Estonian Black Storks fledge…and other news from Bird World

All you have to do is watch a songbird catching insects for her wee nestlings, coming and going all day, to clearly see the great effort this is on behalf of the adult. As the nestlings grow ever larger, those same parents have tremendous pressure to increase the amount of food and the number of deliveries. Just finding food has been a serious challenge for all the birds this year whether they are in Montana, Florida, or Latvia. The tremendous heat waves, droughts, and urban development have impacted hunting areas as well as the quantity of fish or prey available.

I recorded an evening food delivery to Grafs and Grafiene’s storklings in Latvia. This is about a minute long. I could have recorded them for much longer but I can only upload so many MBs. It is absolutely fascinating. The parent arrives, regurgitates the fish, and quickly gets out of the way! Those three are so excited– and hungry!

There have been some concerns over the availability of food. Latvia has experienced, like other countries, excessive summer heat. ‘S’ tells me that they have also been experiencing land amelioration that has caused drainage issues in the surrounding area. If you have ever watched Ferris Akel’s Live Tours of birding areas in upstate New York, you will be aware of how the drainage of land impacts the birds. One day the water and food are there and two or three days later – gone! Poof. The summer heat has exacerbated these issues. Still, this trio of Black Stork nestlings seem to be developing quite well.

If you missed it, Karl II and Kaia’s nestlings were ringed on 9 July at the nest in the Karula National Park in southern Estonia. They also had Kotkaklubi transmitters put on their legs so the researchers can follow them as they migrate. They are Pikne 716P, Tuul 716 T and Udu is 716U. Tuul is the youngest and is seen here in this short video clip flapping and jumping. That nest seems so small!

All that flapping was leading up to something — Udu 716U fledged at 6:19 and then another fledged 716T, Tuul. This leaves Pikne, 716 P to fly. The fledgling Udu has flown and returned to the nest and flown again. It is so wonderful to see them in the early morning enjoying the little bit of wind under their wings. Always exciting and bittersweet.

I promised you an update on Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks. Everyone is doing well. K1 and K3 are very strong fliers and have really extended their range within the territory of their parents on the Cornell University campus. K1 is a very successful hunter. It is unclear to me whether or not K3 has caught his own food yet but, if he hasn’t, he will soon. Big Red and Arthur seem to take turns watching the fledglings progress from a distance.

Here is K3 on top of Roberts Hall.

K1 has been hunting. Wonder what she has in those talons?

A small bird.

K1 finished her snack and is ready to find some more prey!

I love this image. You can clearly see the ‘eyebrows’ that keep the glare out of the hawk’s eyes. Then there is that amazing red streaked belly band – enough to rival that of her mother, Big Red. K1 is such a gorgeous hawk. In this image she is completely focused on the task at hand – finding another prey item.

There is proud papa, Arthur, watching his kids closely but not interffering with their learning.

K1 seemed to be all over the campus hunting. I am not so familiar with the buildings but doesn’t she look gorgeous on this one with the red clay roof tiles? Just a beauty.

The Ks are doing well. We are moving into August. They should be hunting in the fields by highway 366 shortly, if they are not already. The days will pass quickly. The pair will begin soaring and then it won’t be long til Big Red and Arthur will be empty nesters.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope to get some images of our local water fowl to share with you tomorrow. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots and video clips: The Latvian Fund for Nature and the Eagle Club of Estonia. Thanks go to Suzanne Arnold Horning again for sharing her great images of the Red tail haws with us.

An Osprey blew off a nest! and other Bird World News

We were so concerned about the big storm that went through Wisconsin and the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest that nothing else mattered in the wee hours of the night the other day. In our mind’s eye, we could see that wee chick flying off that 120 ft retired fire watchtower.

Well, over in New Jersey, the mother on the Barnegat Light Osprey Nest did get blow off! The Conserve Wildlife Foundation wrote:

“On the evening of July 29, 2021 a line of severe storms moved across New Jersey. Many of these storms held the potential to produce damaging winds, hail and possible tornados. One such storm went straight for Barnegat Light, where our osprey cam is located. Watch as the wind shifts from east to west and the adult female was blown from the nest. Luckily she and her nestlings all survived unharmed, but there are many osprey who were right in the path of what looked to be a tornado, which hit High Bar Bar — just to the north of the osprey cam nest. Hopefully that the damage is not too severe to both people and ospreys.”

Here is that video of Daisy, the mother on the perch, and her two chicks on the nest.

The male, Duke, went missing in the storm. He showed up around 4pm today delivering a fish on that nest. Yippee.

Daisy and the chicks are sleeping well tonight. The family is back together again!

Fledge is over but the chicks are still actively coming to the nest for fish drops. Here is the link to that camera.

I will add a note. There were originally three chicks on this nest. The vast age and size difference meant that the third hatch became a victim of siblicide.

The Montana Osprey Project is having a fundraiser and it is really neat. Dr Ericke Green collects the twigs that fall off Iris’s nest at Hellgate, Montana. I know that almost everyone knows who ‘Iris’ is but, in case you do not, she is the oldest Osprey in the world. She has her nest in Missoula, Montana. She has spent the days since arrival and until recently adding twigs. Well, some of the twigs she adds fall off. Those that Dr Green picks up are sent to Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles in South Carolina who turn those twigs that Iris touched into pens. They cost $45 and that includes postage. I understand they sell out quickly if you are interested please go to the Montana Osprey Project FB Page. Scroll through their threads and you will find the information.

I was so excited to find this fundraiser. Can’t wait til my pen arrives!

WBSE 28 is working steady to get out of that shell! This was the progress around 10 am Saturday nest time. This sweet babe should be joining its ‘snowman’ looking sibling 27 late Saturday in the Sydney Olympic Ironbark Nest.

My first introduction to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle was last year. I am a ‘hawk and falcon’ person – smaller raptors – more than the eagles. I came across the WBSE streaming cam purely by accident. I have learned a lot about eagle behaviour over the past year.

This cute little bundle of fur is destined to be one of the largest eagles in the world. Look at its cute little wings. One of the worst things about eagle nests is the sibling rivalry – although I can say that this also happens on Osprey nests and to a much lesser extend the smaller raptors. Last year the sibling rivalry only lasted a few days. It seemed that WBSE 25 sensed that ’26’ was injured and I have said many times helped the little sibling. That said, one of the old timers told me that the second egg is the ‘insurance’ egg – there only if the first chick does not survive. When I heard that I shook my head. There can be siblicide on this nest. It is the only White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest with a live stream that I am aware of.

