Oriental Honey Buzzards and more

Every once in awhile I hear from one of my former students. It is always a treat. Yesterday a letter popped into the inbox from Taiwan. This student was excited when I wrote about the Black Kite nest in the cemetery near Taipei but on Monday, they said that their absolute favourite raptor is the Oriental Honey Buzzard. The Honey Buzzards live in the high mountains and unlike other raptors who eat meat, birds, or fish, the Oriental Honey Buzzard eats bee pupae. Bee Pupae is the third stage in the development of the bee with the first being the egg, then the larvae, the pupae, and then finally the adult honey bee. Honey Buzzards are from the Genus Pernis. This includes the Western Honey Buzzard that lives in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa , the Barred that lives in the Philippines and Sulawesi, and then the Oriental whose nests are in eastern Asia including Taiwan.

Just look at the beautiful colouring. The female is larger than the male; they range from 57-61 cm long (or at the maximum a little over 2 ft). The wing span is 121-135 cm or at their maximum 4.5 ft. The head is smaller in proportion to the body than many raptors.

“東方蜂鷹 Oriental honey buzzard” by Hiyashi Haka is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In the image below, you can see the Oriental Honey Buzzard being swarmed by the bees in the colony after it has take a portion of honey comb.

“Oriental Honey Buzzard” by tcy3282 is marked with CC PDM 1.0

I am just learning about this very interesting raptor. They are quite beautiful. There are several YouTube videos. The shortest is interesting but the images are not clear. The longer one has gorgeous images of all the animals that live in the forest with an excellent introduction into this amazing raptor. Enjoy at your leisure!

As you might know, I have been hoping to get a glimpse of Tiny Little (or Little Bob) at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest in Cumbria. She has alluded me. Still awake at 2am I decided to check on that nest – and guess what? There was Tiny Little doing what she does best – trying to take a fish from one of her older siblings. Tiny Little tried her normal tactics including wing flapping the older sib who decided to wing flap back!

After the older sibling got tired of Tiny Little’s activities, it took the fish and flew away. Tiny Little then did what she does best. She found all kinds of fish that the bigger sibling had lost in the nest! Well done Tiny Little!

Malin, the chick on the Collins Marsh Nature Centre’s Osprey Nest had at least two feedings this morning. I was running in and out and did not rewind to dawn. The feather issue appears to be a missing/yet to be developed primary feather but I am not an expert.

Malin’s feathers might be late growing in. We continue to be optimistic. Despite the fact that the fish are small, they are coming in to the nest and she appears to be eating well and growing.

You can see how that section of Malin’s wing hangs in a worrisome way.

The joint between the upper wing or patagium and the primaries is called the wrist. The feathers of the upper wing are growing nicely and every day the tail appears longer.

OTHER NEST NEWS:

Blue 494 fledged today at the Pont Croesor nest at Glaslyn, 50 days old. 494 is the son of Blue 014 and Z2 (Aeron). He has great DNA! Congratulations to everyone.

Zenit continues to grow into the most beautiful Golden Eagle in Bucovina, Romania. He has been sharing parts of a deer with his mother and Zenit has the most enormous crop. I would love to see this size of crop on Malin!

The colour of the plumage is simply gorgeous. It has been a real privilege to see this Golden Eagle grow from a tiny bobble.

Hopefully the little sea eagles, 27 and 28, will grow and be nice to one another. Dad has been sharing in some of the brooding and Lady and Dad have both fed the babies. Postings on FB say that Lady fed the chicks ten times today! There is no shortage of food although some are giggling that they do not particularly like Bream. Interesting.

Gough Island Restoration. The second bait application is now complete. The drive to eradicate the mice and rats killing the Tristan and Sooty Albatross got a break in the weather and completed their mission. We will be looking forward to a wonderful assessment.

That is it for today. Tomorrow I am heading out to attempt another day of ‘bird photography’. This could become a running joke. I had forgotten how heavy big lenses are. Wish me luck.

Thank you for joining me today. If you did not know about the Honey Buzzard, I hope you found those birds quite interesting. Take care. Tomorrow we will catch up on what is going on with the storks in Latvia and Estonia and with Big Red and the Ks.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots: Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Discovery Centre, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Cam, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and the Bucovina Golden Eagle Cam.

Saturday morning in Bird World

Lady and Dad at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park Forest welcomed WBSE 28 at 5:41 pm on 31 July.

The egg began to split open at 17:08. You can see the egg tooth of the chick that is banging away at the shell. Once it is all cracked like it is now, the chick will wiggle and push to get out. Lady often helps by pulling off the bottom of the shell. She removed the shell of 27 so that it would not adhere to 28’s shell and cause difficulties. The females often eat the shells to help them regain their calcium that has been partially depleted making the eggs.

By 17:41 WBSE 28 was completely out of the shell and for some crazy reason the streaming cam decided to switch to IR mode! Let us all hope that 27 is a gentle and caring older sibling til these two get big enough and out of the bobble head stage!

Congratulations to everyone down in Sydney!

It was wonderful luck to wake up in Canada and see Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. It was 14:15 and she was busy eating a nice big fish all alone. Wow.

