Bird World News: Rescues, a fledge, and a Hurricane?

I want to give a shout out to Fortis BC for helping the South Okanagan’s only birds of prey rescue centre, SORCO, retrieve two baby Ospreys from a nest in Penticton. People saw the babies hanging over the sides of the nest panting and looking very dehydrated. The parents were unable to feed them because of the extreme heat driving the fish to the bottom of the rivers and lakes.

The Osprey platforms are out in the open – in the direct sun – and the chicks took a real hit by the heat when temperatures in the area rose into the high 40s on Wednesday.

@ CastaNet News Kelowna
@CastaNet News Kelowna

The babies are being fed and rehydrated. SORCO says they are doing well. They will be kept in care for approximately six weeks. SORCO says they have rescued 23 raptors during the extreme heat wave.

Elsa is now a hurricane and is expected to impact Florida and the region of the Osprey nests in St Petersburg early next week. The National Hurricane Centre is advising everyone to keep an eye on the hurricane as it now develops and what happens after it passes over the Antilles. You can follow the news here:

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at5.shtml?start#contents

All of our eyes will be on that system now that it has strengthened from a Tropical Storm to a hurricane because of our beloved Tiny Tot at the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg. The hurricane is currently located over Barbados (the white circle in the purple area).

Electra did not spend the night perched on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey nest but she has returned sometime this morning before 7am nest time.

The female chick, Blue 095, at Rutland Manton Bay has fledged today, 2 July, one day after her brother, Blue 096. Here is that flight:

It is definitely getting harder, at first glance, to tell who is who on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria where Tiny Little Tot lives on the nest of White YW and Blue 35. Indeed, Blue 35 is testing the kids self-feeding skills today!

The male claimed the fish that arrived and didn’t do a bad job with the self-feeding. Tiny Little was right there hoping he would share! or feed him!! I do hope Blue 35 feeds Tiny Little today and doesn’t just let the bigger ones grab all of the fish.

The last time I saw Tiny Tot on the Achieva Credit Union nest she was waiting for a fish delivery. K1 and K3 had been fed and were over together on the Rice Building. So all is well in Ithaca.

Take care everyone. That is our early morning nest round up for Friday, 2 July.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam and the Cowlitz PUD.

Featured image is FortisBC and SORCO going up to rescue osprey chicks in Penticton.

Driven to Brood? What is up with Electra?

The extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest have caused many of us to worry about the female ospreys who have lost chicks these past couple of days. There has been particular concern over Electra, the female at the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest in Longview, Washington.

I have had many questions or notes from individuals who care and worry about Electra. Those have prompted me to consider every aspect of this horrific week on the Cowlitz nest. But, before I begin, I want to go to the writing of Nan Shepherd. Have you heard of her?

Nan Shepherd was born in 1893 and lived her entire life around Aberdeen, Scotland, in her childhood home in West Cults.

“File:Gate, West Cult – geograph.org.uk – 440270.jpg” by Richard Webb is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Shepherd died in 1981. She lectured in English at what is now the Aberdeen College of Education. Shepherd was also a writer and an avid traveller. The book of hers that I am reading is The Living Mountain. Shepherd ‘knew’ the Cairngorms of Scotland as if they were spots on her tired hands.

“Cairngorm Plateau” by Mr Moss is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Cairngorms” by chuckrock123 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Shepherd describes in one chapter watching two large stags at dusk fighting. Their horns were interlocked so that neither could get away. The falling, the pushing, the sounds.

“Cairngorm Reindeer” by Robin McConnell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Shepherd went back the following day to ‘see what had happened’ to find nothing. No dead buck, no blood, nothing. And because of that, she would never know.

Shepherd believed that we need to allow ourselves to accept that there are mysteries of nature that we will never understand. She tells many stories to make that point and, so it is, that I once again return to the mystery or non-mystery of Electra.

For those of you that do not know who Electra is, she is the mate of Wattsworth at the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest. This year two chicks hatched on the nest. The first chick died due to siblicide and the second died of heat stroke. Electra had left the nest to get fish and the chick could not regulate its temperature. Both chicks were undernourished and that fact alone hastened the second’s death due to the extreme heat from the sun on its little underdeveloped body for its age. This nest does not have a good track record in terms of fledging chicks. We can only speculate that if Wattsworth had been bringing sufficient fish and helping with the care of the babies, this nest might have fledged two chicks. But, that was not the case and the mystery of why Wattsworth is such a poor mate will remain.

