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.

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.

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.

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.

A Cracker of a Day for Malin

Oh, it’s a cracker of a day! We know that the Sharp-shinned Hawk that comes to our garden is here often but since the extreme head we had not seen him. He flipped around on the lines bringing the Internet into the house and then in a blink was in the lilac bushes. He stayed there for about ten minutes and out he flew between the houses heading north. No chance for a photo but I tried! We feed approximately 300 urban birds a day – yes, you read that right. I never grieve over the single sparrow that Sharpie is sometimes able to catch. He has to eat, too.

Sharpie is an aberration according to Cornell Bird Labs. He should not be living on the Canadian Prairies in the winter but he does! He is a year round resident. It was his mate – in January 2017 – that changed my life. It is so good to see him.

Malin is such a sweetheart. He has the sweetest face. It has been a good day for Malin, too.

Last night, Malin slept on a piece of fish about the size of the one in front and to the right of him. There was also a small Bullhead on the nest last night. Malin woke up and ate the fish he was sleeping on. Mom arrived and shared the Bullhead with him. On top of those two, Malin had four other deliveries today. A total of 6 fish! His crop is about to pop. We have never seen this Osprey chick this full. I wonder if he will use this fish as a pillow? save it for breakfast? or finish it off a little later? He is one lucky little Osprey today.

Those pesky little sea eagles will have several good feeds today, too!

WBSE 27 is the one on the left and cutie pie WBSE 28 is on the right.

There is still a tiny bit of egg tooth left but it is disappearing quickly. If you look closely under that soft down are there little pin feathers growing?

WBSE 27 hatched on 29 July and WBSE 28 hatched on 31 July. Today, they are 17 and 15 days old. This is the end of week 2 going into week 3.

  • Week 2: The wee ones are covered all in white down. Their beak is starting to grow longer but the egg tooth (the white dot) is still visible.
  • Week 3: We should be seeing the bill and the eyes enlarged but still the white down. The chicks are now doubled in size from when they hatched. They are looking around and noticing things.
  • Week 4: Those pin feathers I wondered about are starting to show on the wings. You will see them begin to preen their feathers and they should be moving around the nest picking up sticks and leaves. They will also be resting on their tarsus assisted by their wings for balance. The tarsus is the part of the leg from the top of the foot to the knee.

Ah, so sweet when they are asleep and growing!

The day is yet to begin in Latvia and Estonia. We wish that those beautiful Black Storklings get lots of fish today.

Thank you so much for joining me for this quick update on Malin. We are so pleased that Malin has had lots of fish today. He is getting so big and no doubt the more he eats the stronger the little one will get for fledge. The featured image is our little cute Malin. Take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre.

Fishy Dreams and Fish Tails

Today, the Collins Marsh Osprey chick, Malin, had six fish deliveries. SIX! Feel free to correct me but I don’t ever remember this much fish on this Osprey nest. Ever.

In fact, there was so much fish with deliveries coming in on top of one another that Malin simply could not eat all the fish. There is a bullhead left – it is on the left below the light. Malin is sleeping on half of a bigger fish. What a grand pillow for an Osprey. He can have fishy dreams all night! And, Malin can wake up in the morning and not have to wait for a fish delivery.

Fish. It makes all the difference in the health and well-being of our Ospreys and Storks.

In the image below, the setting sun puts a soft glow over our little one. Please note that the big feathers are now beginning to cross. Malin is also standing and walking more and is flapping his wings much more often to get them strong for flying.

A month ago there was concern that Malin would not develop his plumage and would be unable to fly successfully off the nest. Now just look! Food – the right kind of food and the amount of it – makes all the difference in the world in Malin’s development.

Malin is miracle #3 for 2021.

Here on the Foulshaw Moss nest, Blue 463 or Tiny Little Bob, is eating the fish her dad delivered. White YW would have heard her several miles away screaming for fish. Blue 462 had gotten the earlier fish and Tiny Little wasn’t liking it. Dad came to the rescue! Indeed, White YW and Blue 35 should get a round of applause. They pulled off a nest of three fledglings this year. They did not lose a hatch.

