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.

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.

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.

Nest Hopping on the Summer Solstice

Today in the Northern Hemisphere we are celebrating the Summer Solstice. In the Southern, it is the Winter Solstice. My friends in Australia are finishing up their gardens, eating the last of the tomatoes and clearing up the vines, enjoying the first of the cabbages. It is even time for them to light the small fires that keep them warm. For the rest of is it is the beginning of summer officially. A time for school to be over in Canada and people to start thinking what they will be doing to enjoy themselves for the second summer of the pandemic, living under various restrictions.

There has been a lot of action in Bird World this past week – some good and some tragic. We lost the two seemingly healthy Ospreys chicks at the Urbaidai Biosphere Nest. The staff believe the cause was hypothermia. There had been lots of rain and the nest was wet. It is so sad because those chicks were quite large and doing so well. Now at the Golden Eagle Nest in Bucovina, Romania, the beautiful little Golden Eaglet has not had a good meal since the 16th of the month. Today it was so hungry that it had to eat one of the leg bones from the deer brought on the nest. The father had been helping with prey – hunting and then doing an exchange with mom. I wonder if something has happened to him. The female brought in only a small bird since the 16th. It is so frightening because this nest is beginning to feel like a repeat of the absolute horror at Spilve’s nest in Latvia last year. Spilve’s mate died and then her beautiful Klints, almost ready to fledge, starved to death. Spilve could not get enough large prey for Klints to survive. That said there is a difference. A human frightened the male provider while putting up a camera. Spilve’s mate was injured or died. Think about it. This is the reason that no one should go near an active nest once the birds are there. The question is this: does the individual who put up the camera have a ethical obligation to provide prey for the Golden Eaglet?

The eaglet had a crop but I believe it is only from the eating of the bones. I want to be wrong. My friend T sent this picture to me and we both hope he had some real food.

Just now the mother has brought in a very small bird for the eaglet. It is 17:28 nest time in Romania. Eaglet had seen her and started food calling. Oh, I hope that nothing has happened to the father so that larger prey can come on to this nest!

There has been a lot of sadness at various of the nests this year. K2, the middle hatch of Big Red and Arthur, is having some issues. No one knows specifically what the matter is. The beak appears to be layered with dried food that did not get cleaned off. The eye issues could be compounded by the chick’s scratching. It was a good day for a fledge for K1 and K3 but that did not happen. Big Red fed all three chicks on the nest tonight – including K2 who ate well. Big Red knew that heavy rain was coming and she kept those babies on the nest. Oh, she is such a wonderfully experienced mom!

K3 is the one facing towards the street standing in front of the light box. If you look carefully you can see the accumulation of dried prey on the beak. I am hoping that is all that is the matter with her beak and that antibiotics, fluids, and TLC will have her fit to release. I say her. I actually believe K2 is a he. If K2 goes into care they will surely do a DNA test and we will find out – boy or girl.

Around 9:26 this morning Arthur brought in prey for Big Red and the Ks. These parents are being very attentive to their three hawlets as the time comes closer for them to fledge. Already this morning K3 has taken the spot on the fledge ledge. It will be 80 degrees and sunny. A nice day to fly for the first time!

There were three fish deliveries that I am aware of on the Cowlitz Nest today in Longview, Washington. That is wonderful. There continues to be food insecurity and competition on the nest. The smallest chick is very feisty, just like K3, and does take advantage of that when feeding time arrives. I do not know how soon this will stop but I do hope that Wattsworth will bring more fish to the nest so that these two can begin to grow and thrive. Chick 1 hatched on May 27th making it 23 days old and chick 2 hatched on May 29th making it 21 days old today. They are physically behind in their development but that might not be a bad thing unless they are not ready for migration when August or September arrive. It would be like having a child who is either small for their age that they are at the bottom of the chart or, likewise, one that is really big for their age. I was happy to see crops on both the chicks today and also to see a pair of fat little bottoms. Hopefully they will be fine but they need consistent fish brought to the nest for that to happen! Wattsworth!!!!!!!

You can just see the coppery colour starting on their heads. They still have the white stripes on their back and their dark charcoal down as infants. It looks like their spider legs are beginning to fill out a bit but the little bottoms today – at least – are plump and round. These kiddos have been a bit of a worry because there is no rhythm to this nest. All you have to do is look at the nest where the chicks are thriving and see the dad bring in a fish first thing in the morning – it is there just as dawn is breaking – and at tea time or before bed. And, of course, in between. Wattsworth is not regular. It makes for so much insecurity – and hunger – which leads to rivalry.

There they are those sweet little kiddos with their little tails coming in. Oh, you keep every morsel of positive energy you have going the way of these two. They cannot help who their father is – I just hope that for them Wattsworth will continue to provide more and more fish. They can get over it. Just look at Tiny Tot! But they are going to need lots of fish as they should be entering their biggest growth period.

Jack brought in two fish to Tiny Tot at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. The first of the day was actually the tea time fish at 4:52:33 and the last was at around 7:50. Tiny gets so excited when he sees fish coming in – he food calls and starts mantling – always backing up on the nest so that dad has a place to land.

It was a really quick hand off. Tiny is great – can you tell in the image below that he has a fish in those talons? I couldn’t for the longest time.