Each of us has tried to understand if Electra is mourning, trying to re-bond with her mate after the death of her chicks, or driven by hormones to still feed and brood her baby. I say ‘baby’ because there appeared to be a clear understanding that the earlier chick had died. The fact that Electra has returned to the nest where the bodies of her two chicks are in the extreme heat of the Pacific Northwest is troubling to many. It is the worry over Electra’s welfare that has driven so much concern for her. That concern has been intensified with the death now of the middle chick at the Osoyoos Osprey Nest. That nest lost all three babies. So many we know and many more we don’t know about have sadly perished in the extreme heat wave in the area.

Here are three images taken in the last couple of hours of Electra at the Cowlitz nest.

As Nan Shepherd stresses – there are mysteries of nature that we as humans will never understand. What any of us believe about Electra is based on our experience with Ospreys and other large raptors – watching their behaviour. But not one of us will ever be able to ‘get into the head of’ these amazing birds.

One of my readers, ‘S’, has closely observed Electra’s behaviour including watching her brood the chick yesterday. I also observed Electra brooding the first chick that died with the surviving one under her tail the day it died. I took everyone’s observations and formulated a question on one of the Osprey FB groups hoping to get a response from Tiger Mozone – and I did. Tiger likes data and he has been following Ospreys for a long time. His memory is acute and encyclopedic. Generously, Tiger answered my question with an example and, of course, that example got me to thinking about other Ospreys and Eagles. Tiger’s response was “I would think that the reason is that the female is strongly in brooding mode and this does not happen immediately (he is referring to her stopping going to the nest). His supporting example was of the female on the Loch Garden Osprey Nest in 2015. The eggs were lost because of intruders and in the absence of eggs, Tiger says, “EJ brooded an eggshell.”

Tiger gave me the timelines of the issues at Loch Garten that led to this. Please do read the entries. Chloe B and Tiger Mozone’s files are very educational.

https://www.imagicat.com/LGstats2015.html?fbclid=IwAR0fbpRpzfsovmOZxt1cLxtV5ZcH2QH9mAgCB_djt1-pkpdwJ-2F4xljTNE

Many of you will have followed other Osprey nests or the nests of other raptors. You might remember that Gabby at NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest this year incubated an unviable egg for several months. Indeed, little Legacy learned to roll and incubate the egg and care for it, too. Samson finally got fed up with ‘Eggbert’ and buried it in the nest. At the Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest, Shadow and Jackie incubated eggs for months – almost all one summer – that were not viable. The urge to incubate unviable eggs eventually goes away as live chicks get bigger and older. But to a female that has lost chicks in the nest like Electra, the urge to brood and care for them remains strong. EJ continued to incubate her eggshell for eleven days til she stopped, the urge and hormones having passed. So these are examples of females incubating unviable eggs. It is assumed that the brooding behaviour is, thus, as strong if not stronger.

I wonder now if the mother at Osoyoos will return to the nest and brood her chicks? I do not know precisely when the last chick at this nest passed. The female was still trying to shade the baby at 18:30 when I took this screen shot but it could have already died.

You can see that the mother is extremely hot. She is panting heavily and her eyes are drooped. She flew off the nest at 19:08. I have no doubt that it was at least 47 degrees C on that nest. Both of these females – Electra and the mother at Osoyoos – need to cool off in the water by bathing and hydrate themselves by eating if it is possible to catch fish in this heat and with the glaring sun on the water. Their survival instincts will kick in. Still, they may return to the nest for many more days.

Thank you for joining me as we try to see into some of the mysteries of what is driving Electra to remain on a nest in such heat. Tomorrow there are a lot of nests to check on. Fledge alerts will be sounding at Rutland and Richmond and Rosie’s nest on the Whirley Crane for sure. Please take care of yourself. Stay cool. Be safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the Cowlitz PUD for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and also to the Town of Osoyoos and Fortis BC for their streaming cam.