I am including the link to the camera. If you are concerned about what appears to siblicide happening on this nest, this year, I urge you to stop watching especially if you have younger children. I will provide simple updates on the nest without graphic content. Hopefully there will be plenty of fish brought in at all the right times so that nothing triggers food insecurity behaviour. That said, siblicide has occurred on nests where food is plentiful.

Here is the link to Cam 4 for the Sydney Sea Eagles:

Ferris made it to the Cornell Campus tonight. He was able to spot Arthur fairly quickly but the Ks and Big Red were in hiding. He will probably return to the campus tomorrow on his regular Saturday tour. I know he will be stopping to see about the Roseate Spoonbill. Like all of us, it is a joy to see a bird outside of its territory but it is also a worry and as Ferris said, he would like this bird to get back to where it belongs.

Here is Arthur on the ‘throne’:

The chick on the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin was left alone as dark was coming. It had been fed reasonably well today with fish caught by Mom and brought in and at least one delivery by Dad.

I went back and checked again and Mom was on the nest with the babe. Whew!

The last check in for today is at the Loch of the Lowes where NC0, the female, landed a whopper and brought it to the nest. That fish was so large it would feed both fledglings and mom. There might have been some leftover for Laddie! NC0 is really turning into a super mom. She doesn’t sit around and wait for Laddie. Once the chicks were old enough, she joined in the fishing for the family!

It’s late Friday evening on the Canadian Prairies. My blog on Saturday will be in the late afternoon or early evening. I want to do a lot of nest checks.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is nice to hear from you – always – and it is so wonderful to know that there are so many people who care for our birds. Take care. Stay safe.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Barnegat Osprey Light Cam and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Cam, the Ferris Akel Live Stream and the Sea Eagle, Birdlife Australia, and Discovery Centre Sydney for the WBSE captures.

Bird World Happenings. 27 July 2021

Oh, so many of us are having Empty Nest Syndrome. It is that time of year. You go and check to see if there are any Osprey fledglings on the nest – and no. Poof. Gone. It suddenly sets in that those precious little fluff balls have grown up. They have fledged and are gaining their flying skills for migration. Osprey breeding season is almost over. There are a chicks few trailing behind – Collins Marsh and Chesapeake Bay to name a couple in North America. There are still chicks on the nest in Manitoba but there are no streaming cameras. The Port Lincoln couple on the barge are only ‘thinking’ about eggs. Those will come mid-August most likely. So what does one do?

One of the first things is to treasure the moments we got to spend with these bird families. It is a privilege to see them living their daily lives. There is a saying in Japanese – Ichigo ichie. It was coined by the great tea master, Sen-no Rikyu. His meaning focused on the sharing of the tea ceremony and the realization that you can repeat the ritual but you can never re-create that moment with the same person ever again. You must live it to the fullest with the deepest respect. In terms of our birds, I would like to think that we must treasure every moment that we can share with them and give them our attention. It truly is a once in a life time encounter. Tiny Little will never again receive a huge fish and fend off its sibling with that same sibling later getting a little tiddler from dad. Those were two precious moments that will never again be repeated. Indeed, I wonder if we will ever see Tiny Little again before her migration. That nest has been awfully empty today.

Some of us began to focus on the few nests that do have chicks. My attention has been on the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin. It is easy to notice the very odd behaviour of the bonded pair at the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest. It truly is strange. The female disappears for 21 hours! That was when ‘S’ and I began to find other strange tidbits about this nest. The female returns on Sunday morning and Dad spends the day bringing in several fish deliveries. Then on Monday the male brings in the first fish and we don’t see him anymore. It is the female catching the fish and bringing them to the nest. So is there a pattern here? or are we just losing our minds? The female brought in two fish today in the afternoon. One was cream coloured with gold scales but the last one was pink inside and out with gold scales. Any help on IDing these would be much appreciated.

In the image below, it looks like a salmon-red colour. Needless to say the chick went to bed quite full. Every time it started chirping mum was offering fish. She has been very devoted since she returned.

Thanks S for this great screen capture.

A couple of hours earlier Mum brought in this fish. I could not readily identify it either. Regardless of the species, the chick is delighted with the arrival! The faces this chick makes are incredible. Very animated.

This is the approach to the nature centre that is near the Collins Marsh Reservoir and the Mud River in Wisconsin. Look at the left and you will see the ‘retired’ fire tower which is now home to the Osprey nest on the very top of the glass enclosed space that appears above the ‘red’ in the image. Snowy Owls inhabit the nest in the winter. The tower is 33.5 metres or 110 feet tall. The staff of the Osprey centre access the camera within the glass enclosed area. At one time it was thought that there was a portal from the glassed area to the nesting platform but it turns out that is not correct. There is no ‘easy’ access to the Osprey nest. Getting to the nest physically to do a wellness check on the chick, right now, would mean finding a person with particular skills and then being certain that it was safe for them.

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

You can see that the nest is slightly off centre and is situated on a sort of cone hat with the camera on the pole at the corner.

Looking at this got me to thinking about access. It is quite true that there are raptor nests that can never be accessed. Eagles and Ospreys love to make their nests in extremely high places away from us! That said I have known or witnessed ‘tree climbers’ in Germany whose skill set is such that no tree defies them unless the tree itself is unsafe. This is an interesting situation at Collins Marsh. The Wisconsin DNR Biologist and the Wildlife Rehabilitator continue to monitor the chick in terms of feather growth, etc. That is great news. The question then arises: if the chick displays in another week or ten days problematic feather growth, what can be done? With the access so difficult, it would seem nothing. So let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed that nothing is wrong with the feathers! It would, however, seem prudent to explore the possibility of a portal access to the nest once the Ospreys have migrated and before the Snowy Owls take over. I hope that it is never needed but, if it were, it would be a win-win for everyone. All of that said, it would require the services of a structural engineer to figure out the best way to do this. Maybe there is someone who is qualified and loves the raptors that might, at least, consider if this was possible and do it as a donation of time to the centre. That would be grand.

Tuesday morning at Collins Marsh Osprey Nest: The day began with rain and then wind.

Mum left later and returned with a small fish/ a twiddler.

Mum leaves the nest three times after this. Very different behaviour than Monday. Dad does come to the nest and delivers a piece of fish. The chick winds up with a bit of a crop.

At the moment, the chick is on the nest alone. It is windy and the temperature is currently 24 degrees C going up to a scorching 30 degrees.

Mum returns and the chick joins her in fish calling to Dad. Oh, I hope the fish arrives and mum stays to shade the baby today.

