Outpourings of love for Malin

It is difficult to suppress the tears because of the enormous outpouring over the death of Malin. A reader from Japan wrote, “It is raining in Collins Marsh, but in Japan it is called “rain of tears” and is considered to be rain that falls in times of sorrow. I hope from Japan that the nest environment will improve. I sincerely pray for the repose of Malin ‘s soul.”

Someone else wrote: “I grieve for Malin. I was watching the live cam and turned to do something for a minute and when I returned my gaze, he was gone! I had to scroll back to see what happened because I just saw mom on the nest looking agitated. 

Malin was on his way to being a beautiful osprey and needed extra time because he was underdeveloped. I am so sad. Thank you for your post.
Malin’s soul has journeyed to “just this side of Heaven…a place called Rainbow Bridge. Whenever a bird dies,that bird goes to the Rainbow Bridge…at the Rainbow Bridge there are meadows and hills and beautiful trees of all kinds where our special friends can fly…play…and singing together. There is plenty of good food…There is crystal clear water in brooks and springs are filled with water….Those who were hurt or maimed or ignored…are made whole and strong and free of fear again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by.”

So soar high, beautiful Malin. No worries now because you will always have a fresh supply of fish to fill his crop.”

Another writes, “his little bird that sat in the nest, day after day, mostly alone, unprotected for the most part from blistering sun or rain just captured our hearts for his bravery and persistence. I now accept the sad fact that he is gone……..but not forgotten. I hope there are answers forthcoming to address your questions, and mine.”

Still another that I know loves Malin deeply and who was involved in his naming writes, “This is very sad about Malin. We all loved Malin. May He Rest In Peace. Thanks for the beautiful photo of Malin on the nest and all the info.May God Bless all birds and animals who need help and May they always be in the right place to get that help.”

Those comments appear in the comment section of my blog. E-mails have filled by inbox. I am so grateful for your outpouring of love for Malin. A good friend of our birds writing from Latvin, says that she learned to love Malin so much through the stories of his day to day struggles. She is saddened and upset that he has been taken away because of some bureaucratic mixup. I certainly think we all feel that way. So many have written to say just how sad they are at Malin’s passing and how much joy he brought to them. Of the ones I have also read you have talked about the nest environment of Malin. I appreciate that. As you know I have had continual concerns over access to the nest in case of an emergency. There is no perch for the parent. Sadly, Marsha found a tiny twig she could use one day. I was informed that no one wants to take the nest down and disturb all of the work of the birds but, in fact, the Snowy Owls in the winter have done much to rid the nest of its twigs, etc. This nest needs attention at all levels. You are all so right.

I know that there was surprise at Collins Marsh that so many people knew about Malin and cared for him. The love for Malin have joined people from around the world. Today we grieve and remember. Tomorrow we work so that all non-humans are respected and cared for – so that our planet can get its balance back. We do it in memory of our little Malin. Here is a short video of a fish delivery for Malin:

Malin with one of the tiny fish deliveries.

I will not be able to answer each and everyone of the e-mails in my inbox today but I am grateful to the outpourings of love for Malin and I will answer each and every one as soon as I can. Thank you!

QUICK UPDATE IN OTHER NEWS: All of the storklings have fledged from the nests of Grafs and Jan. Karl II has joined his 3 on migration. There is concern over one of the fledglings. I will discuss this tonight. The second egg has been laid at Collins Marsh. The dominant behaviour has stopped again at the WBSE nest. It looks as if the osprey chick at the Minnesota Landscape nest has fledged but I cannot confirm the date or time currently. It did not spend the night on the nest and because of Malin I have no watched as carefully as I might normally. Details on all of these later today.

Credit for feature image is: “Rainbow and the rain” by Ryan Ojibway is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

For Malin

I want to thank everyone who took the time to either comment, send me a personal e-mail, or both about Malin. It is clear that this sweet little soul was loved by so many.

When I wrote my last newsletter I felt a little like a detective in a TV crime show not wanting to compromise an ongoing investigation. I do not wish to cause any issues to those who are working on the ground to get some justice for Malin. In fact, I will not do that. But, there is a lingering bonafide question that needs to be answered:

Why did an employee of a nature centre deny a wildlife rehabber access to the tower on Thursday to look for Malin with their binoculars? Why did they make them wait for three full days to get permission?

The wildlife rehabber found the body of Malin near to the nest in 30 minutes from the top of the tower once they had access on the 21st. Feather comparisons, tail bands, etc. have been compared carefully and the Osprey juvenile found on Sunday is confirmed to be Malin. It is believed that Malin was still alive on Friday when Marsha was calling and looking down the edge of the nest of the tower.

This is a quote from Marc Bekoff, Professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado:

“When we make decisions that damage the environment or harm animals, it is rarely because of a lack of knowledge and concrete data. Rather, losses to biodiversity, inadequate animal protections, and other negative impacts are typically due to problems of human psychology and social and cultural factors. Science alone doesn’t hold the answers to the current crisis nor does it get people to feel compassion or to act differently”. Bekoff is keen to get people to imagine the world from the perspective of wild beings. I would like to do that for Malin and his parents. Bekoff always emphases the role of human values in protecting our wildlife. He says, “…coexistence has to do with our human hearts.”