Bird World – late Monday and early Tuesday ramblings

It has been a day for extreme weather. 44 degrees C in the Pacific Northwest and a snow storm on Taiaroa Head, New Zealand, home to the Northern Royal Albatross colony and their chicks. It is 38 degrees C – and ‘boiling’ my friend living at the base of the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia said. It is 24 degrees C in St Petersburg, Florida where Tiny Tot lives and 27 degrees C in Ithaca, NY where the Ks live. It is 27 degrees where I am on the Canadian prairies with the temperature climbing to 36 degrees C in a couple of days. We will fill extra bowls of water and try and find a sprinkler for the birds as well as keeping their feeders topped up.

Our local crow colony displayed some interesting behaviours in the late afternoon. First, two were on sentry duty on the telephone poles nearby. Each was making a different alarm. Then four other crows flew in and over our house. They were quickly joined by another five or six until 19 crows were in our front tree. We did not see the Great Horned Owl that lives over on the golf course coming to check if there are any nests it could raid. So we are still left wondering what was going on.

Crows defend their territory by summoning friends and relatives to help them annoy the intruder enough so it leaves in our neighbourhood. As things settled down, Mr Blue Jay flew out of the trees to come for his 5pm bath and food but, something alerted him and he decided he would wait. I don’t blame him. Those crows were really in a dither! The intruder remains a mystery.

All of this got me to thinking about Electra. Electra, if you do not know, is the mate of Wattsworth at the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest in Longview, Washington. Electra hatched two chicks this year. The nest is notorious for not having sufficient food and the chicks dying. This year there was one siblicide and yesterday, a chick with promise -if enough food came in- died of heat stroke. It was the first known Osprey death due to the extreme heat in the region but it is very possible that it will not be the last. Electra was out fishing since Wattsworth seems incapable. Believe me I have a lot I could say about him! But, right now I want to pull my human heart out of the equation and look at Electra’s behaviour in light of Aran’s present to Mrs G today. So, I want to rewind and I needed to go for a walk to think this through.

Electra leaves the nest to go and fish for her and the remaining chick. When she returns, that chick has died due to the extreme heat on the nest. Electra has a fish that was for her and the chick. Wattsworth arrives at the nest. Electra refuses to give Wattsworth any fish. Then Electra stays on the nest, fish in her talon. There is no need to brood a little one. It is dark and is unsafe for her to fly. Some Ospreys are known to fish in the night – certainly Louis at Loch Arkaig would fish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to feed Aila and the three chicks last year. But Electra is going to hold tight on the nest until dawn breaks. She then leaves the nest taking the fish with her. Electra’s motherly duties are over. It is unclear what the nest actually signifies to Electra now that the chicks are dead. We know that Aran brings Mrs G a fish today as a means of bonding. Iris returns to her nest to renovate. But what, if anything, this place is to Electra right now is not known.

Electra returns to the nest with what I want to call a ‘fish tail’ later. It certainly wasn’t the big hunk of fish she had with her last night. It could be what remains of it. There is no one to feed on the nest. So why is she up there with a fish? She could eat it on a tree branch in the cool shade of the river, right? That would have been the smart thing to do to do in this heat. She is horrifically hot, panting hard to try and cool herself.

I know of two male Ospreys who like to steal the fish from their mates – you possibly know many more! But I am thinking of Louis and Iris and now Wattsworth and Electra. I am also beginning to consider the need to bond after a tragedy. We see that with Aran and Mrs G. The need for Aran to be able to provide for Mrs G and for her to accept the fish from him.

Electra is looking and calling while she is on the nest with the fish. I now believe that she was calling for Wattsworth. I also believe that she was going to give the small fish piece to him. It doesn’t matter what I think of Wattsworth. Electra needs to bond with her mate after the death of her last chick. It is precisely what is happening on the Glaslyn Nest. Aran and Mrs G are bonding, too. This is just another way to look at the behaviour of Electra. The reality is we will never really know. We all wish her well.

The big winner in the fish category today had to be Tiny Tot over on the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey Nest. My goodness, gracious. Jack came in with a fish for Tiny Tot at 6:41:16 and it was a whopper. I wish we could have seen Tiny’s eyes – they were probably popping out! But never fear. Tiny Tot learned its lesson months ago – you sit there and eat that fish as fast as you can because someone might come along and want to steal it. And you never ever leave anything on your plate!

