Late Sunday in Bird World

15 May 2022

It has turned out to be a brilliant day on the Canadian prairies after the morning’s dreariness. At 18:33 the sky is clear blue, not a cloud anywhere. This, of course, could bode very well for the lunar eclipse tonight which I should be able to see – providing the sky stays the same – around 22:30-23:15. Will see if I can grab some shots of it for all of us!

It was a pretty good day in Bird World taken as a whole. The smallest eaglet in the Notre-Dame nest could really use some food. My goodness he is a tiny little tiercel compared to those two sprawling big siblings. I always get nervous when I check on that nest.

A fish was brought in to the UFlorida-Gainesville nest around 17:55. Middle managed to get a few good bites at the beginning by the old snatch and grab and screaming. Then Mum proceeded to feed almost the entire fish to Big. Middle is hungry but not starving. Holding my breath for tomorrow or another fish tonight.

The other super star of the male Ospreys in Wales is Idris. He has his nest with Telyn near the River Dyfi. Idris is ‘Daddy Longlegs’ and he is known for bringing whoppers onto the nest just like Blue 33.

I can’t wait for the chicks to start hatching on this nest! Last year these two fledged two brilliant osplets – a male, Dysynni and a female, Ystwyth. They have just been ringed and we will be looking for their return next year.

Blue 33 did as Blue always does – he brings in the fish, sometimes too much, and Maya has him remove them. The three chicks continue to thrive. No worries here.

The weather turned and it began to rain and blow in the late evening. Blue was on the nest with Maya and the kids. He is extremely protective and one of those ace providers! He also likes to feed his chicks.

The Dale Hollow eaglets are 77 days old. The average age for fledging is 84 days. So we still have some time, hopefully, with them.

The nest is falling apart in some places and River and Obey will have some work to do for next season. These two are gorgeous.

Just look at what was the rim of this nest. It is almost entirely gone!

E1 at the MN-DNR nest is pancaked down on the nest right now. Is there an intruder somewhere? or is this food coma?

Nancy was in to feed E1 at 19:00. These two are doing alright. Nancy is taking good care of E1, Harriet.

I have not checked on the Goshawk nest at Riga, Lativa for a few days. It is another one of those times when you blink and the chicks are getting bigger. There are four. I have checked and all seem to eat fine.

It rained heavily on the nest yesterday. Mum comes in with food and here is a video of that feeding of these Goshawk chicks. Goshawks are beautiful birds. I just don’t like them around Osprey nests!

One of the best books on the Goshawk continues to be T.H.Whites, The Goshawk. It has been reprinted in a small paperback for a very reasonable price.

There is no news that I am aware of coming from Richmond and Rosie’s Osprey nest in San Francisco about a pip.

When Big Red and Arthur laid their fourth egg many became quite concerned that the last hatch would simply not survive with three bigger siblings. It is always good to remember that this is a hawk nest – like the Goshawk above – and all of the chicks will be fed. In fact, when L4 hatched he was just a cracker. Nothing stood in the way of L4 and Mum’s beak. He learned quickly from a few days old just to heave himself over or through the big siblings. Of course, they are not beaking him or intimidating him onto the other side of the ledge. That is why watching Big Red’s nest is the best. The absolute best.

I made a video clip today of L4 doing his stunt to get in front. It is about 3 minutes long. At 1:54 L4 decides to pull a chippie. I thought he might be going to self-feed. At 2:22 he makes for the front. I am calling it the L4 scramble. Enjoy!

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

European Starling. 15 May 2022

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures today: DHEC, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Latvian Fund for Nature, MN-DNR, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Dyfi Ospreys, ND-LEEF, and the LRWT.

Sunday in Bird World

Today it not just about Ospreys. There have been some nests that have been overlooked lately so I am going to try and catch up on some of those for all of us.

I love how the wildlife rehabbers go to great lengths to make certain that the babies they rescue do not imprint on humans. Have a look at an eaglet that came into care and how it is being fed:

https://fb.watch/v/1NOZVD1I5/

The female White Storkling at the nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia is ready to fledge! Look how beautiful she is with her wings spread. She looks like a dancer bowing to her audience. She was making all the right moves this morning. She began flapping her wings as the sun was rising and got very enthusiastic around 6am. She is restless and continues flapping and looking out to the world beyond the nest.

Father Stork comes in to feed the three youngsters. This generous community continues to provide supplementary food for Father Stork so that he and his three babies can survive. You can see, in the background, Father Stork eating from the fish table that is provided to him and his family. Sadly, their mother was killed on one of the electrical lines and these three are alive today because of this community. It is heart warming to see that the storklings are ready to fledge. Everyone can be so proud of their efforts!

The Bucovina Golden Eaglet, Zenit, grabbed the prey delivery from Mom and completely self-fed today for the first time. Zenit mantled and flapped all the while telling Mum to go away he could do this himself. Wow. Another milestone to independence. Lady Hawk caught this magical moment in a video:

There has been a lot of discussion about goshawks lately because they have raided and killed many Osprey both in Latvia and an eagle in Spain. There is a Crested Goshawk nest in a park in Taipei. The adults failed at their first breeding attempt and had one hatch on their second. The eaglet is three weeks old. So cute.