So why did the staff of the Collins Marsh Centre deny an individual trained to save and rehabilitate animals access to the tower to look for Malin when time was of the essence? According to Bekoff, that answer lies in the heart of that individual.

As I learn of things I will let you know if they do not compromise ongoing local enquiries.

Collins Marsh is part of Caretakers of the Environment International, CEI, a global, independent organization for environmental education and protection.

Their website is here: https://caretakers4all.org/

There is a form to send concerns on that site if you wish to do so.

If you wish to bring the concern I have raised to the local board that oversees Collins Marsh, I suggest that you FB message the Treasurer, Marilyn Starzewski. I am unable to locate the other members of the Board. It is of no benefit to write the e-mail address on the website of the centre.

Also, in my posting yesterday there were two typos. Malin fledged on Thursday at 3:47pm the 19th of August. His parents called him and brought fish to the nest on the 20th. The wildlife rehabber was given access to the tower on the 21st. I apologize for any confusion. It was a very emotional day.

Thank you for being with me today and thank you for caring for Malin. Malin will become a symbol, I hope, of the need for wildlife to have strong advocates and for their rights to be enshrined in law and in our minds and hearts so that incidents such as this never happen again.

Malin’s Soul is Soaring

On Thursday, 19 August, 2021 the nestling Osprey, Malin, had a forced fledge.

Malin hatched either the 16th or the 18th of June. His parents were Collins and Marsha. The smallest chick died on 28 June and the larger of the two surviving died on 14 July. The body of that bird was not removed so the cause was never determined.

For the three weeks prior to Malin’s forced fledge, so much had improved on this nest. The heat of June had dissipated. The tiny fish that came to the nest were slightly larger. The deliveries became more frequent. They were so frequent that Malin often turned away from being fed he was so full. Malin began to grow. He stood and walked more and was flapping his wings. This is a video from 9 August of little Malin exercising:

Still Malin’s development was behind. His tail had just grown to reveal six dark bands on the day of the forced fledge. The earlier concern over his missing or delayed feathers was disappearing. There was great hope, because of the food deliveries, that Malin would fledge successfully. He just needed additional time and he would also require no less than a month on the nest to hone his skills while the parents provided him with food. Then an intruder enters the air space of the nest on top of the fire watch tower, 120 feet up, on 19 August in the late afternoon.

Some claim that this was a perfect first fledge. But Osprey experts who have worked for more than 50 years in the field say it is anything but. This was a forced fledge. In normal fledges, the bird goes a short distance. The bird returns to the nest. The fledgling will be lured back to the nest with food – just as Collins and Marsha tried with Malin. This is what is happening with Kindness, the Bald Eagle fledgling up in Glacier Gardens. The fledglings spend, on average, 36 days being fed on the nest while taking flights, getting its wings stronger. It is well known that if there is a forced fledge then the bird needs assistance. It will be on the ground. Time is of the essence!

This is Malin on 14 August. Oh what a beautiful bird.

It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm that our beautiful Malin died. The circumstances of Malin’s death are not clear but I believe that he was alive until the time when the parents quit going to the nest. Their last visit was in the afternoon of the 21st.

My concern is always the bird. When there is a forced fledge it is imperative that individuals in charge act immediately. An excellent example is when ‘Silo Chick’ fell off the Patuxent Osprey Nest #2. The park had closed but help was notified and they responded quickly. The chick was saved and back on the nest within 2 hours. That chick is alive today because two people who were off work for the weekend got their canoe and drove out to the park and found the chick. It really is that simple.

I want to thank each and every one of you for caring for this little Osprey. I have received so many notes from you telling me how much Malin meant to you. Malin will always be our strong little warrior.

Malin’s soul is soaring.

My screen shots and video clips were taken from the Collins Marsh Streaming Cam.

The First Egg for the Collins Street Falcons

Oh, my goodness. The male at the Collins Street Peregrine Falcon nest is nothing short of adorable. I spent all last year wanting to scoop up this stealth fighter in my arms and cuddle with him. Or dreaming of a Peregrine Falcon onsie. Wouldn’t that be cute on a toddler?

The first egg of the 2021 season has been laid on 21 August. Wow. It is eggciting.

You might be asking why the female is not incubating that egg. The female will not start incubating the eggs until the last one is laid. This is because the adults want the nestlings to be about the same size for the first fortnight so that there is no rivalry over food. Last year, the three big girls all hatched within a 24 hour period. There was never any sibling rivalry – that is what I love about falcons and kestrels. Once the last egg is hatched, they will be incubated for 32-40 days.

Mom looks so proud of herself!

These are some images from last year:

Mom brooding the triplets.

Dad feeding the girls when they are a little older – before they lose all that fluffy white down.

This year Mirvac, the property owners, are in charge of the streaming cams of the Victorian Falcon Project. You can watch these falcons from the very beginning.

Telyn at the Dyfi Nest, Wales. 20 August 2021

Some more great news. The Season of the Osprey will premier on PBS October 27 at 8pm! Please check your local stations for the exact time in your area. This is what they are saying about this documentary:

“Birds of prey exist in myriad shapes and sizes. Scores of eagles, hundreds of hawks and countless kites and falcons have all adapted form and behavior to fit diverse habitats. But in all the world, there is only one osprey. Following a single evolutionary path, it has conquered every continent save Antarctica. One bird, one design, unchanged. It is the only truly aquatic raptor, the sole member of its own taxonomic family. This one-hour, blue-chip special brings viewers into the life to this incredible raptor with a depth and intimacy never before attempted. Shot in and around Great Island Marsh, where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound, cameraman Jacob Steinberg has achieved unlimited access to an osprey nest and captured the struggles, failures and triumphs of a single osprey family.”