Tiny Tot must have thought she had won the lottery. Jack has certainly been very good to make sure that Tiny gets fed. I would like to think that he is making up for when Tiny Tot was starving to death but, that would be putting another human spin on things. Obviously, Jack likes Tiny around. She protects the nest and he isn’t in any hurry for her to move on or he would stop bringing fish. It is a sweet deal for both of them. Jack doesn’t have to worry about getting injured fighting off an intruder. He can spend his time down by the water fishing and bringing Tiny Tot a few fish each day. Tiny is getting heaps of real life experience. Personally I am glad that he is feeding Tiny Tot. If she is to be the survivor of the chicks on this nest (the average is only one out of three), then the longer she is fed and the longer she stays on this nest, the better equipped she will be if she ever leaves the nest. Tiny is a bit like Izzi, the Peregrine Falcon juvenile, of Xavier and Diamond. Izzy is still around the scrape box and she should have left for his own territory long ago. But that is another story for another day. There should be no worries about Tiny being able to fish. It is embedded in them. Jack doesn’t have to teach her. That is ingrained into her and every other Osprey and has been for 65 million years. Now she might not be as good a fisher as an osprey more experienced but she knows the moves and just has to find fish. I loved the stories of Bellie in Belle’s Journey, the way she honed her fishing skills. Tiny will do that, too.

Look at those legs and that little bottom. I think that the chicks on Cowlitz really got to me because of what Tiny Tot went through early on. But, as those who watched the Achieva nest, things turned one day. Diane brought in fish and I quit calling Jack a ‘dead beat dad’. They began to be a team and they succeeded in fledging three chicks. Amazing.

When I think of those super male Ospreys that get wall murals or the ones people talk about decades after they have passed, it is always the praise for providing for their family. Yes, people talk about Blue 33 and Idris’s fishing abilities and the whoppers – but it is always tied to them bringing those to their family and how healthy their chicks are and the pride in counting the children and the grandchildren in the family lineage.

So we go back to the survival of the fittest, perhaps. Wattsworth’s DNA is not being passed along but Monty’s, Blue 33s, and Idris’s is. And I hope Tiny Tot’s!

It was raining in the Sydney Olympic Park today. The beautiful canopy of leaves on the old Ironbark tree where the nest of Lady and Dad, the resident White-Bellied Sea Eagles, is located kept Lady from getting soaked. Lady is incubating two eggs. It is awhile until we will be on hatch alert. I will let you know when that happens so you can join the fun.

The rain finally stopped in Ithaca and the Ks were quite happy. K3 is eating again! It is nice to see the sun come out so they can dry off. It is even nicer to see the pair together on the nest safe and sound.

And, last I am showing you an image of the nest at Loch of the Lowes. I will also try and find the short videos that someone took of NC0 fishing in the loch. She is good! In this image the nest is getting a little crowded with the wingersizing of these two big osprey chicks. Safer for NC0 to get out of the way and sit on the perch, for sure! I was fascinated in the camera set up. That is why I am including this image. It is rather amazing. There is also a microphone in the nest so that you can hear the chicks when they are peeping in the egg right before hatch.

Here is NC0 fishing:

A snow storm and high winds have put out the cameras on Taiaroa Head in New Zealand where the Northern Albatross and their chicks are. They will love it. These birds like the cold. The staff of the NZ DOC (Dept of Conservation) have sprinklers to cool off the chicks. That camera should be back on line along with the weighing of the chicks. The chicks are weighed weekly, unless there is an issue and they might be weighed more. Supplemental feedings by the staff are given if the weight of the chick is not where it should be. That could come from parents not returning, being injured and delayed in their return, etc. NZ looks after their wildlife and accepts that humans have impacted it. There are not the complications with intervention like there are in the US.

Sad news coming out of Canada and the Osoyoos Osprey Nest. It appears that two of the three chicks have died to the incredible heat in the area in the same way that the chick on Cowlitz did. The other chick will require lots of fish but it is not looking very well this morning. A former student and close friend of mine now lived on the edge of the water at Osoyoos and really enjoyed seeing the Osprey family fish. They were forced to move because of the smoke from the wildfires that hits the area every summer. Prayers for all the birds. The heat wave is spreading across North America.