The Cornell University Red tail hawks are still putting smiles on everyone’s faces. Suzanne Horning was out yesterday evening checking on them. I remain ever so grateful that she lets me share her images with you.

K3 and those beautiful celadon eyes just strikes right at my heart. This little one has, according to the boots on the ground, turned into a magnificent flyer.

K3 sees Arthur and immediately starts calling for food. You will notice that when the chicks do not see an adult they generally do not food call but when they do see someone who might bring ‘a food delivery’ you can hear them crying several blocks away!

K1 had a nice spot on top of one of the light stands. These stands have been, in past years, great places for the chicks to eat their prey. They are nice and flat on top.

If you cannot see their tails it takes a few moments to sit and figure out which K you are looking at. In this instance, the belly band has more red than the chick in the image above.

This is such a beautiful close up of K1. Look carefully at that beak – that very sharp point for tearing the food – and then look at how clean it is. You will see the chicks cleaning their beaks on all manner of things – sticks, tree bark, grass. At the same time they are also sharpening them. Like their feathers they need this ‘tool’ of theirs clean and sharp.

Here is a great little article that goes into more depth on the reason you see birds rubbing their beaks. It is short and very informative!

https://www.audubon.org/news/heres-why-birds-rub-their-beaks-stuff

Big Red is doing a kind of hawk walk while she is looking for prey. She is our gorgeous matriarch and every second seeing her reminds us how precious she is.

The Hornings did see Arthur but I don’t have an image for him. Both adults are moulting now and look a little scruffy.

Some of you have been asking about Arnold. Well, look at that picture of Arnold with his mate, Amelia. His wounds have healed enough that he now has a waterproof bootie and can spend some outdoor time with Amelia. If Arnold continues to improve – and why wouldn’t he with Amelia there cheering him on? – he could be released in a couple of weeks. That is wonderful!

@ Cape Wildlife Center

A few nest checks for the UK Ospreys and wow, lucky was with me.

There is one very loud food crying fledgling on the Loch of the Lowes nest. Looks like it is LR2. He wants his breakfast ‘now’!

Telyn is on the perch of the Dyfi Nest in Wales and Ystywth is eating her breakfast. How lucky she is. LR2 is so unhappy. I wonder if his big sister, LR1, took the first fish?

Ystwyth eating a fish on the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales. Telyn is o the perch.

One of the reasons for the big smile on my face is that when I checked the Glaslyn Nest of Aran and Mrs G someone was on the perch! And it is Mrs G. The timing could not have been better.

There she sits – the oldest Osprey in all of the United Kingdom – looking out over the territory that she shares with Aran.

Mrs G on the perch at Glaslyn.

Perhaps if I took one more peek at the Foulshaw Moss nest someone might be there having breakfast. Let’s see!

Well, not only is there no one on the nest but there is not an Osprey to be seen on the parent’s tree in the distance. I wonder if White YW and Blue 35 have taken everyone to the reservoir to try some fishing?

It is now 17:00 on the Foulshaw Moss nest and there are two fledglings hunkered down because of an intruder. “Hello, Tiny Little!”

Ah, maybe there isn’t much of an intruder. Wonder what Blue 464 is hiding? It is a big fish! No wonder Tiny Little is there. I will try and check back later to see if he gets some of it. The fish looks large enough for both as long as 464 doesn’t fly away with it. You can see its tail extending out to the left of the log. Hopefully 462 won’t come around!

Oh, Tiny Little is wanting that fish! She is up to her old tricks. It is a huge fish. Blue 464 will get tired of working at the mouth and walk away if Tiny Little can be patient.

Tiny Little has stepped back. She caused Blue 464 to move the fish a bit and she might be remembering that he did fly away with part of a fish the other day. Just wait, Tiny Little. There will be fish left!

But life throws birds wrenches and today, Blue 464 flew away with that huge fish! Tiny Little is yelling at White YW to go and get another one. Poor Tiny Little!

This is a good overview of what is going on at the nests today. So happy to catch Tiny Little. These moments are very precious.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is so nice to be with fellow bird lovers. Just a reminder. If you live in a place where it is hot please, if you can, leave out bowls of water for the birds. Old ceramic serving bowls work great. The clay does not get as hot as metal containers. If you leave water for the hummers, make your own. It is 4 cups of water to 1 cup of sugar. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. You can heat it and allow it to cool before putting in the container. Do not use the red commercial hummer food. It actually kills the birds! How sad is that? A company allowed to make a product that actually kills the thing it is supposed to help! OK. It happens with humans, too. Terrible.

Thank you to Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to use her images of Big Red and her family in my blog. Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen captures: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Carnyx Wild and Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, and Collins Marsh Nature Centre. A big shout out to the Cape Wildlife Centre who is caring for Arnold. You are fantastic!

An evening with Big Red, Arthur and the Ks

If you hear the name Ferris Akel, you might recognize the individual that gives a regular Saturday afternoon virtual birding tour of the area around Montezuma National Park, Wildlife Drive, Sapsucker Lake, and the Cornell Campus at Ithaca. Ferris also surprises us with ‘pop up’ tours of the Cornell Campus at other times so that he can see what is going on with Big Red and her family and share it with us. Tonight, we got a special tour and were able to see all four members of the Big Red family.

For those of you unaware, Big Red is a Red-tail Hawk. Red tail hawks are easily identified by their bright orange-red tail feathers once they are adults. The females are larger by approximately 30% than the males. This is called reverse sex size diamorphism. Red tail hawks have amazing eye sight. They will scan for food while they are soaring or are know to sit quietly on a perch for long periods of time watching for their prey. They will immediately fly to get it. Unlike the Peregrine Falcons who take their prey in the air, Red tail hawks normally fly down and get their prey on the ground. They do not normally eat carrion (dead animals) unless they are really starving. Their wing span is 1.2-1.5 metres for both males and females or 3.9 feet to 4.9 feet.

Big Red is a huge celebrity within the birding community. Big Red is now 18+ years old. She was banded near Ithaca, at Brooktondale, on 20 October 2003. Her current mate, Arthur, hatched in a territory next to the Cornell Campus in 2016. He has been Big Red’s mate since her mate, Ezra, died in March 2017. Arthur was first spotted visiting the nest in April of 2017. Big Red and Arthur were an ‘item’ by the fall. Their nest is on one of the light boxes across Tower Road from the Fernow Building. This year they hatched three chicks, the Ks. Two of the three fledged – this is the only time that Big Red did not have all of her chicks that hatched fledge. K2 sustained an injury to her right cheek and beak in the nest and had to be euthanized. She would never have been able to live in the wild nor would she have been able to have any quality of life in captivity. The two surviving chicks, K1 and K3, have already proven themselves to be excellent flyers and it looks like K1 has already had some successful hunts.