Oh, I can’t wait!

I am afraid that I am having Malin withdrawal. A week or more ago I took a few video clips of Malin being fed by Marsha. I would like to share one of those with you now.

And another one of Malin exercising his wings.

It is so much easier when you know that the little one fledged, returned to the nest for food for 36 days or so, and then flew off to find their life. There is a level of anxiety when it doesn’t happen that way. I sure miss that little one. I have not, as yet, received any images of the two Osprey chicks found or any other news. I am hoping for tomorrow or Monday. It is a busy time of year for the wildlife rehabbers.

Two of the storklings have fledged at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene near Siguldas – the youngest was first and then the oldest yesterday. Only the middle remains. All have returned to the nest safely. The one that had its wing up against the far branch seems to be alright as well. That is good news. I have heard of no feedings since Grafs came in with some very small fish for the trio on 19 August. That means that if the storklings did not find the feeder – the two that fledged – they have had little food but nothing for two days. This is critical. There is concern that Grafs has left for his migration — it was the very initial concern. I want to remain hopeful.

Jan has fed his storklings but the meal was only tiny fish or worms. Urmas has not brought any more fish to the nest. Since he has fed them once and they accepted the fish, I hope that Urmas will do this again (he also left fish when he banded them and put on the trackers). It is not clear whether the anxiety of starvation is worse than having a human bring food to the nest.

These are very difficult times for everyone but they are especially difficult circumstances for these six starving Black Storks – rare Black Storks!

At the Black Stork Nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia, Karl II was still in the nest area. His transmitter told us. The two early fledges, Tuul and Udu, headed the wrong direction due to weather concerns and then turned south. Pikne travelled south from the beginning. New tracker information should be coming in soon. Safe travels all of you!

Oh, this youngster can really scream for food on the Loch of the Lowes nest. What a beauty. This is another good example of a ‘normal’ fledge. The chicks return to the nest to be fed and fattened up for migration.

I really want to put a plug in for the administration of the lochs in Scotland. No one is allowed on those lakes from April to the end of September so that humans do not disturb the birds. It means that motor boats with their leaking fuel are not chasing the Ospreys and making the water toxic. Gosh, I hope that only human powered boats are allowed. What a great idea – leave the lakes to the birds during breeding season. Three cheers for Scotland! This could well be the case throughout England and Wales also. I will try and find out.

And look what is on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. It is a flounder for the lucky chick that makes it to the nest first. Tiny Little!!!!!!!!! Where are you Tiny Little?

It’s a few minutes later and I missed that lucky fledgling that snagged that flounder! It’s gone. That leads me to believe that it was probably Blue 464, the male, the first to fledge. He likes to take the fish and eat it on the branch of the parent tree.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you are looking forward to those falcons hatching as much as I am. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Mirvac Corporation and the Collins Street Falcon Cam, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Club for Nature, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, and The Dyfi Osprey Project.

What do Ospreys do after they fledge?

Tiny Little or Blue 463 and her siblings are giving you a visual answer below!

They return to the nest where the father will deliver a fish.

Sometimes the birds eat the fish on the nest and sometimes they carry the fish in their talons to a perch to eat it.

Blue 464, the male and the first to fledge, has this fish. Tiny Little is the bird on the right. Notice how she has started looking at that nice Flounder. Blue 462, the other female, is at the back on the left. It is drizzling on their nest today. This won’t be the last fish probably. Fingers crossed for another delivery or two.

Blue 462 and Tiny Little, 463, see dad and are food calling to him. White YW knows they want more fish! And this is what Osprey fledglings typically do after their first flight. They get better at flying and the parent feeds them. Most do not catch their first fish until they are on migration.

Here is Tiny Little food calling to White YW, the dad:

Roy Dennis, the UK Osprey expert who has worked with the birds for sixty years, puts it this way in his book, A Life of Ospreys:

“The first flight may take only a few minutes, with the bird landing back on the nest or in a nearby tree, but other flights are more adventurous and can last for ten minutes or more.” (77)

“The young birds now start to spend more time away from the nest but still remain within a few hundred metres of it, using the eyrie as a meeting place where they receive food.” “While they wait for their father, the young are often dispersed within two or three hundred metres of the nest tree, quite often to be found perching low down on fallen trees, stumps or rocks. The young birds keep a good look out on the horizon for their father and, as soon as he flies in with the next fish, they rush to the eyrie to meet him, while the male leaves immediately to catch a fish for the next chick in line” (78).

The American Osprey expert, Alan Poole puts it this way, “For at least a month after fledging, the nest remains the center of a young Osprey’s life, for it is there that it continues to receive food from the male parent – consider this an allowance of sorts” (Ospreys. The Revival of the Global Raptor, 104).

The young birds will disperse after spending this post-fledge period on the nest. Not all migrate; it depends on where they live.

