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.

Lots happening in Bird World and it is just Tuesday!

My goodness. Monday and moving into Tuesday in the UK turned out to be a blur. Mrs G officially had her and Aran’s first hatch at Glaslyn Osprey Nest in Wales at 00.08 18 May. Mrs G, with her great experience – this is her 47th hatch – removed half of the shell. Good work, Mom. You can see the little Osprey to the left of the white egg – that sweet little stripe down its back.

There is Aran coming to check out how Mrs G and Q1 are doing in the early morning. Mrs G told him it won’t be long til Q2 is here – there is a big crack in that egg.

Little Q1 wanting some more fish. Oh, goodness. Not even 24 hours old and look how strong!

Here is the link to watch Aran and Mrs G with what will soon be the two Qs.

NC0 had her first hatch ever! The little one just needs mom to nudge that shell a bit. It has a really loud cheep that can be heard on the microphone under the nest cup.

And here is the little one getting its first feeding! So tiny.

No one gives the Ospreys a manual and it takes time to get to know how to feed a bobble head. I remember aching every time I saw Anna feeding Kisatchie at the Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. Now Kisatchie is ready to fledge – it all worked out. Nessie (Blue NC0) is trying hard to connect with the little one to feed it and Laddie (LM12) seems to understand he is to deliver fish. Fingers crossed. I am certain they will have the feeding all sorted quickly before number two arrives.

Here is the link if you would like to check out this nest.

White YW (male) and Blue 35 (female) celebrate the arrival of the first hatch of 2021 at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria.

There is a lot of excitement at the Poole Harbour Nest and ironically, I was just reading through Roy Dennis’s account of when they were first setting up the nests at the most opportune locations in Poole Harbour in his new book, Restoring the Wild. Sixty Years of Rewilding our skies, woods, and waterways. It is very interesting how they use Google Earth to help pick out the best places for the artificial nests.

CJ7 flew in with a fish and lo and behold, there is a male. It is Blue 022. They have been seen mating on the camera pole. Late eggs?

Another nice view of female CJ7 with her catch. Oh, the folks at Poole Harbour would be elated if there was a new pair at this nest! Blue 022 is a 2019 translocated Osprey.

The Cal Falcons need a name and the folks at UC Berkeley have narrowed down the field from 650 suggestions. If you would like to vote to name Annie and Grinnell’s vivacious boys, please go to the link below. There they provide information on the names submitted and then you just choose three. Why now join in the fun?

https://calfalcons.berkeley.edu/names/

Here is Grinnell giving the three their morning breakfast. They were fantastic for their dad, all lined up and being nice. Sometimes they run all over the place when Annie tries to feed them later in the day. Nice, healthy falcons!

You can catch the action here when they are inside:

And this is the link to the outside camera:

Oh, those babies of Big Red and Arthur’s get more adorable every day – even with their pin feathers starting to show. Glad to see Arthur snagged a chipmunk for the gang. Did you realize there is a shortage of chipmunks in 2021? It isn’t just Ithaca – across the state of New York. I also wonder about squirrels. Did Arthur wipe out the colonies of squirrels and chipmunks last year when he delivered 2x the normal amount of prey to the nest? It has to take many more Starlings – and I understand that hawks and falcons don’t particularly like Starlings. Wish for a chippie!

They are sure growing but immediately you can still tell which is K1, K2, or K3. Oh, the little wings and tails.

The little ones at The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island (Savannah Ospreys) are doing great. It is easy to tell them apart. The youngest one has a very dark breast. That one struggled for awhile but the feeding has levelled out and both are fed well and growing. This morning the youngest decided to try walking for the first time! Wow. What a milestone! These two have beautiful peach in their plumage.

Checking in on Iris, she brought in an amazing catch yesterday at 12:45 pm. She could hardly pull it into the nest and then she decided to fly off with it to the pole.

Iris already had a pretty full crop when she caught this one. She has to be the envy of everyone there on the river in Missoula.