Thank you for joining me today. There will be a big nest catch up later today.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Scottish Wildlife and Loch of the Lowes, and Sea Eagle Cam Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre.

Featured Image is Lady incubating her eggs in the Ironbark Tree in Sydney Olympic Park.

K1 fledges, K2 taken into care and other news in Bird World. 22 June 2021

Before I even begin to write about everything that is happening on the nests, I want to show you an image of a gorgeous bird. Elegant even. Did you read that right. Did I just say that an Osprey was elegant? If she were a human, she could be a model on the Chanel runway. The perfectly symmetrical white V running from the top of her beak over each eye, the black mascara running through her eyes spaced evenly on both sides of her head, her stance, the beautifully elongated body, the turning of her head to look back, and the inner confidence.

Tiny Tot radiates all of those and more.

The image below shows Tiny Tot on 4 April. Sibling #2 would not let our wee one get near the food. There s/he is hungry. She had not eaten for over 2 days. Tiny Tot is almost falling off the side of the nest so that #2 will not peck his head or twist his neck. All it wants is some fish. Sibling #2 will actually keep eating when it is beyond full just so Tiny cannot eat.

Here is Tiny Tot a little later after Diane started bringing in catfish. Notice his/her little legs are filling in, the wee tail and the cute little bottom has some fat on it, too. Things turned around once Diane started bringing in her big catfish – and once she knew that Three was going to survive.

Tiny Tot survived by being clever, being patient, watching at every detail, and assessing the situation before acting. We can all learn a lot from this beautiful survivor.

There is another little bird struggling to survive on another nest. It is hard to imagine how the two Bobs on the Cowlitz nest in Longview, Washington will fare. I think that Electra is going to have to forget about who does what on the nest and go out and fish. She has proven that she is an excellent fisher – just like Diane. The chicks at Cowlitz are hungry. Electra is hungry. And today the more aggressive chick kept the other from having any fish at one of the meals.

It really reminded me of the position that Tiny Tot was in. There is the poor little thing cowering over at the rails. Even when the other had stopped eating, it would not allow the submissive chick to eat. The same behaviour as sibling #2 towards Tiny Tot.

There had to be another fish delivered later because when I checked again both had crops albeit the dominant chick’s was bigger. Indeed, more than twice the size of the other. But, I won’t complain. Both ate. I wish beyond wishing that Electra would go out and fish and turn this nest around.

Speaking of hungry, the Golden eaglet in the Bucovina, Czechoslovakia nest was so hungry. Yesterday, it ate a leg bone but bones do not provide hydration. Today, Lady Hawk posted a video of the eaglet eating the roe deer with its mother. I can only imagine how hungry both of them were. It is my understanding that there had only been 1 or 2 tiny birds brought to the nest in a five day period. It reminded me too much of Klints and Spilve. One of the things that the streaming cams teach us is that life is very challenging for our wildlife. In this instance also, humans need to learn to not interfere when there is an active nest.

Here is the video of Mom delivering the little deer to the nest:

And Lady Hawk just wrote to me and told me that Dad had brought a hooded crow for Mom to feed the little Golden eaglet. What fantastic news – both parents are well and hunting! Relief.

Speaking of relief. The little hawklet of Big Red and Arthur was taken into care this morning after K1 fledged at 8:27:31. There were no issues and K3 didn’t even notice. Well, I was certainly wrong on that. Was sure that K3 would fledge first! Here is the video of that smooth fledge of K1 – just like she had been flying all her life. She is 51 days old today. This is the latest fledge on this nest ever. Here is the video:

K2 has rhe best veterinary care a bird could ever hope to have! They will return her to the care of Big Red asap if that is possible.

Wow. The eaglet has food, the retrieval of K2 went well, K1 flew like a pro and so we wait for that cute little feisty one, K3 to leave the nest in Ithaca, New York. Thanks for joining me today. There is definitely some good news on the nests.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cowlicks PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, and to Lady Hawk aka Sharon Dunne for her video and her kindness.

