have to take care of them”. Do birds think like that?

Here is the link to the camera for Iris’s nest:

We are still hoping for rain on the Canadian Prairies. Fingers crossed. Today the Brown Thrasher, only one, has been in the garden thumping the ground, eating off the cranberry suet cylinder, and having a lot of bird baths. He was joined by a couple of really beautiful Purple Finches and a single male Black-capped Chickadee.

I hope you are finding some enjoyment in your garden or in the local park. Thank you so much for joining me as we check in on with our friends in Bird World.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Byweyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Loch of the Lowes, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Duke Farms, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project.

Arrivals

My day started off really well with the arrival of the much anticipated first egg of Big Red and Arthur at the Fernow light tower in Ithaca, NY. It was really windy this morning reminding us of the terrible weather this gorgeous eighteen year old Red Tail Hawk endures annually.

Arthur arrives at 14:47 and gets to see their first egg. He had to climb over Big Red to do it though!

Arthur looked at the egg for a bit and was promptly off to find some prey for Big Red.

Big Red does most of the incubating. Every year – this is now their fourth – she seems to allow him to incubate a little more. He is a great provider and she is never hungry.

Arthur has brought Big Red a vole for her dinner as the lights go out in Ithaca. You can see it at the front right of the egg cup. How sweet. But wait, it could be a chippie. What do you think with those ears? Arthur is a champ at catching chippies and if you watch this nest you will become an expert at identifying dead prey. Even if you don’t want to. I promise.

Last year I would stay awake in the night or get up to make sure Big Red was OK. There was more than one night when she was encased in snow and ice. Laura Culley used to say to me, ‘Don’t worry. Big Red has this all under control.’ And, of course, Laura was always right. But it didn’t matter – hundreds of us still worried. She looks so contented and happy. It is the middle of the night and it is quiet. The buses that drive down the road in front of the nest aren’t running and there are few, if any, people about.

Look for another egg on the 28th! Big Red can lay three eggs by the 30th. One every other day. This couple have no trouble raising three eyases. If you wanted a perfect hawk family with a territory with lots of prey, their eyases have both.

Nancy and Harry at the MN DNR nest have a chick. The hatch began with a pip at 6:27pm on the 25th. We got a little peek at their new addition today! It is a little cutie and Harry already has food up on the nest for his first. Congratulations Nancy and Harry!

Ah, two older birds – Big Red and Nancy – both choose much younger mates. I hope Harry is as good a provider as Arthur is. So far he has been amazing.

Isn’t Nancy beautiful?

They aren’t eggs or chicks but the Osprey began arriving in the UK so fast today, the very last day of World Osprey Week, that people had trouble filling in their charts. Here are some of the arrivals at the monitored nests if you are keeping track.

Blue 33 or Telyn (female) arrived at the Dyfi Osprey nest in Wales at 17:28 on the 26th. Telyn will now wait for her mate Idris to arrive! This couple is one of the most popular in Wales.

Blue 35 and White YW both landed on the Foulshaw Moss nest today. What fantastic timing.

White YW arrives at the nest accompanied by a crow. 26 March 2021
Blue 35 arrives. I wonder if they know each other are home?

And instead of Louis or Alia, snow arrived at Loch Arkaig in Scotland.

Everything is starting to get exciting. Laddie and his new lady NC0 of the Loch Lowes Osprey Nest were caught mating on the nest. Let’s hope they have a good bond.

Sadly, the fish arrivals at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St. Petersburg did not materialize in the quantity for Tiny Tot to get a food feeding. He tried hard even walking along the nest rail to get fed, begging all the time. The older ones fed for two hours but Tiny only got 7 bites. There was hope for a late fish arrival but it did not materialize. If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I have suffered over this Osprey nest. And that is directly related to wanting to know ‘the why’ of the behaviour. Jack and Diane have raised three before to fledge. Is it the heat? the winds? a lack of fish? Studies have shown that the smallest can be excluded by the bigger chicks even if there is enough food. I would argue that when there was enough, this nest was civil. But a bad storm, then high temperatures (fish go to the bottom normally then), and winds caused an erratic delivery. That set about a perception of a lack of fish for all. For two days, the 23rd and 24th there was plenty and all was well. The past two have seen insufficient food even for Harriet. It is all about survival. And nature, contrary to what many believe, is not cute nor is it nice. That all birds would have parents like Big Red and Arthur and a territory for prey like Big Red and Arthur – well, that would be wonderful.