Iris is such a beauty. I wonder if she remembers how nice it was to have Stanley for a mate? someone to share these precious moments with? to help her with the eggs and the chicks? Those are, of course, human questions but, you can’t help but notice when a chick is born how quickly the female wants to show it to the male. Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, is much loved – by tens of thousands.

Iris is not tied to her eggs. Thank goodness. She spent the night on the perch and did not go down to the nest til 8:44 am and was gone by 9:06. She is taking care of herself this year knowing that a single parent cannot raise a family of Ospreys. It is very interesting to me. I would love to have a coffee with Iris and hear what she thinks about Louis! Can humans learn Osprey speak? Probably not. It remains a great unfortunate in the Osprey World that Louis has two nests and that he doesn’t have the energy of Monty to try and keep both thriving.

It won’t be long until Tiny Tot fledges. He is getting a lot of good height and is exercising those wings.

Tiny and Diane are waiting for a fish delivery. The pair enjoyed a late night delivery the other day from Jack and were eating well into the night. It is hot and windy in St Petersburg today, 30 degrees C. Fishing might not be that good.

Tiny has grown into a beautiful osprey. Such joy he has brought to everyone who cheered this little one being clever and wanting to live. It is one of those good news stories from 2021 for sure.

Legacy is still with us! Samson brought in two fish today for her – two at the same time! This is really amazing as there is a high rip tide warning for the coast between Jacksonville and Georgia.

Samson waits and protects Legacy while he eats.

We are so lucky to have this extra time with Legacy. He has not strayed since he was missing for three days. That must have been very scary. Samson is doing a great job feeding Legacy and keeping him on the nest.

Thank you so much for joining me today. We are once again on hatch watch at the Glaslyn nest of Aran and Mrs G. If I look at the other potential hatches in the UK, things are getting busy. It is difficult to keep up.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. That is where I get my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Cam RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, UC Falcon Cam, Poole Harbour, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the Achieva Credit Union.

Sample Bags and a Miracle at Manton Bay Rutland

Around 18:00, the team to retrieve the bodies of EE1 and EE2 begin their work in the Matsula National Park. The person who climbed the tree was named Gunnar. The bodies of the two eaglets were examined carefully at the nest. It was noted that EE2 had a large swollen belly. However, it appeared that EE1 had a pellet stuck in their throat that they had been trying to cast for some time as there was vomit. Those were the general observations. The tests on all nest items will hopefully reveal causes. All of the prey items, every feather, and each piece of bone were removed from the nest for testing to discover what caused the deaths of the two White-tail eaglets of Eve and Eerik.

The chicks were retrieved very professionally and placed into sealed sample bags.

The cleaning of the nest of any prey items that could have harmed the chicks and/or the parents. The results of the testing and the post-mortem will be posted to the public forum for the nests. There are both Estonian and English sites. The tests will take some time. Remember that they will try to conduct them at the University of Estonia but if they cannot then the samples will be sent out of the country. Here is the link:

It is a beautiful morning in Ithaca, New York. Big Red wakes up to a golden glow and promises of a mostly sunny day and highs of 21. The eyases will be warm! And this heat and sun will give a chance to dry out the nest from the rains earlier in the week.

Already you can see the eyases prefer to sleep on the fur of the animals instead of the pokey sticks! The Ks are fine. Chatters have been worried about K3. K3, at the top, uses a Starling (I think) as a cushion. Look at its fat little bottom and strong wings and long neck. No one ever needs to worry about Big Red’s kiddos being hungry. It doesn’t happen. No one needs to worry they will fall off the tower either – they don’t! They are afraid of heights – yes, isn’t that funny?

Tiny Tot is ten weeks old today!!!!!!! Congratulations! Oh, goodness. So many didn’t think he would live to be this old. 70 days. But do not let the number of days fool you. For 12 full days Tiny did not eat and those days were mostly in the critical rapid growth phase. Tiny still has feathers to come in and lots of hovering to do before s/he fledges. Just as well she likes being on the nest and takes her time. We want her to succeed and not be rushed.