The crows are hoping that Tiny Little will leave some bites for them! I don’t know. She is a bit like a nest vacuum when it comes to food falling between the twigs!

Tiny Little is miracle #2 and, of course, miracle #1 is Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. I am certain that there are others that will come to mind when I publish this newsletter. For now, however, these three were enough to cause lots of anxiety.

I did a Sunday hop-skip-and-jump through some of the UK Osprey Nests to see if anyone was home. This is the Dyfi nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn. On the nest is Ystwyth, their daughter. Telyn is on the nest perch and Idris is on the far perch.

Idris and Telyn together. How beautiful.

Does he need an introduction? The chick on the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Only Bob? Only Bob was so big when he was ringed that everyone believed him to be a large female. Nope. It is just all that fish that Dylen and Seren fed him. My goodness did Blue 496 grow.

He has spotted Dylan flying in with a fish. We are so lucky to see this. Indeed, to see so many of the UK fledglings on the nests today is fantastic.

That is a gorgeous fish for dinner. Only Bob looks pretty excited.

Watch out for your toes Dylan.

Only Bob learned well despite the fact that he was the only chick on the nest. He is excellent at mantling. But, stop, and take a look at that tail and the size of those wings. I would be ever so grateful if Malin’s was half that size when he fledges.

Oh, let’s just move this beauty over here so I can eat it!

At least one of the chicks on the Loch of the Lowes has a huge crop. It is so big, it looks like it could pop. The other is hoping for a fish delivery. Of course, neither is showing us their pretty blue bands.

NC0 and Laddie have done an amazing job raising these two. NC0 has really moved up to be one of the females that I want to watch. She is becoming super mom. She can fly and haul fish to the nest just like Iris – and she isn’t afraid to do it!

Grafs was able to find enough fish for two deliveries today. The first was a bunch of small fish at 15:29 and the second came at 19:41 with some bigger fish. The storklings are starving. They are already beginning to show the signs of malnutrition.

Grafs makes sure he moves around so that each one gets a little something.

It was mentioned that not only the sunken bodies but also the fact that the bills are turning a bright colour indicates starvation.

Once the people watching these nests realized what was happening, they became very vocal in their demands that the birds be fed. Everyone knows about the fish table that the two engineers set up for the White Storks in the village of Mlade Buky, Czechoslovakia. The people demanded that their storks be fed and the wildlife staff heard them. After seeing only one feeding by 15:00, Janis Kuze wrote the following on 15 August 2021: “It may be necessary to support the operation of the feeder – to bring live fish there regularly (once a day or two). I will write about it in the coming days.”

Liz01, the moderator of the looduskalender.ee/forum (English forum for the Latvian Fund for Nature and this Black Stork Nest) posted this notice:

“Due to the fact that the female has not been seen in the stork nest for several days, she has probably started migrating, opportunities are being sought to artificially feed this nest. Currently, the only feeder is the male, whose capacity is too small for the young birds to be successfully.
One way of trying to help the inhabitants of this nest is to set up an artificial feeder. There is one ditch near the nest where it can actually be done. Ornithologist Jānis Ķuze is ready to take over the management of this event, but he needs the help of the society. Therefore, we are looking for:
1) people on the Sigulda side who would help to set up a feeder,
2) human or fish feeders on the Sigulda side, which would be willing to donate and / or catch small fish (they must be still alive), with the possibility, to put these fish into the feeder, thus regularly
replenishing fish stocks in the feeder a third person or another link in the chain).
If anyone has the opportunity to help with this event, please send a message to Jānis Ķuze by e-mail: janis.kuze@ldf.lv.
This is currently the only real way you can still try to help the young birds in this nest survive and fly successfully! It is not known whether it will work, but we think it would be better to try not to do anything and just watch.”

Immediately, there were too many offers to help the Black Storklings and Grafs. Tears. People are so generous. All we have to do is ask.

If you wish to follow the discussion about what is happening at this particular nest in English, please go here:

When I have news of what is happening at the Estonian Black Stork nest, I will let you know.

