L2 fledges at Cornell!

8 June 2022

Everyone expected the first hatch of Big Red and Arthur to fledge first. She has been real antsy and jumping all around the railing. Instead, it was L2 the second hatch who took flight this morning at 0531 (very difficult to see the time under the Cornell information).

L2 is 45 days old!

Ready!

Gone!

It was a perfect flight over to Rice Hall.

Congratulations to Big Red and Arthur, Cornell and all those who love these beautiful Red-tail Hawks!

Thank you for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to Cornell for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.

Late Saturday in Bird World

4 June 2022

It was a fantastic day on the Canadian prairies. Clear blue sky. Sun shining bright and everyone happy – even smiling and saying ‘hi’ on the trails. Sadly, the birds thought it was beautiful too and they must have all gone sight-seeing! There were some American White Pelicans – 7 to be exact – hanging out with 9 Double-Breasted Cormorant. A female Hooded Merganser. A family of Canada Geese! And many Red-wing Blackbirds protecting territories where there were obvious nests. It was still nice to be outside with the sun beating down even if there had been not a single bird in sight.

There were two females on nests and these three goslings with their parents. This place should be crawling with goslings – everywhere. The flood really did a lot of harm.

The Redwing Blackbirds appear to have sentinels that stand watch or follow humans trying to lure us to one spot or another away from the nests.

There has not been a lot of time to check on all the nests. I wanted to see if Little Bit 17 had any food. He had an entire fish to himself yesterday but he needs food every day! It won’t always get it, sadly. Not on this nest. At 19:02:47 a Bluegill at 19:02:47. Everyone sort of looked at Dad and the fish. Then at 19:04:57 Little Bit stole it! I cannot tell you if he got any fish to eat but he worked on it until 16 – the one who beaks him – stole it from him. Then 15 took it and Little Bit moved over by the porch and did the snatch and grab and got some fish. There could be another delivery later.

It is not a huge fish.

Little Bit was quick! And he took advantage of a good situation. It is too bad that Dad didn’t just block the other two!

16 has the fish and 15 is going to get it away. Little Bit is at the top left watching and listening. Little Bit knows if 15 gets the fish he will get some food.

There is a scab forming over the bad peck that 16 gave Little Bit the other day.

Little Bit is by the tree snatching and grabbing bites from 15 as 16 watches.

At 17:37 Little Bit gets the fish head and moves with it to the top railing where he feeds off it until 17:50! Well done Little Bit 17! You will clean that head of every bit of fish flake like no one else. So happy.

Janika has been regularly feeding the storklets. The last feeding was at 22:54:10. The four have eaten well today. I thought maybe she would stay with them during the night but she is off hunting for food. Urmas has not removed any of the chicks. Perhaps Janika can make this work! I hope so. I wish she would find the fish basket provided for her.

The last two eggs hatched for White Storks Bukacek and Betty at their Mlade Buky nest in The Czech Republic. I cannot help but think that the two smallest will become brood eliminations but, maybe not. That is a lot of mouths to feed.

At the Cal Falcons scrape, Annie and Alden have done the most amazing job raising these two eyases. They are huge – full of energy and life and absolutely healthy. We will be forever grateful that the Avian Flu did not manifest itself in the West so that these two can take flight. Their names could not be more perfect – Lindsay and Grinnell Jr.

Meals happen outside of the scrape now and the chicks run up and down flapping their huge wings. Seriously – look at that wing!

These two have great fun playing with one another. Have a look:

There is something so stunning about the plumage of juvenile Ospreys – the patterning, the beautiful black and white. I do think they are much more gorgeous than the adults. Don’t tell them! Middle has been working his wings since Big fledged.

These two have eaten well. Mum and Dad really filled them up yesterday after getting Big back on the nest for breakfast. And it is nice that the heavy rains forecast for Gainesville as part of the Tropical Storm did not materialize.

The five falcons at the Manchester NH scrape have almost lost all of their baby down. It is really something when food comes to the scrape. All are fed but oh, my what mayhem!

Aran and Mrs G are doing fine with the osplets. It is a wonderful streaming cam because you can hear rural Wales – the sheep bleating and the cows mooing. It is quite lovely if you live in a city like I do.

Despite the strong winds at the Dyfi nest, Idris and Telyn are keeping the osplets nicely fed and hunkered down. Bobbi Bach has really eaten well. He hatched on the 28th of May and is a week old today. Happy Week Birthday!

Poor Telyn. The wind has done a mess of her feathers.

When the third egg hatched at the Loch of the Lowes, I held my breath. It took Blue NC0 a few days to get it together to feed three. Now just look at them. Unbelievable. Lots of fish and this is what happens – fluffy little Osprey chicks with their soft grey down turn into Reptiles. Little Bob is not having any trouble. There he is in the middle of the pack at Mum’s beak.

All over England they are celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee but in Poole Harbour everyone continues to be delighted in the first three – yes, the third hatched – ospreys to hatch in Poole Harbour in more than 200 years!

In fact, of the birds translocated from Scotland to Poole Harbour over the course of a couple of years, three are now breeding. It has been an enormous success and a shout out should go to Roy Dennis Wildlife for his steadfast belief that you could re-introduce birds to a location by using hatches from another area (Scotland in this case).

You can read all about CJ7 and Blue 022 on Roy Dennis’s website here:

https://www.roydennis.org/category/latest-news/

Roy Dennis writes extensively about this project in his book, Restoring the Wild.

Big Red took a break from parenting to sit on the lights in the sun today. It is quite crowded on that nest now!

The light was not so good to see the eyases but it was good to show the dark bands on the chick in front of the light box. There are five clear dark bands on that chick. From the length of that tail in comparison to the bird to its right, it has to be L1. I would suspect that there are actually 6 clear bands. She is ready to fledge!

