Manton Bay Sadness and other news in Osprey and Falcon World

11 May 2022

I want to start this newsletter with something that is pretty wonderful before we get on to the big story of the day coming out of Rutland Water’s Manton Bay Osprey nest.

Forgive me if I am wrong but it looks to me like Alden is feeding the two chicks at Cal Falcons! Why do I think this is Alden? and why is this such a big deal? Well the left foot has a problem or did something happen to Annie? or is this just nothing and I am seeing things? Annie likes to feed the kids so that is why this is a big deal. But Alden has been nervous and seemingly shy of feeding. So what is going on?

Well this looks like an experienced parent.

The time is 06:03 and I am confused. The adult behaves like Annie but I am confused by the left foot.

At any rate, the chicks are fine. Gosh, golly. Do we have a foot injury on Annie??????? or has Alden suddenly turned into a pro at feeding chicks?

Everyone watching the Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 (11) and Maya are simply at a loss for words. A large fish came on the nest and flipped from the side over to the top of the nest cup hitting both chicks and the third egg. Just as watchers were stunned so was mum, Maya. Ospreys are used to fish flapping. Indeed, one of the historic reasons that the males eat the heat is to ensure that the fish is dead when they deliver it to the nest. Of course, that is not always the case. It can be a tragedy when day old osplets are on the nest.

One of the chicks has survived. The other was still breathing but was left exposed for a period of time. At 13:17 Blue 33 (11) comes to check on Maya. With what we can only believe as his encouragement, Maya moves the fish out of the egg cup and to the side of the nest where she eats some fish. With the fish out of the egg cup, she gathers both chicks under her to brood. Am I crazy to hope that wee one will survive?

Is the little one stuck under a stick or something? I wonder.

By 14:35 the rain is pouring down on Maya. She has both chicks and the egg under her and is hunkered down. Send your most positive wishes to this Osprey family. Hope for a miracle for that wee babe to come around and for two healthy osplets.

It is 15:30 and the rain has stopped. That is really good news for this Osprey nest. Maya is feeding a chick and eating herself. The other chick is drying off and is still moving but, honestly, it would be a miracle if this one makes it. Still, I hope.

Its little wing was raised up and moving. It is in front of the egg towards us. Maya will cover up both chicks and the egg. Mum is looking a wee better. We must remember that Maya may have had fish flop around in the nest before but she has never had a chick fatally injured by one. She has little time for mourning but did appear stunned and very lethargic when the event happened.

More tragic news has come from the Dahlgren Osprey nest. The third hatch has died. That nest is located at the mouth of the Machodoc and William’s Creek in King George County, Virginia. It is the nest of Jack and Harriet. The creek has had very high water and has flooded in places causing murky fishing for Jack. It is not clear but as of the 8th of May the third hatch was getting little food. It died this morning.

Things are, however, continuing to go well on the Captiva Osprey Nest. Middle Little or Captiva’s Daddy Long legs fledgling has been flying on and off the platform with a very large fish. He is flying like a pro now. So good!

There he goes in the middle to the 8island to enjoy his late breakfast!

After the Ospreys, it is often reassuring to check on the falcons and the hawks.

Everything appears to be fine as the day starts for Annie and Alden and the two eyases at the U-California Berkeley scrape.

All five eyases are alive and either preening or trying to sleep at the Manchester, New Hampshire scrape.

The three chicks at St Mary’s Church in Andover, Hampshire, UK had a really good feed today and all are doing well.

The two at the Indiana & Michigan Power scrape are also fine!

These two are really losing their baby down.

There are still only two eyases at the Utica NY scrape. Both are doing well and with sadness on the nests overall, two energetic chicks is great.

Sadly, there has been a unexplained death of the youngest eyas at the Cromer Peregrine Falcon scrape in the UK. Both chicks were eating fine and developing well. There appeared to be no problem. Sometime between 1315-1430 yesterday the youngest on died. I was not expecting that news. The fact that the chick ate well does not indicate Avian Flu. The owners of the scrape commented on its pale egg and feet thinking that there was something the matter with the wee ones health all along. Condolences go out to all the individuals associated with the Cromer scrape who work so hard to reintroduce the Peregrine Falcons into the UK.

All is well at the Dolina Baryczy Peregrine Falcon nest in Poland.

The chicks ate for a very long time and it was recorded. They look healthy. They are losing their down around the eyes and you can see the feathers coming in on the wings and the tail.

All is well at the nest of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca. the four eyases are growing like bad weeds, getting their feathers, and starting to spend a lot of time preening. Relief. They are sure taking up a lot of space along that ledge of the lightbox!

Thank you so much for joining me as I continue to monitor the situations at the Manton Bay and UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nests. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: LRWT Manton Bay, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cal Falcons, Peregrine Networks, I & M DNR, Utica Falcons, Sokoi D Baryczy Zdenka, and Cromer Peregrine Falcons.

Tuesday in Bird World

10 May 2022

Gosh, golly. 21 degrees C. This means summer!!!! The parks, both of them, were full of joggers, walkers, people having picnics, playing ball, or tennis. The Cricket pitch was busy. Canadians are wearing short sleeves and shorts and we are happy and smiling! Last week was a different story. If it rains again on Thursday we will be back grumbling. I promise. Summer is way too short. You realize I did not say ‘spring’. Honestly we don’t have it any more. A normal summer temperature a couple of decades ago was 18 degrees C. Of course can hit 35-38 C easy. Then we all go inside grumbling. There is a sweet spot around 21-23 degrees C that is just perfect for humans and for the birds on the Canadian prairies.

Note: Bear with me. I did not edit this today!

I left this morning in search of wood ducks. Where are they? I found one couple at one park and three males and one female at another. Even more absent were the Mallards. Sadly, what else I found was that the torrential rains and rising water levels everywhere have made many of the duck and goose eggs non-viable. If the outside coating gets wet, there is no oxygen. This was sad.

The water has receded and you can see some of the clutch that has been abandoned. This area is a small island – there are two islands – in the centre of the pond. It appeared very, very crowded with geese further back incubating and a pair of Wood Ducks walking through.

I wonder how man of our waterfowl lost their eggs this season? Some goslings have hatched but I did not see a single one today. Last year I could not walk for wee ducks and geese. Let’s see what next month brings.

This Mallard couple were taking turns trying to find pond vegetation and keeping an eye on me – I was about 20 metres away but they still knew I was there. The birds around the Witches Hut at St Vital Park are very friendly. During nesting season they get a bit touchy but I think they were waiting to see if I brought any food with me.

The light was not great today. In fact, it gave some rather bizarre colours to the birds.

The colours on this Mallard might even make a Peacock envious.

The Black-capped Chickadees, six of them, were dive bombing me. Did they know I had seed for them in my pocket? or do they now see humans and think seed? Probably the latter. It is a very popular spot for walkers and people that live close by to spend an afternoon, always with birdseed. The lens I had on the camera really compromised what would have been great images taken with a phone camera rather than a 600mm lens.

They came and went many times while I stood and watched. Picking up a single seed, flying up to the tree nearby to crack it on a branch and then back for another one. I wonder how many calories they burn flying back and forth??

The Canada Geese were everywhere – and I do mean everywhere.

Tucked in near to them was a Chipping Sparrow hunting for sees and bugs.

None of those images will win any awards for photography but they are a nice memory of my day and some of the birds that I saw.

When I got home I went back and checked on the Manton Bay Osprey Nest in the UK to see if the third chick had hatched for Blue 33 (11) and Maya. Not yet but you could clearly see a crack forming. One of the reasons that this couple has such huge success is that the eggs normally hatch within a couple of days. Maya always delays incubating the first two eggs until the last has been laid. Talk about a remedy to help with food competition. Of course, it helps to have a big lake with lots of fish in it and not much competition right under your nest!

There was Blue checking out his newly hatched Big and Middle Bobs.

Big Bob looks like it is going to have an attitude.

If you stare at the egg long enough at the back on the left at about 2100, it appears there are some cracks forming. Of course, I could be losing my mind also.

So all is well at Rutland. Then skipping over to the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest and gosh. Middle had a crop at 16:18. So I went back and it appeared that another fish had come to the nest around 15:00.

The fish has arrived. Middle is just lucky. If Mum moved the wrong way she would knock him off that nest. He is on the far side. The chick you are looking at is Big.

Mum is feeding Middle!

Mum continues to feed Middle.

So, today, Middle ate and had a couple of crops. This nest is like a roller coaster. Did you know that birds can get stress lines in their feathers? I don’t know if all banders check but when they checked the three lads at the Port Lincoln Osprey nest they checked for stress lines and found none. Of course, they would not have. Those three males were like three choir boys until they fledged. They they really began to do the ‘dust ups’ shoving one another off the nest, intercepting fish, stealing fish and whatever else three brothers can think to get into. Here is a ‘dog fight’ between Ervie and Falky.

And here is the ‘dust up’ between Ervie and Bazza on the nest where one falls off:

For those of you that do not know the PLO nest it is on a barge at Port Lincoln, Australia. The nest always had a history of siblicide. This year everyone held their breath when the three eggs hatched and there was Little Bob. Well, Little Bob was quite the character. He had to always be at the beak, in front. When Bib Bob tried to bully him, Little Bob just didn’t let it happen and Big Bob got tired and quit. Still we worried until everyone realized that Little Bob was getting rather dominant. At the time the three were to be banded, it was decided that the heaviest of the three would get the one satellite-pak. Everyone was sure it would go to Bazza the eldest. No. Ervie – who never missed a meal and who had been right up front that morning – got the GPS system! And we cheered! The three were Bazza the eldest with the red band, Falky the middle with the yellow, and Ervie the youngest with the dark green band. Falky – being the middle – did not always get much attention until he dove off the barge and caught a fish! Falky was also the one spotted 300 km north of Port Lincoln. Bazza was the reluctant flier and stayed on the nest to let Mum feed him. Then he left. I hope we hear about Falky and Bazza. Ervie was flying about and then Ervie got one of his talons pulled out. Who knows how. As a result he stays around Port Lincoln and has a fondness for Puffer Fish! He is adored by many.

Sometimes it is nice to sit back and remember those really wonderful nests and last year, PLO was one of the best!

If you are into the translocation project that has been going on in the UK, you will be excited to read the announcement by Poole Harbour today on their FB page:

Single Bald Eagle Mums have a difficult job especially if the nest is in an area where there are constant intruders. There had been a bit of a dry spell at the MN-DNR nest but today around 16:15 nest time, Nancy brought in a huge fish. E1 ate well. I understand that a group of school children are calling E1 – Harriet. If it isn’t official, it should be. It is a perfect name to honour her missing and believed dead young dad, Harry.

The winds are still blowing strong in Scotland and the rain will start pelting down at the Loch Arkaig nest in the West. Dorcha is doing a great job keeping those eggs incubated.

At the Loch of the Lowes, the wind is blowing but you can hear the ducks and geese flying in for the evening. Blue NC0 looks pretty content on the nest of hers and Laddie’s. Not long til there will be chicks here.

One of the things that people/researchers/naturalists and lovers of Osprey look at it is the return rate. How many fledglings from a nest in a particular year with particular parents return as juveniles and are officially seen? Well the Llyn Clywedog nest is doing a bit of celebrating today. So far two out of three of the 2020 trio have returned – 550 and 551. They only need 552 and they would have a 100% success rate. They are going to have bragging rights regardless for some time. This is fantastic news.

Richmond and Rosie have been fighting off intruders this entire season. We are a few days til hatch watch. Here is the banner for SF Bays Hatch Watch announcement at the SF Bay nest of these two great Ospreys.

Here is the link to Richmond and Rosie’s streaming cam:

This is the 15:49 feeding at the Cal Falcon nest of Annie and Alden. Cute. So cute.

This is the 16:55 feeding at the Manchester New Hampshire Peregrine Falcon scrape. Crazy!

Everything is perfectly fine at the nest of Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus. L4 can almost be heard saying, “My crop’s as big as your crop! Nah, nah, nah!” Every time L1 does something, L4 seems to copy her.

Big Red looks like she is ready for an evening break before she snuggles down with these four Ls.

So far, so good. Food was on both the MN-DNR and the UFlorida-Gainesville nests. One day at a time. Today it was all good. So from me and all the garden gang and TH1 at the Two Harbours nest in the Channel Islands, good night. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen captures: LRWT, UFlorida-Gainesville, PLO, Birds of Poole Harbour, MN-DNR, Woodland Trust, Loch of the Lowes, SF Bay Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Peregrine Network, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, and Explore.org