Richmond, the stick, and the chick

19 May 2022

Richmond and Rosie have their nest on top of the Whirley Crane in San Francisco Bay at the Richmond Shipping Yards. Richmond is well known for bringing ‘things’ to the nest but, today, yesterday he decided to bring in a big stick. At the time only one osplet had hatched and we were waiting for the second. The first egg was not viable.

This stick delivery does end well but sit back and hold on to your worry beads! I suspect Rosie had a lot to say about this delivery away from the ears of their first hatch!

The second chick has hatched. Rosie was busy trying to get it to roll over and to eat some fish a few minutes ago.

Rosie kept cheeping. The youngest got itself righted. Rosie is determined that wee one is going to have some food! A determined Mum succeeds. Well done, Rosie.

Here is the link to Rosie and Richmond’s camera:

I thought you would enjoy the antics of Richmond. So glad that it worked out alright at the end! Thank you for joining me. Take care. Have a great Friday morning wherever you are.

Thank you to SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

A Hatch and a Crop!

17 May 2022

I had no intention of writing another update on today’s birds. However, sometimes something wonderful happens.

The weather cooled off at Notre-Dame and a really nice fish came on the nest. Early today, little 17 had only a bite of fish and not much yesterday. This sweet little third hatch was conserving what energy it had and we were all hoping that food would come. The wee one had a small ps – not good. It was really showing how dehydrated 17 was getting.

17 did what we have seen many who are dominated by older siblings do – he was hungry and he needed to eat. How could he get around the pecking siblings? He went around on the rim of the nest. How many times have we seen desperate eaglets or osplets do this?

17 is on the rim watching until that one big sibling moves away from the fish.

Once he gets up to eat the sibling on the far left will move its head threatening to peck. 17 keeps its head away and moves in to grab a bite of fish and throws its wings out in a mantle.

It had to be such an anxious feeding. A human being would be sick under that kind of pressure.

17 keeps snatch and grabbing until all that is left is an inch or so of fish and the tail.

17 mantles, then grabs and turns his head away. What determination. Go 17!

That fish is getting shorter and by the time 17 finishes eating – he is going to have a great big crop for his size.

Mum leaves the tail piece. 17 eats on it holding it down at times while the Big siblings ignore it all. Eventually one of them will try and self-feed, too but, 17 knows to hold it down and they don’t.

The ND-LEEF camera does not have good definition. But look straight down. See the fluffy grey on either side of 17’s head. That is how big his crop is! He can hardly walk he is so full. This is wonderful. He hasn’t ever had such a good meal that I can remember. We were also at the point to start worrying a bit – so that is all avoided. Yipee.

The second egg of Richmond and Rosie had a crack in it a few hours ago. About an hour ago that crack went completely around the egg and you could see the little osplet inside the shell! Oh, how grand. A hatch for the SF Ospreys. How wonderful. It is a good way to end the day. A full tummy for 17 and a hatch – finally – for Richmond and Rosie.

There it is! Oh, sweet wiggly one.

Back to brooding. Was sort of hoping that they would move that other part of the hatchling’s shell out of the nest.

But goodness, welcome wee one!

I simply cannot think of a better way to end the day than with a big smile. All is well in Bird World.

Thank you for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to ND-LEED and SFOspreys and Golden Gate Audubon for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

It turned out to be just a grand day for a walk at our park. In fact, while it was -11 C my winter walking clothes rated for the extreme winter temperatures to -30 C proved to be way too hot! It was hard to get the attention of the Red Squirrels because they were thinking ‘spring’ as they chased one another up and down the paths and up a tree, over a branch to another tree.

The photo below should go in the bin. When the little Red squirrel heard me, it stuck its head out of its nest. Before I could even get the camera focused, it was down on the ground. Sadly, the bars of the fence around The English Garden were very much in the way. But, there he is. Cute. Wanting some seed!

S/he scurried down the tree in anticipation of some seeds.

Quite the cutie and much more comfortable with humans than the squirrels in my garden.

Gosh, they are quick. Several big leaps like this and this wee Red almost landed at the fence.

Properly rewarded with some peanuts and Black Oil Seed.

This gorgeous Black-capped Chickadee landed right above me. I could hear the call but could not see the little songbird. So I turned quickly, turned the camera lens all the way to 600 mm and just hoped that I had an image.

When I finished my laps of the garden,, I returned to where I began. The little red squirrel was still eating its seed. No other squirrel cut in and took any. How wonderful.

There is always the question of feeding the animals at the park. Signage went up at the duck ponds not to feed the waterfowl. This was to stop people from feeding them bread so that they did not eat the plants growing in the water. But in the dead of winter? Habitats are lost, the seeds that might normally be available might not be. It is difficult. I have chosen to feed the wildlife. Make sure if you do that you always place the food in a safe place for them.