What a year it has been for Big Red and Arthur with four eyases on the nest! Even at 19 Big Red continues to surprise us and keep us in awe. She is an incredible hawk and hawk Mum!

Thank you for joining me for this quick look at a few nests today. Take care. See you soon.

NOTE: My Sunday report will come in the late evening.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, ND-LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Peregrine Networks, Mlade Buky Stork Cam, and the Eagle Club of Estonia.

Late Sunday in Bird World

22 May 2022

I can’t speak for all Canadians but, in Winnipeg when the sky is blue and no rain is falling and the temperature makes it feel like summer, we go outside. We will find anything to do to keep us outside. Today, amidst the roar of songbird vocalizations I planted the Vermillionaires that are going to make the summer hummingbirds very happy. Neighbours were on their bikes, walking up and down the alley in their summer attire being friendly. I did not check a lot of nests as a result.

I am, however, going to start with the bad news first. The highly pathogenic strain of Avian Flu is not in Sitka, Alaska. This is not good news. There is a huge population of Bald Eagles in Alaska that live off the salmon. Our dear Kindness that fledged off the Glacier Gardens nest last year is one of those. For more information go to the link that Terry Carman has posted on the Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News today.

How many of you fell in love with Louis and Aila at the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest? was it in 2020? when they fledged Vera, Doddie, and Captain? Captain, a third hatch, was my big celebration that year. Loving parents Louis and Aila made sure that that wee one was fed. Indeed, Louis often fished at night and tandem fed the chicks with Aila. We were devastated when she did not return from migration in 2021.

Doddie has been spotted, photographed and the band number has been confirmed – JJ6. He was diving for a fish on the Shetland Islands. This is absolutely fabulous news! We wait for news about Vera and JJ7 Captain.

That is quite the distance. The males tend to cause some bother around their natal nests. I must check on this. The distance is quite interesting.

The Manton Bay Three continue to thrive. Blue 33 stands guard while Maya feeds the chicks. This is a brilliant strategy on Blue’s part. He is prepared – either to help feed the chicks or to fight off any intruders that might want to take advantage of the situation of three chicks and a single adult on a nest.

I love fat little ospreys. Well, I love fat little chicks on a nest – period. This means they are well taken care of. These three are growing so fast it is hard to believe.

Yeap. No one is going to mess with Blue 33 (11)s family. He even has a better ‘snake eye’ than Iris sometimes!

A nice big fish came on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest around 1:39. Mum fed both of them and by the time she was finished, each had huge crops! I thought it was going to be another day where it was 10 bites for Big and 1 for Middle but, in the end, it seems to have worked out relatively even. These two are seriously gorgeous birds.

The four eyases of Big Red and Arthur are growing and growing. It was a nice day and then it rained and rained on the Cornell Campus. The only ones that seemed to fit under Mum were L3 and L4. Sometimes being the first hatch isn’t all that nice! That said L1 and L2 have some nice feathers coming in.

River and Obey continued to come to the Dale Hollow nest to try and lure their two fledglings, DH14 and DH15 back to the nest. So far it does not seem to have worked. A partial fish was left and one of the adults returned at 1609 to eat it and aerate the nest cup.

This was earlier. The adults have moved the large twig over to the side also.

It was hot in San Francisco today and Alden was working hard to keep the chicks shaded.

Alden helped Annie recover from Grinnell’s horrible death. These two very healthy chicks are a great testament to the hard work that both Alden and Annie have put in to make sure they not only hatched but that they thrived.

We were used to Annie and Alden feeding the chicks 10 or 12 times a day – little tiny meals. Now that they are older they will have fewer meals but will eat more and will have enormous crops. Just look below at the crops and how big their feet are!!!! Perhaps it is the angle but the Little one (nearest us) seems to have longer ‘toes’ talons than the oldest.

For those of you who love that ‘high spirited’ Spirit at the Big Bear Valley nest of Jackie and Shadow, you best be watching her closely! She is branching and flapping and looking out to the world away from the nest. She was their miracle chick this year and Jackie looks on knowing that Spirit will not be throwing her little fits for much longer – we will surely miss them as much as her parents.

I want to close with another wonderful day for ND17. A very large fish landed on the ND-LEEF nest at 1942. Little Bit 17 was in the right place at the right time – indeed, the parent actually oriented themselves so that 17 was on one side and, I believe, it was 15 on the other. Little Bit ate and ate and ate. Another huge crop at bedtime! Get the tissues. This is nothing short of fantastic. Perhaps this female has decided that she should feed her littlest one!!!!!!!

17 is on the nest under the left wing of the adult.

You can see where 17 is clearly now and see the size of that fish. Incredible. That will feed everyone.

17 got right up to the beak. Notice how well he is protected when Mum actually turns to the little ones benefit. The two older siblings are not going to plow through her to get to Little Bit 17. Perfect location.

Little Bit 17 knows how to put the food down. Look at that beach ball crop. Three days in a row. I hope I don’t jinx it. This little one will grow and grow over night. It isn’t going to catch up with the other two – it is six days younger – but it will help with the feather and muscle development – all this fine fish. Such a relief.

Thank you so very much for joining me. Little Bit 17 with a full crop is simply a perfect way to end this blog this evening. Take care everyone. Tomorrow we should have some more UK Osprey hatches!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: ND-LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell RTH Bird Cam, LRWT, DHEC, Bald Eagles Live Nest Cams and News, Friends of Big Bear Valley, and Cal Falcons.

Monday in Bird World

17 May 2022

Balloons.

Balloon release – 1” by Jerry Downs is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.
Copy text

Thank you to everyone who wrote to me about the balloons. I am not ‘Debbie Downer’ but there are sure lots of ways of having fun other than sending balloons up into the sky as in the image below!

My comment about starting in elementary school reminded a reader, ‘B’, of an incident. Out in the wilderness a balloon was found. There was a note attached to it asking whoever found it to please call the teacher at the elementary school that had released the balloons. The finder did, indeed, contact the school but did inform the teacher about the dangers of balloons to all wildlife. I am certain she had no idea. This got me to thinking. We really need to spread the word somehow.