Thank you for joining me today. I would love to say hello to each of you individually. Thank you for your letters and your comments. I am so glad that you are finding joy in the birds. It is magical, isn’t it? We get a glimpse into a world that we would not have otherwise.

I want to thank the following sponsors of streaming cams: Cornell Bird Lab, MN DNR, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Dyfi in Wales.

World Osprey Week Begins

World Osprey Week is from 22-26 and it celebrates the arrival of the Ospreys from their winter migration in Africa back to the United Kingdom in spring. For the second year, the pandemic has caused previous large celebrations to be much scaled down. Still, it does not damper the enthusiasm of Osprey lovers throughout Wales, England, and Scotland as they welcome home these beautiful yellow eyed sea hawks.

There is even an app and a website where you can go for sightings and confirmed arrivals on nests. This is very impressive.

And there are educational programmes and YouTube videos all week. Here is Day 1:

There are also free digital educational packets which you can order on line. Simply go to this URL and sign up: www.lrwt.org.uk/wow

Now let’s check and see which of the Ospreys at monitored nests have arrived so far.

The very first Osprey to arrive was Blue 25 (10), a female. She is back on one of the Rutland’s nests. Blue 25 (10) was born in Rutland in 2010 – hence, the (10) in brackets behind the tag colour and number.

The stars of the Mantou Nest are Maya and Blue 33 (11). They arrived within thirty-minutes of one another. Great planning! Blue 33 (11) flew in at 12:29 followed by Maya at 12:56. These two have been together and raising chicks since 2015. And they wasted no time in getting reacquainted. The streaming cam caught them mating at 1pm! After fighting over a fish that Maya caught, Blue 33 decided some nestorations were in order.

After bonding it was time to eat and you can see that everyone wants the fish that Maya caught! Too funny.

All is calm again and it is time to start getting the nest in order. Don’t you think Blue 33 (11) is handsome?

Blue 33 (11) looking up at the camera.

And both arrived back on the nest right before dawn on the 22nd of March to start things off:

Laddie (LM12) arrived home at 5pm, 21 March, at the Loch of the Lowes Reserve nest. He is the resident male at this nest. There is a new female as of last March tagged NCO. She was ringed as a chick at Loch Ness in 2016. His former mate was LF15. She went missing on the 7 August 2018.

Lock Arkaig is awaiting the arrival of Louis and Alia.

The nest at Glaswyn is awaiting for the arrival of Mrs G (the oldest Osprey in Wales) and Aran.

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust is waiting for arrivals to their Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest . 2021 will be the eighth year running – should the mated pair arrive – that Osprey chicks have been born on this nest. The couple are Blue 35 (female) and White YW (male). This mated couple have fledged sixteen chicks between 2014-2020. At least one of their fledglings, Blue 5N, of 2018 has been spotted in The Gambia in 2019.

So everyone is waiting! Some people are trying to keep six screens open at one time in case someone arrives today. Enjoy the beginning of World Osprey Week! Find a nest and enjoy all the fun of the arrivals.

And before I close this off. Just a note. The Achieva Osprey nest fooled me again. All three had full crops this morning at 9:33 CDT. Wow. So happy. Let’s hope Jack continues to bring in very large fish. It helps.

Thank you to Achieva Credit Union, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig FB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Scottish Wildlife Trust for their streaming cams where I got my scaps.

The Lady of Loch Lowes

“Loch lowes” by fuzzytnth3 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Loch of the Lowes is a loch near Dunkeld in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The Osprey nests are part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust along with the forested area. There are hides and there is a shop.