Annie’s return was cause for a major celebration. Cal Falcons posted a video of that moment! There is a close up at around 15:00 minutes.

This one shows Annie in the scrape reclaiming her ‘nest’.

Everything just feels right at The Campanile with Annie home.

The ospreys at Captiva, Florida had three good feedings today. The last one was at 18:14.

Lena arrives with a piece of fish. There was some concern as she had been away from the nest for 20 minutes leaving the chicks uncovered. Now that there are Crows about, this is a wee bit dangerous.

You can see how Big Bob is gradually changing and getting so dark. His head is like black oil and if you look carefully there are some coppery feathers coming in. Big Bob still has his crop from the earlier feeding at 15:51.

Little Bob is in the middle. The older siblings are rapidly changing in appearance.

Oh, look at those fat little bottoms. These chicks are doing well.

Bedtime! And look who is peeking out!!!!!!! Little Bob with a nice crop. Fantastic.

There is some concern at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest. Squirrels had been making holes in the nest. Diane had laid three eggs set to hatch in about 10-14 days. She has been seen spending less and less time on the nest. It is thought that the eggs have rolled down the holes created by the squirrel. There is only one camera and we cannot see down into the nest. There are certainly not any eggs visible but maybe the egg cup is just really deep. Still the behaviour indicates that something has happened. We wait and watch.

Today at the WWII Whirley crane in the Richmond Shipyards, Richmond and Rosie was taking in the view of their territory together! Looking forward to a great year from these two!

Aren’t they a gorgeous couple?

The feedings at Dale Hollow are going well. The twins wanted to exert their seniority at the table today but, in the end, a female Bald Eagle with at least 17 or 18 years experience raising eaglets can handle anything. River is an excellent Mum and Obey also likes to tandem feed the kids. I have no worries about this nest.

It is a gorgeous day at the nest of Jackie and Shadow in Big Bear Lake, California. We remain on pip watch.

Shadow is on incubation duties and you can hear the Ravens in the background. Jackie and Shadow have to be extremely careful not to be tricked or lured by the Ravens who desperately would like those eggs.

According to the mods, the eggs are 35 and 38 days old. Again, due to the high elevation, pips will come later than other nests at lower elevations.

Thank you so much for joining me on a quick check of some of the nests we are watching. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Big Bear Valley, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Dale Hollow Bald Eagles, Golden Gate Audubon and SF Ospreys, Cal Falcons, and Achieva Credit Union.

Early Friday in Bird World

25.2.2022

For more than two years, the birds that we adore have given us solace and brought joy when there was no joy to be found. Like today. I hope that we can, one person and one step at a time, make the environment better for them so that they thrive. Their gifts to us cannot be measured.

I wrote and thanked ‘B’ last night for sending me a message saying ‘Ervie is on the nest’. I want to thank her again as so many of you have told me that you checked my blog before checking the nest and were so thrilled to be able to see our magnificent Ervie. Oh, how we hoped he would connect with Dad. Maybe Ervie will soon. It really does seem that he is coming to the nest at least every other day – it is a matter of catching him. Ervie came to the nest, left, and returned with his puffer yesterday. He flew off again and returned at 14:48:16. He was drying off and what a handsome lad he was once those feathers were all fluffed. He will stay on the nest until 15:40:58.

Ervie must have not seen an adult as he was not calling. H also seemed to have a bit of a crop which made me wonder if he had another successful fishing trip. Near the end, Ervie made some sounds and flew off. I wonder what he saw? who was he calling.

Stop for a minute and look at how large Ervie’s wing is!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the latest tracker download from PLO on the 25th of February. Because it reads that it was loaded to the FB page 21 hours ago, I believe that this is Ervie’s earlier trip to the barge, the day prior.

The snow finally arrived in Ithaca at the nest of Big Red and Arthur. After all the work yesterday, they have been at the nest this morning for more than an hour each of them working hard. If you want to see the morning visit live, check on the streaming cam from 10:30-11:30 nest time.

Big Red is just as beautiful as always.

She hatched in 2003. It is believed that she probably had her first clutch in 2005. Cornell did not have a streaming cam on her and her nest until 2012. We know that between 2012 and 2021 Big Red incubated 27 fertile eggs. Out of those she fledged 26. The only one not to fledge was K2 last year who had an issue with her beak and had to be euthanized.

It is possible that between 2005 and 2021, Big Red fledged 48 juvenile hawks. Incredible. She is, after all, the ‘rock star’ of the Red-tail Hawk World with an international fan base of thousands.

Big Red busies herself with arranging some twigs around the edge, the cradle rails, if you like.

I wonder if her and Arthur will return today? We are definitely on the countdown to egg laying! Two to three weeks. Oh, joy!