Tiny Little kept looking about while devouring her afternoon meal. With two big siblings and no where to hide I am certain that she is hoping they don’t show up.

Tiny Little has grown into a beautiful fledgling. At the time of banding they believed that Tiny Little (or Little Bob, LB) was a female but could not say for certain as her growth was so much behind the other two but, she has caught up. Look at those strong stout legs. She is a gorgeous female.

Thinking maybe I might get lucky, I decided to check on the Collins Marsh chick just in case there was an early morning fish delivery. At first, it did not look hopeful and then the chick and Mum began food calling. Dad must have been in sight of the nest.

Ah, what a relief to see this little one getting fed early in the day. Let us hope that the deliveries continue in rapid succession. This chick needs a lot of fish to grow as big as Tiny Little before it needs to migrate.

It seems everyone is eating! Zenit, on the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest in Romania, has received a delivery, too. Here is Mom arriving with the prey at 11:01:09. She calls out to Zenit.

It is not even a second before Zenit arrives, very excited, on the nest.

Mom moves off that nest quickly as Zenit mantles his lunch.

In Romania, as in other cultures, the Golden Eagle is a symbol of noblility and power. Images of double-headed eagles can be found on the buildings and coins of ancient civilizations in the Middle East such as Sumer and Babylon. The Romans, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Byzantines each used the symbol of the Golden Eagle for their empires. The Aquila (eagle) appears on the standards (the top of the spears of the Romans while the Byzantines were fond of the double-headed eagle which symbolized the dual role of the emperor as both secular and religious head.

An illustration of the vexilloid of the Roman Empire with the Golden Eagle standard:

This is the flag of the Holy Roman Empire:

Wikimedia Commons

Today the Golden Eagle continues to appear as an emblem of the government for various countries and rulers of Europe including that of the President of the Russian Federation. So even in contemporary times the beautiful eagle adorns the coins, buildings, flags, and uniforms representing their power and authority.

Historically, the Golden Eagle was widespread throughout Romania. There was a steep decline in the numbers of breeding pairs in the 20th century due to the use of pesticides both for agriculture and the control of mosquitoes. Hunting and the lack of sufficient food also caused a decline in the numbers. In 2002, it is estimated that there were only 30-40 nesting pairs in the country. This figure doubled in 2012 to 50-60 pairs. There are approximately 300 breeding pairs in Romania today. Current threats to the Golden Eagles continue to be a lack of prey, illegal logging, loss of habitat, poaching, and poisoning. The Golden Eagle is, thus, very rare in Romania.

“Golden eagle (2)” by jack_spellingbacon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When Zenit is an adult, his wings will be up to 2.1 metres or 7 feet and he will weigh from 3.2 to 6.6 kilograms or 7 to 14.5 lbs. Females are one quarter to one half larger than the males. Juveniles have been known to travel up to 1000 km or 621 miles after they leave their natal nest. Zenit will reach maturity when he is around 5 years old. Golden Eagles have been known to live up to 32 years but the average is 15-20 years.

At the time he is an adult, Zenit will be an ‘Avian Apex Predator’. That means that healthy adult birds are not prey to any other raptor or mammal. They are at the top of the food chain. Zenit’s eyesight is 8 times that of a human – much better than mine! He will hunt rabbits, young deer, goats, and ibex but he will also eat carrion, birds, and squirrels.

It has been a great learning experience watching Zenit grow from being a chick into this beautiful juvenile.

It is a dark and gloomy Saturday. It is difficult to tell if the strange look in the sky is from the fires, perhaps an impending rainy day, or both. It might be a great day to sip hot tea and read. A copy of The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival arrived from a used book store in the UK yesterday. It looks like it is a perfect day to dig into it.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you have a wonderful Saturday.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Sydney Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and The Discovery Center, Collins Marsh Nature Reserve Osprey Cam, Asociata Wild Bucovina, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Hatch is imminent at WBSE nest…red fish, Polish storks, and Tiny Little gets a fish

My virtual friend ‘S’ and I probably never thought we would be pouring over fish ID charts trying to identify partially eaten fish. OK. I can’t fully speak for her but even growing up with a dad who lived to fish, a son that travels the world to fish and feels more at home in a boat than on land, and a grandson that fishes in all his spare time – I never thought for a second I would spend more than a few minutes looking at the type of fish the Ospreys are eating. Surprise. The fish that comes to the Collins Marsh Osprey nest is making some of us very curious as to what it is and where mum is catching it.

The DNR of Wisconsin is great. They have games you can plan, fish ID charts by name or identifying marks. It was not until I found their posters today that I even believed there was hope of figuring out this fish. It looks like my late mother’s Siamese Fighting Fish but for its colour and size.

Thanks ‘S for this great screen capture.

Seriously I thought that the Mum at the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest had found someone’s ornamental fish pond to raids. This is at least the second fish of this species brought to the nest in a 24 hour period.

These are some of the top game fish in Wisconsin but nope. Nothing on this poster resembles that fish.

It isn’t a Roach but it could be a Rudd. But the Rudd hasn’t got red scales! There are suckers that look like a closer match.

This is beginning to drive me a little nuts. And don’t be shy. If you recognize that fish the mum is feeding her chick – tell me. I will be smiling for a week. Tomorrow I am going to ask the Naturalist at Collins Marsh. To be continued.