I know that many of my readers are teachers or individuals who have friends or family who are teachers or group leaders for Cubs, Guides, etc. We do need to start with the children but let us educate them to the dangers. So how do the teachers do this? and how can we create a web of understanding so that people do not feel criticized but who realize the dangers and want to help? Why not have balloons and the environment as a topic for a staff meeting? or a conference? I am certain that a wildlife rehabber would happily come in and educate teachers and students on the dangers of balloons. They might even bring one of their ambassadors. It would be a great topic that could generate lots of interest! If you know of someone who provides children’s parties, talk to them as well. There are many types of decorations that are much more planet and wildlife friendly and who doesn’t want to be on the sustainable and environmentally-friendly side? Most don’t knowingly want to harm birds or other wildlife; they just simply do not know the bigger picture and how a simple act of releasing balloons for a celebration can have a lasting impact on birds causing their death or disability. Spread the word!

I have several other concerns that focus on simple solutions to a huge problem for wildlife. Lead. The Institute for Wildlife Studies – Dr Sharpe and gang that manage the Channel Islands Bald Eagles amongst other projects including Condors have put out an information pamphlet about the alternatives to the use of lead. I am attaching it. They do presentations at various sporting events. Please read it. If you know someone who hunts or fishes and uses lead, please gently inform them of the alternatives. Thanks!

SF Bay Ospreys have posted an image of a crack in egg 2 for Richmond and Rosie. They believe that egg 1 is non-viable and stated that even egg 2 is late. It would be grand if 2 and 3 would hatch close to one another.

Duke and Daisy survived the storm that went through New Jersey last night. It is still windy today, though.

This is the view from the platform to where Duke does his fishing. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. When you live inland on the prairies, you long for water! and sandy beaches! and mountains!

Middle Little O was on the Captiva Osprey platform with his long, long legs (he could challenge Idris in a couple of years) wanting some fish. Andy brought him a Lizard Fish this morning and later he brought him a Pinfish. Middle Little O is so loud — and always fish crying! So funny. [I could almost swear Middle Little O is a female].

I think the only time that Middle Little and Little Mini were hungry was when Big was alive. Andy and Lena are taking super care of their two surviving juveniles – their first since 2019. So happy for them. Andy is certainly devoted and doing his job getting fish to both the fledglings.

The five walking cotton balls at the Manchester NH scrape continue to do well. Enough food for all – eating,, sleeping, and growing. The fifth hatch is so cute! There he is by the exit to the exterior platform.

There are still serious issues for 17 on the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. Prey comes in and at 14:26:19, he was able to snatch and grab a single bite. 17 has been conserving its energy by sleeping and was gnawing on some bones at various times. This is pretty sad. 17 is 6 weeks old today. Half way to fledge. The chick needs nourishment and the older siblings have always been aggressive and dominant.

17 did have a small PS. Oh, I wish for some food for this little one. It is hard having two great big siblings and being so small.

It is 15:13 nest time at the UFlorida-Osprey platform on the practice field. Middle has quite the crop. I don’t need to go back and check on a feeding. At some point while I was rustling up an electrician at the last minute, Mum came in with enough fish to fill Middle to the brim. That makes me so happy.

The storm left Big Red and the gang a little soggy yesterday. They are all doing fine. The oldest and the youngest have been flapping their wings today. It is like L4 says to the elder sib, “Anything you can do, I can do!” They are so cute. Watch at the end as they see a parent doing a fly by. Precious.

I haven’t seen any prey deliveries on the Dale Hollow nest. Both eaglets are still there. One found something buried in the nest and the other is watching closely as the sib tries to eat it. Hopefully some fish will come in later.

The chick at Cromer Peregrine scrape has been ringed. The measurements are inconclusive so DNA samples were taken to determine gender. The chick is either a large male or a small female!

Just look at the crops on the eyases at the San Jose City Hall Falcon Scrape. Wow. It’s so funny how you can tell if the crop is totally full – the skin looks really shiny where the feathers separate. Gosh they are cute.

Annie has a snooze and later feeds the two eyases. Cute, cute. Gosh. What is it? 8 or 10 days til they are ringed? Unbelievable. I remember when I was waiting to get my driver’s license and my mother assured me that time passed much faster when I got older. She was right. Weren’t we just waiting for a hatch yesterday?

These chicks always look like they are smiling and why not? They have Annie and Alden for parents.

The ND-LEEF nest is still the problem. I sure hope some giant fish arrive so that 17 gets some decent bites of fish. All of the falcon and hawk nests are fine. We are waiting for Osprey eggs to hatch in the UK.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for joining me today. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Cromer Peregrine Falcons, DHEC, Cornell RTH, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, ND-LEEF, Peregrine Networks, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Barnegat Light Ospreys, and SF Bay Ospreys.

Late Monday in Bird World

It was not a particularly nice day in Ithaca, New York. In fact, it was 2 degrees C when Arthur arrived at the nest this morning at 08:16:35. He brought some twigs, tested the nest bowl, and looked around. Arthur has really been bringing twigs at an exhaustive pace recently. According to one of the founders of the FB group, Big Red did once lay her first egg on 13 March. Are we in for an early start this year? Or does Arthur know that bad weather is coming and realize that when it is good to restore Big Red’s nest he should waste no time? Arthur, you are quite adorable.

Arthur was still scurrying back and forth with sticks two hours later.

My very first love was an urban hawk – a Sharp-shinned Hawk that visited my garden one frosty January day. I ran out in my slippers and housecoat thinking that the hawk had killed and was eating the garden rabbit, Hedwig I. The hawk kept eating until I got within 15 cm or 6 inches of her. I have learned so much since that early morning and I would never ever go out and interfere with Sharpie having some breakfast or lunch now. She was not eating the rabbit but a sparrow. We looked into one another’s eyes for several minutes, not moving. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. And how blessed I was – looking into her eyes that morning changed my life. Thankfully, I quietly returned to the house and Sharpie finished.