If anyone tries to tell you that Osprey fledglings do not return to the nest after fledging, you have your answer! Of course, there are other examples: the two fledglings, LR 1 and 2 on the Loch of the Lowes Nest, Only Bob, Blue 496 on the Llyn Clywedog Nest, Dysynni and Ystwyth on the Dyfi Osprey Nest, Blue 095 and 096 at Rutland Water Manton Bay. Of course, there are lists of those in the US including Tiny Little and its siblings at the Achieva Osprey Nest. What about Dunrovin? I dislike making long lists to reveal a truth. They are boring to read but the evidence is there.

Susan Theys, owner of Wildlife of Wisconsin and a wildlife rehabber, will go to Collins Marsh Nature Centre and look for Malin today. She has the key to open the door to the tower so she can look over the landscape. There have been no visits to the nest by the parents so far today. It is now 1pm nest time. If there is any news, I will let you know.

Malin and his mother were frightened. Malin had been pancaking and he flew not from a position of standing up and flapping his wings – the norm for fledging -but from laying down. He was scared of the intruder. Because of this he might not have imprinted the way back to the nest in his brain – this is what the birds do with their short flights off the nest after fledging. We continue to hope he is alright and I am grateful to Susan for returning to check on him. Here is the video of that flight. I regret that I cannot upload the entire sequence of Marsha alerting and looking around the nest but you should have some idea watching this short video:

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is still raining!!!!!!!! It is so wonderful. Take care, see you soon.

Thank you to the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Osprey Nest for their streaming cam where I took the images of the fledglings of White YW and Blue 35.

Sadly, no word about Malin

I want to thank everyone that took the time to write to me and tell me how much Malin meant to them. My inbox was overflowing with letters expressing love and concern for Malin. Everyone wanted to know if there had been any word. Mom and Dad have both been on the nest with fish and today Marsha (mum) was there around 13:00. She did not have any fish that visit. During her morning visit she called out for Malin. So far there has been no sighting of Malin.

After going through the FB postings of the Nature Center, we were able to determine that Malin was the middle hatch. The youngest just disappeared from the nest and the eldest died in the middle of June leaving Malin, the chick that hatched on 18 June, alive. Malin was then the middle hatch of 18 June. Malin then was 63 days old at fledge. The average age for ospreys to fledge in Wisconsin appears to be 55 days. That would make Malin’s timing within range. Most ospreys spend at least 2 weeks flying and letting their parents feed them. Many stay much longer. Two examples that I give are Tiny Tot and Tiny Little because they were both hatches that suffered from lack of food. Tiny Tot stayed on the nest for a total of four months or 120 days. That is more than twice as long as Malin. Tiny Little remains on the nest in Cumbria. She will probably fledge before Tiny Tot’s 120 days – but she could be on the nest for 90 days.

There is disagreement over whether Malin simply flew or whether or not Malin was frightened off the nest by an intruder. Experts on both sides see that exit differently. It is unfortunate. The result is the same – Malin has not returned to the nest. The reactions to looking for Malin are different depending on which you believe. If Malin just flew because he wanted to then no one would go and really look for him. If one believed that Malin was frightened off the nest, they might worry that he was injured and look harder. Something that has to be kept in mind is that Osprey feed their fledglings on the nest – it is preferable. They do sometimes feed on a branch but I haven’t found an Osprey expert that has ever seen an Osprey parent feed their fledgling on the ground. In fact, if a fish falls off a nest they will not go and retrieve it. Have you ever seen an Osprey eat or feed its chick on the ground?

The research continues to stress that the more food and the longer fledglings stay on the nest the higher the success rate. That is the reality. This nest is really empty. Malin defied the odds – he survived and thrived. We hope that the name we gave him carries him on into his life and that he is somewhere safe eating a fish.

Collins is looking down like he might be seeing Malin.

One of the last times the entire family was together on the nest. It was a real privilege to watch little Malin survive and then – thrive. Let us all continue to send this family positive energy.

19 August 2021. Malin, Marsha, and Collins.

It is about 7am in Latvia and Estonia as I write this. The Black Storklings are waking up and like all birds are a little more energetic than they are at mid-day.

The two images below are from Grafs and Grafiene’s nest near Sigulda, Latvia. At least one of the storklets has fledged. Perhaps today they will all fledge and find the feeder area with the beautiful Grafiene decoy.

It is now just after 9am in Latvia and there is only one storkling on Graf’s nest near Sigulda. This means two have fledged just like my source had indicated. The second fledge is the oldest at 7:43 am. He is 70 days old today. The youngest fledged at day 66 after hatch.

This was not the smooth flight of the youngest. The oldest hit the branch on the other side of the tree. There is concern about the condition of that wing. I will update you as soon as there is any information. Send your strong and positive wishes. I hope it looks worse than it was. How terrifying for this young bird to have that happen.

Even so, I hope that both of the storklings are at the feeder filling themselves with fish – just like we hope Malin is doing the same.

There is now only the middle hatch. Perhaps it will go today. They are 68 days old.

When I checked on Jan and Janika’s storklings in Estonia’s Jogeva County, no more fish have been delivered to the nest. It looks to me like every scrap of the old fish has been eaten – I thought that yesterday. Perhaps one really packed down in the nest is there, the one the storkling on the left is pecking at. All of the birds need food.

Hopefully all of them will fledge and find the feeder set up for them, too.