Dad was only seen on the Collins Marsh nest once today. Mum was busy bringing in these smaller fish for her and the chick. It is a good thing that she isn’t afraid to get wet – because if she were her baby would not be alive.

The chick will eat this species but it is certainly not its favourite and Mom, on the other hand, seems to like it or is so hungry she leaves hardly any scraps.

Speaking of eating, the female at the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest brought in an Eurasian Hare for Zenit. Zenit wasn’t close to the nest tree when mum arrived and called but he quickly comes in mantling like crazy. When you see this eaglet or any of the fledgling Osprey aggressively going after prey, the term is hyperphagia. Every bird that migrates needs to eat as much as they can – compulsive overeating – in order to store fat for their migratory journey.

Lady Hawk caught all of the action and Zenit’s enormous crop in a video:

Some of the biggest news of the day is that 8:54 am on 28 July a pip was first noticed in one of the two eggs of Lady and Dad, White Bellied Sea Eagles, whose nest is in an Ironbark Tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest.

This was Lady checking, listening, and gently rolling the eggs about forty minutes later.

There is now a hole in that egg. So hatch is close.

I adore the little sea eaglets but this nest really broke my heart last year with WBSE 26 striving to live, to fly, to be a bird and then to have it end with her being euthanized.

I have seen prosthetic legs made for birds, 3D printed beaks for eagles, sophisticated operations on the webbed feet of Canada geese, and more. I have witnessed pain management programmes for animals in care and wildlife rehabbers like those at A Place Called Hope in Connecticut that not the extra mile – they go ten extra miles. All we have to do is remember the state that The Old Warrior was in when he arrived at their clinic. His lead levels were 48, he had multiple fractures in his leg, and his beak was so damaged that he could hardly eat. That old eagle wanted to live and he was treated accordingly. His lead levels are around 10, he is eating well, his feather condition is improving all the time. He is happy! Today he remains with the clinic as they await a permit for him to be their ‘forever Warrior’. I had hoped, like so many others, that something would be done to help 26.

There are several ways to access the cam for the sea eagles. There is even one with a chat room. I will try and locate those other links for you.

Here is cam 4. The definition is good.

I want to thank a follower from Poland who sent me a note suggesting I look at the beautiful stork nest in Ostroleka, Poland. So I did! There were five storks sleeping on this nest in the northeast of Poland.

What a picturesque village. The farmer’s fields are so lovely. Tranquil is the word I want to use as the sun rises on a new day.

I need to find out more about this nest which I will do in the coming days. I am trying to imagine the challenges for the parents to feed five – or is it four chicks and the parent is off the nest? Here is the link to the camera for this nest:

Tiny Little is not sleeping on the Foulshaw Moss Nest tonight. It is not clear to me whether he had a fish drop later last night or not. But after waiting for big sibling to get their fill of a large fish, Tiny Little is now eating for sure. It is 17:01 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Of course, big older sister is sitting there waiting in line! Poor things. They always get caught up spending so much time around the cheek and mouth, the bony bits. Hopefully Tiny Little will get full before it gets tired.

I love it when the mother’s get out there fishing. We see that in the mom at the Collins Marsh Nest and here comes NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes.

That fledgling just about tore her leg off! I am looking at those strong thin legs of NC0. She has been diving and bringing in fish to this nest for at least a month. Soon she is going to have to begin bulking up for her flight to Africa. It’s that word: hyperphagia.

It has been a pretty exciting day. So nice to see some of the fledglings on the nests! It is comforting to know that they are surviving.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that everyone has a great day. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Osprey Nest and the Neustadlter Nature Center, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagles, Birdlife, and Sydney Discovery Center, Ostrolekas White Stork Nest, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes. I would also like to thank the Wisconsin DNR for the fish poster files and ‘S’ for sending me that great shot of that ‘gold’ fish.

Fledge at Mlade Buky and other news in Bird World

We have a fledge at the White Stork nest in Mlade Buky!

Oh, this is just so wonderful. The people of this community can be so proud as these three beautiful birds leave their nest. It was their help that made it possible for these three to be alive today. Bravo.

Here is the video so you can watch it.

The heat wave has taken more tolls on birds in the Pacific Northwest not just the Osprey chicks that literally roasted in the nests. Cooper’s Hawks have been jumping off the edge of the nests so they do not get cooked by the hot sun. This is a real tragedy in the making. Even the number of birds at my feeders is down. They spend the day in the myriad of vines in the shade of the house and the lilac bushes only coming out to drink and return to shade. The outside temperature near the water bowls reads 34 C. That is hotter than it is in the West Indies! So please put out water for the birds! Find old dishes and provide them with something. Thank you!

I hope that you are able to open this. If not you could Google ‘hawks jumping out of nests to avoid heat’. This is just so sad.

The streaming cams for many of the nests are being turned off as the season ends. Glaslyn will turn off the feed to Aran and Mrs G’s nest shortly as will Rutland Water on the Manton Bay Nest of Blue 33 and Maya. We will look forward to another season with them in the future. Blue 33 and Maya are a super Osprey couple – celebrities if you will allow me to call them that. They have been together since 2015 and have fledged 17 chicks. They raised a nest of four in 2019. That is almost unheard of and really takes a strong male to feed that many. I am impressed. I told someone if I came back as an Osprey in another life I wanted Blue 33 for my mate. He is incredible. They will return to the Rutland Manton nest in late March – usually within an hour of one another.