As a result of this beautiful, close encounter, I have an interest in urban raptors that has grown over the years. Sharpie still comes to visit the garden. Of course, I now also know that Sharpie is a male! He is very cheeky – always pausing to see if I am watching from the window he will turn his head til our eyes meet and then he flies away. I always wonder where he roosts and how far his territory extends. It seems that the peregrine falcons are in the centre of the downtown area which is between 4 and 4.6 km away from where I live. So it would seem that their territories do not overlap. It is curious. I think he has a route and I know that he is ‘mad’ at me for removing a twenty-foot tall cedar tree. The little birds would get inside that tree filling it up. Sharpie would come ripping through a small space between my house and the neighbour’s making a sharp right angle turn into the tree. He was always successful at hunting – always. Sadly for all of us, we had a four year drought and no matter how much water the tree was given it simply was not enough and wasn’t the heavy rains that nature provides. It died and had to be removed. Now, Sharpie really has to work for his lunch. And if you are wondering, yes, I have thought about planting another large conifer for Sharpie! It isn’t a cat or dog that rules our house but the garden animals!

Sharpie was very puffed to stay warm on his last visit. It was -32 that day. He is sitting on his plucking post and if he raises his head slightly, he can see me watching him from the kitchen window. I do not go outside when Sharpie is hunting so all of the images are through glass – and he is fast. Not as fast as a Peregrine Falcon, of course, but fast enough for me not to be able to grab my good camera — unless, of course, he is eating lunch which takes about 35-40 minutes.

He glances back to me and is gone in a blur. Such a beautiful much loved raptor.

Robert Yolton writes a great blog on urban raptors. His focus for years has been the Red-tail Hawks that live in and around Central Park in NYC. While he writes about other birds in the area, I really enjoy this time of year when he begins to report on the hawks preparations for spring breeding season. On 16 February, five days ago, he has lovely images of the couple whose nest is on a balcony of a high rise apartment at 84th and East End Avenue. He wonders if they are merely working on the nest or if the eggs will be laid early this year. And that, of course, is what we are wondering about Big Red and Arthur. Yolton’s reports are always accompanied by beautiful photographs. One other recent one has images of hawks, Kestrels, and a Great Horned Owl in Central Park. I urge you to take a look at his blog: urbanhawks.com You will not be sorry!

I have checked in on the three Osplets at the Captiva nest in Florida on and off today. It was actually wonderful to see my daughter today which meant that I was not sitting and counting the bites Little Bob got in a feeding! Here they are all lined up from the eldest on the far end to Little Bob on the end close to us. They look like a choir. I hope this continues. It reminds me of the three Port Lincoln lads (until they fledged).

Speaking of Port Lincoln lads, if you missed it, Ervie visited the barge yesterday. He was there from 19:15-20:31. He missed seeing Dad who arrived half an hour after he left.

Port Lincoln has asked everyone along the north shore to kept an eye out for Ervie. This is his latest tracking in the area. The green pin indicates his position at the time of the tracking. Continue to notice that Ervie goes back to the nest on the barge. For several weeks I have said that I felt Ervie would continue to stop in. Let us all hope so! It was lovely to see him yesterday. He is in good form.

One of Ervie’s greatest fans is ‘A-M’. She believes that Ervie stopped by to see Dad and to tell him, “ I found a place, it’s cool. I need help moving sticks and nest stuff. Come visit and bring fish!” It brought tears to my eyes. This is the first time I have been able to watch the interaction between the adults and the juveniles after they have fledged other than the adult bringing a fish and getting out of the way quickly. There was something very heartwarming about seeing Ervie and Dad just sitting around the sticks, as if it could be a campfire, with one another.

So keep watching the Port Lincoln Osprey barge. You might catch a glimpse of our handsome Ervie.

After seeming to be missing in action for two days, the male GHOW at the Savannah Owl nest has returned. The Mum was so excited. His return is on video when he brings a nice fat rodent for her to feed the owlet. The sounds from the owls is adorable.

That is excellent news. With all the intruders at that nest, including that Red-tailed Hawk, it would have been almost impossible for the Mum to raise the owlet alone. Cornell did a very cute video of the female GHOW feeding the two-day old owlet Dad’s prey. Have a peek:

Gabby and Samson are doing a great job trying to entice NE26 and 27 to self-feed. Fish are brought to the nest unzipped and left for the two hungry eaglets. So far NE27 who learned to feed itself more than a week ago has done the best. After the eaglets work on the fish then either Gabby or Samson comes in and fills the two up! This nest is doing so well. No one is hungry.

That old saying is knock on wood. And that is what I am doing. It seems that the nests are doing well. If you are a fan of the National Arboretum nest, Lotus laid her second egg yesterday – the 20th of February – at 18:39. Bella and Smitty are both working on the NCTC nest. Another eagle has been seen soaring and both Bella and Smitty have taken to easing it out of the territory.

The couple at the new Bartlesville Oklahoma Bald eagle nest are incubating two eggs laid on 15 and 18 February. I grew up in Oklahoma and it will always hold a special place for me. I hope this couple are successful and have to great fledges. The link to the camera is:

Look closely at the image below. Do you see a ‘meadow muffin’ or a ‘cow pie’? Looks like the Oklahoma eagles have a unique item that they are going to line their nest with!!!!!!! Can I say ‘only in Oklahoma’?

Thank you so very much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and FB where I took my screen captures: The Sutton Group, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Window on Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab, and NEFlorida Bald Eagles and the AEF.