By noon both Tiny Tot and sibling #2 had had a fish each. Not bad. Tiny got the 7:55 am food drop from Jack. It was hazy and oh, is it going to be hot – up to 29 or 30 degrees C today. That nest must be even hotter. Poor babies.

At the Hellsgate Osprey nest of Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, Iris was missing in action. She did not spend the night incubating the two eggs of hers and Louis’s and she was not there at dawn (image below is at 6:23 am).

Iris flew in around 8:11. She began alarming almost immediately after she arrived. She flew off the nest and returned at 9:11 when she began alarming again. Iris was on and off the nest – mostly off – as the morning progressed. Again I am not an expert but Iris does not appear to be too concerned about incubating the eggs in the nest. She is much more involved in protecting her territory.

It is 13:27 in Jacksonville, Florida. Legacy has been hunkered down on her nest since morning due to the high winds in the area. Wind is 32 kph with gusts even higher. Fishing would be very choppy and Samson will come in with fish for Legacy when he can. She has eaten well and we also know that eagles can go several days without eating – that is the way it is in the wide world that Legacy will enter one day.

You may recall that the nest of the Ospreys, LM6 and LJ2, at Lyn Brenig in Wales was cut down during the night with someone using a chainsaw and boat. With considerable effort the people in Wales renovated another portable nest for the couple and then replaced the old nest. An update was provided this morning.

LM6 and LJ2 have shown considerable interest in the new nest. However, a Greylag Goose has now laid eggs on that nest. This presents a problem and the folks in Wales have decided not to seek a permit to move the eggs of the goose but to leave it in place and create another nest at that site for the Ospreys.

Raising the new nest so it can be placed on its pole.

And now for the lead story. Blue 33 (11) brought in a headless fish for Maya to feed to the Two Bobs. Everything was going well for a few minutes when the fish began to flap, of its own accord, on the nest cup right where the Two Bobs and the third egg were. I will show you this in a sequence of images.

Look at Maya’s expression. She is scared!

Maya moves around to the other side of the nest to figure out what to do and the fish starts flapping directly, up and down, on top of the babies – again.

This was the scene when the fish finally stopped moving. It is horrific. No one knew if either of the little ones were alive. One’s body is caught underneath and the head of the little one is under the fish on the opposite side.

Everyone held their breath. After the two eaglets at the White-tail nest in Estonia, it was hard to believe that anything good could come out of his incident.

In a few minutes the little ones pull themselves from that fish.

Maya alerts Blue 33 (11) to remove ‘that’ fish from the nest! And she broods her babies.

What began as a horrible incident became a miracle. By 15:00 the Two Little Bobs were up and ready to eat again.

Smile! Just look at the two of them. Fantastic. I cannot think of a better way to end my blog today.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. And smile….think of the Two Bobs and the miracle that saved them if you start feeling ‘blue’. Wonderful things happen.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I gather my screen shots: LRWT and Rutland Osprey Project, Achieva Credit Union, The Eagle Club of Estonia, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab, Montana Osprey Project, and Lyn Brenig Osprey Project.

Saturday Nest Hopping

As many of you know, I have a ‘soft’ spot for several of our avian friends and clearly, Legacy, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot, and the Ks are at the top of that list but, in truth, there are so many amazing birds that have brought me joy that it is impossible to give each one of them the air time that they truly deserve. That said, Tiny is going to fledge in about a week. Legacy is still home but it won’t be long until she is gone into the big world, too. That is why I am spending so much time with them.

Tiny Tot working his wings. 7:15 pm. 8 May 2021

This morning Legacy really lucked out. At 9:30:16, she sees her parent coming in with food and she starts squealing. She flies down to the nest six seconds later to retrieve that fish from her dad, Samson.

Then at 2:43:25 Legacy starts squealing again. She flew down from her branch so quickly that she sent Samson off the nest with the fish. He had to come around and land again. Wow, it was a whopping piece of nice fresh fish. Legacy will be full until tomorrow for sure!

That is a really large chunk of fish that Samson has brought Legacy.