I expect many others will follow as it is costly to run the cameras. If you go to the camera and it is not functioning check the nest’s FB page. They have probably turned off the camera til the next season. But please remember that the breeding season is only beginning in Australia with the Peregrine Falcons, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and the WBSE.

NC0 up at the Loch of the Lowes nest is out fishing for her chicks. She is incredible. She spots the fish from the nest and dives down and gets it. Here is a very rough cut of a video of the two Loch of the Lowes chicks enjoying themselves.

I never thought I would say that a Golden Eagle nestling was cute but Zenit certainly is.

Zenit is really working on his wing flaps and from his crop it appears that he has had a feeding. That is good. I am just thinking how lucky Zenit is to be in a tree nest with shade.

Kindness is one of the cutest Bald Eagle nestlings I have ever seen! Here she is again trying to nibble around mom.

Oh, how beautiful. Kindness sitting next to Mom. Everyone thinks Kindness is a female because her Dad loves to feed her!

You are getting to be a big girl, Kindness. You are 52 days old today! More than halfway to fledge which will be around 89 days – the average for the Glacier Gardens nest. (The average in Alaska is 80 days).

Tiny Little has been in the nest every time I checked on her. A fish came in and 462 ate and ate. Then 464 came and couldn’t get the fish tail down. Tiny Little was playing with it when White YW brought in another fish. Tiny Little ignored it and dad left with the fish! Silly Tiny! Some dads will feed their chicks but White YW doesn’t seem to do this very often preferring that Blue 35 take on those duties almost exclusively. Tiny Little has yet to get confident in opening up a fish with a head.

White YW returned to the nest at 17:39 and Blue 35 flew in to feed Tiny Little. Tiny did not ignore that fish this time!!!!!!!

Oh, she just loves being fed by mum. Tiny Little eats for about forty minutes.

This kiddo should be stuffed.

At 21:00, Tiny Little and big sib 462 were cuddled up duckling style read to sleep.

It is not clear to me if Tiny Little ever did a second flight today. She was flapping those wings really hard and walking around the nest looking down for a long, long time. Often I had to leave only to return to find Tiny on the nest. Maybe someone saw her fly again?

Tiny tried everything but getting over on the middle left side of the nest and just going for it like she did when she fledged was something she did not do. There were a few good hovers. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. Need to get those wings strong and self-feeding down for migration.

The couple who saved the little osprey chick that fell into the river at the Putuxent Osprey Nest 2 were surprised that so many people from around the world watch their birds! I mentioned to them the need for an emergency number on the streaming cam. Fingers crossed! Thank you to everyone that sent them a thank you note. The chick is doing well.

Thank you for joining me for a quick look at a few nests on a Sunday evening. Take care. It is very hot in so many places or there are torrential rains and flooding. So where ever you are be careful.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Park, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Patuxent Park Osprey Cam 2, and Asociatia Wild Bucovino.

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.

Friday Morning in Bird World

Have you ever started looking for something and found something else, equally as interesting? As it happens, yesterday I was looking for a short film about a Japanese man living in Hokkaido with his falcon. What was found was a new film released on 1 June 2021.

The documentary is the story of the only African American falconer, Rodney Stotts. Stotts says falconering for him is all about second chances – for people and for the birds. Have a look at the trailer for The Falconer:

Yesterday there seemed to be no news in Bird World and then there was. Do you follow the Welsh Osprey Nests? If you do, you will recognize the name Aran immediately because he is currently Mrs G’s mate. Aran injured his wing (primary flight feathers) at the end of May or beginning of June. He had been battling crows around the nest and then the storm came. No one knows how he got his injury. No one saw. But he was unable to provide fish for the nest while Mrs G was hatching the chicks. The volunteers and people of Glaslyn set up a fish table for Aran and Mrs G. They lost their chicks and both have been rebuilding their strength.

Yesterday, Aran was in a ferocious battle with a blue ringed bird a distance enough from the nest that it caught the attention of Elfyn Lewis of the Glaslyn FB group who posted the following image that made the rounds of several groups so I am reposting it here. Aran is the bird on the bottom. The white is the injury he sustained earlier. Are there birds attempting to usurp Aran from the Glaslyn nest? Always it would seem.

@ Elfyn Lewis

Other news comes out of Hawaii. The State of Hawaii bans the release of ‘Albatross Killing helium balloons’. It seems they are not banning the balloons but the intentional release of them. Here is that announcement through the AP:

https://apnews.com/article/hawaii-environment-and-nature-government-and-politics-fb9c1cd959ffaad608f08610be548428

What child does not love a balloon? and how many young women did I see lined up at a shop with balloons in hand for a party the other day? The question is how to dispose of them properly — and it isn’t sending them off in the air with wishes attached! Release the air, put them safely in a scrapbook, etc. Or eliminate balloons from festivities altogether. It is not only the helium balloons that injure the birds, it is also the normal ones that blow away in the wind. It is a good way to educate your children about the many challenges the birds face and that balloons and strings can kill them.