K3 on the nest. 21 June 2021. She was taken into care the following day.

Big Red was named after the territory she dominates, the Cornell Campus. She is also a large Red-tail Hawk with a lot of the beautiful rusty brown colour and bring orange-red tail feathers. In the image below she is beginning to become ‘Big Blond’ as she is moulting.

She is the matriarch. It is estimated that she has probably hatched chicks for fifteen years. Ezra was probably her first mate. If she hatched three chicks per year, that means that she has fledged 44. That is an incredible record! Sadly none of the chicks were banded so there is no knowledge of their whereabouts or status. A small number are known to have died after fledging. One was injured and is an ambassador bird for Cornell, E3.

Big Red is noted for her very dark plumage and that amazing red feathered apron.

Ferris first spotted one of the Ks on a light tower.

Big Red was spotted on the Water Cooling Plant.

You can see that her feathers look a little ruffled, untidy. This is the moulting.

Those piercing dark eyes just make you melt.

Can you spot the hawk? Seriously I believe that Ferris Akel has ‘hawk eyes’!

Oh, look it is Arthur! He is Big Red’s mate and is one of the most amazing hunters I have ever seen. He is also moulting!

This is K1 looking out. She is a really good flier and is also believed to have already made a couple of ‘prey kills’. Yesterday she had a little chipmunk and was doing a war cry when K3 came around hoping to get some of it. Normally if the bird is war crying they are the ones that caught the prey and will not share! Even if it is their cute little brother.

At first Ferris and the gang were not sure but once we saw the stripes on the tail, we knew it was K1. K3 has a muddy tail almost verging on red – a first for all of Big Red’s chicks.

K1 is gorgeous and very dark. These images are soft not because Ferris could not focus but because of the heat shimmer off the buildings.

And here is cutie pie, K3. All those little third hatches just soften my heart.

Oh, you wanted your sister to share her chippie and she told you to go and catch your own! Poor little thing.

And that was a wrap. Ferris persisted in finding all of the Ks and trying to get some good images of them despite the heat shimmer and the fact that it was getting dark.

Good night Big Red, good night Arthur, good night K1 and K3.

Big Red and Arthur are moving the Ks around the buildings on the Cornell Campus. They can now be found around the Water cooling buildings, Bartels, and across the ravine. It will not be long til they have them out by the buildings with the cows and the open fields. It is part of their training – enlarging their territory bit by bit. How do they do thus? Food is a great motivator and the adults will carry prey to different areas of the campus and the Ks will follow! It is that easy.

If you see the hawks coughing and shaking their heads and necks and something gets ‘thrown’ out of their mouth, this is called a ‘cast’. It is the bits and bobs of the prey that cannot be digested that is sort of compressed into a small pellet. The raptors cannot digest this and so they throw it up. This is properly called ‘casting a pellet’. This is with the exception of the owls that have a gizzard for digesting these parts of the prey.

It is now getting towards the last week of July. The Ks will be with us for a bit longer. I remember last year. Once J2 and J3 had been catching their own prey around the barns they began soaring. It was not long after that that J3 went poof and was gone with the winds to be followed by J2 the following day.

The last bit of news this morning is that Tiny Little and siblings were fed by White YW (dad) this morning. 462 was first followed by Tiny Little.

It is now around tea time, late afternoon, and Tiny Little has been like a ducking food crying in the nest for a bit.

Thanks so much for joining me. It was a great evening with Big Red and the Ks. They are progressing so well towards their own independence. Sadly, they do not get bands and we will not know where they go or what they do. Lucky for us Tiny Little is Blue 463! Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Ferris Akel’s Livestream and Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Late Thursday and early Friday in Bird World 22-23 July 2021

The Royal Albatross ‘Cam Princess’ for 2021, Taiki, was banded on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand on 22 July. Taiki is Maori and means ‘protector of the land and sea’. She now has a permanent metal band with a unique number to her and a white plastic band with the number 60 on it on the other leg. The white designates the chicks that were born this year. All 34 of them will get a white band. When they return to land, after being at sea from 4-6 years, they will receive the adult colour bands. For example, Taiki’s mother is Lime-Green-Lime (LGL). Can you imagine being at sea and only returning to walk on the ground after being away for all that time?

Here is an image of Ranger Sharyn putting on the bands.

And here is the video that the Cornell Labs did of the entire banding session.

It is unclear how many fish came up to the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest today. ‘S’ noted one medium fish. I did check in on the nest and caught the chick standing. That is very good. It is getting its juvenile feathers and it is beginning to get strength in its legs to walk and stand up. Excellent.

One of the most beautiful times of day at the White-Bellied Sea Eagle nest in the Old Ironbark Tree in Sydney is early morning. The forest is waking up. You can hear all the birds singing including the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, the Noisy Miners, and the Currawongs. We are just getting a trade off on incubation duty (I believe) when I checked the nest. We should be on hatch alert in a couple of days!

It is so calm and peaceful in the forest. No one is allowed inside this restricted area other than the Rangers and specific staff of the Discovery Centre.

Here is another hand off around 13:30 this afternoon.

The adult plumage is this beautiful slate blue grey with a white head and underbelly. The juveniles are the most gorgeous rusty-espresso.

I want to give you the link to the Sea Eagle camera so that you can start watching. It is very exciting. The little ones are fuzzy white when they hatch. So cute.

It is 4:59 and Tiny Little has already flown off the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

Just looking at that nest reminds me how grateful everyone was when Tiny Tot stayed around the Achieva Osprey nest for so long. In fact, for four months we got to enjoy seeing that wee one grow up. We saw her change from the beaten, pecked, and starved little one to a ferocious independent fledgling. What a gift we were given! We never know how long we are given with these ‘special survivors’ so we have to savour every minute. Tiny Little will, no doubt, return to the nest when there is a fish drop unless the parents begin to feed the fledglings off nest.

Ah, and before I stopped writing it seemed like a good time just to check on that Foulshaw Moss Nest again and guess what? Tiny Little is there with another sibling waiting for the breakfish drop!

Tiny Little, 463 on the left and 462 on the right.

And they both got their wish!

Some good news was posted today. Seventy eggs of the Black Foot Albatross from Midway Island were transported to Guadalope Island, Mexico. I mentioned this in an earlier blog last week. It has now been confirmed that all 70 of the eggs hatched and all 70 of the chicks have fledged. You can’t get any better than 100%.