The loch has been a perfect place for Ospreys to nest for over fifty years. There is a large number of mature trees for nests and many sources of fish. Some of the tree nests have artificial platforms attached at the top. It is relatively predator free and the many hours of sunshine allow the Ospreys a longer time for fishing. It is idyllic for the Osprey – or was. Besides other birds of prey, other predators of the Osprey are humans – those who simply want to disturb the Osprey, the continuing problem of the egg collectors. and helicopters.

“Osprey Nest Loch of Lowes” by martinrstone is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By 1916, the Ospreys were ‘extinct’ in Scotland. By 1954, there were four Osprey nests. In 1969 the area was designated as a site of special scientific interest and was purchased by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. That year Ospreys arrived late in the season, too late for breeding but they returned making the Loch Lowe nest only the fifth in Scotland at the time.

The most remarkable of the Ospreys at Loch Lowes is ‘The Lady of the Loch’ who arrived in 1990. Lady is the oldest breeding Osprey in the United Kingdom. In twenty-four years of breeding, Lady had four mates with whom she laid seventy-one eggs. She fledged fifty chicks! In 2005, Lady laid a clutch of four eggs – and she would go on before she became infertile to do that one more time in 2013. Incredible. I cannot even imagine trying to feed four Osplets!

Lady shows LM12 the fourth egg and lets him incubate while she takes a break.

Here is a video of Lady laying that fourth egg in 2013:

In 2010, Lady laid eggs for a record breaking twentieth time only to fall gravely ill. You have to realize that the average life expectancy of an Osprey is eight years and Lady is laying eggs for a twentieth time!!!!!!!!! The wildlife managers did not think she would live. Her new mate that year, ,her third, tagged Green 7Y, noticed that Lady was very sick and possibly dying. (Green 7Y was born in 2000 just twelve miles from Loch Lowe). He stepped up and did the fishing for her and the Osplets as well as the security. At one point, Lady quit eating. She was believed to be only hours away from dying when she watched her chicks fledge that year. Wildlife managers did not believe that Lady could undertake her migration to West Africa but she did and she returned in 2011 to lay eggs again with Green 7Y. Those eggs were not fertile. Sadly, Green 7Y did not return from his migration in 2012.

In 2012, Lady took her last and fourth mate, LM12 (unbanded but thought to be young). The pair remained together for three breeding seasons during which time their chicks were tagged with satellite transmitters. One, Blue 44, disappeared during migration in France and Spain while a 2013 female, Blue YZ, disappeared in Guinea Bisseau. Her body along with her tag were recovered in 2014. 2014 was the last year that Lady laid eggs with LM12. They were not fertile. Lady was thought to be at least twenty-eight years old (not banded and that would be the minimum age). She did not return to the nest for breeding and Roy Dennis says that he would like to imagine her in retirement sunning herself in Spain!

LM12 kept the nest with a new mate from 2015-2020. LM12’s current mate is a young female Blue Darvic tag NCO. She hatched at Loch Ness in 2016 and 2020 was believed to be her first breeding year. That spring a visitor to the loch broke the pandemic curfew riding in a kayak close enough for the nest’s microphone to pick up a cough. They so disturbed the Osprey for more than two hours that they did not return to the nest to lay their eggs. The nest had been in use constantly since 1991 – this was the first year that it was abandoned. We wait in 2021 to see if the mated pair will return.

It should be noted that the reserve area is always closed to the public, pandemic or not, during the breeding season. This was a major intrusion and sadly, it could have consequences for several years.

Vacant nest at Loch Lowes, end of April 2020. @Scottish Wildlife Trust

Here is a link to the live streaming camera at the Loch. Let us all hope that the person did not put the Ospreys off of this nest for good.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has revised the estimate for the juveniles who migrated to Africa to return. From their experience they say that it is anywhere from 3-5 years. Perhaps there will be some sightings this year!

World Osprey Week is getting closer. It is the 22-26 of March, only nine days a way and counting. Thanks for joining me. I hope you liked the story of that remarkable female and her aerie. Just imagine all those Osplets! I hope that some of Lady’s DNA survives. I must check. Several years ago consideration was being given to some type of memorial for Lady. Will keep you posted if I find it.