Speaking of Albatross, the Royal Cam chick, Taiki, is now 165 days old (nest time). On 5 July she weighed 8.3 kg or 18.3 lbs. She will be stabilizing her weight so that she can fledge in mid-September. Her dad, Lime-Green-Black (LGK) has now travelled over 42,000 km or 26,000 miles in total since he received his satellite tracker in February to feed his precious chick. (The mother is alive but her tracker stopped working).

It is still two months until Taiki fledges in mid-September. She is just getting her beautiful black wings, she is building play nests, and the parents are flying in to feed her. It is all very interesting and it is such a calm nest to watch. The Rangers weigh all of the chicks on Tuesday morning and that is fascinating to watch also. Humiliating for such a beautiful girl to be stuffed in a laundry basket but – it is necessary. Supplementary feedings are given should any of the chicks require it. NZ really takes good care of their birds! As North American streaming cams wind down for the breeding season, why not have a look at some of the amazing birds in the Southern hemisphere?

Taiki stretches her wings and flaps them to help them get strong.

Here is the link to the Royal Cam chick on Taiaroa Head New Zealand:

Lady and Dad will be on hatch watch in about two weeks time. This is the only White Bellied Sea Eagle Cam in the world. These beautiful birds are the second largest group of eagles in Australia. The nest is in an old Ironbark Tree in Sydney’s Olympic Park. It is not always an easy nest to watch because their can be sibling rivalry but the sea eagle chicks are so cute and the juvenile plumage is simply gorgeous.

If you are a lover of Ospreys, there is still plenty of action in the UK nests where the nestlings have fledged or are getting ready to fledge. They will be around for another five weeks or so until they leave for their migration to Africa.

In Australia, the Osprey couple on the barge in Port Lincoln have just finished lining their nest with soft materials and the streaming cam is now live. These are the parents of Solly and DEW. Solly is the female Osprey with the satellite tracker. This is also not an easy nest to watch because of siblicide.

There are two falcon cams in Australia. One is on year round and the other, the CBD Peregrine Falcons in Melbourne, will start once the falcons are back in the scrape box. Here is the link to Xavier and Diamond’s scrape box on top of the water tower on the campus of Charles Stuart University. No one knows what will happen this year. The couples’ 9 month old son, Izzi, still continues to come to the scrape box and might even believe it is his own home. In the UK, chicks from an earlier hatch have helped the parents raise their new brood. In Australia, we watch and wait!

In Eastern Europe, there has been some concern over the amount of prey being brought in to the little Golden Eaglet in Buconovia, Romania. Lady Hawk was able to capture the delivery of a hare by the father and a really good feeding yesterday. That is excellent news! When the camera was first installed he was afraid of it and he is becoming more comfortable day by day.

That’s it for Friday. The Achieva Osprey Nest has not return visit from Tiny Tot and Electra is at the nest less and less. The Canadian chicks in Alberta seem to be doing fine as is Kindness up in the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Nest. Fingers crossed for continuing good health to all the birds.

Thank you for joining me today in Bird World. Have a wonderful Friday. Take care, stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC Albatross Cam.

As the Nest Turns: Late Friday July 1 edition

It’s late on 1 July, Canada Day and by the time I finish writing this it will be 2 July. The week has been wrought with extreme heat and now a wildfire in British Columbia has left the citizens of Lytton with only 15 minutes to evacuate. My friends in the Kootenays tell me that this is just the beginning of a long, hot hard summer. Our thoughts go out to everything – non-humans and humans alike.

I had a question from a reader and I want to answer it here because everyone might be wondering, too. The question: Do female Ospreys always rely on the male Osprey to bring them fish even when they are not taking care of chicks or incubating? The answer is that it varies by female. Some female Ospreys do not fish at all and rely on their partner completely for their food and the food for the chicks. Those female Ospreys never fish. Some go fishing once their chicks are older. This past week we have seen NC0 on the Loch of the Lowes Nest go fishing. Indeed, in a short part of one day, she went out four times. She brought fish to the nest and ate them herself and fed some to the Bobs. Mrs G is known to be a formidable fisher. She is known for catching whoppers! Maybe she is in competition with Idris from the Dyfi Nest. Mrs G relies on Aran when she is incubating the eggs and brooding the chicks to supply the fish. Otherwise she likes fishing herself. Right now the couple are bonding after Aran’s injury and the traumatic death of their chicks, so she is enjoying Aran delivering some fish to her and likewise, he is happy that Mrs G is accepting his gift. That said, she caught a big one this afternoon and sure didn’t share it with Aran!

Mary Kerr did a short video clip of the historic moment when Aran delivered Mrs G the first fish after his injury:

As I write there is a severe thunderstorm warning for Missoula, Montana where Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world has her nest. They are expecting torrential rainfall, heavy winds in excess of 45 mph which is higher than what is forecast when Tropical Storm Elsa hits Florida. The system in Montana is moving NW at 10 mph.

I just checked and the skies are getting dark in Missoula and there is a little wind. Iris is not on her nest but she was there this morning. This is the scene at 21:33 at the nest:

This is Iris this morning. How many times can you say gorgeous?