One of my friends and readers lives on the Hawaiian Islands. She mentioned the colony of Albatross Hawaii they have. That reminded me to introduce you to a very special person who founded the Kauai Albatross Network.

Her name is Hob Osterlun. In this short clip, she is doing a one person play on her life as a nurse for nurses and doctors and she talks about how the albatross changed her life.

That short video, Kapuna Life, mentions Hob’s book, Holi Moli. I recall the first time I read it. I devoured the pages reading from late in the evening to the wee hours of the morning.

So many of you reading my blog have been moved by ‘the birds’. Whether it was during the pandemic or before, a two legged creature with feathers – that fly or not (we can’t forget about the Kakapo) – touched you in a way that is probably hard to describe. For Hob Osterlund, having that Laysan Albatross touch her foot was extremely powerful.

Here is a beautiful video about Hawaii and the Albatross. It is an hour long. Watch pieces of it or the whole thing when you have time. These are such beautiful birds. Hob never gets tired of talking about them!

It is a scorcher in southern Manitoba and Winnipeg today. Yesterday my daughter and her sons got to see an Osprey dive for its fish at Lake Winnipeg. She saw the nest using binoculars with its two chicks, too. We have a number of Osprey platforms placed by Manitoba Hydro around Victoria Beach, Grand Beach, Grand Marais and on the way to our Iceland city, Gimli. How lucky they were!

Thank you for joining me. Stay safe everyone! Stay cool. Remember to leave water out for the birds.

Thank you to the following whose streaming cams I use to get my screen shots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Collins Marsh Reservoir Osprey Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Sydney Sea Eagles, Australian Bird Life, and the Discovery Centre.

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.

Saturday 17 July in Bird World

I promised some updates on Big Red, Arthur, and the Ks. Right up front I want to thank Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to share her images of Cornell’s birds with all of you. She lives in Ithaca and once or twice a day she heads out with her family looking for the Ks. Thank you Suzanne!

This first series is from 16 July. Both of the Ks are on the corner of this unidentified building. K1 is on the left and K3 is on the right at the corner of the building.

Isn’ she gorgeous? This is K1, the mini-Big Red.

On the 15th, the Ks were hanging out on Weill.

K1 is doing the hawk walk! So cute.

She stops and looks for her brother, K3, who has just flown away.

K3 flew over to the middle of the hockey rink roof and landed! Good gracious.

Later, K3 rejoins his sister on Weill.

Meanwhile, where are Big Red and Arthur?

Big Red is on top of the Cornell Clock Tower.

Here’s a much closer look at Big Red.

And here is an image showing the position of Arthur and the Ks. The green arrow is where Arthur is on the light stands and the purple arrows points to the corner of the Weill Building where the two Ks are located.

Thanks Suzanne for the arrows and the images. It is reassuring to know that everyone is safe and sound.

There is some other news today. K1 caught her own prey. I know it happened but I do not have an image I can show you. Of course, no one knows if this is the first time or not but this is incredible. She is certainly related to Arthur who is like the stealth bomber of hunting! And Big Red is really good herself.

The Ks will be leaving their parents territory in August. They need to be able to fly well and hunt. As you can see Big Red and Arthur have now moved them around Weill and other areas farther from the nest. Soon they will have them hunting in the fields out by the Holey Cow Barns. Why holey and not holy you ask? The cows have clear tubes inserted in their sides so that the students in the Vet School can see what is happening inside the cow’s body. I have to admit the first time I heard this I was quite happy not to be there seeing it. But then wow – how would these students learn otherwise?

Suzanne Arnold Horning also went out to the Cornell Osprey nests and took some images. She believes that the nestlings are about to fledge!

There is only one Osprey nest on the Cornell Campus. It is located on the university athletic fields on a light tower at the soccer field. The adults there fish in Cayuga Lake, Beebee Lake, and Six Mile Creek. Those are within a few miles of the nest. The adults are Olin and Olive.

Off the Cornell Campus there were 38 Osprey nests around the Cayuga Lake Basin. While it isn’t a steadfast rule, most male Ospreys do return to the area of their natal nest. I am assuming then that when Olin showed up as a bachelor and began building a nest that he had hatched from one of the nests around Cayuga Lake several years earlier.

Olin would fly around the soccer field and people began to wonder if he was going to build a nest on one of the light towers. He made several attempts with sticks at the Game Farm Road soccer field. Olin did attract a female – Olive.

The nest you see in Suzanne Arnold Hornings’s images is the new nest that was built for Olive and Olin.

There are three little ospreys ready to fly in that nest this year.

Don’t you just hold your breath when they are hovering? I do! Wings everywhere. Looks like Olive needs to duck.

The Hornings and the Sedlaceks wrote a lovely article about the first year with Olin and Olive. There are some good images. I will attach it below this. Olin and Olive originally had a nest on a light and it was precarious. This is a wonderful nest that was constructed for this Osprey couple. Just look at it. They figured out the height, the measurements the nest should be and made sure that it was storm proof. Amazing.

Here is the link to the article. Please read it, it is lovely.

https://sites.google.com/site/cornellssurpriseospreys/

On the earlier part of the Ferris Akel Live Tour, there was a lovely juvenile Cooper’s Hawk. I think I have a couple of reasonable good screen shots to show you. What a lovely bird. We have Cooper’s Hawks that come to breed on the Canadian Prairies in the summer. They are protected under the Manitoba Wildlife Act of 1994.

Indeed, when I first encountered the hawk that comes to my garden, it was not clear if it was an adult Cooper’s or a Sharp-shinned. Turned out to be a Sharpie Adult, Northern. Like the Sharp-shinned, the Coopers are a medium sized Accipiter. These are the green-blue-grey (or celadon if you want to describe them like a pottery glaze) of a juvenile. The eyes of the adult male are red and they have a white breast/belly with ochre streaking, blue-grey hood and wings. You can see those red eyes in the image directly below.

“Cooper’s Hawk” by airboy123 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This juvenile might look like a Red-tail Hawk if you only saw its back. Like my Sharpie and the Red-tails, the length of the wings attributes to the silent stealth manner in which they hunt. They live in forests and even in urban back gardens and they need to be able to turn quickly which they can also do with their wings and their medium size. You can see those celadon eyes of this juvenile in the image below.

Look at the image below. Do not peek at their blue Darvic rings! Which one of those birds is Tiny Little?

It might be a surprise to you. Tiny Little is the bigger chick at the back!