You can watch the Black Stork Nest in the forest near Sigulda, Latvia here:

We all send our prayers and warm wishes to these beautiful birds and the people helping them. We need a miracle like that at Mlade Buky.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is wonderful to bring you such good news. Please send all your positive energy to Latvia and Estonia so that the efforts to save the Black Storklings from starving to death will be successful. It is heart warming to see so many people answer calls for help.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: The Latvian Fund for Nature, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest and CarnyX Wild, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Just a note. My newsletter will be posted late on Monday 16 August. Thank you!

Worries…and Hope for the Black Storklings of Latvia and Estonia

Sometimes the good news in our Bird World gets suppressed by horrific news or concerns – and in that moment, we begin to lose hope that anything is being done to protect our feathered friends. Today, we are going to start off with the worrying news and end with some really positive happenings.

The real worry centres around one word: migration. Normal migration brings enough troubles to the birds – winds, lack of prey, predators but this year underneath that big umbrella of migration are two other concerns: the wildfires that are impacting birds already in the midst of their migration and those who will be starting their journeys to Africa from Europe and the UK and the late hatches. For those of you that do not know, the fires around the Mediterranean are causing birds to fall dead from the sky or to go into care for smoke inhalation. It is heating up in France and Spain with record temperatures. High atmospheric pressure is fanning the heat. It is extremely dangerous for the birds to fly through the fires to reach their winter homes. The second worry are the birds that were born late – some three to four weeks after the others. Will their parents stay and feed them? or will they die on the nest? will the father who remains while the mother has already left be able to find enough food for these large birds nearly ready to be on their own?

The latter issue is pressing down on stork nests in both Latvia and Estonia. We have had the pleasure of watching Grafs and Grafiene feed their three Black storklings on the nest in the forest near Sigulda.

Grafiene last came to the nest to feed her babies on 13 August. The Storklets were normally getting 10 feedings a day. On the 13th of August they had four feedings but, on the 14th, the next day, there were only two. It is, as we all know, extremely difficult for one parent to maintain the level of feeding when they are also preparing for migration. There is fear in the Latvian community for these beautiful birds.

My friend ‘S’ in Latvia advises me that through the efforts of the community – the calls for help for these birds – the ornithologists in charge of the area have set up a food table for the father near to the nest. This is very similar to the help given to Bukacek in Mlade Buky when the female was electrocuted. Let us hope that Grafs will accept the food and feed his nestlings. They will not be ready for fledging for at least another two weeks. Please send your warm wishes for these beautiful birds that they survive.

You can follow what is happening at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene here:

At the Black Stork Nest in Jegova county in Estonia, the storklings were fitted with satellite transmitters late on 13 August. This is the nest of Jans and Janika. The banders left a pile of frozen fish on the nest that they hoped would last a few days. Janika was last seen feeding the storklings on 6 August. The father has managed to bring some big fish to the nest but ‘S’ tells me that these fish have been difficult for the nestlings to eat because of their size.

Two things you will notice in the image below taken on the 15th. You can see the transmitters on the legs of the three storklings but you will not see a pile of frozen fish – the storklings ate all of the fish provided! This is wonderful news and gives one hope that the efforts of everyone in both Estonia and Latvia will prevail and the six rare Black storklings will fledge and survive to return to their home countries.

Here is the link to this nest:

The pandemic which began in 2019 and continues to take lives around the world also contributed to some projects that have brought much hope in regard to the natural world and our bird friends. James Aldred, an award-winning documentary filmmaker was given an assignment to document a family of goshawks living in the New Forest. The New Forest is in Hampshire in southern England. It is the largest area of forest and pastures in England consisting of 71,474 acres.

The natural landscape of the New Forest consists of areas of open fields and heavily treed forest areas.