Legacy is learning how to hold the fish with all of her talons so it is easier to eat and doesn’t move around and so that no one steals her dinner!

Oh, Legacy is doing a really good job with the self-feeding.

Legacy’s crop is as full as it can be! Isn’t she just gorgeous?

Richmond is busy bringing in fish for Rose and the gang. Like all the dads, he loves the head. He has nice crop. Richmond is a great provider. It looks like Rosie is keeping the toys and hats out of the nest for now.

There they are. Three tiny little Ospreys.

Aran brought in a really nice flounder for Mrs G today in celebration of Mother’s Day. There are the three eggs that Mrs G is incubating.

Big Red and the Ks are beginning to dry out. Oh, it has been a soggy couple of days on this Red-tail Hawk nest.

Precious. Well behaved. Big Red always has everything under control.

Blue 33 (11) brought in a nice fish for Maya to feed ‘Little Bob’. There he is not even a day old. Oh, so cute.

The two little ones at The Landings Skidaway Island Osprey nest are growing.

Can you find them? Look carefully.

Still looking a little reptilian.

You can see the big crop on the eldest one and the youngest still being submissive in the image below. These little ones learn quickly – if they survive – to keep their head down, let the dominant one eat, and then go for it. So, like Tiny Tot they wait, listen, and get ready to jump.

And there is the little one getting a nice feed.

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot is enjoying a nice fish meal as I type this. Indeed, Tiny has had a lot of fish today. He might have even had more if it had not been for sibling #2 losing a whole catfish off the edge of the nest. This last delivery came at 8:11:58. You can just hear Tiny Tot squealing, “It’s mine”. If you look you will notice that Tiny still has a crop from earlier in the day.

Jack is so funny. He really is not comfortable feeding the kids. He keeps looking around for Diane. Meanwhile, Tiny must be thinking “just give me the fish, I can feed myself.” Turns out Jack is OK at feeding the little one.

Tiny is still being fed as the IR camera comes on and the sun is going down in St Petersburg.

This is a lovely image of Tiny Tot by Diane with sibling #2 eating its fish in the back. I want to try and get a really good front image of Tiny tomorrow. It appears that Tiny is getting a dark necklace. If that is the case, I am going to have to stop calling Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot a ‘he’.

Tiny’s wings are getting so big and the tail feathers are growing nicely. The plentiful food in the last couple of weeks has made a big difference in Tiny’s life.

Thank you for joining me as we hopped, skipped, and jumped from nests today. Take care and all the best.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. That is where I get my screen shots. They are: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Golden Gate Audubon Ospreys, NE Florida Eagle Cam and the AEF, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

Babies, Branching, and Bittersweet

It is all too quick. One minute they are little chicks bonking and bopping like the three Ks of Big Red and Arthur and then they are branching and fledging. It is all bittersweet.

Arthur has already begun to line prey up around the egg cup at the Fernow Light Tower nest in Ithaca, New York. Look at the crop on K1. I never get tired of watching these little eyasses grow. Arthur and Big Red are such devoted parents.

6 March 2021

Adorable. Simply adorable.

Oh, look at those little cutie pies. The Ks. 6 May 2021

Annie and Grinnell’s eyasses are a little older than the Ks. Their pin feathers are really growing in and they now spend their time preening, sleeping, or eating!

Look, you can see their little tail feathers starting to grow! People say the feather growth makes the eyasses itchy. How would a human know what it feels like to grow feathers? Birds are the only living thing on the planet that has them.

They are starting to get to the clown foot stage, too. Oh, they love that pigeon Grinnell is feeding them.

It is raining in Estonia and Eve is very careful not to get the little ones wet. Until they have their contour feathers they are not protected. Thermal down will help them against the cold but for now, they have to rely on mom to keep them both warm and dry.

I included the image below for two reasons. The first is the distinctive white tail feathers of the White-tailed eagles. Aren’t they gorgeous? And the second reason is to have a look at the feathers. Each of Eve’s feathers has a central shaft with tiny barbules that lock together like Velcro. They lay flat and make the bird waterproof. Feathers grow out of skin follicles.