Late Saturday and early Sunday 17-18 July in Bird World

If you have watched Kindness, the Bald Eagle nestling at Glacier Gardens, then you might have caught her nipping at her mum’s beak. It looks like she is trying to kiss mum. A couple of days ago a video was made showing Kindness interacting with her mum. My goodness, Kindness, you are lucky your mum is so patient! Have a look.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, it looks like the final touches have gone on the nest renovations. The egg cup is now lined with very soft pieces of bark. Mom decides to try it out!

Dad flies in with something else on his mind! No eggs yet but mating is taking place. Season will begin soon!

As we approach fledging at all of the Northern Hemisphere Osprey nests and migration in a month to six weeks, if you fear Osprey withdrawal, here is the link to this nest. Just a warning. This nest has had instances of siblicide in the past.

The Port Lincoln’s eldest chick from the 2020 season, a female named Solly, was fitted with a satellite tracker. Solly is 301 days old and she is still hanging out at Eba Anchorage and Kiffin Island. It sure seems that Solly has found her forever home at Eba Anchorage. For those of you unfamiliar, the movements of Solly changed what everyone understood about Ospreys in Australia. It was believed that ospreys stayed near to where their natal nest was located. Solly travelled over 200 km to Eba Anchorage and Perlubie giving the researchers fresh insights to the behaviour of these ospreys.

To my knowledge there has been no sighting of DEW, her younger brother. He did not receive a tracker but he did get a metal ring and a Darvic colour band.

Suzanne Arnold Horning was on the Cornell Campus again this evening. How lucky she was to get some great images of Big Red with a squirrel down on the ground – and it wasn’t raining. (Send the rain to the Canadian Prairies when you get tired of it, Suzanne!).

It was wonderful to see Big Red with prey that she was going to eat herself. She needs to build up her strength after laying eggs, incubating those eggs, and feeding and caring for the three Ks until fledge. Even now she is doing some prey drops and is busy training the Ks to hunt.

Big Red with Squirrel. @ Suzanne Arnold Horning

The Robins were giving Big Red a lot of grief. Could it be because Arthur has been up at their nest eating their babies? Or the fact that K1 caught a bird today and it was rumoured to be a young Robin?

Robins being rather assertive around Big Red. @ Suzanne Arnold Horning

Big Red and her squirrel also attracted another visitor – a Turkey Vulture!

Would you mind sharing asks the Turkey Vulture. @ Suzanne Arnold Horning

The pair also attracted a human who was said to have tried to interfere with the situation. Both of the birds were fine. Big Red was eating and the Turkey Vulture appeared to be waiting to see if she left anything.

One of the things that I have learned is that hunting is difficult and prey is not abundant always. Raptors can wait for hours, half a day, or even a day to catch prey to eat. It is estimated that only 1 out of 3 juveniles live to the age of two years – mostly due to starvation. Humans should not interfere when a raptor is eating. As a result of the human intrusion, Big Red chose to fly away from the human who was interfering. This also caused her to leave part of her meal. The vulture did eat the rest – so in the end everyone ate- but it was a situation that should never have happened. Remember if you see a hawk hunting or eating, please leave them alone. Finding their meal is not that easy.

Turkey Vulture at Cornell. @Suzanne Arnold Horning

The scientific name for the Turkey Vulture – Carthartes Aura – means ‘cleansing breeze’. They are scavengers, eating mainly carrion. They have dark espresso coloured feathers, red legs and head, with a white beak. Like the condor, there are no feathers on their head. This is a great evolutionary trait so that pieces of the dead do not stick to them causing disease or parasites. The Turkey Vulture’s sense of smell is so great that they can find a fresh killed animal a mile away! The only raptors larger than the Turkey Vultures are the Eagles and the Condors. What I find interesting is that they are the only raptor that cannot kill their own prey. They simply do not have the right talons to do this – their feet are more like that of a chicken. That said they can tear through really tough hides with their beak. In other words, the Turkey Vulture was never a threat to Big Red.

As I prepare to settle in for the night, Tiny Little is waking up. The early morning fog over the marsh is just starting to clear. You can see the parents, or siblings, or both back on the parent tree. Tiny Little is still sleeping like a duckling on the nest. Good Morning Tiny Little! Let’s get that gear box into forward today.

Tiny Little is also checking the nest for any little tidbits of leftover fish. And just like Tiny Tot he has found some lurking under those sticks.

Tiny Little was doing some prey calling and looking up in the sky. The morning fog doesn’t seem to be clearing. What a beautiful colour it is – that sort of golden pink gradually fading into the grey-blue-green. Lovely.

Update: Tiny Little had a huge breakfast. It is now mid-afternoon and Blue 462 is working on a fish that arrived. 464 is standing next to that fish and Tiny Little, 463, is ignoring it right now. She is probably still full enough from the morning not to bother. Unclear if Tiny Little has taken a second flight today. I stayed up waiting! But had to give in to being tired.

This is the image of the afternoon line up for a fish! 462 is eating, 464 is pretending to be Tiny Little and bugging his big sibling. Tiny Little is over at the side duckling style. Tiny Little is full from breakfast and knows that Mum will come to the rescue later if she gets hungry.

There is a beautiful peachy almost coral sky as the morning begins at the Poole Harbour Osprey nest. CJ7 and Blue 022 are roosting elsewhere.

Golden diamonds are falling on the nest of Blue 33 and Maya at Rutland Manton Bay. No one is home. They are all perched elsewhere. Blue 33 does make food drops at the nest for the two Bobs.

A little later, Blue 095 flies into the nest and settles down and then flies out again.

Blue 095

Oh, wow. Just look at that sun coming up over the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn in Wales. It is so bright you cannot see the perch!

A very short video of Ystwyth fledging at 7:59 am on 17 July is here:

It is serene up at The Loch of the Lowes. No one is home but it sounds like there is a fledgling on the camera perch.

What you don’t see here is that later, NC0 is on the nest, spots a fish, goes out and gets it, and gives it to LM2.

Early Morning at Loch of the Lowes. 18 July 2021

The only thing you can hear at Glaslyn are either bees or wasps on the microphone! Oh, it is so beautiful and green. It has been hot at this nest, 26-29 degrees C – and the birds are staying cool in the shade of the trees. Even with the heat the landscape looks so lush. What a gorgeous way to begin the day.

Early morning at Glaslyn. 18 July 2021

Thank you so much for joining me today. I so enjoy hearing from all of you. Stay safe! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Byrwd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, LRWT and the Manton Bay Ospreys. I would also like to thank the Port Lincoln Osprey Research Project and the PLO FB page where I took a screen shot of Solly’s recent tracking. And last but never least, I would like to say a huge thank you to Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to use her images on my blog. She holds the copyright on them so please do not use elsewhere. Thank you.

K1 fledges and K2 is rescued

This morning on the Red tail hawk nest on the Fernow Light Box in Ithaca, New York, the first hatch of 2021, K1, fledged. It was one of the best leaps of faith I have seen in a long time. That happened at 8:27:31.

No sooner than K1 had fledged than the team from the Cornell Bird Lab went up in a bucket truck to rescue K2. Indeed, the fledging of K1 was perfect as the staff had decided that K2’s health was not improving and they needed to take her into care.

Here is the official video of that rescue:

Watch the reaction of K3 at the end! This went so smoothly. No falthy fledge from K3. Thank you everyone!

K3 just teased everyone. We are told that Big Red and Arthur’s kids fledge before noon or after 4pm. They like their afternoon siesta and K3 was no exception. He taunted the camera operator into thinking he was going to go and then would lay down and have a rest!

There was a lot of scratching about on the ledge above and K3 was listening and watching everything.

Despite settling down rather comfortably in that egg cup – seriously K3 rubbed its breast just like Big Red does when she is incubating or brooding – K3 knew someone was about.

Guess who it was? K1. K1 flew back to the nest to join K3. Fabulous effort.

They had diamonds sparkling all around them. You can just imagine K1 telling K3 how much fun it is to fly and showing him the landing spot he is going to take in the morning.

One of the most fun things that the fledglings do is play soccer with the pinecones. It really helps them with strengthening their grip – who said you had to go to a gym!!! Talon strengthening for prey. Amazing.

Hopefully tomorrow K1 and K3 will be out having fun over on the Fernow Lawn across the street and flying to the top of Rice to get prey drops from Big Red and Arthur.

Thank you for popping in. I knew you would enjoy seeing K2 getting rescued. The poor little thing. She was just too sick to put up any fight. Let us all send warm wishes for a quick recovery.

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks

It’s Monday. What in the world can happen in Bird World on a Monday? So I was thinking yesterday as I was watching Big Red and the Ks that an update on their progress would be good today. However, I woke up to a request in my neighborhood newsletter for support in stopping our public utility company, Manitoba Hydro, from clear cutting 12-15 ft around their poles at a local park. The reason was clear: there is an active hawk nest in the trees with little ones on their way to fledging. So everyone got busy in the ‘bird’ community in my city and for now, the clear-cutting is on pause. It is the Sandra Crowson Park in East Fort Garry. If you read this and you live in Winnipeg – or elsewhere – send Manitoba Hydro and the Mayor’s Office a note! According to one of the long standing birders in our community, this was also done in Windsor Park in our City. Another woman noted that local arborists are known to cut down trees and put the nests, eggs, and birds into the chipper. I have not seen that but if it happens it is all against the 1918 Migratory Bird Act that is signed by Canada, the US, and Mexico. If you know of such actions, let me know. They can do their trimming after the birds leave – there is still time. Note that I use the word ‘trimming’. Clear cutting that much of an area around hydro poles would mean destroying unnecessarily trees – when our City is promoting the planting of 1 million trees this summer. I wonder if they take off the ones they cut from the ones planted. I doubt it. ——— So for now the hawks and their nest are safe.

So what is going on with Big Red and the Ks? And what do the Ks do when mom is not on the nest. Big Red spends an inordinate amount of time incubating eggs and then staying on the nest when the chicks are smaller. Now that they are being encouraged to self-feed and as we approach fledge she is spending less time on the nest during the day. Here she is taking a break today on the light tower. She is never far away from the nest and, indeed, with their ‘hawk’ vision, the Ks can often see her from the nest.

Let’s have a look.

Sometimes the Ks are little mother hawks and they preen one another just like Big Red preens them. Did you know that birds spend approximately 70% of their time conditioning their feathers? Why do birds preen? Well, the little one poking around the head and ear of its sibling is looking for dirt and parasites. You see they cannot readily see their own head to do this. They also preen to align their feathers, they repair feathers by rehooking the barb hooks on the feathers and applying oil to condition and waterproof their feathers.

In birds, the uropygial gland (preen gland) is located at the base of the tail. The oil from the uropygial or preen gland reinforces or conditions the surface of their feathers. The oils change composition during the year – just like the oil you put in your car is different from summer to winter. The oil that the hawks spread on their feathers when they are preening contains vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Redtail hawk adults do an incomplete moult annually. They do not do this all at once. It would be too much stress on their system. In fact, Big Red turns into a blond during the moulting period.

They practice their self feeding but it is still so nice to have Mom break up the prey and feed the little ones.

The Ks are entering their running, jumping, and flapping period. Look at those gorgeous legs. This is one beautiful bird with all that peach and red. I hope she is a glorious dark red like Big Red.

Sometimes Big Red and Arthur get up on the higher rails and the little ones can see them. Now look at the little baby standing up, K3. Talk about peach on the chest and a gorgeous red feathered apron. This one might look like Big Red for sure! We still need some feathers to cover up those ears and this one will also be getting some head feathers. The ear feathers generally come in first.

When these three fledge in a few weeks time, their wing and tail feathers will be the longest they will ever be – longer than Big Red and Arthur. When they first moult, they will return to normal size. The longer length helps them to fly easier. The juveniles will have their first moult in the spring of 2022 and continue moulting to the early fall replacing P1-7.

This diagram will show you those primary wing feather locations:

Besides working on their feathers, they also spend a lot of time looking around at their environment. I wonder what they think of all the PS they have splattered on those boxes? Or are they just admiring their art work?

Sometimes they will spot Big Red if she flies to the top of the light box where the nest is located.

They also spend a lot of time watching people and cars on the Cornell University Campus. Remember – they are on a nest about 20 metres off the ground. They have a really good view.

Sometimes they see their mom arriving. They must think she is so beautiful. But no food this time Ks. Mom is returning from having some time alone. Dad will be out hunting.

Oh, mom. Don’t jump on me, jump on K1 please!

K1 hatched on the 2nd of May. 46 days is average for Big Red’s eyases but some wait till 48 and last year it was longer. So…for K1 today is 36 days. That means 10-14 days to fledge. These little ones need to grow more feathers in their wings and tails and we will see some changes in Big Red’s behaviour as fledging approaches. One good sign is when she no longer spends the night in the nest with the Ks.

Thank you so much for joining me today. If you hear of tree clear cutting near you and bird nests, please get in touch with everyone you can think of who is responsible. All birds but house sparrows, pigeons, and Starlings are protected under the 1918 North American Migratory Bird Treaty. Take care!

Thank you to the Cornell Bird Lab and their streaming cam on the Cornell campus at Ithaca. That is where I grabbed my screenshots.

Sunday Evening Nest Hopping in Bird World

The three storks on the nest with their dad in Mlady Buky are doing so well. If you do not know, their mother was electrocuted and the people from the community are feeding the family three times a day so that they will survive. The dad has the same issues as a single mom. He cannot go and hunt for food and protect the nest. So everyone is helping him!

Aren’t they looking good. The community continues to supply straw, too, so the storklets do not get damp and cold.

The three storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia in Estonia are also doing really well. It looks like most of the chicks on the nest today are being well fed no matter where I look.

Kaia is preening her first ever babies.

And here the three are with Karl II their dad.

Jack flew in and delivered Tiny Tot a fish at 4:30:42. There were no intruders at the time. Tiny really enjoyed that fish. It was well earned after defending the nest in St Petersburg Florida twice today.

Laddie has been delivering fish and NC0 has two Bobs that are in their fast growing period. They are hungry all the time!

Laddie is a nice looking male Osprey. He seems to enjoy bringing in the fish but I have yet to see him feed them. Once the little ones thought he was going to when NC0 took a break but Laddie was a bit nervous and waited for his mate to return to do the honours.

NC0 has learned to make sure that both Bobs get full – not just the Big one. So proud of her.

Big Bob is full and it is time for little Bob to fill that crop of his.

NC0 will not eat until her two Bobs are full.

At the Cornell Red Tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, K1 is getting really good at self-feeding. My goodness they catch on fast. It was just a couple of days ago that K1 was pecking. Now she knows how to hold down the prey and eat.

Big Red left that chippie there on purpose. She knows precisely when they should start feeding themselves!

Is it really two weeks to fledge? There will be some hints from Big Red as to when fledge will start as well as some changes in the plumage of the Ks. First they need at last 5 dark lines in their tails before they are long enough to fly. If there are 6 it is even better!

Look at the tail in the image below. What many dark lines do you see on a single feather? If you said 2 dark lines you are correct.

Also Big Red will stop sleeping on the nest with the Ks as fledge approaches. Often the prey delivery dwindles, too, as Big Red and Arthur try to lure the Ks to the top of the Rice Building across the street for prey drops. If the weather is going to be bad, Big Red will fill the Ks up on the nest – she did this last year – to try and delay fledging until the weather was clear. Having a first flight in pouring down rain is not very smart!!!!!!! Big Red is amazing.

Idris and Telyn are also keeping their two Bobs full, just like Laddie and NC0. On 4 June a mesh bag made its way to the nest. The staff are monitoring the situation closely as it could have dire implications. If all is well it will be removed when the two Bobs are banded. If there is an emergency, it will be dealt with prior to banding.

Just like NC0, Telyn does not eat – unless it is to take the head off the fish – until the Two Bobs are fed.

It is a beautiful sunset at the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest in Cumbria. Dylan has been busy brining in trout today and I think this is the second or third one for little Bob who is fast becoming Big Bob! He has had a full crop all day.

Seren is really beautiful in the sunset.

Other quick notes: The three osplets of Richmond and Rosie at the Golden Gate Nest on the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards were banded yesterday. They were weighed and measured and it was determined that they are all males. Gosh. Just down the road Annie and Grinnell had three male peregrine falcons this year. Is it a year of all males on nests? That could present some problems in future years as it is the males that return to their natal nest area to raise their families. The Pittsburg Hayes eaglets are branching and hopping. It won’t be long til they will want to fly. The two osplets on The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island (the Savannah Ospreys) are getting some air under their wings, too. It always scares me when they begin to hover and we are at that point. I did check on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest. Electra drives me crazy. Those babies need to be fed until their crops are fuller. She will eat the head off the fish, cover the little ones, and let Wattington take the fish away. Don’t get me wrong. She has fed them but often she eats the head and then broods the Bobs without feeding. I am always wondering what is up with Electra.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope that you had a nice weekend wherever you are.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Mlade Buky Stork Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and Red Tail Hawks, Achieva Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Carnyx Wild, and the Dyfi Osprey Project.

Tiny Tot scraps again – and other nest news, late Tuesday edition

So far Tiny Tot, the youngest juvenile on the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida, has not had any fish but he has battled an adult intruder and later this afternoon, there was another juvenile on the nest. Tiny Tot did not like that. It definitely wasn’t sibling #2 but it could have been sibling #1 – now that would be a surprise with her gone for so long after fledging. If it was sibling #1 she might have been shocked by her little brother. Tiny didn’t cower in the corner like she might remember – nope. He went full frontal attack mode. Being really hungry helps and it is 31 degrees in St Petersburg and it is hard to fight if you are thirsty and hungry.

At 5:00:18 the other juvenile lands on the nest.

Tiny appears not recognize the bird that landed. Tiny goes into attack mode.

Then, Jack flies in with a fish at 5:47:51 which should have been for Tiny Tot since sibling #2 took the previous fish. That seems to be Tiny’s thinking, too.

The other bird holds its head down in submission.

Jack flies in and delivers a fish at 5:47:51.

The minute Jack lands on the nest there is a scramble for that fish. The stranger juvenile (or sibling #1) gets its talons in it first. Tiny Tot is hungry and he has been battling an adult intruder all morning, he wants that fish.

Tiny opens his wings and covers up the other bird that has the fish and they begin this kind of 360 dance around the nest.

Tiny forces the other bird lower onto the nest. Tiny looks like he is biting the other bird but he actually has his beak in the fish. They will do a series of tug of wars.

Then Tiny pins the other bird down. He goes for its head!

Tiny Tot is doing everything he can to get that fish. He is surely not afraid and if this is sibling #1, I don’t think she ever would have thought Tiny Tot would come after her with this level of aggression. Remember. Tiny Tot is hot, tired, fed up, and most of all hungry!

Tiny is standing over the other bird trying to get the fish. The stranger juvenile is flat down on the nest covering that food.

More tugging at the fish.

Tiny Tot must have learned a lot with that adult Osprey fighting him. Here Tiny Tot is climbing onto the back of the other bird who remains flat down on the nest. You might recall that the adult intruder did that to Tiny the first time they had a confrontation. Today, Tiny Tot sent that adult packing. He has confidence and that confidence is growing.

He continues grabbing at the bird and/or the fish.

Tiny lets up and the other bird moves to the rim of the nest.

Tiny Tot is on its back!

After two minutes of fighting – yes, that is all this was – Tiny Tot is tired. He grabs at the other bird and it flies off the nest.

The other bird has the fish and flies around to land on the perch to eat it. Gosh, I wonder if this is sibling #1. Despite Tiny Tot not getting the fish, he has demonstrated that he can defend himself. He is growing more confident every day – something that will help him trying to survive off the nest.

If it was sibling #1 that is good – it means that it has survived and that would be simply grand.

I am still hoping Tiny Tot will get a fish as a reward for all his effort today! And if he doesn’t, I sure wouldn’t want to be another bird on that nest tomorrow when Jack delivers the morning fish drop.

Big Red and Arthur’s Ks are growing. K1 is getting interested in pecking at the prey that is now being left on the nest. Of course, that is the purpose. Get the Ks to start self feeding!

Aren’t they cute? Even K3 is getting its feathers but those ears are still not covered!

Laddie made several deliveries today. In fact, every time I stopped to check in on the Loch of the Lowes nest the Bobs were almost always eating. Here they are under NC0 waiting for a delivery.

Laddies brings in some perch and some trout today. I doubt if the Bobs care – they just want to eat. Big Bob is on the left – see the peach. Little Bob is on the right. They are both growing fast with all this eating.

After that feeding, Little Bob had a nice big crop. He’s looking up to say hi to everyone and show them.

Laddie has perfect timing. He arrives with a fish for NC0 right at dusk so she can have full babies sleeping soundly all night. Fantastic.

And every day they get better at eating and her at feeding.

Everyone’s tummies are full – the Two Bobs and NC0. Sleep well everyone!

Idris brings in a huge flounder to the Dyfi Nest in Wales. Telyn is delighted! Idris is one of those great fishers but he also likes to feed his Bobs, too. Great guy!

I wonder if the Two Bobs are going to wake up for their fish?

Ah, Little Bob did. Feed me, Dad!

Telyn decides that she is going to take charge of this feeding. Little Bob moves away from asking Idris over to Mom!

Later on, Idris catches a whale of a Flounder. He is eating his portion on the perch. Telyn is fish calling. I think she likes flounder! Idris promptly acknowledges and heads to the nest with the fish.

Here he comes flounder in tow.

Idris loves any chance to check on his babies. He is quite the dad.

Ah, they are both awake and up there. The oldest is starting to get that pink sheen on its head and neck meaning feathers are coming in. Little Bob still has his soft grey down.

Tummies are all full and there is lots of flounder left for tomorrow. Telyn looks down lovingly at her babies as they fall asleep.

Dylan was busy delivering fish, too, to Seren and the Little Bob. Right at dusk, just like he should, he shows up with a nice perch for the last meal of the day. That little one on the Clywedog Nest is going to be pampered and spoiled. It looks like the other two eggs are duds – and that is just fine. Best one healthy chick.

Dylan stays awhile so he can see his little chick.

That little one is growing fast. Look at it standing up so straight reading for some of that lovely Perch. Good Night Llyn Clywedog!

Other nest news: Wek-Wek fledged so all three of Annie and Grinnell’s chicks have fledged now. Fauci came in to be fed by Annie today, too. Nice. At the Cowlitz Nest of Electra and Wadsworth, it seems that Wadsworth delivered at least two fish. Maybe I will start watching that nest after all! This would surely be a nice turn around. Everything on all the other nests seems to be just fine. The two on the Savannah Osprey Nest at The Landings on Skidaway Island are beautiful and growing like crazy. The Pittsburg Hayes eaglets are jumping up and down and really wanting to take off. And, I haven’t mentioned them lately but the three eaglets at The Trio Love Nest of Starr, Valor I and II are now leaping high in the air. How lovely.

Thanks for joining me. Stay cool. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, Clywedog and Carnyx Wild, and the Cornell Lab RTH.