“New Forest Landscape” by davidgsteadman is marked with CC PDM 1.0
“New Forest – River At Mill lane Brockenhurst 2” by Chalkie_CC is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Aldred was there to study the Goshaws who are medium large raptors that live in the forest. They are larger than the Sharp-shinned hawk that comes to my garden and the Cooper’s hawks that I see at the park but they are significantly smaller than eagles. They are known to be fiercer in temperament than the Sharpies or the Coopers. Because they live in the forest very secretively – not liking to be around humans – they are often hard to find. Stealth hunters they are known for their excellent flying skills seeking out both bird and mammal.

The females are, like other raptors, larger than the males. The couple build a very large nest in trees using twigs where the female will lay between 2-4 eggs that are incubated for a period of 28-38 days. Fledging normally takes place after 35 days.

So what was our documentary filmmaker doing with the goshawk family in the New Forest? Aldred spent 15 hours a day in a tent recording the comings and goings of the goshawk family. He created lots of notebooks about the intricacies of their lives often unseen by humans. Aldred said it was like going back in time a thousand years. There was silence in the New Forest which is normally underneath the flight paths of thousands of airplanes every day. He said what gives him hope is that “Very soon after humans deserted the forest last spring, wild animals started reclaiming it.” In addition to the goshawk family, deer, badgers, and fox cubs came out to play.

“Stag at Bolderwood, New Forest National Park” by Chalkie_CC is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

“The sheer emptiness of the place…It felt weird, being out there in that paradise on my own.” What he saw and experienced is now in the book, Goshawk Summer: A New Forest Season Unlike Any Other.

The brilliant take away from all of this is that once pandemic restrictions were eased people flooded the area with what Aldred calls their ‘pandemic puppies’ killing and scaring away the birds whose nests were on the ground. The arrival of so many humans scared all of the animals back into hiding and leading their lives in a very different way than during the period when no persons were allowed into the forest. The Forestry Commission listened to Aldred about managing visitor numbers and the woodland paths so that the animals would not be harmed by humans who visit the area.

Each of these stories brings us hope and encouragement. I am delighted to hear that the ornithologists -after hearing from so many people – are providing food to the storklings. It is hoped that those in Estonia will return and place more fish on the nest or nearby for Jans. That nest is wide enough. The Latvian nest is problematic because it is too narrow and might collapse if someone tried to place fish directly on it. Let us hope that the feeding continues and that it is successful.

We also have a late hatch – little Malin at the Collins Marsh nest in Wisconsin. So far, Malin has had only one fish and that was delivered by Collins around 8am. I really hope that he is going to get enough food today. This is another nest that needs someone to supply fish for the family because of the drought and heat that has happened.

Malin is getting some air beneath his wings in the image below and those feathers look good. Oh, he is so tiny!

Over in Cumbria, big sibling 462 got the fish and there is Tiny Little hollering for White YW to bring her one! And, of course, she is giving her big sibling ‘that look’.

It is another hot day on the Canadian prairies. My resident Blue Jay has learned where to sit to tell me that more water is needed in the bowls or that the ‘buggy’ suet is all gone. Him and his mate plus another Jay have been coming to the garden for several years. They live in a tree just across the back lane. It is always lovely to see them playing in the bird bath!

Thank you so much for joining me. Send all of your best wishes to the birds who are in the process of migrating. It could be catastrophic if all of them perish in the fires trying to get to Africa. At the same time, take a cue from what has happened in Latvia and Estonia – support those that want food tables set up to help the birds survive. Donate fish if you have them to give. One other thing is to thank those who helped and are continuing to help. Take care everyone.

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 Cam, the Latvian Fund for Nature and the Eagle Club of Estonia. Thank you to the banders in Estonia and the persons supplying fish to Grafs in Latvia. We appreciate your stepping in to show how much you care at this critical time for the birds. Thank you ‘S’ for sending me all of the news. It is much appreciated.

It’s official – the Collins Marsh osprey chick is Malin!