I watched Tiny Little for several hours. He is absolutely hilarious. For awhile I wondered if he had forgotten how to fly. He hovered, he flapped his wings and he really wanted to go but he couldn’t get it in forward gear. But never mind. White YW brought a fish on to the nest and thoughts of flying went right out the window. Tiny Little was up to his old tricks. What you are seeing in the image below is the second sibling that Tiny Little has tormented over the evening fish. BTW. Tiny Little had a huge breakfast! His MOD is to stare at the fish, then do some flapping, go back and stare and make the sibling nervous til they walk away and leave the fish. And guess what? He is really good at it.

Blue 464 gave up the fish! Because of his behaviour you will know which one is Tiny Little below but please look at the size and look at the other bird. This is the female, that big female that tormented Tiny Little, Blue 464. Unfortunately I took about 300 images of this nest today (maybe more). I have one of Tiny Little standing next to Blue 462, the male. 462 has the thinner longer legs of White YW. Tiny Little’s legs are stout like a female and she is a big bird.

Just like she wanted. Tiny Little gets a nice feeding by Blue 35. Indeed, I think the two of them shared almost half a fish after 464 and then 462 tried to self-feed.

Here is an earlier image of the Foulshaw Moss family minus Blue 464. White YW is on the front left. Then Blue 35 is next at the rim of the nest. Then don’t peek, which one is Tiny Little? If you said the one on the far right, you are correct. Now necklaces in themselves do not indicate a female but with those stout legs and her size. Well..

‘Silo’ chick on the Patuxent River Osprey Nest 2, the one who fell out of the nest into the water last evening, was up and moving about in the afternoon so everything seems alright there. Fabulous.

Thank you everyone for stopping in today to find out about the birds. It is great to have you with us.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots or who gave me permission to use their images: Suzanne Arnold Horning for the images of Cornell’s Red tail Hawk family and the Osprey Nest of Olin and Olive, Ferris Akel Live Tour, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, and Patuxent River Osprey Cam 2.

Thursday in Bird World

There are a number of Ospreys named Louis but the one that I am writing about today is the Louis of the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. His mate, Aila, did not return from migration this year and there is a new Mrs Louis. Her name is Dorcha. Louis chose not to make their nest on the one that he had shared with Aila. As a result, news of Louis and Dorcha comes from those who have access to see the nest. Today’s news is from the person who ringed the chicks. They report there are two healthy 4-5 week old nestlings. How grand. Louis is a fabulous dad – he even went fishing at night for Aila and the three chicks last year.

I am doing a bit of nest hopping. For whatever reason I am unable to access the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest. Others are having difficulties too but some seem to have some success. It is, of course, slightly frustrating because this is the nest of Tiny Little!

The eaglet on the Bucovina, Romanian Golden Eagle nest is hungry. Yesterday he only had a small bird and a bone. There seem to be days of bounty and then not much of anything on this nest. Is there enough prey? how far to the parents have to travel? are both parents still delivering food for the baby? For many this is the haunting memory of Spilve and Klints last year. The young Golden Eaglet cannot live on a little bird. Zenit is a beautiful bird and it will not be long til fledge. Let us all hope that Zenit gets a large prey drop today.

Zenit saw his reflection in the camera for the first time yesterday. It is so cute when they do this – the reactions to seeing another bird like them! Lady Hawk caught this precious interaction.

Wishes come true! I checked on Zenit just a minute ago and Zenit has an enormous crop! Looks like he swallowed a softball.

Scrolling back, Zenit’s mother came in to feed him. This was at 14:12. It also appears that a bird delivery was made around 17:00. It is not clear what the mother brought but as you can see above, Zenit has a very large crop and this is a good thing. It remains unclear to me how much prey there is in the area. Let us all hope it is good!

When the Royal Albatross chick was weighed on Tuesday (NZ time), she had dropped from 8.2 kg to 8.0. The rangers were monitoring Taiki’s weight and were considering whether or not she needed a supplementary feeding. Perhaps that won’t be necessary after today because her mother Lime-Green-Lime flew in for two feedings and her dad, Lime-Green-Black was there for one. Three feedings in a single day at 9:58 (LGL), 13:57 (LGK), and LGL arrives twenty minutes after LGK departed at 14:17. These were quick in and outs but it looked like Taiki got a lot of food.

LGL is so happy to see her daughter. Taiki would like her mum to dispense with all the formalities – the sky calls, the welcome – but LGL will insist. Her daughter needs to learn all of these and imprint them in her mind. Taiki will fledge in mid-September. She will not return to land for 4-6 years. At that time she will do a skycall just like Mum is doing now. Can you imagine being at sea and never stepping foot on land for that long?

Taiki is so excited to have a parent come in for breakfast.

LGK saunters in after Taiki has had her breakfast and is ready to feed her lunch at 13:57. It always looks like the adults have difficulty walking – and maybe they do if the chicks are digging holes and building play nests everywhere. Here comes dad!

It is so interesting that these little Albies stay put on their nest without moving about so much (at least at this stage). LGK does several sky calls but Taiki just wants food!

Taiki settles down to work on her play nest after LGK leaves and gets dirt all over her beak. It sure doesn’t matter. Look at how beautiful she is.

This is LGL’s second visit to feed her daughter. Taiki is so excited to see her again. I wonder if she told mum that she just missed dad? LGL does several skycalls when she greets her daughter.

The baby down is falling off and revealing a beautiful pattern on the back of Taiki.

LGL always looks like she is smiling.

Taiki must be about to pop after three big feedings! LGL must be fishing near to Taiaroa Head as she is returning so often. Taiki is lucky.

It was a golden morning on the Loch of the Lowes. No one was on the nest- they were all out flying and learning to fish. There are some trees around the nest that are apparently good perches for the birds. What a beautiful place. It looks so tranquil —- and safe for Ospreys.

It was just as beautiful at Mlady Buky in Czechoslovakia this morning. There is a mist, low lying clouds, or a fog hugging the mountains. The three storklings are on the nest. Everything is so quiet – you can almost hear the stillness.

Father Stork arrives at 6:19 with breakfast for the three almost fledging storklings.

The three continue to find small morsels on the nest after the frenzy when dad arrives.

The feeding gives them energy. The sun is up and they are warm and two are flapping madly on the nest.

The female is really covering the nest and moving her wings. She was getting some lift this morning as well. Father Stork and the people of Mlady Buky have done well. After the loss of the female, it has been simply a miracle to watch these three thrive. In a way, the people of the community stepped in and took over when supplementary feeding was necessary – just like the New Zealand Department of Conservation rangers.