They are so beautiful with the sunlight filtering through the trees. The storks are 67 and 68 days old today. The average for fledging is 68-72 days. I wonder if Urmas will deliver some more fish?????

Do you watch the peregrine falcons, Xavier and Diamond? If you do, then you will know that part of the pair bonding ritual is Xavier presenting a prey item to Diamond. Diamond is not that particular but, she does not like Starlings. She cannot stand them. She has turned Xavier away when he had a Starling for her. They must taste terrible!

Well, today, Xavier hit the jackpot. Diamond was completely excited about her lunch – although some of you might not be. Xavier had a Superb Parrot for his beautiful Diamond. Make sure your sound is turned up.

Superb Parrots are also known as Green Leek Parrots or the Barraband’s Parakeet. These little beauties are native to southeast Australia living in the dry woodlands of New South Wales and Victoria. They were once considered vulnerable in terms of conservation and have been listed as Least Concern since 2012. Loss of habitation due to timber logging might well see this bird back as being vulnerable.

They are medium sized, growing up to a little over 15 cm or 16 inches in length. The bird in the image below is a juvenile. How do I know that? It has brown eyes while the adults have yellow-orange eyes. The adult male has a bright yellow face and throat while the female looks like the plumage that the juvenile has below. They eat fruits, berries, insects, as well as grains and nuts.

Awww. What a sweet face.

WBSE 27 and 28 continue to charm the socks off of everyone. That beautiful fluffy white down is in transition. They look a little like old terry cloth towels sleeping in their nest this morning in Sydney.

Look closely along the edge of the wing of WBSE 28 on the left. You will see the little pin feathers coming.

The pantaloons are growing too.

Just look at that sweet baby, WBSE 28, looking up at its parent. How adorable.

They are so young and yet, both of them know to pancake when there is an intruder near the nest. They hear their parents alarming and down they go. Look at the concern shown in the eye of WBSE 27 on the left. You can also see the black pin feathers coming in on both in this image better than the other one. But look – their cute little tails are growing!

You cam almost see them growing right before your very eyes.

Tiny Little still makes my heart skip a beat. Oh, what a wonderful bird you have turned out to be. You were so very tiny with that big older siblings but just look at you waiting for your breakfast to arrive.

Oh, you have that ferocious look like Mrs G. I have said that a couple of times but you do, Tiny Little. I hope you live as long as Mrs G and have lots of successful hatches. You really are quite amazing, Tiny Little.

Tomorrow is Saturday but there is no Ferris Akel tour this week. I was hoping to catch up with what is happening with Big Red and her family. It was raining yesterday but the Hornings were able to spot all four of them so we know that K1 and K3 are still with us – how grand, the 21st of August.

I am researching ‘Climate Driven Evolutionary Change’. If you know of bird arrivals or departures that are earlier than normal or later than what has been the norm, please let me know. It is much appreciated.

It is so nice to have you here with me. The rain is still falling – and that is a good thing. Please continue to send your positive wishes to Malin and all the bird families. Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clip: The Falconcam Project at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross. Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Fund for Nature, and the Sea Eagles Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre.

Malin, the Strong Little Warrior

I reported earlier today that Malin, the Osprey chick on the Collins Marsh Nature Centre’s nest, had fledged. Malin flew off the nest at 3:42 pm.

We use the term ‘fludge’ when a bird accidentally falls out of the nest and flies. But what do you call it when a nestling is scared off their nest and flies?

For several minutes before Malin flew, his mother, Marsha, had been on the nest. She was watching and alerting. There was an intruder. Marsha even ducked on occasion. When Mom flew off the nest something happened to spook Malin. He had been pancaked. Malin had done this before. But this time, the intruder must have come near enough to the nest that it spooked Malin. Without thinking and scared out of his wits, Malin flew.

Here is a video clip. You can see the shadow of a bird flying at 10 o’clock – it is impossible to know who it was – at the end.

Malin was not prepared to leave the nest. He had been exercising his wings but he had never hovered. He really needed another couple of weeks to work his wings. His feathers were continuing to grow and he was catching up for his age but he was still behind. Today, Malin was 2 months old and a day – we think. He is the only one of three hatches to survive and it is not clear which hatch he was.

Mom immediately returned to the nest looking for Malin.

Collins, the dad, came in later with a nice piece of fish hoping to entice his son to the top of the tower. Collins did look over in the area of the trees and I am hoping he knew that Malin was there.

The nest is 120 feet up and I am told that flying up is much more difficult for a bird than down. Malin is not a sophisticated flier – could he make it to the top of the tower? Collins seems to think so. I hope he is right. Indeed, I hope that Malin is unharmed and makes his way home so that he can benefit from more food and more wing exercises.

This situation has heightened my call for all streaming cams to have emergency contact numbers immediately after the name of the site and before any historical or current information about the nest. That is so the numbers can be found quickly and easily. The minute this situation happened, the office at the Nature Centre was called. The message went to voice mail. At that instant a flurry of e-mails went out from the US and Canada to try and find someone who could go and look for Malin on the ground. FB Messages were sent. Luckily ‘S’ found the wildlife rehabber for the area, living 25 minutes away. By this time more than thirty minutes had passed, possibly 45. This individual listened to what had happened and got in their car and went to check on Malin. By the time they arrived it was getting dark. They reported that it was quiet around the marsh. Tomorrow this person will return and is hoping that Malin will be close by or food crying. Of course, it would be even better if Malin were sitting up on the nest or sleeping duckling style from all the activity. The three of us that named Malin are hoping that he lives up to the name he was given, ‘Mighty Little Warrior.’ Tonight we are anxious and fearful – all we can do is hope and wait. It will be a very long night.