Send positive thoughts out to everyone in the area of this system as well as our beloved Iris. There are many other Osprey nests in the area, too.

It is now 23:30 at the site of Iris’s nest and all is well. Let us hope it stays that way during the night.

Several days ago I announced the ringing of the three chicks on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest of White YW and Blue 35. This is the nest of Tiny Little, Middle Bob, and Great Big Bob. Many did not believe that Tiny Little would survive but being clever and determined like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Credit Union nest in St Petersburg, Florida, Tiny Little did well. Of course, he won all of our hearts. As it happens, Tiny Little is now a very special chick in the history of Cumbrian Ospreys. Tiny Little got the honour of being the 100th chick ringed since 2001. Well done, Tiny Little!

There is their official portrait posted on the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust FB. Just look at the difference in size between Tiny Little and Great Big Bob. I would be afraid of that monstrous sister if I were Tiny Little. But, being clever, Tiny Little figured out how to manage rather well.

Blue 462 weighed 1.6 kg and is a female, Blue 463 weighed 1.5 kg, and the gender is unknown, and Tiny Little is Blue 464, the 100th chick ringed, andis a male weighing 1.6 kg.

@Cumbrian Wildlife Trust

The oldest chick, the male, on Rutland Water’s Manton Bay Nest fledged at 12:12pm today. Someone on site, later in the day, sent word out that 096 was sitting on the camera perch while Maya and the female, 095 were on the nest. Blue 33 had just brought in a nice fish.

By the time I went to check on them, 096 was on the nest and 095, the female, was flapping and hopping. Looks like she will fledge shortly!

I also checked in to see if Electra was on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest and she wasn’t. The wind is picking up a bit and it is only 18 degrees C. So much cooler than the heat that killed her last chick.

Tiny Tot is sleeping up on the perch. There is a 40% chance of a thunderstorm in the St Petersburg, Florida area. However, other models showing the rain moving NE did not indicate any systems coming near Tiny’s nest. I never know whether to trust the weather maps or not. With all the technology they should be spot on but, sometimes they aren’t!

I took some images of Tiny Tot during the day thinking that it might be the last time to see her. I sincerely hope that is not the case. Indeed, I hope that she stays around like Izzi, the juvenile Peregrine Falcon son of Xavier and Diamond, in Australia. She could give Jack and Diane a hand. It wouldn’t be the first time a juvenile stayed home and helped.

Tiny is incredibly beautiful, even when she is mantling because of an intruder. There is an intenseness about her.

Tiny’s plumage is beginning to change slightly on her body. Look at the necklace that is getting darker. Remember the white ‘V’ on the head. She will always have that and the white making a heart along with the very symmetrical espresso lines from her gorgeous eyes going to the back of her head.

She is even lovely when she is squawking at intruders! Go Tiny! Let them have it.

Tiny will be really anxious for Jack to deliver a fish in the morning as she went to sleep without her regular evening dinner. She won’t starve. The raptors often go for a day or more without prey. Still, for all the efforts today – even with Jack coming to help with the intruder – Tiny needs her fish payment for doing security duty! Don’t you think?

Little Kindness is truly a sweetheart. Here she is sitting with Mom on the nest in Glacier Gardens late in the afternoon on 1 July. Just precious!

Kindness with her Mom, Liberty. 1 July 2021

There are several things that people look for when they try to determine the gender of a Bald Eaglet. One is the size of the feet and the second is how far the back of the mouth goes in relation to the back of the eye. The farther back that yellow line extends and the bigger the feet indicate a female. Kindness has very large feet. Just look at them! And that yellow line of her mouth goes far back. By this method, that would indicate that she is a girl. Of course, nothing but a DNA test or seeing an eagle lay an egg is 100%. I wonder if they plan to ring Kindness? Must ask! And I did ask and got an answer quickly. It appears there are no plans to ring little Kindness. I could give them ten good reasons to ring this eaglet. I wonder why ringing and keeping data on the birds is not as ingrained in North America like it is in the United Kingdom and Europe?

The three white storklets remain on their nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia. They are growing and growing and now are as large as Father Stork.

It is time to say goodnight to all of the birds and to you. But before I do, I want to leave you with a video that Lady Hawk posted today. It is the Golden Eaglet in the Bucovina, Romania Nest. The mother brought in the 6th roe deer today and the baby ate it all! That eaglet looks like it will explode. Enjoy!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Nest, LRWT and Monton Bay Ospreys, Rutland Water, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, and the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust. Thank you Lady Hawk for doing your videos!

Baiting mice to save birds

You would not normally find me jumping up and down because an entire island was covered with rodenticide to kill mice – but I am today. The Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels and the Gough Island Restoration announced that the first bait drop on Gough Island is complete. They are hoping for good weather so they can complete the second bait application. So what is this all about?

“File:Gough island top view.png” by Photo: Steven Chown is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Gough Island is a tiny, 35 square mile volcanic and rather rugged British Protectorate, in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is home to some of the most beautiful sea birds in the world such as the Tristan Albatross. Each year over 2 million seabirds are killed by ‘invasive non-native house mice’, according to the Gough Island Restoration Committee. Close your eyes and imagine a mouse biting and eating one one poor albatross chick – and then imagine the horror of 2 million! The mice, who were brought onto the island in the nineteenth century by humans, are now so big that they are even attacking and killing the adult birds.