K3 looking out to the big world:

Awww…..Thursday in Bird World looks like it will be a good day

Sometimes it just feels like it is going to be a good day the minute you click on a streaming cam to check on the birds and you see the little ones are being fed. That is what happened when I went to peek on the Cowlitz Osprey Nest. Wattsworth had brought in a fish. I did not stop to see how big it was because both chicks were up being fed by Electra. It is just all good. Of course, 3 more fish today or – how about 4? – would be magnificent.

Oh, and a fish had just been brought in by White YW to the Foulshaw Moss Nest- was I ever lucky. There is no rewind on their camera.

Just look at Tiny Little Bob’s face when White YW brings in that fish. You can almost hear him screaming, “Hurry up Dad before the big guys notice there is a fish!”

For the first time Tiny Little Bob’s eyes look great. I was so worried that Big Bob had damaged his eyes but just look at them popping out today – and that crop. Doin the happy dance.

Notice how Tiny got right up there in the sweet spot for the food. Oh, this little one is clever. I am also seeing that the big ones are not being aggressive towards Tiny Little Bob anymore. I don’t know what Blue 35 did but she did something to get those two big ones to stop tormenting Tiny Little Bob.

And look, Tiny Little Bob is getting some fat on his cute little bottom and his wings are filling out. This is all good news. Such a relief. I think he might be another one of those tiny little third hatches that goes on the list of survivors who turn out to do great things.

Wonder if they are going to band these three – surely they will. Must check!

And the other Tiny Tot is doing really well. It is always a good day when he turns up on the nest just to say ‘hi’. I suspect from looking at him that he has been fed off nest sometime this morning. He had quite the time with the intruders yesterday. Hopefully the nest will be quiet today.

The fledge watch on the Red tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus remains. Little K3 seems to like to live on the wild side going around and almost falling off the nest. Arthur made a quick chippie drop this morning and got out quick. It is a warm summer day but even as the three walk around on the grate no one seems quite ready to fly.

K3 really wins the award for cute hawk poses! Look at that adorable face.

The other good news is that K2 is eating well and seems to be looking better this morning. She could not close her beak yesterday and appeared to have issues around her eye. Warm wishes for getting everything sorted before fledge! Last year J2 fledged first. J1 was a big beautiful female. She actually fledged last – on the same day as J3 but after. I wonder if she was not as confident a flyer? or at least felt she wasn’t? It always bothers me that such an elegant bird broke her neck flying into Weill – a building on the Cornell Campus that should have window treatments so birds do not hit them! Seriously.

Idris caught another whopper today. The two Bobs on the Dyfi Nest and Telyn are full from the top of their crop to the tip of their talons!

These two are really looking nice and healthy. Awww Idris, you are amazing. You keep this up and in years to come you might get a wall with a perch, too, just like Monty, Telyn’s former mate.

You can watch all the action at the Dyfi Nest here:

One of the birds that we have not checked on lately are those parrots that do not fly, the Kakapo. I was reminded of this today when the post arrived and there was the adoption certificate for Rangi.

Many of the not for profits or various government agencies have adoption schemes to help fund the work they do. For example, the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre has certificates and photographs of Aran and Mrs G and their chicks last year if you adopt the family. The money goes directly towards what is needed at the centre. Everyone is a volunteer. There is no big board of directors getting funds. The volunteers are still helping to feed Aran and Mrs G in Wales.

As for Rangi, my adopted Kakapo. He is a bit of a character.

@ Kakapo Recovery Twitter Feed. 2019

He was transferred to Whenua Hou in 1987. The minute he was out and free Rangi went and hid. He was not located again until 2009. Twenty-one years they couldn’t find him! Thank goodness these flightless parrots live for about 90 years if they are not harmed by pests or disease.

Today, visits are made by researchers and conservation officers to change the batteries in the satellite GPS trackers of the birds. They are given health checks and moved off island if necessary to a wildlife clinic in Dunedin, New Zealand (normally).

The Kakapo are only found in New Zealand and they are critically endangered. These non-flying parrot like birds exist only on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou, Anchor Island and Te Hauturu-o-Toi/Little Barrier Island. There are only 204 Kakapo in the world. According to the Kakapo Recovery Information Page:

The history of kākāpō is a story of drama, despair and hope. Before humans arrived, kākāpō were abundant throughout New Zealand. Population numbers dropped swiftly due to hunting, introduced predators and land clearance. Conservation efforts began in 1894, but by the mid-1900s, kākāpō teetered on the edge of extinction.