For the past year I have been requesting that individuals responsible for streaming cams ensure that there is emergency information so that the community of birders watching these nests can contact someone – a responsible person who will provide assistance to the bird or animal – immediately. I realize that individuals do not wish to give out their private phone numbers. The park or nature centre with the streaming cam could have two dedicated cell phones only for emergency calls. Those could be provided to those in charge. Then they would not have to have their own numbers or phones used. The person at the end of that phone line would have their own list of specialists to contact for the specific emergency. It really is that simple.

The alternative is to have a 24/7 chat room with moderators who have emergency numbers. Moderators are volunteers. They do it because they love the birds. That is actually the simplest and cheapest way to handle emergencies.

The vast majority of individuals who watch the nests are bird lovers. If they see a tiny leg tangled in fishing line they want that bird to get help. If they hear a chick fall off a nest into water, they want to help. If they notice nestlings behaving strange, having tremors, refusing to eat, they want to fine someone who will listen and help. This year all of these things have happened, some many times, and it was thanks to the community birders that help came. Sometimes people did not listen to the alarms set off by fifty or more persons watching two eaglets on a nest in Florida. They were behaving poorly. One died. Then the second. The person who set off the first alarm said ‘rodenticide’ – and they were correct. Community birders are not quacks. Many have watched nests for more than a decade. They are informed and they want to help. They do not want to waste anyone’s time.

Thank you for sending your prayers and your warm wishes to Malin and to the boots on the ground who are trying to find him and care for him. Thank you for listening to my call for a solution so that help can come to the birds immediately when something happens. If you are in charge of a streaming cam or know someone who is, please talk to them about having emergency numbers or 24/7 moderators on the chat who can get in touch with the right person if something comes up. It is really important. Thank you!

Thank you to the Collins Marsh Nature Centre and the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and my video clip.

I plan to bring an updated report on the Black Storks in Latvia and Estonia later tomorrow. There is still someone who can pull at my heart strings even when I am so worried about Malin and that is Tiny Little! It is 6:30 on her nest in Cumbria and there she is having her breakfast fish compliments of White YW. Thank you, dad. Thank you, Tiny Little. You give me hope for Malin tonight.

Send love and positive energy to Latvia and Estonia

I want to begin with the Black Stork nests today. For those just learning about the situation of the Black Storklings in both Latvia and Estonia, here is a very brief summary. The storklings at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene in Latvia and that of Jan and Janika in Estonia are late hatchlings. There was concern from the beginning that both parents might leave for their migration before the storklets fledged. Currently, the mothers have left and the fathers, Jan and Grafs, are the sole providers. Neither male can provide enough food for three storklings to thrive. There is also a question of the supply of the fish. In both Latvia and Estonia, feeder situations have been established with decoy female Black Storks. To date, neither male has found these feeders.

‘S’ in Latvia reports, “The good news is that it seemed that yesterday Grafs had encountered a generous feeding place on the way, not so far away. We were already a bit sad thinking that the storklets will have to spend another day with just one small noon feeding, what a celebrated surprise it was when he came back less than 4 hours later with plenty of food. Many of us bursted into happy tears:) It is good to know that he can still manage to get food elsewhere even if it is not from the feeder. And the most important thing is that he is still here caring for his young.”

aGrafs and Grafiene’s Storklings, Sigulda, Latvia 19 August 2021

At the very beginning, M. Strazds, a Latvian Black Stork specialist, warned that he felt that there was only 0.1% chance that Grafs would find the feeder because birds do not normally search for new feeding spots at the end of the nesting season. Still, as I understand it, the storklings, once they fledge, will find the feeder and it will be very good for them.

In Estonia, Jan has made only one delivery that I am aware of. The storklings have supplemented that with the fish that Urmas delivered last night. I was made aware that the storklings were playing with the fish but, it appears now that they have been eating them as the pile of fish is almost gone as I write this. I am aware that there are controversies about the effect of humans getting close to the nest because of the stress that it causes on the birds. But starving is also a major stressor. I believe that Urmas and his team know what they are doing and I hope they continue to feed these birds.

Jan and Janika’s Storklings, Jegova County, Estonia

There is one other nest with a fledgling, Pikne, the female, still being fed by a parent and that is the nest of Karl and Kaia in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. ‘S’ reports, “The feeder approach has been very successful with Karl’s nest in Karula for the sole reason that he has a transmitter and it is possible to track his usual feeding places.”

Pilkne, the last remaining storkling being fed by Karl II at the nest in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The other two have fledged.

It has been a very difficult year for those who care for the birds and who watch the streaming cams. Osprey chicks died due to weather related issues and Cooper’s Hawk eyases got so hot on the nests in Canada, they lept off the nests to avoid literally being roasted. Many are dying as they undertake their migrations which are challenging enough without having fires and smoke enroute.