White-tail eagles are the largest apex raptors in Europe. They also have the largest average wing span of any eagle in the world. Their wings span averages 2.4 metres or 8 feet. Did you know that they are on the coat of arms of Germany? They are Germany’s national bird just like the Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States.

Today, both Kisatchie at the Kistachie National Forest Bald Eagle nest and one of the pair of the Bald Eaglets at Duke Farms branched. Kisatchie had no one to cheer him on but the eaglet that branched below got a high five from its sibling for a job well done. It won’t be long til the sib is jumping up on that branch, too!

We are still on hatch watch with Maya and Blue 33 (11) at Rutland Mantou Bay. Tomorrow the first egg laid will be 38 days old (May 7).

And, of course, the bittersweet. In a month or so, E17 and E18 along with Legacy will leave us to make their own way out into the world. And sooner than I want, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot will fledge.

Legacy is waiting for Samson to bring her the evening meal. It is nearly 7:30 and he normally visits the nest around 5:30 with a food drop.

Legacy is not starving. Remember, Gabby and Samson are trying to teach her about what life will be like outside of the nest. Food is not always plentiful and eagles do not eat every day in the wild. Legacy had a squirrel yesterday and a big hunk of fish the day before. It is nearly 8:30 p, in the image below and it seems Legacy might have to wait and hope for breakfast.

Meanwhile, Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot is having some nice fish. Diane seems to really enjoy feeding Tiny. Often they are on the nest together as #2 sibling flies around and lands on the perch pole. There has been no sighting of #1 sibling. She fledged, returned to the nest once and is MIA. Normally, the raptors depend on their parents for food from 4-6 weeks after fledged (an average overall – some stay longer). They eat at the nest and strengthen their flying muscles. Sometimes the parents feed them ‘off nest’. It is not clear what is happening with #1 sibling and because she is not banded, we will never know.

I am clearly going to miss Legacy and Tiny Tot when the fledge. Unless there is some very distinctive marker – like the dots in Iris’s left eye or the tear in the wing of WBSE 24, unringed birds are simply not that recognizable, one from the other.

And the last news of the day, Iris, the oldest living Osprey in the world laid her first egg of the 2021 season at her Hellgate Nest in Missoula, Montana today at 18:04:31. I would like to hope that if nature intends it, Iris would get to be a mother again. Her last successful hatch with Louis was in 2018. As you know, I wish this day had not come but it has and now we wait to see how the season will twist and turn.

There is a new director for the Cornell Bird Laboratory, Dr Ian Owens. In an interview that came out in the latest edition of Living Bird, Dr Owens remembers the bird that changed his life. He was fifteen and the bird was an Eurasian Marsh-Harrier. Dr Owens will take charge in July.

Like Dr Owens, there are many of you reading this that will recall the first time that a bird influenced your life. Mine was over four and a half years ago when I met Sharpie’s female mate. I haven’t seen her for awhile but Sharpie stopped by today. I rejoice in seeing him – whether it is for a few minutes or an hour. They certainly changed my life and I will be forever grateful. It is just like the joy that all of the birds give us each day.

So take care everyone and remember – March 8 is Bird Count Day. I will remind you tomorrow with the link so you can submit your count. It helps everyone understand the perils of migration. Thank you for joining me!

Thank you to the following streaming cams where I get my screen shots: NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Achieva Credit Union, The Eagle Club of Estonia, UC Falcon Cam, Duke Farms, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, and LRWT Rutland.

Wednesday Nest Runs

Congratulations to Richmond and Rosie. Their second hatch for 2021 arrived on the nest on top of the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco on 3 May.

In the image below, Rosie and Richmond’s first hatch of 2021 is right beside the egg that is pipping. You can see the end of the beak and the egg tooth breaking up that shell.

Rosie is really excited to show Richmond the second hatch!

Here we are dad! Can we have some fish, please?

