I wonder how many juvenile Osprey wind up protecting the natal nest for their parents – alone? Today is the third time that I know Tiny Tot waging battles against the ‘Intruder’. There could have been more.
There Tiny was, sibling #2 eating the morning fish as usual, paying attention to what was happening around the nest. No parents around anywhere!
Around 10:02, Tiny was sniffing around the fish that sibling 2 was eating and 2 flew off the nest to the perch.
Almost immediately, Tiny Tot begins alerting. Sibling 2 is on the perch watching. Instead of hanging around to help his younger sibling, #2 flies off with the rest of his fish leaving Tiny Tot alone to deal with the adult intruder.
Tiny Tot is very alert looking up and down and around the nest. At 10:07:28 Tiny Tot flies off the nest. He is ready to engage the ‘Intruder’. I am starting to think we should be ordering Tiny Tot some kind of Super Hero costume!
At 10:11:18, the ‘Intruder’ is on the nest. Thirteen seconds later Tiny Tot is hot on the heels of the ‘Intruder’ and chases them off the nest!
Here comes Tiny. No turning back now for our brave little juvie. His talons have caught on the edge of the nest.
Tiny is not backing down. His wings are up. That intruder is going!
Tiny lowers his wings in the mantling pose screeching all the time. The Intruder flies off the nest.
Tiny Tot is hot. He continues to look around.
Tiny sees the intruder and does a couple of flaps to get him to the other side of the nest.
He stops and looks around. Tiny Tot is mantling. He sees the ‘Intruder’ above. It is 12:24:16. He is alerting never taking his eyes off of the nest invader, the adult that has been hounding the family for more than a week.
At 12:24:25 Tiny Tot flies off to engage the Intruder for a second time in less than two and a half hours. He must be tired and hot but Tiny Tot is not giving up.
Good luck, Tiny Tot!
It is now just past 13:30 nest time. Tiny Tot has not returned and there has been no sign of the ‘Intruder’, the parents, or sibling #2. Send warm wishes out to Tiny. All the things this little one has gone through he deserves a break and a big fish. Tiny Tot – our Super Hero!
Thank you for joining me this morning. I will do an update on the situation at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest this evening.
Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots.
This blog will focus on NCO and Laddie at the Loch of the Lowes Nest for the most part. The reason? My goodness. NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest up in Scotland has really kicked up her game in feeding her Two Bobs. She is impressing me! She had me worried for awhile – all first time raptor mothers do. All of ‘us’ – the aunties and uncles – sit and loudly scream into our computer proper instructions for feeding the little bobbling heads. I suspect if we had to do it in real life it would be a far different story! Needless to say I am proud of her. She seems to have stopped the anxiety of the eldest by giving a bite to it and then a bite to Little Bob. Fabulous. NC0 is going to be one of those Osprey mothers that we are giving gold medals to in a few years. She has really come a long way in a couple of weeks.
Just a bit of a recap. This Osprey Nest is located near Dunkeld, Scotland in Perth and Kinross. I pulled up a satellite view of the area around the nest so you can see the trees and the water resources for the Ospreys, LM12 and NC0. It is maintained by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and those who play the People’s Postcode Lottery – and donations.
What a beautiful location! Dunkeld is 25 minutes north and slightly west of Perth.
LM12. known as Laddie, has been breeding at Loch of the Lowes since 2012. That makes him at least eleven years old in 2021. He raised 15 chicks with his previous mates. NC0 is LM12’s third mate. She was ringed at a nest near Loch Ness in 2016 so she is five years old this year. The pair fledged one chick together in 2020.
Laddie returned from his migration to Africa on the 21st of March at 5pm. He immediately went to work restoring the nest. NC0 arrived on the 25th of March. It was unclear whether or not they would again form a bond and raise a family together this year. People waited rather impatiently. I think Laddie almost lost NC0 when he would bring a fish to the nest and then take it away this year! What kind of a provider is that? Well, they did bond and NC0 laid three eggs – on 11 April, 14 April, and 17 April. The chicks hatched on 18, 20, and 22 May. The third chick died on day 3. The cause is unknown.
It is rare for a female to feed herself before she feeds her chicks. She will eat bites that are too big for the chicks when she is feeding. But when they are full and finished food begging, she will eat. Osprey females are known to lose from 10-15% of their body weight while feeding the nestlings. Now how do the researchers know this? They have scales hidden in the nest just like there are microphones to listen to happenings in the nest and cameras for watching. Incredible.
Just look at that crop on that little one in the image below. Of course, Big Tot has a nice crop too. Did you know that Osprey chicks triple their body weight in the first egg days after hatch? Then they will double it in the next four days. So those first 12 days are critical. The fastest growth phase comes between 15 and 30 days, according to Alan Poole, author of Ospreys. The Revival of A Global Raptor. The chicks will gain 2-3% of their body weight each day when, by the time they are a month old, they have attained 70-80% of their adult body weight and their growth will begin to slow. At this point, their energy will go into producing feathers! Today, Big Bob is 12 days old and Little Bob is ten days old.
This is an excellent image for you to see the difference in the plumage as the osplets get older. Little Bob still has the soft grey feather down from birth. Big Bob is starting to enter the Reptilian phase. At this stage, that soft natal down is replaced with the darker down. It is woolier. But look closely at Big Bob. Look at the top of his head, behind the eye and around the neck. Do you see the beautiful coppery-gold pinfeathers coming in? These are beautiful healthy babies.
NC0 instinctively shades her Two Bobs from the hot sun. At the age of 2 or 3 weeks they are able to regulate their temperature by panting. So Big and Little Bob are not quite ready to do this for themselves based on their ages. But, she protects their delicate skin from the sun. It will also be later when they can stand in the rain and protect themselves with their own feathers. For now, NC0 has to do it!
She will brood them to keep them warm and dry.
Laddie has brought in a big fish for the last meal of the day. NC0 will feed the chicks, then herself, and then Laddie flies in to have some fish, too, on the nest with his family.