I want to thank ‘S’ and ‘L’ for really wanting the little osprey chick on the Collins Marsh nest to have a name. Long before the Nature Centre announced its contest to name the chick, we were calling that little one, Malin. It means mightly little warrior and he was ‘mighty little’ then. Since then the heat in that area of Wisconsin has dissipated and Malin has been getting a few more feedings. It is a marsh and the fish are smaller than what you see coming out of the lochs in Scotland. Today, Collins, the male, landed a nice one and it took Malin over half an hour to finish eating. There was even some left. Malin went to sleep with a full tummy and that is a wonderful thing.

Malin loves to sit with his face into the sun getting warm but also doing what appear to be his yoga exercises!

Recently Malin has really been exercising his wings. This will help them get strong. Indeed, the extra fish has given this one some added energy.

Malin’s parents are Collins and Marsha. This is their third or fourth year raising chicks on this nest on top of a wild fire tower that was brought to the centre so visitors can see the beautiful marshlands. The nest is on top of the observation area, 120 feet off the ground.

Malin was beginning to grow in the middle of July – slowly. Wisconsin was hit with a drought and then the rains came but also more hot. The last few days have been cooler.

Everyone worried if there would be feather issues and Malin might not be able to fly but all of the aunties and uncles have watched closely along with the local rehabber and we are delighted to report that those feathers are looking good.

Malin is a mighty little warrior. He is the only surviving chick on the nest at Collins Marsh. His two siblings died during the extreme heat wave. Malin is now exercising his wings and we hope that he will have plenty of time to hone his skills and get some fat on his body before migration begins.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a name for the contest and thank you to everyone who voted – no matter what name it was. It is wonderful to see so many people interested in this lovely little Osprey. Let us hope that we find ways for his life to be a good one. As you can see I continue to call Malin a ‘he’. I believe he is a small male and if that is the case then he will return to this area to set up his own nest and find a mate in a couple of years. By then I hope we have figured out how to make that successful on a planet that is getting warmer.

Thanks to Collins Marsh for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and for posting the official name contest for Malin. Thank you for joining me. It is always a pleasure to be among fellow bird lovers!

What’s happening in Bird World?

I don’t know a person watching a nest on a streaming cam that doesn’t get anxious if food is not brought to the nestlings and fledglings on a regular basis. Most of us start doing a bit of nail biting. Today, for example, Malin had 4 feedings. It isn’t as good as five but it is better than nothing! And last Sunday Malin had nothing. We are all hopeful for tomorrow. The weather is cooling off – Malin we are wishing for six fish tomorrow!

Malin 13 August 2021
Malin 13 August 2021 after a feeding

Jake Koebernik of the Wisconsin DNR did a great job answering a lot of questions that some of us have had about Malin’s nest. One was ‘why are the fish that are delivered are so small?’ and the other was ‘why do fish deliveries drop at the weekend?’ This is his answer, “As for the nest at the Collins Marsh NC, the streams and marshes around that territory probably only offer smaller species such as bullhead, bluegills, small bass and northern pike. There aren’t large lakes or real productive rivers in that part of the state, so they are going after what is abundant and available.” Jake’s answers cleared up a lot of the mysteries. —— And tomorrow, when Malin wakes up, Malin will have its official name! Fingers and toes crossed for it to be Malin!!!!!!!

My friend ‘S’ sent a screen shot of a delivery that Telyn made to the Dyfi nest this afternoon. We both agreed that Malin’s eyes would pop out if he saw a fish this big land on the nest at Collins Marsh. That fish is bigger than Blue 491! Wow.

And if you did not hear, Idris had been missing since Wednesday and he was on the nest today, albeit with a completely sunken crop. He brought a nice fish to one of the chicks. Hoping he gets his own fill of fish. Where in the world could he have been? It is worrisome.

Telyn delivered a whopper for 491, Ystwyth who is 82 days old on 14 August

Oh, if only places that have ponds could stock them for the birds. The Pritchett Family in Fort Myers has a stocked pond for Bald Eagles Harriet and M15 and their kids and the water also allows them to cool off and clean their feathers.

We are told by the IPCC that we can expect the droughts and extreme heat to be with us. Since these changes to our climate are known to be directly caused by human activity, maybe it is time to figure out ways to help the wildlife. Providing water and food is a start.