Legacy stayed around her natal nest today. As I sat and watched her, I was reminded of an incident with one of our cats, Melvin. At the time, cats were allowed outside and Melvin loved to roll around in the grass and dirt in the garden. He was content not to leave the yard and never wandered away. One day he didn’t come when we called him. We searched high and lo at all hours of the day and night. Then about four days later, in the middle of the night, we heard him yowling at the door. Melvin ran into the house and went under the bed. For the next 15 years of his life he rarely left that one room. We will never know what happened to him while he was away, but it scared the wits out of him. There were marks on his paws where the fur was gone and holes. We wondered if he had gotten caught in a trap or barbed wire.

Looking at Legacy I have a feeling that she was lost. Of course, I could be all washed up! This evening Samson brought in a fish for Legacy at 4:52:41. It was 32 degrees in Jacksonville and it was windy.

Legacy started mantling when she saw her father coming in with that fish. She was also squealing very loud.

Legacy held on tight to the fish. Samson had eaten the head so it was easy for Legacy to self-feed. She did it like a pro!

Legacy ate every last bite of that fish. When she got to the tail she wasn’t quite certain what to do with it. She tried to pull it off like skin. If the parents were watching they would have been very proud. Good work Legacy!

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot on the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida is the most beautiful bird. Tiny is a survivor. As the sun is setting Tiny had not had any of the last fish. He spent some of the time when he was alone on the nest chewing what fish was left on that bone in the middle of the nest.

At 7:59:46, there was a fish delivery and Tiny mantled it. ‘Mine!’

Tiny had not moved. He was still working hard on that fish as the sun set even more. Good night, Tiny!

Diane, #2 and Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot are ready and waiting for breakfast on 5 May. If you are wondering, #1 sibling has not returned to the nest. It is unclear if she is being fed elsewhere or what her status is.

You might recall my concern over The Landings Skidaway Island Osprey nest. The aggression from the oldest sibling was amping up as the food deliveries were irregular. That aggression continues. However, this morning the youngest got a nice big feed and it was a delight to see. They are still in their reptilian phase.

The oldest is getting fed and the youngest is cowering (on the left) afraid to go over to mom.

But like Tiny Tot, the youngest is waiting and watching for an opportunity. It moves around the long way once the biggest is full. If allowed, these little ones that are bonked/abused become quite clever. We have seen what an amazing bird Tiny Tot is. It is interesting, speaking of Tiny Tot, that the Achieva Osprey nest became peaceful the instant the oldest sibling fledged despite the fact that the eldest did not directly attach Tiny Tot after the third week in March. It became the duty of #2. Sorry – the behaviour of the birds is very interesting. I bet you never thought their lives could be so complicated?

There is number 2 – the darkest plumaged of the osplets – getting a nice big feed from mom. How wonderful!

Oh, goodness. Over at Big Red and Arthur’s Red Tail Hawk nest, K3 is coming!

It is a very soggy morning at the Fernow Light tower nest and here are K1 and K2 waiting for their little sib! It won’t be long and the entire K clan will be with us! There will be bonking bobble heads for a couple of days til their eyes focus and they realize that it is mom’s beak they need to connect with not their siblings!

I have checked on many more nests this morning but this blog would go on for a kilometre. Suffice it to say that Kistachie at the KNF Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana is doing a pretty good job self-feeding. He is not branching yet and Anna helps when he has trouble eating. Blue 152, a female, has landed again on the Loch Arkaig nest. Maybe a new male will appear! This morning Li’l and Big at the Duke Farms Nest were doing great. Mom was feeding both of them and that silly squirrel continues to bug the Pittsburg Hays trio. The last notice for today is 8 May is Bird Count Day. This is the day that people around the world stop and count the birds that they see. It is a major migration study and is how we know if populations are declining, growing, or if there are environmental issues impacting them. You, too, can take part. In fact, I urge you too. I will give you that information tonight.

Take care and thanks for joining me today. K3 is coming!!!!!!!!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell BirdLab and Skidaway Audubon, Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, NE Florida Eagle Cam and AEF, and Achieva Credit Union. I get my screen shots from these cameras.