In the Karula National Forest in Estonia, the Black Storklings are thriving. Karl II and Kaia have done a wonderful job parenting the three of them. This is the nest where Karl’s former partner typically laid 5 or 7 eggs and then would toss the smaller chicks off the nest. I am hoping that Kaia only lays three eggs every year so that all can survive – providing there is enough food. Food insecurity triggers the elimination of the smaller chicks.

So much on these nests – every nest no matter the species – depends on a regular supply of prey. Any nest can change in an instant if something happens to the amount of prey or the weather turns cold and damp.

Aren’t they adorable?

I do not know if the community is still feeding the storklings in Mlade Buky. You will recall that their mother was electrocuted and Father Stork was going to have difficulty protecting the little ones and getting food for them. The community chipped in little fish and various other small mammals for both Father Stork and the storklings, feeding them three times a day. Those generous caring people made it possible for these three to grow strong and fledge. When I check now, it is Father Stork who is feeding them.

Here is father stork feeding them just after 10pm last night in Czechoslovakia.

And today you can see how big those storklings have grown.

It is morning in Scotland. There is a beautiful golden glow falling on NC0 and the Two Bobs. Look how big they are? At one time I worried so much for the Little Bob and NC0’s feeding ability but she has proved herself to be an excellent mother.

There is a bit of mist as the sun breaks in Wales at the Dyfi Nest of Telyn and Idris.

Let us all hope that the golden glow that falls so beautifully on NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes will bless all of the nests this week so that everyone is well.

Thank you for joining me. You stay well, too!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, and the Bucovina Golden Eagle Cam.

Two Fish for Tiny, a single mom and a Golden Eaglet and a pigeon egg in an owl’s nest?

Wow. Tiny Tot didn’t get any fish yesterday. It would appear that Jack is attempting to make up for that today. A fish was delivered at 7:53:25 and a second at 10:03:55. Needless to say, Tiny Tot is very happy and has a nice crop!

Tiny was really hungry. I hope he didn’t grab on to dad’s talon! There is always a flurry of wings and talons during a prey drop.

And that second delivery. Tiny was just as excited and mantling just as frantically as the earlier fish drop.

Tiny Tot is still working on that last fish. It is going to get up to 31 degrees C in St Petersburg, Florida today. These fish should really help hydrate Tiny Tot, too. Thanks, Jack!

There is a Golden Eagle nest in Romania where there is now a single mother taking care of her chick. Why is this the case? What would scare off a father eagle from helping his family? Could it possibly be someone who knew that there was an eaglet on the nest and decided any how to install the solar powered camer. No one puts up a camera unless they know that it is an active nest. Cameras and time are expensive. Sadly, it frightened the male. The male is so afraid of the camera that he has not returned to the nest since it was installed. To be clear, those actions might have cost this eagle family their nest. The chick is fortunate in that there is enough prey and the mother is a very good hunter.

Many of you will have watched Spilve struggle last year after Virsis did not return. Sadly, Klints died. I so hope this little one survives. The Golden Eagles are opportunistic hunters and the other has brought in a fawn and now she has been bringing in parts of an adult deer.

The little one is just starting to get some of its juvenile feathers. Here the mother keeps it warm. She will not waste any of the prey. The other day the chick was eating what looked like an ear from the deer.

The female has all of the duties. She has to bring in the prey, brood the chick, and also protect the nest. It is fortunate that she has the stamina to do all of those duties.

Last week residents of my City including myself were successful in stopping our public utility from cutting trees in the area of a known raptor nest. It is essential that individuals stay away as the adults can be so easily traumatized by a human presence. How sad for this family – and how difficult the life of this female has become.

The camera to this nest is here:

Some of you might be familiar with the videos of Lady Hawk. She is covering this nest because she started Golden Eagle coverage with Spilve and Virsis in Latvia last year. Virsis disappeared and Spilve was left to raise Klints by herself. She had to perform all of the duties like this mother and, in the end, Klints, who was almost ready to fledge, starved to death. Lady Hawk really wants to see a Golden Eagle chick grow up. She has created a number of videos of the happenings on the nest if you go to YouTube and do a search for Bucovina Golden Eagles or search under Lady Hawk. Here is the one of the chick eating the ear by Lady Hawk:

Many of you will remember Bonnie and Clyde, the Great Horned Owls that took over the Bald Eagle Nest in Kansas earlier this year. I did not know that so many people loved owls. Where I live they are mostly responsible for people running outside and screaming as they raid the nests of smaller birds including the local Crow family. That said, for those of you that do enjoy owls, my friend ‘S’ told me about a nest of Barn owls in the Hula Valley of Israel. There are seven owlets in that nest – they are all sizes. Right now they do not look very soft and cuddly! But guess what? A pigeon laid an egg in that nest! I wonder what is going to happen.

Here is the link to the live camera in Israel with the Barn Owls if you want to watch:

UPDATE: The mother owl evicted the pigeon and the pigeon’s egg broke. All done and dusted.

Ah, thank you for joining me today. Lots of things happening. Always think before you get around an area that could have a bird nest! And please be pro-active like the residents of East Fort Garry – they knew of an active nest and stopped a major utility company from cutting down the trees! Help protect our wildlife and their nests. Thank you!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: the Achieva Credit Union, the Charter Group of Wildlife and Barn Owl Israel, and Asociatia Wild Bucovina.