Sadly, there is no one stepping in for Zenit if it is needed. I wonder if the people who operate the camera would consider setting up a food table if it were needed?

My goodness. Blue 022, the two year old who returned from his migration and stopped off at the Poole Harbour nest of CJ7, is so enthusiastic. He has been helping fix up the nest and has even provided fish for CJ7. He has also been seen ‘sky dancing’ on several occasions. This morning was no exception!

They make such a lovely couple. Oh, goodness. Everyone is already crossing their fingers and toes that these two return from their migration safely. The months will not pass quickly enough. Imagine – no chicks born in this area of England in 200 years! Incredible. There will be lots of celebrating!

Dylan and Seren are both on the nest at 7am watching and waiting for Only Bob to come and have some breakfast. He loves to go and fly often landing on the camera stand. It is so different when they fledge – at first babies always on the nest and hungry and then parents having to wait with food as they fly about.

Kindness is getting her legs stronger every day. She is standing straight and walking some on the nest. She is certainly growing fast – an advantage to being the only chick on the nest.

Kindness loves to do kissey-kissey with Mom. It is so funny watching these two.

At the Osprey nest on the Port Lincoln barge, Mom is on the nest and Dad was over on the ropes. Eggs arriving soon.

Oh, it is a bit like a bad joke. The camera at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest just started working. Both 462 and Tiny Little are on the nest. It is around 7am and they are watching for a parent to arrive with breakfast. Look at that nice necklace that Tiny Little has. Interesting. (TL is on the right) They are being kissed by diamond rain from the sun.

And when he wasn’t watching for a delivery, Tiny Little was flapping his wings dreaming of flying.

The more flapping he does the more the last tidbits of baby down disappear. It won’t be long Tiny but you were four days younger than everyone and you were behind in growth. You will get there just like Tiny Tot!

Hopefully that fish arrives! These two are both hungry. And it did. Tiny Little went over and ate some of the remaining fish and Blue 35 comes in and removes what is left (piece at the front) and will fly off with it.

The camera was still on the blink. I just checked and Tiny is fine. It is tea time and both Tiny and big sib are waiting for a delivery. It is so interesting that the big siblings know when to show up for food.

And last but never least, a lovely picture of Aran and Mrs G on the Glaslyn Nest together. This is a beautiful sight. There has been some bonding over the last few days. I was concerned that Aran was not in top form and Z2, Aeron, of the PC nest might want to take over this one. They are being kissed by golden raindrops, too! Mrs G doesn’t look like she is 21 years old, the oldest osprey in the United Kingdom. She is in really good shape. So sad that they lost their three chicks this year. That can cause issues but they seem to be a solid couple.

Thanks for joining me everyone. It is lovely to see the Golden Eaglet doing well today. That nest is a constant worry. And speaking of worry. The comments section on my blog seems to not be working all the time. It is like Tiny Little’s camera. Please feel free to send me an e-mail: maryannsteggles@icloud.com. I know that some of you had concerns and I regret that technology has caused you any worry. For the next while, til things step up in Australia, there may be only one blog per day. I hope to get more local Osprey news for you this coming week.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. This is where I grabbed my screen shots: Bucovina Golden Eagle Nest Cam, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, Mlady Buky, Port Lincoln Osprey Cam, Glacier Gardens Eagle Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, Clywedog Opsrey Cam and Carnyx Wild, Byrwd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Oh, Tiny Little….and friends

I thought I would check on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest in Cumbria. That streaming cam does not have a rewind and so it is hit or miss as to what the chicks are doing. All three were on the nest and Blue 35 was feeding them. And bless his heart, Tiny Little was right there getting many bites – lots. It was magnificent. He was pecking for bites at Blue 35’s beak before she was ready!

Blue 35 is finished feeding in the image below. Honestly, if you can’t see the bands it is getting difficult to tell which chick is chick. Can you believe it? Tiny Little looked like a mere babe two days ago!

Blue 35 gave 464, who waited patiently without being a nuisance, the skin and the fish tail. Tiny is not taking his eyes off of that tail! 462 has moved up to the front where she is moving a branch. All Tiny Little wants is that fish tail!

Then 462 gets rather exciting and starts doing wing exercises. Tiny Little is still staring at the fish tail.

Tiny Little ducks when 462 starts flapping but his eyes are locked in on that fish tail, still. 464 seems to be having trouble eating. Tiny Little is probably saying, “Let me have a try!”

462 got some good lift. I thought she was going to fledge but she didn’t. I don’t think Tiny is next. To me his tail is not long enough! Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore – almost overnight this third hatch changes. He is going to bed with a nice crop. Well done, Tiny ‘Not so’ Little.

Fledgling 464 left the nest and Blue 35 returned. She moved over and found the fish tail and some fish and just guess who was right there beak to beak wanting some more dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is why Tiny Little is not so Tiny anymore.

It is very interesting. There were individuals who thought that Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest would to be doomed once the older siblings started self feeding. You know – we need to give these Osprey mothers some credit. They try and make sure everyone is fed. Tiny Tot blossomed before our eyes at Achieva once the other sibling 1 and then sibling 2 were flying – and it looks like having one off the nest (sometimes) at Foulshaw is helping as well.

I reported that one of Monty and Glesni’s chicks, Merin, was breeding in the Lake District. Emry Evans posted some images of Merin and his beautiful daughters in his blog. You can have a read and see the lovely images, too. If the link does not open automatically, do the old cut and paste method. You should also be able to sign up for Emyr’s blogs at the bottom if you wish to do so. Emyr includes a very helpful family tree on his blog today.

http://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-mwt/2021/07/07/merin-breeding-england?fbclid=IwAR1X6b1Qy5bYFNfXyFVgib_ah941eRBYXjaumRJsAZxMexV5xIGLknUz9wg

Janet Simpson is working on a very nice chart of the Rutland relatives in Wales. She has not polished it off completely but she said we can share as long as we give her credit. So thank you Janet Simpson! This is really brilliant.

Someone sent me a note and asked me if I had a favourite Osprey. Oh, my goodness. That is a difficult question to answer. So let me tell you a story first and then I will try and answer this for you.