These two little sea eaglets are just adorable and a little spunky, too. They are growing like the sunflowers in my garden that the birds planted.

Both had nice crops after this feeding.

Judy Harrington, the researcher observing the WBSE Nest in the Sydney Olympic Park forest, just released her report on what these two have been eating during the last fortnight (14 days). In fact, it is the first two weeks of their life. Harrington also records the amount of time spent feeding by both the male and the female has been recorded. Lady took on 109 feedings for a total of 21 hours and 20 minutes. Dad did 8 feedings for a total of 42 minutes. Dad has been providing most of the food – he brought in 25 items and Lady brought in 5. These consisted of the following in total: 16 Bream, 4 catfish, 2 fish, 1 Mullet, 2 Whiting, 1 Yellowtail, 1 Ibis chick, 1 nestling, 1 pigeon, and 1 bird. They have now morphed into sea eagles, the second largest bird in Australia.

Sadly, it appears that Lady was hit during the night by Boo, the BooBook Owl that lives nearby in the forest. Despite its very small size the BooBook Owl has caused injuries to the large sea eagles in the past.

It is thought that Boo, as the little owl is so fondly called, has a nest near to the Sea Eagles. To my knowledge, the WBSE have never bothered their nest but, – hey. Every parent is afraid of a larger predator and wants them to leave the area.

“Boobook owl” by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Legacy on the Fortis Red Deer Nest has fledged. She has been on and off the nest a few times today. One was to get some fish! Here she is with Mum. After all the nestling deaths during the heat wave, this is just one of the happiest moments from that nest. Look how big Legacy is next to mom. Congratulations.

It is almost impossible to see what is happening on the Fortis Alberta Exshaw nest up at Canmore. Both chicks appear to be on the nest and calling for food. It is unclear to me if one or both have fledged.

The love story of the two Canada Geese has gone viral. It warms our hearts to see these two devoted birds – Amelia finding and waiting for Arnold during his surgery and recovery and now their reuniting. My friend, ‘R’ found two more stories on them and I want to share with you what she sent to me. You could read about these two all day – and you will always walk away with a smile.


https://boston.cbslocal.com/2021/07/15/goose-surgery-visit-mate-new-england-wildlife-center-cape-cod-branch/
Female reporter admits to being teary eyed! 

https://whdh.com/news/goose-who-underwent-emergency-surgery-released-back-into-the-wild-to-be-with-his-devoted-mate-on-cape-cod/Shirts for sale: “Honk If you Love Arnold!”

The story of Arnold and Amelia has taught us all something. If you find an injured Canada Goose and are taking it into care, please take the time to find its mate! The outcome might be much more positive. If you live in an area where there are Canada Geese – let your local wildlife rehabber know about the story of Arnold and Amelia. They will understand why it is important to keep bonded mates together (and their goslings if necessary).

And news about Kona. It is nearing 100 F or 38 C on the nest in Montana. The foster mother, Scout, has been shading Kona. Everything is going well with this foster. How grand.

@ Montana Osprey Porject

Leaving you with a gorgeous image of Loch of the Lowes. It just looks so still and peaceful in the early morning hours of 14 August.

And a last peaceful image of Diamond on the ledge of her scrape box on the water tower at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. We will be looking for eggs before the end of the month. Izzi was last in the scrape box of Xavier and Diamond 6 August. He was photographed on 10 August and someone thought they heard him this morning.

Thanks for joining me today. I am off to try and find some hawks tomorrow so this is coming out early. I will bring you some late Saturday news in the evening. Take care. Stay safe! If you hear of interesting bird stories – and in particular, raptors – let me know.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Sydney Discovery Centre, Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Falcon Cam Project at C Sturt University, Fortis Alberta Exshaw and Fortis Alberta Red Deer. Thank you to ‘R’ for sending me the links on the coverage of Arnold and Amelia and to ‘S’ for the information on Telyn and her whopper of a fish delivery. It is much appreciated! Thank you to the Montana Osprey Project FB page for the image of Scout and Kona.