You can watch this osprey family at the Loch of the Lowes here:
Good Night Loch of the Lowes. Have wonderful fish dreams!
Other quick news: There is still only one chick on the Clywedog Osprey Nest of Dylan and Seren. There have been intruders at Mrs G and Aran’s nest at Glaslyn. One of the culprits is KS6, Dinas, a hatch from Llyn Clywedog. KS8 has been bothering Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi Nest. People are hoping that this brother and sister pair will just join forces and find their own nest! Tiny Tot at the Achieva Osprey Nest had an enormous fish gifted to it by Diane and an hour later was still eating. And there is fledge watch at the UC Berkeley Campus. Annie and Grinnell’s Kaknu and Wek-Wek were up on the runway thinking about flying. Annie and Grinnell are doing some spectacular aerial displays to try and encourage them. Big Red is feeding the Ks several meals. She can feel the weather changing in her hollow bones and it seems she concurs with the weather office that rain is heading their way. And down in Australia, the gang is beginning to think that eggs might be appearing on the WBSE Nest around the middle of June.
Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe, stay well. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday wherever you are.
Thank you to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the People’s Postcode Lottery for the streaming cam where I grab my screen shots and to Google Maps.
Every Saturday at noon, Ferris Akel does a live streaming tour of the area around Wildlife Drive, Montezuma, Sapsucker Lake and then on to Ithaca to check on Big Red, Arthur, and the kids. It’s free. There are no ads to monetize the YouTube site and never a hint – never – of a tip jar or wanting anything in return. Ferris Akel loves birds and he loves sharing his Saturdays with a few devoted souls. He is a master at recognizing bird calls and songs, “Oh, I believe I just heard a …..” is common. By traveling with Ferris over the seasons, you get a really good idea of how they impact the wildlife in the area. Water also changes everything and they are draining an area along Wildlife Drive to the dismay of many because it changes the environment that the wetland birds depend on. I have learned a lot.
Ferris has found the nest of a Red-tail Hawk family that live near his home. It is a trio, just like The Love Trio of the Mississippi who are raising their Bald Eagle chicks together. The name of the hawks are Betty, Barney, and Phoenix. How interesting. We saw some beautiful birds today. I am including only a couple. The sightings are on a powerful scope and the images are a little soft – could be half a kilometre away.
There was a beautiful Cedar Waxwing.
Ferris always winds his trip up in Ithaca looking for Big Red and Arthur. Often I am trying to watch what Big Red is doing while I am listening for Ferris to have a sighting. It was so nice that the rain stopped and Big Red and the Ks were able to dry out later on Saturday.
All of the Ks are now walking. Just look at the little one, K3. I have no idea how they do it on all of those twigs but they do.
They had worked up an appetite. K1 had been flapping its wings and moving around the nest. So when Big Red returned with prey, they were right there ready for lunch. The question is: what are they having for lunch. There have been a lot of birds this year. Most of them were Starlings. There was one Robin. But the one that Big Red brought in looked an awful lot like a Blue Jay. What do you think?
Whatever it was, they sure enjoyed it! Normally there are a dozen chipmunks and squirrels in a day. Surely there isn’t a lot of meat on a bird for these growing hawklets – and Big Red has to eat, too. I still wonder why the dramatic change in prey this year. Did Arthur really clean out most of the chipmunks last year?
Big Red was really tired. She tucked her head in her wing after the Ks were full and all of them fell asleep.
If you were following the Duke Farms Bald Eagles, you will recall that both Big and Li’l were branching and both were on the same branch. L’il wanted to get down and started flapping its wings and well, they both fludged. It was a worry. They did not return to the nest right away and some concern was growing. Then they re-appeared. Today, both of them arrived hoping for some fish and there was a food drop. It seems Big was successful – hopefully they will bring something back for Li’l.
Fauci is the only hawklet of Annie and Grinnell’s that has fledged. He returned to the tower and he was ravenous today and joined the others for breakfast. Here is a short video of Grinnell feeding the eyases.
We haven’t checked on the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle cam for some time. I think the last time was when the squirrel climbed up to the nest and quickly got away when one of the eaglets stuck its head up. Well, they are all branching. I just hope one of them doesn’t cause all of them to fludge.
The Osprey nests in the UK are drying. There were some nice temperatures today and some of the babies even got a little sun. How glorious!
Idris decided that he wanted to give Telyn a break and he was going to feed the flounder to the Two Bobs. I love it when the dads want to get involved. Idris is a great provider and he often wants to incubate the Bobs, too. Telyn just doesn’t always want to let him! Wonder what grade the Two Bobs gave Dad for the feeding?
As far as I know, there is still only one little Osplet on the nest of Dylan and Seren at Clywedog. Bob, the only Bob, is really strong and growing. That is what single children do.
It’s Sunday in Wales and Dylan has brought a new fish and is just peeking over Seren to get a peek at wee Bob.
Blue 33 (11) periodically comes in to check to see if there is enough fish. Today he brought a nice one in. You can see how these Two Bobs are doing – they look great to me. They are now getting some of their feathers and will soon leave behind the reptilian phase altogether.
The Two Bobs are having a nice fish up at the Loch of the Lowes Nest with Laddie and NC0. The Big one is getting to be a little rough at times with the little one. No need for that. They could be growing and thriving just like the Two Bobs at Manton Bay. Experience helps and Maya and Blue 33 (11) have been together a long time and they get those difficulties sorted out. NC0 is learning. Little Bob seems to be holding his own. It doesn’t take as much food to fill his tummy and crop as it does so Big Bob will definitely be at the fish trough longer. Remember Tiny was little too. The little ones get clever and most of them know to let the big sib eat its fill and then step up. Rarely do you get a parent that manages feeding them both at once equally – but it does happen.
And it’s Sunday. Laddie brought in a big fish, enough for all of them and then some. And guess who got the first bites? You were right if you said Little Bob. Well done you!