Crested goshawks live in Asia. Their territory is from the Indian subcontinent to Taiwan. In terms of its range and numbers it is of ‘least concern’. It is, however, a protected species in Hong Kong because of the encroachment on its forest environment. The hawks are now adapting to urban living. The Crested Goshawk is 30-46 cm in length or 12-16 inches. Like other raptors, there is reverse sex size diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. They feed on insects, birds, and mammals. The nest is normally made of sticks in a tree and most often the female will lay between two and three eggs.

The image below shows a Crested Goshawk Female. Look at that gorgeous plumage.

“鳳頭蒼鷹 – 雌鳥 Crested Goshawk (Female)” by alexwhite21 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In size comparison, the Northern Goshawk that has caused issues related to the death of the Osprey chicks in Latvia and Spain is approximately twice the size of the Crested Goshawk. Each species has a long tail and shorter broad wings to help them speed around the forest area where they hunt. They are more adapt at living in the forest and often lure their prey into that environment.

Here is the mom in her nest with her eaglet.

The eaglet has been ringed with two official bands.

The eaglet will fledge in 2-3 weeks. You can watch this little one grow up here:

Now let’s check on some of those Ospreys!

Foulshaw Moss. Tiny Little is still moving in to get fed. I have seen some people worrying about him but, honestly, this little one is going to be grand. At tea time on Sunday, 464 was self-feeding. Self-feeding is hard work and the chicks spend a lot of time and energy fighting with the bones in the head. They get tired. So when 464 finished eating, Blue 35 took over and fed Tiny Little and Middle Bob.

In the image below, 464 is self-feeding. Mom, Blue 35, is waiting and it is Tiny Little stretching his wing. As we will all be saying, Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore. And that is a good thing!

Blue 35 has taken over the feeding and, of course, Tiny Little is right there for the bites! Tiny Little and Middle Bob have always done well together. It is really good that 464, the big female, fledged first. It is hard to imagine but a couple of days ago Tiny Little looked like an extremely young chick. Now, unless the bands are visible and you follow the chicks it is hard to tell them apart. Now that is magnificent and it shows precisely what getting a good feeding means to these chicks.

Dyfi. Right now it is pitching down rain. Earlier it looked like Dysynni was hovering so high that he was going to fledge – but, he didn’t. Ystwyth is in awe! Dysynni is 52 days old today and Ystwyth is 48 days.

I imagine that Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Galactic’s Unity Spaceplane took off from Spaceport America this morning successfully returning to Earth from space would really like to fly like a bird. Laura Culley, falconer and great mind, told me once that humans have the DNA for feathers and flight we just haven’t turned them on. Any geneticists out there to confirm that?

And then the rains came and Idris delivered a really nice fish that Telyn is feeding the nestlings. No more thoughts of fledging today!

Poole Harbour. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were at the nest at Poole Harbour today. They continue bonding. There is at least a month or six weeks til they head off on their migration. Let us all hope that this lovely new couple return in late March or early April – both of them – and entertain us with their antics while raising chicks.

Clywedog. Oh, it is wet and miserable at this nest in Wales today. Only Bob looks pretty miserable.

Never fear. Dylan went out and got a nice perch for Only Bob’s (Blue 496) tea time treat. Seren is happily feeding her little one. Soon Only Bob is going to be thinking about fledging too.

Look at Dylan’s strong thin legs. The other day he flew 13 km to get a trout for his family’s dinner. Thanks John Williams for confirming that distance!

Loch of the Lowes. It is raining in Scotland, too. NC0 is on the nest feeding her nestling and her fledgling their tea time meal. NC0 has been flying with Fledgling Bob over the loch. It will be wonderful to see her spend time flying with both her babies once Second Bob has fledged. NC0 has become a very good mother. She struggled at the beginning with the feeding and many thought that Second Bob would not survive and perish like little third Bob. But, look at these two now. Fantastic. NC0 really came into her own. Laddie has done his part, too!

Are you interested in France’s plan for their Osprey and White Tailed Eagles? If so, Stephanie Scofield posted the French government’s document on the Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) FB page. If you cannot read French, have a look anyway. The graphics are very helpful. Here is that report:

Thank you so much to the person who forwarded me an image of Z1, Tegid. I do not know who to credit for the image so thank you to that individual. I hope you do not mind my posting it today!

I am so grateful to my friend ‘T’ for telling me about this brave little osprey. As many of you know, I am setting about on a ten year plan to follow the osprey hatches that were beaten and battered and deprived of food but, who made it despite all the odds against them to fledge! I want to see how their lives unfold. Sadly, many like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey nest are not ringed and most are not seen on camera. So my list is short. It includes Z1 Tegid, JJ7 Captain, Tiny Little Bob Blue 463, and Tiny Tot. If you know of others please alert me. You can leave me a comment or send the information through e-mail (maryannsteggles@icloud.com). It is much appreciated.

Here is Tegid. He has a nest with chicks for the second year in Snowdonia in Wales! Look at those strong little legs, too.

It is a soaring hot day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are really enjoying the water dishes and baths – they are keeping us busy filling them. I am taking a break from cleaning my tiny home office. It got stuffed with all manner of everything during the pandemic and now it is time to get that sorted. It is so nice, like now, to stop and check in on our friends with feathers!

Thank you so much for joining me and thank you for all the letters, comments, and pictures. I love hearing from you.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, CarnyX Wildlife and Clywedog Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Crested Goshawk Nest Cam in Taipei, and the Mlady Buky White Stork Nest Cam.