The winds have started to pick up in Ithaca and the nest of Big Red and Arthur is rocking. It is 5 degrees C and the wind warnings for the area will last until 15:00 today.

Richmond is waiting on Rosie. Oh, I do hope she appears soon. It ‘feels’ late for her arrival from her migration to me. Richmond has not been on the nest but he has been close according to the Golden Gate Audubon FB page.

But wait! There has been an unidentified female coming to the nest but one of the watchers just posted on FB this image saying they believe Rosie has just arrived – an hour ago! Well, this would be so reassuring if it is her!

There was a nice big feeding at 11:28 on the Captiva nest. Dad brought in a Sheepshead.

Lena goes to the mangrove tree under the nest to get the fish from Andy leaving the trio alone. Do not worry. Both her and Andy are close at hand.

Lena and Andy both return to the nest where Lena prepares to feed the chicks. Andy is on high alert!

All lined up for their second meal of the day. How comforting is it to just look at those three being fed?

Here are a few images of that early morning feeding at 06:45. I love the colour of the landscape and the stillness of the water as the sun rises on the nest. It looks like a glaze colour called celadon with a hint of blue. Just gorgeous.

Everyone is fed well. There are no great calamities with Big or Middle Bob having to go first shutting Little Bob out.

It is so peaceful- just like Port Lincoln was this year with the three Bobs. They were all fed and had a really nice sleep between morning and the arrival of that second fish at 11:28. Well done Andy and Lena.

There are 2288 people watching Jackie incubate her and Shadow’s two eggs at Big Bear. In the background you can hear Ravens. They know there are eggs there and they will also know when the chicks hatch. These two eagles have to be so careful. They have made it this far and, as you can tell, they are two of the most popular eagles on the internet. Pip watch begins tomorrow. Send all your positive wishes to these two who have tried so hard to have chicks the last couple of years. Eggs have been stolen, broken because the shell is to thin due to residual DDT in the area, and chicks have died trying to hatch. The couple even had two clutches last year but to no avail. This year we are all very positive that it is ‘their’ year for successful hatches and fledges.

You sure are beautiful, Jackie!

A quick check on Duke Farms. That little bobble that hatched yesterday at 14:28 is getting its first food. So if you are missing bobbles, head over to Duke Farms as you wait for Jackie and Shadow. This little one is soooooo cute.

It is time to feed our garden gang. Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. It is sunny and mild in Manitoba – a good day for a walk after the gang is fed. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen capture: Cornell Bird Lab, Window on Wildlife and Captiva Ospreys, Golden Gate Audubon, Friends of Big Bear, Duke Farms, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and SF Bay Ospreys.

From Mantou to Murray to Missoula – a check on our bird friends

How many people wake up in the morning and wonder if something has happened on a bird nest? Do you look at the birds in your garden and wonder what kind of a day they have been having? For a couple of days, there has been some sort of stress at the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, in Rutland. It began with a headless fish and included an intruder this morning.

Blue 33 (11) immediately flew to Maya and the babies. Maya hunkered down over the babies watching while Blue mantled and sent out loud alerts.

It was all over in about three minutes but it must have felt like an eternity to Blue 33 (11) and Maya protecting their nest and their babies. Right now, there are many two and three year old Ospreys returning to the UK from their migration to Africa. For many, they have been away for eighteen months and this is their first return journey home. Everyone is looking for a mate and a nest and this nest on Manton Bay is prime real estate.

You can watch the entire process of protecting their nest on this short three minute video:

Ever since Blue 33 (11) brought in a headless fish that twice battered around the Two Bobs, Maya has been somewhat cautious whenever he delivers a perch. Sunday, the 16th of May, was no exception at Rutland’s Manton Bay Osprey Nest.

“Blue, are you really sure this fish is dead? You just wait here with the fish and the Bobs while I have a wee break…”

Blue 33 (11) kept staring at the fish. At the same time, one of the Two Bobs thought maybe dad would decide to do the feeding.

Blue 33 (11) only flew off the nest as Maya was landing. They are taking no chances with stranger Ospreys in the vicinity!

Maya approaches the fish cautiously.

The Two Bobs, having forgotten about the dangerous flapping fish, were ready to tuck in!

There are a lot of intruders on the Osprey nests at the moment. The two and three year olds are returning from their migration to Africa. Many have been away for eighteen months and this is their first time back in the United Kingdom. They do not have mates and they do not have nests and as well know, Manton Bay is prime real estate. Blue 33 (11) will not allow any of them to take his nest or harm his family!

There could be a couple on the Loch Arkaig Nest. The unringed male brought in a fish for the Blue 152.

And there is a microphone inside the Loch of the Lowes nest and you can hear one of Laddie and Nessie’s chicks chirping away inside the egg. She is listening!

The single chick at the Lake Murray Osprey nest in NH is doing fantastic. Have a look! There are advantages to being an only child!!!!!