There are only three storklets at the Mlade Budy nest that is being cared for by the villagers. The female was electrocuted last weekend and the people of Mlade Budy have provided three meals a day to dad and the babies. One of the storklets was quite small and, as storks have been doing for eons, it was sadly tossed off the nest by the dad. The other three are growing fast and they are able to eat what the father regurgitates for them in addition to the small fish the community provides.
Of course, the idea of tossing the smallest off the nest for whatever reasons stork do those things made me think of Tiny Tot. I am sure glad that Jack didn’t pick the wee one up and toss it off the Osprey nest. As it stands, and what I have always said, of the three, Tiny Tot will be the one that will survive. For the past two days, Tiny has helped fight off the intruder from the nest. Indeed, in a quick magician’s like trick, Dad was able to hand off a fish to Tiny Tot with the intruder right there. Dad sent that invading adult on its way. Then this evening, Diane brought Tiny Tot a fish. Gosh, he surely deserved it! And lo and behold, guess who comes sniffing around thinking it would get that fish off Tiny. And if you said sibling #2 you would be absolutely right. But guess what? Tiny Tot sent sibling #2 packing. Yes, you read that right. Raise a glass in a toast. Tiny Tot has really gotten its confidence and if an osprey chick learned all its life lessons on a nest, Tiny would be on the list of those who did.
Mrs G tried to remove the three chicks from the nest today. She had two with her but turned around and came back to the nest. The little ones look just like they are sleeping around the rim. It has to be difficult. Aran came to see them after Mrs G returned them to the nest. She isn’t quite ready to let go. She brooded the three of them last night for the last time. How sad this must be for her and Aran.
I want to close with a beautiful image of Aran and Mrs G on the perch together. They are a very strong couple and we want them to heal so that they both have a successful migration and are back next year for another breeding season.
Thank you so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure to be amongst bird lovers. I think that is why I enjoy stopping in on Ferris’s tours for a little while on Saturday – it is nice just to be there amongst people who love the birds.
If you are a regular viewer of the Glaslyn Nest with Mrs G and Aran, I urge you, if you possibly can, to make a donation to the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Centre. It doesn’t matter if it is $2 or $200 – everything helps. The donations fund the streaming cam but they also help to keep this family alive.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Cornell Lab and RTH, Dfyi Osprey Project, Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Cam, Duke Farms, Ferris Akel Tour, Clywedog, Achieva Osprey, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, Mlade Budy Streaming Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes.
Blue 3J, fondly called Telyn, allowed Idris to incubate the three eggs this morning for a short time. As the first hatch is close, she will more and more take sole responsibility for those duties. It wasn’t clear if Idris wanted to get up this afternoon! Some of the dads really enjoy being on the nest. For me, these two are among the power couples of the Welsh Osprey.
There is, indeed, a tiny pip in one of their eggs which was seen at 15:31. In the egg near the top you can see ‘white’ instead of the rust or cream. Hatch is coming at Dyfi!
You can watch Idris and Telyn here:
Mrs G was a little tired after the second hatch and Aran had a nice fish on the nest which she used for a pillow!
Aran is a great dad and provider. Mrs G picked a good one. I love seeing both of them on the nest with the two little ones. It reminds me of Blue 33 (11) and Maya.
Just imagine. Those two little ones in the image above will be the size of Maya and Blue 33 (11)’s babies in a week!
Here is the link to Aran and Mrs G:
Maya is still being careful with the fish that are coming in but Little Bob doesn’t care, he just wants fish! He has scrambled out of the nest cup up to mom and is whispering “Fish, please”. Maya is listening carefully.
It wasn’t long until Dad had a nice big one on the nest for all three to enjoy. Little Bob got his ‘fish wish’.
You can watch Maya and Blue 33 (11) and the Two Bobs here:
Blue NC0 or Nessie has gotten the hang of feeding. I still have to giggle. She has decided that it is best if she sticks her entire beak into the little one’s mouth to make certain it gets the food.
That little one’s down looks like it would be super soft to the touch. Nessie has done a splendid job of keeping the wee one warm and dry with all the rain they are having up at Loch of the Lowes.
I observed Laddie bringing in three fish yesterday and there could have been more. NC0 is so funny. She is not so graceful on that wet nest and when she went to get the third fish her wing batted the little one. That didn’t hamper its appetite – it was right back up saying, “Fish, please!” You can see its tiny head sticking up amidst that beautiful rust coloured moss.
While we don’t see Laddie often, he is, in fact, perched on a tree to the left of the nest keeping guard on his family.
You can watch Laddie and Nessie and their wee ones here:
Darting across the pond, there are no food insecurity worries on The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island – commonly known as the Savannah Ospreys – anymore. The eldest was a bit of a beast the first week but wow, the crops of those two were bursting this morning.
That is the youngest one closest to the front. You can tell it because of its very dark chest feathers. These two have the most gorgeous plumage I have seen – there is peach bursting out everywhere!
Notice the oldest calling for another fish! It has a very nice crop. Wonder how much room is in there??????
You can watch Scarlett and Rhett and the two osplets here:
It looks like Diane and Tiny Tot are happy to have sibling 2 off the nest and back to their routine. Diane loves feeding Tiny Tot! —— and Tiny doesn’t mind either. He is strengthening his wings and hovering a bit more but Tiny doesn’t look like he is in a hurry to leave. I don’t blame him. Nature isn’t kind and it definitely isn’t Disneyland!
Pesky older sibling showed up later in the day getting another fish from Jack. Jack, Diane and Tiny need another fish! And he heard us. He brought in a really nice flounder and guess who claimed it? Tiny Tot!!!!!!!! Yippee. That’s Tiny with its wings up making the claim. Jack is in the front and there is sibling 2 who recently had a fish sneaking up the back.
You can connect with Jack, Diane, Tiny and elder sibling (2 probably) here:
Oh, those Ks are growing like bad weeds! K1 has discovered standing and is starting to figure out walking while K3 insisted on horking the leg of the Starling they had for late lunch.