I have always wondered what makes a ‘great’ Osprey. I have, in fact, praised the two nestlings daughters of Merin’s as being the most beautiful osprey chicks I have ever seen. Their picture is in Emry’s blog. That led me to wonder if it is performance or appearance or both. So, in that wonderful chat the other evening with Tiger Mozone, I asked him what makes a ‘great osprey’. {Tiger has an encyclopedic mind on Osprey history and Ospreys}Tiger answered with a question: “What do you know about horses?” “Well, some”. At one time I lived on an acreage and there were five horses. Had I heard of Northern Dancer was Tiger’s second question. I ask you, is there anyone who hasn’t heard of Northern Dancer? So there was my answer. Performance. Then one day my friend ‘T’ and I were chatting. If we came back in another life as an Osprey female who would we want our mate to be? Now there is the heart of the answer to my original question. I knew that ‘T’ would say Monty. I am actually quite fond of Blue 33 (11). Today I realized for me it would be a toss up between Blue 33 (11) and Idris if I were ever to return as a female Osprey….of the choices currently available. They perform for their families. These are the guys – Monty, Blue 33, and yes, Idris will prove himself – that get the fish out of the water and on the nest. There are lots of fish. Someone said today they thought that Idris could feed a four chick nest. I think he could, too and I think Blue and Monty could as well. Take good care of the females and the chicks, fledge those babies, and then have them return to breed successfully. That is a ‘great’ Osprey. I think Tiger might agree. Of course, every great male needs an equally great female. Nora, Glesni, Telyn, and Maya are doing fantastic. So think about your favourite Osprey.

There is Telyn feeding Dysynnis and Ystwyth late today. But this appears to be a first —— Telyn caught the flounder and brought it to the nest for the chicks! Yippeeeee.

Ferris had a great tour today. These are a few shots from the beginning to end.

There were two Green Herons along the drive.

When Ferris got to the Cornell Campus, he spotted K3 right away on top of the Rice Building.

Looking for K1, there was a lovely Mourning Dove family in the trees around the Fernow Building.

Big Red was up on Bradfield. Word came to the group that she had delivered prey to both K1 and K3 just a little earlier so they are both full and not food begging.

Isn’t she beautiful? She is already beginning to moult. In a week or so we will call her Big Blonde!

There she is again, same place.

Ferris looked in the pines. He could hear Robins vocalizing and thought K1 might be around. What he found was a lovely very young Robin. Oh, I wish this little one would hide! Those hawks would like you for breakfast – maybe. Robin is not their favourite treat for sure.

K1 was discovered on one of the light towers.

And then something happened and K3 came to join K1. K1 is on the top left and you can just see the little duckling, K3 laying flat out.

Arthur has joined Big Red. All four hawks are accounted for and they are fine. Good night Big Red, Arthur, K1 and K3. Have lovely hawk dreams.

That is it for a late Saturday evening. It is once again in the 33-34 C range on the Canadian prairies. The birds are draining the water bowls every couple of hours.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone and oh, tomorrow my blog will appear in the late afternoon or early evening. I have promised myself to clean out my office for several months —— it is now time! Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Ferris Akel Live, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Bird Tales

Wow. I just want to sit and watch this short video over and over again. If you know someone who tells you that Ospreys are not intelligent and cannot problem solve, please show them this video of an Osprey nest in Vaasa, Finland:

https://fb.watch/6Da1-VNcEo/

I am going to recommend a lovely little book. It is called Hawk Mother. The Story of a Red-tailed Hawk Who Hatched Chickens by Kara Hagedorn.

The book has won outstanding awards for science for youngsters; I would say ages eight to twelve, elementary to the lowest level of middle school. My copy arrived in the post this morning. It is the true story of a Red-tail Hawk that was shot, would never fly, and was adopted by a zoologist that worked with the Cornell Lab. You can read more about their journey together on the website for Sunshine – that is the name of the Red tail hawk. That address is http://www.sunshinehawk.com Have a look.

You can purchase the book directly from Kara Hagedorn, the author and carer of Sunshine. It is also available through other on line outlets. It would be great for teachers or family who want to get children interested in birds. The images are photographs that Kara Hagedorn took of Sunshine. It is inspirational. Have a look and if you like the book and feel so inclined, recommend it to your local library. Hagedorn uses the proceeds to pay for the care of Sunshine.

Speaking of the adoption of Red-tail Hawks, I will mention again a book for adults, A Wing in the Door. Life with a Red-tailed Hawk. It is by Canadian Peri Phillips McQuay who took on the care of and rewilding of a hawk. Well written with great anecdotal stories. Find a used copy – your pocketbook will thank you. I ordered mine from amazon but went to the options so that I could get a used copy. I have no idea why the new price is so astronomical – avoid it at all costs!

And, of course, the best way to save money and space is to order through your local library. Ours will bring in books if they do not normally have them in stock.

When you finish reading the book, you will want to find out what happened to Merak. Go to Peri Phillips McQuay website and she will tell you!

I promised that I would post Ferris Akel’s Tour from Saturday, 3 July, once it was processed by YouTube and here it is. This is a full day tour that has been edited down to approximately 3 hours and 25 minutes. The Red-tail hawks on the Cornell Campus start 1:38:35 if you want to skip ahead. It starts with Big Red on the lights. There are some incredibly cute clips of the Ks preening and kissing one another!

There is not a lot going on in Bird World today. And that is a good thing. There was way too much drama when we had the storms and the extreme heat last weekend.

They continue to band ospreys in the UK – working flat out before they get too old and near fledge. Indeed, fledge watch is on for the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn. Dysynnis, the male, is 49 days old today. Ystwyth is 45 days old. The chart for fledge times was also posted for that nest. Here is that information:

I love data. Just look at all that wonderful information! How many of us have been frustrated to go to a nest and not even have a history! Personally, if there is to be a streaming cam someone should take the responsibility of keeping accurate records and post them in the information section below so subscribers can see it. It would also help to have knowledgable moderators. Moderators are volunteers – they are not paid. They give up their time – a lot of it -to help us learn more about the birds. Histories and moderators would help citizen birders gain knowledge.

Nestlings such as the Two Bobs on Loch of the Lowes are just itching to fly so we are going to see some more fledging this week. They still love to have NC0 feeding them, though. Two big babies – look at the size of them – at the Loch of the Lowes! Laddie and NC0 did a fantastic job raising these two this year.

Others, such as the Two Bobs on the Manton Bay Nest, have fledged and are honing those wings while returning to the nest to eat. Blue 096, the female, has returned for a nice piece of fish this evening.

My goodness. Both of the parents at the Glacier Garden’s Bald Eagle Nest in Juneau, Alaska love to feed Kindness. I counted nothing short of six feedings yesterday!

When Kindness is finished eating, she looks like she is going to try out for The Hulk role in a new movie. It is a good things crops stretch! She is just now learning to stand and making attempts at walking. It is so sweet to watch her.

That is it for today. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care and let’s all hope that the nests just remain calm.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam, LRWT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest.