Sadness on Channel Islands Bald Eagle nest and other news from Bird World

There is sad news coming out of the Channel Islands Bald Eagle community. The male eagle, A64, Spirit, devoted mate to Cruz, was found floating in the ocean near Fraser Point on 21 July. The report stated that there appeared to be no traumatic injuries. Spirit’s mate, Cruz, has been seen at their nest. Condolences to all.

Deb Stecyk made a great video of this wonderful couple in 2018. Here it is:

The gusts have really been whipping the Fortis Alberta Exshaw Nest around this afternoon. For awhile it looked like the two chicks might get blown off. Mum was food calling and looking in the sky and you sure had a lot of sympathy for dad trying to fish and feed his family this afternoon. The weather station reports that the winds are blowing at 21 km/h. The gusts appear to be more than that. Hang on everyone!

Of course, you can’t even tell there is a breeze in a still photo!

The chicks are doing well on this nest. There seem to be no worries.

The wind was not blowing at the Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Nest. Just look at how big and pretty Only Bob is getting! It really does help to be an only chick.

As the day heats up, Mum is making sure that this little one is good and shaded from the pounding heat of the sun.

The Only surviving Bob at the Collins Marsh Nest had a nice crop this morning. It is really, really hot on the top of that old wildfire tower. Both Mum and chick are really panting.

It was really nice to see a nice big crop on this little one today especially with the heat.

Tiny Little had breakfast and had an evening meal. Mom flew in to help but looks like Tiny Little did a pretty good job cleaning up. Our little one decided to sleep duckling style on the nest tonight. I like to think that all those lines are golden rays shining down and protecting this wee babe.

Other news coming out of Welsh Osprey nests is from Llyn Clywedog, the nest of Dylan and Seren. Only Bob, Blue 496, today flew from the nest with a good sized fish attached to its talons to eat it elsewhere. It is not clear if this is a first for Only Bob but it sure could be. Well done! Another milestone.

This is so fantastic. Dylan and Seren can be very proud of their 2021 fledgling Blue 396. He is doing so well in all aspects – flying, self-feeding, and now flying with a fish in talon. All good prep for migration.

As you probably know, the mothers leave before the fledglings and dad. They normally take off for Africa (or Spain or Portugal) two weeks before everyone else. Seren has been photographed in The Gambia. Dad will stay behind and feed the fledglings. When they take off and are all on their way it is only then that the male will leave. Everyone knows what a treacherous undertaking migration is. This year only 80% of the Ospreys expected to return did so in the UK (according to Tiger Mozone’s data). That is low. Normally it is 90%. We will begin to look for their return the third week in March. Normally Blue 33 and Maya are one of the first couples to get back to their nests. I can’t wait. There is something adorable about these little fuzzy bobble heads turning into reptiles and then getting their juvenile plumage that warms your soul.

My last report comes from Dr Ericke Green at the Montana Osprey Project. Him and his team have now visited 200 Osprey nests along the Clark Fork River. They note that the water in places is less than half the normal amount. The heat has persisted for more than a month, the water is hot, and the fish are dying. This is bad news for the Ospreys. Green noted that the chicks that they ringed were in good shape, regardless. He said that when they were on the Flathead Indian Reserve north of Missoula they found some nice healthy chicks living in nests lined with Bison hair! The nest is close to the Bison Wildlife Refuge. Wouldn’t that be soft and cosy?

Do any of you know what has happened in the Barlinecka Forest’s Osprey Nest in Poland? I have written to the Polish Committee for the Protection of Eagles that ran the camera. It has gone off line. There were two chicks on the nest – chick 1 hatched on 25 May and chick 4 hatched 31 May. Eggs 2 and 3 did not hatch. That is a massive difference in age! If you know anything about the status of these birds please let me know. I haven’t had a response yet from Poland. I will share it if I hear.

I want to thank all of you for joining me today. It is always a pleasure to have you with me. It was helpful to hear Dr Green say that this year’s osprey chicks in Montana have done well despite the drought that is encompassing so much of that area and ours in Canada. Take care everyone. Tomorrow loads of images of Big Red and the Ks.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: CarnyX Wild and the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Fortis Albert Exshaw Osprey Nest, and the Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Nest. I also want to thank the Montana Ospreys at Hellgate FB Page where I grabbed the image of the Osprey chicks in the nest lined with Bison hair. They hold the copyright.

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.