Big Red kept trying to take that leg back but K3 was not going to give it up. Big Red watches as the little one gets the hang of horking. Horking has many meanings but with hawks it is getting an item of prey down whole (or almost whole) without chewing it. Is this a bit of a badge of honour for the youngest of the three?
You can see the little leg hanging out of K3’s beak. Big Red doesn’t know what to think.
K2 looks at K3 in disbelief as the last of the foot went down!
Little K3 is quite the character. It has seen K1 ‘walking’ – early stages – and it is even giving it a go. K3 held out its wings for balance and then started spinning and landed on its fat little bottom.
Big Red gathered up two Starlings and none of the Ks seemed interested in food. She looked over, saw the top of K3s head and started preening it. Oh, that must feel good. Maybe like getting a shampoo at the Salon! But, alas, it has been so long for so many of us maybe we have forgotten how nice that felt.
Big Red is one of the most beautiful Red-tail Hawks ever. Look at her gorgeous dark plumage! And that amazing red tail.
The link to Big Red, Arthur’s and the Ks camera is here:
There is absolutely no place like home if you are a juvenile eaglet and you fludged. Today, both of the eaglets were back on the nest at Duke Farms. What a relief.
I cannot promise how long they will be there but maybe they both won’t get on the same branch together any more! Be sure to look up if you go to this streaming cam. They are often on the branches like they are in the image below.
Here is the link to this nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey:
I will close with Iris. Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, laid her third egg at the Hellgate Nest in Missoula, Montana, at dawn this morning. It has been 9 days since she laid her second egg. Eggs are normally laid every 3 days. If you have followed me, Iris has sporadically incubated the eggs. Her hormones require her to lay them but she seems personally not interested. She knows if they are viable or not – or so the experts tell me. Iris raised many ospreys with her partner Stanley – at least, you might think, 30-40. She has done her part. She deserves to have a summer of fishing and taking care of herself. People continue to think that a new mate might appear for her but that will not happen unless something happens to Louis. And then you still have the problem of the other female, Starr, in the same territory. Iris might think we were foolish for feeling sad for her – but, we are human and we do. We want happy endings.
It is 6 degrees C in Missoula and it is raining. Snow and 1 degree C is predicted for Friday.
I have tried to ascertain how long eggs can maintain their protective coating if exposed to continual rain. How much rain is enough to ruin the eggs? Do you know? Message me.
Maybe Iris has her own message to Louis. I wonder. If she does, it is a pretty loud one this year. “I might have to lay those eggs but I don’t have to take care of them”. Do birds think like that?
Here is the link to the camera for Iris’s nest:
We are still hoping for rain on the Canadian Prairies. Fingers crossed. Today the Brown Thrasher, only one, has been in the garden thumping the ground, eating off the cranberry suet cylinder, and having a lot of bird baths. He was joined by a couple of really beautiful Purple Finches and a single male Black-capped Chickadee.
I hope you are finding some enjoyment in your garden or in the local park. Thank you so much for joining me as we check in on with our friends in Bird World.
Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Byweyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Loch of the Lowes, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Duke Farms, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project.
It looks like there could be a pip on the nest of Mrs G and Aran at Glaslyn. The first egg was laid on 10 April for the 2021 season. Mrs G is the oldest breeding Osprey in Wales. She hatched, from all that can be ascertained, in either 2000 or 2001 making her ten or eleven years old this year. Aran and Mrs G have been together since 2015.
You can watch Mrs G and Aran raise their chicks here:
The two eaglets on the Duke Farms Nest fludged today. Li’l was up higher on the branch and was followed by Big. They both began flapping and well – one of them knocked the other off the branch and they both went flying off to the field. That happened at 9:17:46. Neither have returned to the nest.
Li’l could not figure out a way to get around Big to go down. Li’l flaps. Big doesn’t move.
At 9:17:46, flapping and falling and both fludge.
The pair have not returned to the nest. It is now after 19:00. Perhaps the parents can lure them to return to the nest with prey.
Iris has been on and off the nest. One time she was followed by Louis. I wish he would bring her a fish if he comes calling. Geez. It is easy to understand, watching Louis land for mating, one reason why the female raptors have to be bigger than the males.
Iris has two eggs in the nest that she has been taking care of on and off again. She will never have another mate because Louis will not allow another male in his territory. So let us all hope that the hormones calm down shortly, the eggs aren’t viable, and Iris can enjoy her summer sunning herself and having some nice fish.——— My personal wish is that Louis would just stay home with Starr!
Big Red and Arthur’s chicks are growing like crazy. It seems even faster this year.
The clown feet are already coming and if you look under the white furry down, they are getting grey and speckled. My goodness.
Normally we would see a nest full of chipmunks but I wonder if Arthur cut that population down last year. This year the nest seems to be full of Starlings.
Legacy is still with us. The sun is setting and Samson brought her a fish in the morning. She is so gorgeous. Legacy, you can stay on the nest as long as you like. Samson likes bringing you fish!
Legacy ate that entire big fish!
And it is always a good day when Tiny Tot is still on the nest. Did anyone ever believe that little osplet, running around the rim of the nest begging for some fish, would grow and turn into this beautiful Osprey? Well, she has thrived – most of remember the day this nest turned around. Diane brought in a catfish and that day she fed Tiny to the brim and she never stopped feeding Tiny again! Something clicked that the little one was going to be a survivor. Below in the image is the evidence. Beautiful Osprey. Such a happy ending! Diane and Jack will fledge three this year, it would appear. Always brings tears to my eyes – tears of joy!
Sibling #1 returned the day after she fledged and has not been seen since. Sibling #2 stayed around the nest getting fed and getting its flying better. #2 was last seen at the nest around 10am on 15 May. Someone asked if the Florida Ospreys migrate. That is a great question – no, they do not. They stay in Florida year round.
They are there. You can barely tell them from the dry Spanish moss on the nest. The two osplets on The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island, otherwise known as the Savannah Ospreys, are doing fine. Both are growing and each has some distinct dark rusty brown markings. Beautiful babies this year. Let us hope they both stay safe!