At the same time, there have been some remarkable situations. Around the world, humans have stepped in to save birds of every variety. In the interior of British Columbia, the wildlife rehabbers climbed the Osprey nests and removed the chicks taking them into care because of the extreme heat and fires. At various places around the world, Osprey chicks have been fostered and received a second lease on their life. A Canada Goose named Arnold had his digits fixed so that he could live a full life with his mate, Amelia. A very old Bald Eagle full of lead was given treatments and is now thriving and waiting for A Place for Hope to get its permit so he can be their ‘forever’ bird. Every day I read about a group of people and trying to help fix what many believe is unfixable. I hope that this is just the beginning of a change in intervention and our understanding of what works and what doesn’t. The key is not to give up.

There are, however, three miracles. I am thinking of the three Ospreys that should have died but did not – they have thrived – two of them to become dominant on their nests! Those were Tiny Tot aka Tumbles at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida and Tiny Little Bob aka Blue 463 on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. To me these are simply nothing short of a miracle.

Tiny Little Bob aka Blue 463, Foulshaw Moss Nest, 19 August 2021

The third has yet to fledge but has shown remarkable growth. I am aware that many on the chat rooms in Latvia and Estonia are concerned about feather growth. This was also a big concern for Malin on the Collins Marsh Nest in Wisconsin. Malin is our third miracle.

Malin, Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, 19 August 2021

I cannot tell you what happened to make the food deliveries on this nest turn around. All I can say is that they did and there are no more missing feathers, the tail now has 7 dark bands when 3 weeks ago there were 2 with the hint of a 3rd. It has been a remarkable recovery. At one time, there was concern that Malin might survive but not be able to fly. Those concerns have now vanished. Today, Malin has had 3 fish deliveries before 1pm and one of those was a whopper. Malin actually walked away from being fed by mom, Marsha, he was so full.

One of the major concerns for the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest is that the parents would also leave Malin on the nest and begin their migration. So far everything is going smoothly so I will just ‘knock on wood’ that it continues to be that way.

One other good news story is that the fires in Turkey are dying down or are out.

And there is more. Aran, the mate of Mrs G on the Glaslyn Valley Osprey Nest, was injured and was missing a couple of primary wing feathers,. There was a huge concern that he would not be able to fly — and consequently that he would not be able to fish or be able to migrate. Well, look at Aran’s feathers today! Yahoo. He is good to go. Tears. This is an amazing couple who lost their three chicks due to starvation when Aran was injured. The Glaslyn community kept the birds alive with a fish table until Aran was able to fly and fish.

Indeed, I do not want people to think that feeder areas or fish tables do not work. It depends on the circumstance and in the case of Aran and Mrs G as well as the Mlade Buky White Storklings, those fish tables saved the lives of those two families.

Aran at the top sitting on edge of nest! 19 August 2021.

We have a lot to be thankful for – and there is a lot of work to do to figure out how to help our precious birds – all of the wildlife. Humans stepping up to take responsibility and to “try” even if they are met with low odds and negativity should be the norm not the exception.

What can you do today to help the birds and all of the wildlife?

I want to close today with a bit of a giggle. If you watch Ospreys you understand how difficult it is for both the male and female to raise three. Actually that is true of eagles as well. Well, what about five? Now consider the fact that those five are all female. The poor dad would need a set of sound cancelling headphones!!!!!!!!!! You can hear females clear across a lake. Oh, my. The parents of these Westport, MA fledglings will certainly deserve their winter break.

Thank you for joining me on this quick update on what is happening in Latvia and Estonia. Send them all of your positive energy – and take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Eagle Club of Estonia, the Latvian Fund for Nature, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn and the anonymous reader of my blog that sent me the image of these five beautiful female Ospreys. Thank you.

Fish delivered to the Estonian storklings!

There are some very interesting developments going on in Estonia with the Black Storklings of Jan and Janika. On the 18th of June, Jan fed the storklings one time. He has not found the feeding pond, dug especially for him, with the decoy of Janika but, a Blue Heron has!

@Forum of the Jergova Black Stork Nest in Estonia

After dark, Urmas and a helper delivered a pail of fresh fish for the three storklings. You can see the pail that he is holding and all of the fish that have been poured onto the nest. Urmas was hoping to clean up the old fish with a branch but he did not because it could harm the storklings or the storklings might bite him. Everyone is doing an amazing job to make sure that these three rare Black Storklings will live and fledge! I cannot imagine another thing that Urmas and his team could possibly do for these beautiful young birds. Thank you Urmas!

@ Eagle Club of Estonia and the Form of the Black Stork Nest at Jergova

After Urmas has left, the storklings went back to sleeping. They will wake up to a fine meal.

@ Eagle Club of Estonia and Black Stork Nest Forum at Jergova

Grafs has delivered two feedings to his storklings at the Siguldas Latvian nest. They were so hungry and so glad to see him for the second feeding. We can only continue to hope that a miracle happens and Grafs finds the feeder with all of the little fish. This nest is not stable like the one in Estonia so no one can climb with a pail of fish and deliver them.

In stark contrast, Malin, the Osprey in the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest has a crop that is so big that it looks like it could pop. I have seriously lost track of all the feedings today, the size of the fish, and what might have been left from last night.

This Osprey chick has not seen so much food in its entire life! His system has adjusted to eating more fish. Originally, Malin would eat and then stop before he had a crop. Now he eats and eats as much as he can.

Marsha has flown in and is feeding an already full Malin that fish that was on the nest.

A few minutes ago, around 4:20 nest time, Malin still has his crop and Mom is looking pretty good, too. I wish there was someway to measure Malin. He looks like he is twice as big as he was at the beginning of the month with much more feather development.

By the size of the feet most people would say Malin is a little male. I know when the banders ringed Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss nest they could not tell if Blue 463 was a male or female. That was because of the lack of food. And that is precisely the problem with Malin – a lack of food might trick us. Malin could be a female but my ten cents worth is on a small very handsome male.

Don’t you just love how those wing feathers are crossing over the tail? This chick has been such a worry but it feels like that anxiety is all gone. Let us hope that the good feedings keep up for all three of the birds – Marsha, Collins, and little Malin. We want them healthy for their migration.

Ha, ha. My friend, S, in Hawaii just sent this picture to me – the one below. She is calling it the ‘Battle of the Bulges’. ‘My crop is bigger than your crop!’ Too funny. It is so nice to be able to relax and laugh. For so long we thought Malin was doomed but wow. I wish this kind of happiness for the Black Stork nests.

There is something troubling brewing. EC from France has posted images on FB of the fire, now four days old, burning the Massif des Maures in France. It is a huge mountain range. This is the worst fire in that area in 20 years he reports.

@ Eric Calvete
@ Eric Calvete

The fire is in the area with the red teardrop marker.

Google Maps

Here is the map showing the two main routes of the European birds. You will see on the top left that the birds from the UK normally fly over France, through Spain and across the Straits of Gibraltar and then the Sahara and Atlas Mountains. This is an extremely challenging journey. If they stay west in France, they will miss the fires currently burning at Massif des Maures. The good news is they should. The Eastern routing through Turkey and Greece still has major fires burning and is causing much difficulty. You can see how the arrows in the dark green – from The Netherlands to Latvia and Estonia converge and go through both Greece and Turkey to reach Africa.

We are told that the heat we are experiencing will now not go away. I hope that if that is the case our birds make adjustments to their schedules.

@ Open University

Some quick news from other nests:

NC0 is still feeding her fledglings at the Loch of the Lowes. LR2 snagged a really nice fish delivery from mom. So this is one female who has not started her migration.

Idris has been feeding Dyssni and Yestwyth at the Dyfi Nest in Wales today. Telyn has been seen so she has not left on her migration despite earlier reports that she might have.

All three chicks were on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. It looked like 464 had snagged the fish delivery with the other two waiting to see what happened. I have not seen Blue 35 and I do not know if she has departed or is just allowing White YW to do the feeding duties while she fattens up for migration.

Maya was caught on camera at the Rutland Manton Bay nest yesterday. Will continue to monitor her whereabouts. Both chicks, 095 and 096, are at Rutland.

There is our beautiful albeit somewhat grumpy looking Tiny Little on the right. It was nearing 7pm at the nest. Her crop looks good. Gosh she is a big bird! That look reminds me of Mrs G. So stern. That also makes me think she is a female!

It is always nice to see Tiny Little with a crop! And that is a good place to close for today. I hope everyone is keeping well. Sending off prayers and warm wishes to the nests and people in Latvia and Estonia and to the birds trying to make their way to their winter homes.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Loch of the Lowes, Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Fund for Wildlife.

Kindness Branched

Kindness, the daughter of Liberty and Freedom, in the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle nest branched at 9:39 am nest time in Juneau, Alaska.

Kindness spent quite a bit of time off the nest – playing with the nest and dismantling it a bit. She was rewarded with a really big fish by Mom on her return!

Kindness is 82 days old today. The average age for fledging at the Glacier Gardens nest is 89 days. It is an average of 80 days in Alaska.

Oh, Kindness really likes the feel of the air under her wings! GG4 left the nest 14 days after branching. GG5 left the nest 8 days after branching.

Kindness is GG6. Let us hope we have a little more time to spend with her. She is so sweet!

You can still catch a lot of action as Kindness works those wings. Here is the link to the streaming cam:

Oh, I love that picture on the streaming cam. Look how little Kindness was up against Mom Liberty!

It’s 4:42 nest time in Collins Marsh. The last time I peeked at Malin he was eating another fish delivery. That was at 2:16. There will most likely be another one before dusk. Gosh, Malin is growing. He has six clear bands on his tail and before long, he is going to be hovering around that nest.

Here are some cute Malin pictures to put a smile on your face.

Here is that 2:17 delivery.

Malin ate it all and laid down on the nest duckling style.

It’s been a great day for these two – Kindness and Malin. Congratulations to Kindness, Liberty, Freedom and all the folks at Glacier Gardens.

For those looking to get an Iris pen, I checked. Dr Greene has picked up another box of twigs that have been turned into pens. There are a few left. If you don’t remember how to order, send me a comment and I will give you the instructions Dr Greene left.

Thank you for joining me. We needed a good news story today and we have two of them. That is wonderful. I am hoping to wake up tomorrow and read that Grafs has found that gorgeous Grafiene 2 and is filling his kids with fish!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Glacier Gardens Park in Juneau, Alaska and Collins Marsh Nature Cam in Wisconsin.