Annie had the three boys over in the corner and she was behind them protecting them and keeping them in the scrape box last night. Grinnell brought in a banded shore bird of some kind for their late dinner.

As evening came down on Missoula, Montana, Iris was in her nest incubating the eggs. Good Night, Iris!

For the fans of the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Mom has been spending more time at the nest and Solly is doing great. Solly is 239 days old today and she remains at Eba Anchorage. Don’t you just love these satellite trackers?

Thanks for joining me today. Take care, stay safe – enjoy being outside if you can!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Lab and Montana Osprey, Lake Murray Osprey Cam, UC Falcon Cam, Woodland Trust, and the LRWT. Thank you for the tracking information on Solly, Port Lincoln FB Page!

As the Nest Turns is spinning faster!

Big Red left the Fernow Lightbox Nest with the 2Ks at 14:10:46. She returned at 14:24:14. The temperature in Ithaca was 25 degrees C and the 2 Ks were fine. They got some much needed warmth from the sun.

Oh, gosh, aren’t they the cutest with those tiny little wings and fat little bottoms!

Oh, look at K1 looking up to its Mom. How sweet. And look what Big Red has in her talons!!!!! Looks like rabbit is in the pot for dinner.

Often Arthur will hunt – his job is provide the food for the family, security for the territory, and support for Big Red – and leave prey at a drop off for Big Red to pick up and take to the nest. Sometimes Big Red hunts herself. We will never know who caught the bunny but there it is – it will become hawk. I sound like a broken record but these kids will never be short of food – never. And if they are there will have had to have been a major catastrophe in the area.

The vandalism at the Llyn Brenig Osprey nest caught the attention of one of the BBC morning programmes. On Saturday night the platform was approached by boat and cut down with a chainsaw. A tragedy. On that nest was the female and her egg. Alternative arrangements have been made for the Ospreys which Wales Water hopes they will take advantage of – one is a new platform close by and another is a replacement platform where their original one was.

Here is that broadcast:

As gleeful as I am to see Big Red and her very trusted mate, Arthur, enjoying their beautiful babies, I am equally joyful to see ‘no’ eggs on the nest of Iris at the Hellgate Osprey Nest. Her mate, Louis, has two nests. Historically he has not been the best provider for Iris, the oldest breeding Osprey in the world. There has been nothing short of heart ache for Iris since her mate, Stanley, died. I am glad there are no eggs. Iris will not take another mate because she is bonded to this nest in Louis’s territory. Another male will not come and take over unless he takes out Louis – and then what about Starr and her osplets? It is very complicated. Raising chicks takes a toll on both of the parents.

Over in the United Kingdom, Maya and Blue 33 (11) woke up to a soggy morning. Blue 33 (11) loves sleeping and cuddling next to his mate. Their devotion to one another is refreshing when I think about what Iris’s life could be and isn’t.

As the day progressed, the sun came up and Maya dried out. It is day 35 for that first egg that Maya laid. You might remember that her and Blue 33 (11) were the first couple to return from their winter migration to Africa on 19 March. The normal incubation period for Ospreys is 35-42 days. We are now on hatch watch for this lovely couple!

If you would like to catch out the action, here is the link to their camera at Rutland Mantou:

I often get frustrated with prey delivery to the nests. The birds cannot, of course, go to a store and buy a bunny or a fish. They have to hunt and fish for their food. It was a lot easier for the birds to do this before we took over their land or killed it with pesticides and herbicides. Boating and fishing leave their mark on the health and well-being of the birds as well.

Here is a video of Richmond, the mate of Rosie, at the San Francisco Osprey Nest on the Whirley Crane. It is a 6 minute clip of him going out to fish. Richmond is a bit like Arthur – he is an incredible provider.

If you would rather not look at the video, I can show you that Richmond was successful but it was the legion of trips that he had to do across the water that is so impressive.

It is evening in the United Kingdom and any snow that was on the Welsh Osprey nests yesterday is now gone.

Mrs G is on her nest at Glaslyn as the sun is setting and all is fine.

Telyn is on her nest and all is well. She apparently called out to a train when it went by! No hatch alerts for either of these two nests. More than a week to go at either one (or a little more).

And the last for today, the White Tail Eagle nest in Estonia of Eve and Eerik. Eerik is another great dad – he is working on keeping the pantry full enough. Those two little ones are really growing. Everything is positively fine on this nest. The little ones sit up and eat and there is no mischief!

Thank you so much for joining me. I will see you tomorrow. Have a great evening! It is a wonderful day to work in the garden. I noticed there is now green on the rose bushes and the peony shoots are about 10 cm high. Stay safe everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Eagle Club of Estonia, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, LRWT Osprey Project with Rutland Water and Rutland Wildlife Trust and, Bay Ospreys by Golden Gate Audubon.