Sadly, one of the four Winchester Cathedral peregrine falcon chicks has died. Let us hope that it is a one off and not rodenticide poisoning that could impact the entire clutch.
Meanwhile, Annie and Grinnell’s three boys are getting stronger. Their feathers are coming in quickly and they are now venturing beyond the scrape box.
Thank you for joining me. We might have some new ospreys tomorrow. Will keep you posted! Take care and stay safe.
Thank you to the following streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, UC Falcon Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, Montana Osprey Project, Duke Farms, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Osprey, and the NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF.
The White-tail Eagle nest in the Matsula National Park in Estonia – one of the oldest known breeding territories in the country, has been fledging eaglets since the nineteenth century, if not before. Archives go back to 1870 with modern records from 1996-2020 indicating that no less than 29 eaglets fledged from the nest that Eve and Eerik currently call their own. So what has happened this year?
For two days now, Eve and Eerik have been mourning the loss of their two babies, EE1 and EE2. Long before the little ones stopped breathing, the couple knew. A parent was always there with them witnessing their last breath. It is a scene that many of us have observed at other nests this year. I remember too clearly the Captiva Bald Eagle Nest in Florida – on Santibel Island – when Hope and Peace both died of secondary rodenticide poisoning. Joe, the father was devastated, and I have often wondered if it wasn’t the death of his two eaglets that made him vulnerable and, eventually, evicted from the nest by Martin. Several years ago, stories of the injuries to Juliet at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest and then the death of his eaglet, made Romeo abandon the Bald Eagle Nest in Jacksonville where his son, Samson, has now fledged his third-eaglet, Legacy (the two previous were Romy and Jules last year). Birds have memories and emotions, they mourn the dead, and understand. Laura Culley would challenge anyone who begged to differ, “And why wouldn’t they?” she was ask.
Eve and Eerik completely covered the babies, each spending time at the nest. Imagine that you have two seemingly healthy children and within a day they are both dead and you don’t know what happened. I use the term ‘seemingly healthy’, as the two eaglets were somewhat lethargic for several days before they died. It was extremely hot – one of those blasts of extreme heat that my friend ‘T’ from Strasbourg warned me about. I thought it was the heat that caused them to be less hungry and alert.
The experts in Estonia have mentioned that a sizeable number of large birds have been found dead along the coastline. Below is a Google Map showing that coast line and the area of Matsula.
The eagles eat carrion (dead animals). Is it possible that a disease was transmitted to the nest? Was it Avian Flu? or was the cause rodenticide? It will be good to have the speculation stopped and have factual evidence – then the wildlife authorities can begin to figure out how to make sure this doesn’t happen again (if they can). The bodies of the babies will be removed on the 14th of May for an autopsy if the eagles allow them to take them. Meanwhile, Eerik is at the nest looking down at his baby, EE1, now covered by straw.
Wildlife employees in Estonia have just released this statement: “If we manage to collect the dead chicks (hope the parents let us do that), the tests will be done in Estonian University of Life Sciences or sent abroad if needed. We’ve talked with Dr. Madis Leivits about it. We’ll post the findings on the forum, if we get new information. The camera will stay online and I really hope that next year we can follow this nest again.” Thank you ‘T’ for sending this to me!
It is hard to transition from what is happening in Estonia to the rest of Bird World. I hope that the issues at this beautiful nest in Estonia are resolved and that Eve and Eerik return to raise another family next year.
When the anxiety and tensions on one nest get too high and I need a break, I head to a nest that appears stable – at that moment. As we all know, everything can change in an instant. One of those ‘safe’ nests is the Manton Bay Osprey nest at Rutland, home of Maya and Blue 33 (11). Just look at those Two Bobs! Blue 33 (11) has been busy bringing in fish today. It was a whopper at 11:47. Maya is busy filling the two up before the rains come. Look at how strong their necks are! Oh, I love this Osprey nest and those baby blues of the little ones. They will turn an amber or yellow-orange shortly and when they are adults, their eyes will be a piercing bright yellow like their dad and mum. Oh, those little dinosaurs are adorable.
Birds are often better at telling what the weather will be than our local forecaster. Maya fed the babies as much as they could hold before the skies opened in the late afternoon. Look at how she is hunkered down so the Bobs are warm and dry. Their down is of no protection to them.
By 18:22 it is dry enough that Maya can safely stop her brooding and feed those spunky osplets! There is not any nonsense. Maya and Blue 33 (11) are amazing parents who keep those kiddos full. The Bobs know that there is plenty of fish – no food insecurities here. How refreshing. I could watch these two little ones all day. You can see how they stand erect for Maya and how their crops are just beginning to get full.
There is no shortage of pigeons for the three male eyases of Annie and Grinnell. The parents had a banquet for them after the banding yesterday. If you look carefully you can see the red band on the right leg of the chick at bottom left. Each eyas has two bands – an aluminum one and a coloured one.
One of the questions that someone asked yesterday during the Q & A was about the ‘ps’ all over the walls. The answer was this: if something happened to Annie and Grinnell a pair of falcons checking out this box would know that the territory was a good one, full of prey, because of all the ps. Isn’t that interesting? One of the other questions was about parasites. Peregrine falcons evolved to lay their eggs and raise their eyases in a scrape box. This helps avoid mites and parasites that happen on stick nests.
Big Red and Arthur’s little ones are also full of spunk and vinegar! K3 got its head caught under the wing of one of the sibs and it stood up like a big prize fighter giving that sib the what for. Look at that crop! That little one is really telling that other one. It is not the first time this little one has been ready to take one of the older ones on. This nest is going to get really interesting.
Samson brought Legacy a nice fish. Legacy started squealing and mantling before he was even in sight – that was 4:50:28 if you are watching the streaming cam. There she is mantling and Samson is just arriving.
I love Samson’s skinny legs! It looks like he is wearing tights. He is getting out of there quick – saving those talons for sure!
Legacy will not stop mantling the fish til Samson is not a threat.
Legacy is really learning how to keep her fish for herself. Great lessons by Samson and Gabby.
Legacy made quick work of that fish!
Oh, Legacy, you are gorgeous. We are so lucky you returned to the nest and have stayed around longer so we can enjoy seeing you learn and grow more confident.
I have done a quick run through of the other nests and everything seems to be going smoothly. There will be hatch watch for some of the Osprey nests in the UK this weekend. Iris has two eggs in the nest but she appears to not be taking their presence seriously. She left at 13:55 and at 20:25 she had not returned. I am glad to see that Iris is taking care of herself. No doubt she is enjoying the nice day and has caught herself several good fish.
Tiny Tot, who is no longer tiny, has been eating a lot of fish today. #2 sibling got the first fish of the morning. Tiny Tot showed the remarkable patience she has gained. She waited knowing full well that Diane would let #2 work on the fish for so long and then she would take it and they would enjoy the rest of it together. That has repeated itself throughout the day.
And can you see them with all the things in the nest? The two at the Dahlgren Osprey Nest are doing well. The first hatch has really taken off in terms of size. I bet everyone is sitting around saying that ‘it’ is going to be a ‘big girl’. Time will tell. It is too late for the third egg to hatch and it will be absorbed into the nest. No worries. Harriet keeps the two chicks warm and well fed. Jack is an excellent provider. Two nice healthy chicks is great!
Tomorrow I want to check on some of the Red-tail hawk nests in New York City – yes, right in the heart of the city. In fact, it was one of these nests that keened my interest on urban hawks – the one on the ledge of New York City University. There should also be some news on the retrieval attempt of EE1 and EE2 for their post-mortems. Right now, Eerik is on the left hand branch of the nest tree in Estonia. He has moved the bodies of the babies and him and Eve have eaten off the prey in the nest. They need to consume it so that intruders do not come. So fingers crossed!
Thank you for joining me. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: The Eagle Club of Estonia, the Dahlgren Osprey Cam, Cornell Bird Lab, UC Falcon Cam, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam, LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, Achieva Credit Union, and the Montana Osprey Project.
Around the beginning of May, people in Manitoba get ‘itchy’ to get out in the garden. The garden centre catalogues have been sitting since December, the days are getting warmer, and that urge to get out and plant starts taking over our thoughts. Today was a quick trip to a garden centre just outside of the city near the river. On the way there I was delighted by the hawks soaring. One Red Tailed Hawk (RTH) was being chased by a couple of crows while a Broad-winged Hawk was flying above the banks of the river. I did not stop and take photographs. By the time I would have pulled over they would have been gone. But, thank heavens, for a book that I got at Christmas. The RTH I recognized immediately but not the second raptor. That book is Hawks from Every Angle. How to Identify raptors in flight by Jerry Liguori. I wish the images were bigger but, other than that, it has been a great help in identification.
Speaking of identification, the two eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest were banded on 4 May. I tried to catch a good image of their legs but those two are not giving one thing away!
Here is a close up of their young father, Harry. No, he isn’t dirty! He hasn’t completely ‘matured’ (someone might have to adjust that) as he is not believed to be five years old yet! Well, Harry, you are a great dad. You stepped up to the plate and incubated your babies, learned how to feed them, and brought in prey. It took you a bit to catch on – but, you did!
The cameras at the MN DNR Bald Eagle nest were turned off during the process of banding. They also did a health check and took blood samples. Soon we will know the genders of the two eaglets! Here is a video from 2015 at the same nest showing the process:
Many were very sad when California Condor’s Redwood Queen and Phoenix’s egg was deemed non-viable. Those two will try again next year. But congratulations go out to California Condors Condor 589 and Phoebe (569) known as the Pinnacle Power Couple. Their baby hatched on 12 April and is #1078. #1078 will need to survive for six months in the nest being fed by 589 and 569. #1078 will be learning to fly in mid-October. The couple have been together for five years and this is the third chick – hence the designation ‘power couple’. Most California Condors only breed every two years.
Over in Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana, the oldest Osprey in the world, Iris, landed a whopper!
Just look at the size of that fish and the perfect form Iris has. I am impressed.
Iris got to enjoy some of that magnificent catch and then Louis must have heard about that great catch and thought she might share. In the end, he did steal part of that fish and took it to the pole to eat. Darn that Louis. Iris doesn’t fish for him! He is supposed to be taking care of her.
Gabby has been with Legacy all day at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville, Florida. It seems that Samson and Gabby are keeping a close eye on Legacy so she doesn’t get lost again! Well, was she lost? She sure might have been. She has stayed at the nest. It is another hot and very windy day but, if Samson continues his regular food drop, Legacy will have some dinner around 5:30 nest time.
Legacy is sure watching for Samson to appear with her dinner! It is nearing 5pm nest time. Good training for Legacy once she gets the confidence to fly about more.
Arthur has made several prey drops trying to encourage Big Red to let him incubate the Ks but Big Red is steadfast. It is raining and she still doesn’t trust Arthur enough to let him take over when the rain is pitching down! K1 and K2 got a quick feed. Meanwhile, K3 is hatching. The progress is unclear – cannot see the egg!
It’s dinner time at the Achieva Osprey nest and Diane brought in a catfish for #2 and Tiny Tot. It has not been that long since Tiny polished off an entire fish so he is not rushing to get in line. In addition, Tiny might have figured out that the best meat on the catfish comes a little later. Mom has to fight with the head to get it all open. Diane doesn’t like a flake of fish to be wasted! No doubt. She is a good fisher, like Iris, and takes great care of her kids.
Oh, Tiny Tot is so smart. See. He waited. If you look carefully there is really good fish left – nice big chunks of flaky catfish! Sometimes it is good to not rush. Diane is happy to feed that back half of that fish to Tiny and have some bites herself. So Tiny had at least one entire fish to itself and half of another big catfish. He’s set for the night!