Below is the image of an adult bird with a deep injury from the mice. She is still trying to take care of her chick. The mother dies on Gough Island on 28 April 2021. She was ringed in 1986 and was the second oldest female on Gough Island. So very, very sad to have survived that long and to be killed this way.

@ P. Ryan
@ R. Daling

So how do you get rid of an island full of mice? The Gough Island Restoration Committee is using helicopters to spread cereal bait pellets containing a rodenticide across the island. At the same time they are working to safeguard the land birds during the operation until the baiting of the mice is complete. We wish them well on this historic endeavour.

For those of you wondering about Big Red’s K3, he is fine. He may give us all ulcers before he leaves his parent’s territory! A bit of a daredevil that one and so tiny the wind just picks him up and off he goes! K1 is fine as well.

Tiny Tot had a nice big fish this morning and fought off another intruder.

And what is so different about this ousting is that Tiny Tot had a fish in his talons! I am certain that adult bird believed it could take that fish away from a juvenile but Tiny told them! Don’t mess with me! This little one is getting really street smart.

There was something I noticed about Tiny Tot this morning I want to share with you. Look at the top of Tiny Tot’s head. I have mentioned the white ‘V’ earlier but look – a heart! I like to think that heart is there from all the love everyone sent this tiny baby when it was starving.

But I am also pointing this out for a reason. We need to memorize the features on Tiny Tot’s head. He is not ringed so we have to identify him in other ways. The patterns are becoming clear and this will be the only way that someone will recognize him in the future – if he ever leaves the nest, which I am hoping he doesn’t.

The little Golden Eaglet in Bucovina is also fine. The father is becoming more comfortable with the camera and is delivering small snack-like prey to the eaglet several times a day. This is so positive in terms of the survival of this beautiful eaglet. Here is the little eaglet today with a nice crop.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Fingers crossed all around for the success of the Gough Island Restoration! Have a wonderful weekend all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots today: Achieva Credit Union, Asociatia Wild Bucovina, and the Gough Island Restoration Information Page where I grabbed the photos of the injured adult Tristan Albatross.

Credit for the feature image goes to: “Tristan da Cunha-12-010-albatross on Nightingale Tristan in background-Credit Paul Tyler and Alison Rothwell)” by darwin_initiative is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Sad news about K2 and other nest stories late Thursday and Friday, updated to include tragedy to Osprey nest in Finland

First, I am so very sorry to bring you the sad news that K2 is no longer with us. Cornell Bird Lab released the following statement this morning:

June 25 Update: We have sad news to share about K2, the injured nestling from the Cornell Hawks nest that was transported to the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital on June 22. There, K2 received emergency care and advanced diagnostics to assess the nature and extent of injuries and determine treatment. Unfortunately, X-rays and other testing revealed severe and irrecoverable injuries that would have prevented K2’s survival in the wild or quality of life in captivity. Because of this, and the chronic pain associated with this condition, the wildlife veterinarians made the difficult but compassionate decision to euthanize K2.

Cornell Bird Lab

Our hearts go out to Big Red and Arthur, K1 and K3 who will forever miss their middle sibling. Fly high little one!

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write to me this week. I appreciate the comments and the e-mail letters. It is wonderful that so many people are finding delight in the bird families. As one of you said, watching the birds and their daily lives is certainly better than watching the daily news! I totally agree.

I posted a question about the Cowlitz Osprey Nest. What is happening? Are the lack of significant food deliveries due to a small number of fish in the area? or are there other reasons? Thank you to the person who wrote to me to say that there are fish available. Indeed you mentioned that Electra had been fishing and had come to the nest with fish and shortly after Wattsworth showed up empty handed wanting her fish. I had seen this earlier on this nest so that is a definite pattern. Today Electra didn’t let Wattsworth have any fish – she ate and so did the only remaining Bob. This just screams what is happening to Iris with Louis at the Osprey nest in Hellgate, Missoula, Montana. Both of the females are excellent fishers and both of the males come to the nest and try to take the fish off the female. So I wonder if Wattsworth has a second nest like Louis?

Thankfully, the little Cowlitz baby had a bigger crop later in the day. This baby is going to need so much more fish to thrive but, all we have to do is look at Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest to know that it is possible to have a turn around. But this means more and bigger fish. This chick should be in the rapid growth period and instead it looks like half its age.

Too bad these females can’t get an Osprey divorce!

Tonight (Thursday) there were two prey drops on the Fernow light tower. Arthur flew in with one and Big Red came with the second. Neither parent stayed on the nest to feed K3. It is time for a little tough love for this little one. He needs to learn how to unzip that prey and eat it – quickly so no one else comes along to take it.

It looks like K1 and K3 are having some kind of secret conversation in the image below. Perhaps it is about Big Red leaving a chippie but not feeding K3 who was crying for mom to give him some bites? Or maybe it is about who is going to eat the rest of that chippie??? If so, they had better decide quick. Big Red doesn’t like food to go to waste and that would just be a nice little snack before bed for mom! She will take it. Another lesson for these young hawks – leave food and someone else will grab it!

As the IR lights come on you can see that both of the chicks are still in that far corner. They are on the nest for the night. K3 has to be tired. He was flying all over the area trying to get back to the nest. He was on the bleachers, on another light boast, on the announcers both, on the Rice Building and finally got back to the nest. He has to be exhausted. K1 is having better luck at her flying and getting to her goal. Fantastic! When I first checked I saw the empty nest and could not see the pair of them in the corner. So happy to have found their hiding spot.

Big Red brought K1 and K2 their breakfast this morning. K3 remained on the nest resting from its adventures yesterday and K1 went over to Rice Building and was buzzed by Robins and Starlings. It is 11:40 am nest time and they are both back on the nest together. It is a good Friday morning!

Oh, there were terrible storms in Florida. Poor Tiny Tot, on the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, was really having to sink its talons into the nest and hold on. The nest is still wet Friday morning in Florida. Jack brought Tiny Tot a nice fish at 11:26.

Tiny was still eating a half hour later. Thank you, Jack! So everything is fine in Florida with Tiny this Friday morning. And the camera is fixed. It must have gotten blown around during the storm. Thank you for doing that. Lots of viewers want to see the top of the perch and the entire nest.

Over in Cumbria, heavy rain was pouring down on Blue 35 and the three chicks on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest, too, Thursday late.

Blue 35 is doing the best she can to cover up her three babies on that Foulshaw Nest. There is poor Tiny Little Bob with its head under her wing in front of her tail. Oh, he should almost be directly under her. He doesn’t have the feathering the other two do.

Oh, I hope this rain stops. Ever since those two healthy chicks died of hypothermia in Spain it makes me uneasy when I see a wet nest.

It is Friday morning and the rain has stopped in Cumbria and the wind has dried that nest out quickly. Blessings! Now if Great Big Bob will allow Tiny Little Bob to have lots of fish today – it will be a good Fish Friday! Gosh that sibling 1 is even grumpy looking. Sad to say for my gender but I bet ‘it’ is a big female!

It had been pitching down rain over in Wales too at the Clywedog Nest of Dylan and Seren – and the chick that everyone thought was a huge female turns out to be a boy. Well, there was a break in the rain but the nest was still really wet. The banders went up to weigh, measure, and ring the chick. He weighs 1400 grams at 32 days old and is now Blue 496. Dylan and Seren flew above the nest for the entire 40 minutes that it took making sure their only Bob was safe.

For everyone who is having an eagle withdrawal since the fledging of E17 and E18, Legacy, the Duke eaglets, the Pittsburg-Hayes, the Decorah and many more – there is an eagle nest up in Juneau, Alaska. The parents are Liberty and Freedom. They have one chick this year, Kindness. Oh, I love that name. The world could use a lot more ‘kindness’ and compassion now. Less anger, more hope.

This nest is located in a very unique botanical garden set in the rainforest area of Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.

The beautiful baby eaglet, Kindness, is 34 days old today. It was raining earlier and now that the rain has stopped the adult is standing up and trying to get the rain off their feathers. There is kindness all dry and warm!

There is the second egg. Mom still incubates it but, for those of you familiar with Legacy – this will remind you of ‘Eggie’. The egg is way past the date to hatch and now it is just a kind of pillow or prop for Kindness.

It is such a beautiful nest with little yellow wildflowers growing on it and all those green pine trees.

If you would like to watch this nest, here is the link:

There is wonderful news coming in from the Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest. Both parents have delivered prey to the nest. Yes, you read that right. The male actually came to the nest and brought a small mouse for the eaglet. Oh, this is so very good. Perhaps it is getting less frightened of the camera. The mom brought in a Eurasian Hare. The eaglet ate the mouse from Dad in one gulp and enjoyed having Mom feed it the rabbit.

Lady Hawk caught all the action on video for us:

There is sad news coming out of Finland. This is what happened:

Here’s a verbal description of the attack by an observer:“In air a raven doesn’t match an osprey, but Alma chased the raven into the woods, where her wingspan was too wide. The raven maneuvered on top of her and they fell down clawing at each other.“Alma probably got injured when falling and the raven to get the upper hand and go at Alma with its sturdy beak that’s a sharp and strong weapon.“The raven went at Alma for about 10 minutes on the ground, and when the raven flew to the nest, it had Alma’s feathers and blood on its beak.“Then attacked the chicks, killing one and injuring one, before Ossi [returned from fishing and] chased it away. After a while, the Raven returns to Alma who is still alive and fighting back but not able to get up.“The Raven finally leaves and a fox finds Alma who tries to defend herself one last time before the fox finishes her and hides her body. RIP Alma, you were a great mother and we’ll miss you.”

Thank you for joining me today. I am so so sorry to have to bring to you the news about K2. I know that each and every one of you were hoping she would be able to return to her family. She had the best care a hawk could get and we have to trust that all the right decisions were made in her interests.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Achieva Credit Union, Dyfi Osprey Project, Carnyx Wild and Clywedog Osprey Nest, Glacier Gardens Eagle Cam, and Cowlitz PUD. I also want to thank Lady Hawk for her video and John Williams for the posting of Blue 496 on FB.