There were alarms in the Matsalu National Park in Estonia. Eerik stayed on the White-tailed Eagle nest tree with Eve in order to protect the family. If he wasn’t on the nest, he was on a close branch in case there was an intruder.
Oh, everyone is eating!!!!!!
It is Happy Hatch Day for Izzi, the Peregrine falcon eyass of Xavier and Diamond. Their scrape box is on the water tower on the grounds of the Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Izzi has not left home. Will Izzi ever leave home? Many are probably asking the same question. For me, it is a joy to see him grow into a healthy capable falcon!
And it wouldn’t be fair to check on Izzi and not on the trio at the UC Berkeley Campus. Oh, my how they have changed from the marshmallows last week with the pink beaks and legs. So imagine these three growing up and looking like Izzi in a few months. They will, I promise. They are already charging Annie and Grinnell and trying to self feed. Oh, they are adorable!
It is Day 36 for Maya and Blue 33 (11)’s first egg. Eggs have been rolled and Maya has been enjoying the nice weather. That one egg looks terribly suspicious but no word of a pip or a hatch yet!
Thanks everyone for joining me. I hope where ever you are that your Wednesday has been a good one. Take care. See you soon in Bird World.
Remember: 8 May is Bird Count Day. Get all the information on how you can participate here:
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: LRWT Rutland Osprey Project, UC Falcon Cam, Achieva Credit Union, Eagle Club of Estonia, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cornell Bird Lab RTH Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, MN DNR, Ventana Wildlife, and Pinnacle Wildlife.
This morning at 10:41:31 Legacy, the fledgling of Samson and Gabby at the NE Florida Bald Eagle cam came home to her natal nest. Joy rang out through the community.
Legacy is calling out to her parents who, on any other day, would have been waiting for her at the nest tree! She is tired and hungry. What a relief! Samson is going to be over joyed to bring Legacy a fish!!!!!!! Legacy is calling and calling. She is ready for a snack. I hope Gabby and Samson are nearby soon.
Deb Steyck put together a video of the return. Here is the link:
It is 2:48pm EDT on the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest in Jacksonville. Legacy continues to call for her parents. Oh, how I wish I knew bird calls better! There are lots of songbirds but a few unusual calls and Legacy seems to have settled in to wait for the arrival of a parent. I was so afraid that she was going to leave. Hopefully – for all of us – she is tired and hungry and will stick to that nest til Samson or Gabby appears. Oh, what a relief to have our girl home!
As we celebrate the great joy and relief it is to see Legacy, in north Wales today people are wondering what is happening to the care and kindness for wildlife. The Lyn Brenig Osprey Nest was destroyed by an individual or individuals arriving in a boat in the dark. The mated pair from last year did not return and the community was so excited when a new couple came to the platform and laid an egg. Now that egg and nest are completely destroyed. The Ospreys that were there are, hopefully, not traumatized and will relocate to a nearby nest in which a dummy egg has been placed to entice them. How sad for everyone. The person or persons responsible would have know the area well. Indeed, they might even live on the lake and for reasons of their own decided to rid the lake of these wonderful birds that Wales is trying so hard to reintroduce. The North Wales Police are out in force to find the persons responsible for this destruction.
And the continued well being of Tiny turned ‘Biggie’ Tot continues on the Achieva Osprey Nest. The first fish delivery was at 11:23:06 and it looks like Biggie Tot got the majority of it. This is nothing short of a miracle. This little one survived three days without food several times – and in total – 12 full days without food. Tiny is now growing and putting on weight. So good to see. Tiny is truly a survivor.
The other news on the Achieva Osprey Nest is the fledge of sibling #2. It was a magnificent take off with a crash landing right on Tiny Biggie Tot.
There she goes! It is 6:57:10.
Oops. The return was at 7:04:43. I don’t think Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot was impressed.
Take care everyone. I will be checking in on the nests later today. Thank you for joining me.
Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union and the NE Florida and the AEF streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots. Thank you also to the North Wales Wildlife Trusts for the images of the destroyed nest at Lyn Brenig. Truly a tragedy for the community.
There is a conservation zone in Wisconsin on the Fox River near Kaukauna. There are four healthy eaglets in a Bald Eagle Nest in that zone – four! Just look, they appear to be getting their thermal down. My goodness those parents are busy! Amazing. I always get nervous when there are three. How do you coordinate feeding four?
Down in Fort Myers, Florida E17 and E18, Harriet and M15’s eaglets of 2021, are enjoying playing in the pond this morning. They had baths and had great fun splashing one another. That pond is near their nest and the Pritchett family stocks it with fish for the eagles.
The egg on the Big Sur California Condor Nest of Phoenix and Redwood Queen is pipping. The Ventana officials say that it takes 2 to 3 days from pip for hatch, if all goes well. Keep watching! The little condor started using its egg tooth yesterday to work its way out.
The downpour during yesterday’s storms over Savannah and the Southeast US have given way to a cloudy dry day. The two little eaglets on The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island were kept warm and dry by Mom. Here they are enjoying their lunch today.
There was an intruder or intruders at the White-Tailed Eagle Nest near Durbe, Latvia today. The winds are blowing and it is 1 degree C. Mr Cips has brought in food for the little ones but, for the most part, he has been protecting the nest while Milda has been incubating. It is so cold the little ones can’t be left out in the weather long or they will get hypothermia.
There is still no sign of Aila at the Loch Arkaig nest. Local spotters have seen Louis with another female at platform 1 mating. Louis has also been bringing fish into that nest. A slim version of Aila – that had everyone wondering and comparing photos – appeared at the Loch Arkaig nest with the camera (below). Louis did not bring her any fish. He attempted and failed at mating twice. I wonder if this beautiful nest is going to be empty this year?
The following nest news is wonderful. When Ospreys are ringed and fledge making their first migration to southern Spain or Africa (more likely) it is an arduous journey. The survival rate varies but no more than 50% make it. Normally the juveniles will stay there for 2 or 3 years before returning to the UK.
For the birds that are ringed people wait patiently – sometimes forever – for news of a sighting. At Loch Garten near Abernathy, Cairngorms National Park, Blue AX6 was spotted with an unringed female. Blue AX6 was ringed on 1 July 2016 at Glen Affric. He was the only survivor of the nest of three at that time. This is the first reported sighting of Blue AX6 since he fledged. Just splendid.
Loch Garten is one of the important nests in the history of Osprey introduction. The nest was opened to public viewing in 1959. The belief, at the time and promoted extensively by George Waterston, was that an educated public would help protect the Ospreys. 14,000 people visited the site that first year during the seven months it was open. The most famous and formidable Osprey on that nest was EJ. She fledged 25 osplets off the Loch Garten nest in fifteen seasons. She was 21 years old in 2019 when she did not return from migration. Grass grew on the nest with the hope that a new pair might locate here. Fingers crossed for 2021 -.
This is EJ in 2018. Gosh, she is beautiful. Those dark eye markings are amazing they way they dip and go down her shoulder to her back.
The image below was taken yesterday. It is AX6 and the unringed female. Oh, there will be so many cheers if they stay and raise a family! Thanks to Mary Kerr who posted this on the Friends of Loch Arkaig FB page.
And everything is pretty much as usual at the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. The nest and the chicks survived the winds from yesterday. Typically, Tiny Tot grabbed the first fish delivery of the day at 7:53:53. He protected himself and got some good bites.
Six minutes later, 8:03:21 one of the older siblings (I think 2) got its talon in the tail and took the fish away from Tiny. That was a good lesson. 2 hasn’t bothered earlier but Tiny will need to learn to dig his talons in that fish and stand on it like 2 does.
Mom will take the fish from the older sib and Tiny will be watching. Tiny grabs a bite meant for 2 and at 9:13:27 mom feeds Tiny.
He has a little crop.
Diane went fishin. She brought in a catfish with its head on at 12:01:22. You can always tell if Diane catches the fish because Jack always eats the head before he delivers dinner.
Tiny Tot will be fed from 12:28:34-12:54:49. Tiny will also command the carcass which he is still eating at 2:02.
Two other interesting things happened on the Achieva Osprey nest this morning. Chick #1 is now hovering. 6:50:44 They need to practice their take off and landings – it is amazing watching the Ospreys and the Royal Albatross hover.
That chick had a grand time! This chick is also the one who stands at the rim of the nest and extends her wings to catch the air. It is lighter in weight (or appears to be) than 2 and more interested in flying than eating. Just a beautiful strong Osprey. Lovely.
The second thing was an intruder or two – Blue Jays. I caught one of them flying by the nest at 8:01:53.
I will close with two more images of the Achieva Osprey Nest. The first one is Tiny Tot with food coma (totally oblivious to anything 1 and 2 are looking at) and the second shows you how healthy he is beginning to look.
Thank you so much for joining me today. There could be a hatch at the Big Sur condor nest tomorrow. I will keep you informed. Stay safe, stay warm. Smile.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Latvian Fund for Nature, Ventana Wildlife Society, Explore.org, SWFL Eagle Cam and D Pritchett, Loch Garten, Wooldland Trust, People Postcode Lottery, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, 1000 Islands Conservation area FB, Loch Arkaig FB, and the RSPB.
You know those parents that are always bragging about their children’s accomplishments? I did that eons ago and continue to brag about them and my grandchildren but…today, I need to brag about Tiny Tot! His cheering squad is a bunch of aunties and uncles so proud of each and every accomplishment he makes. This little one has been bonked, beaten, twisted, and starved and he is still with us and I continue to say that he is going to be formidable out in the wild.
Tiny missed out on early fish and had some bites of the 2:50:37 delivery. During the 6:04:15 delivery Tiny Tot gets some bites but needs to keep re-positioning himself. Beginning at 7:01:59 Tiny Tot dominates the back part of the fish feeding. He goes to sleep but gets up again because he wants the tail! In the image below, Tiny has the tail and Diane is feeding 1 some of the fish that is left.
This fish is not even finished and Jack comes in with another at 7:51. It is not a catfish. #2 initially gets the fish.
In the image below, #2 is eating the fish, Tiny Tot appears to be resting but awake in the middle, Diane is at the back, and #1 is flapping its wings on the left.
At 7:59:59, Diane surveys the situation. How are you doing with that self-feeding #2?
At 8:00:10 Diane takes the fish from #2. Seriously #2 has eaten all day and Mum needs to eat. This is a tactic she has used in previous evenings to feed Tiny Tot and herself.
There is a bit of chaos because #1 continues to wingersize across the front of the nest. #2 is like: what happened? And you will notice that Tiny Tot has moved his body.
At 8:00:20, Tiny Tot steals the fish from mom! Look at that nice tail of Tiny Tot’s that is growing with all this good food.
All of this happened so fast that #2 on the right still doesn’t seem to fully understand just what happened. Mom does and Tiny Tot is protecting himself and his late night dinner by mantling. You are a brave little one Tiny. Braveheart.
Tiny Tot continues to enjoy his dinner. Every once in awhile Diane will help him with a tough spot – she is teaching him – but she lets him self-feed. He sure earned that fish! Diane has to be proud of her young lad.
As the sun goes down in St Petersburg, Florida, Tiny is still eating. It is 8:13:09. Diane is watching over him.
By 8:17, Diane is feeding the last bits to Tiny Tot. #2 has moved up hoping to get some bites.
At 8:25:41 Tiny Tot is being fed the last of the fish by Mom. Well done, Tiny Tot.
Good night everyone. I hope that you all sleep as well as our little Tiny Tot is going to tonight! What an amazing steal. Tiny is quick on his feet and clever! Maybe in another life he was a famous baseball player, good at stealing bases.
Thank you to the Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg, Florida for their streaming cam. That is where I pick up my screen shots.