The biggest threats are infertility, genetic inbreeding, pests and vermin such as Pacific Rats and cats, as well as diseases. Here is a great coloured document giving the history of the Kakapo, the threats, and the hope.

Each wildlife centre, streaming cam, and conservation group has different adoption and donation plans. One day I want to write about them in an effort to try and sort out the individuals who monetize the birds for their own personal gain and those that really do help to conserve and protect. It is like a minefield out there! That said, it is really beneficial to give to those organizations that run on donations such as the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre, Foulshaw Moss (Cumbria Wildlife, etc). You might want to begin thinking about a way to help the birds and also have a gift to give to your grandchildren – or yourself! I am in awe of all the fundraising that The Friends of Loch Arkaig FB group undertake. Their last big project was a drawing turned into a print. The gorgeous detailed drawing was donated by Laura Grady – quite a talent. She did a great job capturing Louis and Aila.

So there are small groups working hard to help the various birds and their nests. Foulshaw Moss estimates that it costs 11,000 GBP to run their streaming cams. They also depend on donations.

But before you donate please do some checking. If you are wanting to help a bird that has been injured with the vet bills, for example – check and make sure that the vets are not donating their own time and expertise to the project or check to make sure that you are donating to the right agency. Send them an e-mail and ask! I am aware that a number of people wanted to help with the vet bills of a particular bird and donated to the streaming cam by accident a couple of years ago. It can happen so please check. Many groups also issue tax receipts so ask about that also!

Tomorrow is World Albatross Day!

Thank you for joining me today. I hope the weather is nice where ever you are and you can see some of your local birds or at least hear them. Take care. Stay safe.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen captures: Cowlitz PUD, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and the Dyfi Osprey Project.

The Tale of the Cowlitz Fish

Some very intriguing events happened on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest the afternoon of 12 June. I mentioned some of these in an earlier posting today. As I continued to watch the behaviour of the birds on the Osprey nest, it seemed that everything needed to be placed in some kind of order – however chaotic that might be. The Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest has two cameras with sound. There is a re-wind feature but, for the life of me I cannot see a clock! Because of that I can only infer that this story begins on or around 14:30.

Electra and Wattsworth are the two adult Ospreys. There were three hatches in 2021. The first on 27 May, second on 29 May, and the third on 30 May. The third chick did not survive. Shortly after hatch it somehow got stuck to Electra’s wing and was tossed from the nest and died.

This is an image of the two surviving chicks being fed on 2 June:

This is an image of the two chicks being fed on 8 June:

Today, Big Bob is 16 days old and Little Bob is 14 days old.

Here they are looking out over the rim of the nest. The oldest will actually go down into the twigs.

When the fish arrived on the nest, one of the Bobs was on the top far left of the nest at the very edge. The other Bob was on the nest but watching the one in the twigs.

In the image below, the chicks have started moving towards the nest bowl when they see the fish arriving.The chicks begin to make their way to the nest bowl. Please note how thin the chick closest to the fish appears.

Shortly after Electra brings the fish to the nest, Wattsworth arrives. He is beginning to really annoy me. He reminds me of Louis at the Hellgate Osprey Nest with Iris. Louis is always coming to the nest to try and steal the fish Iris catches for herself.

In the confusion, the chicks go to the centre of the nest where they begin fighting. It is straight forward food competition. While the chicks are fighting and not demanding food, Electra is eating. Wattsworth is on the other side of the nest wanting to take the fish. Does he seriously care so little for his family?

It has been roughly 36 hours since the chicks had any food. They went to bed food begging last night. Their heads are very big. Their bodies have become very thin. I actually worried that they were shrinking before our eyes. At their age they would be moving into the Reptilian Phase but it seems that their thinness could be attributed to being under nourished.

Electra ignores Wattsworth and feeds both of the chicks. Electra has eaten the head off the fish before bringing it to the nest. She has also been eating while the chicks were fighting. She will now turn all her attention to her babies.

It is good to remember at this point that the chicks have not had regular meals and have not had a feeding all of Friday. They may eat and feel full and stop which is precisely what they did. If you look at the image above and the one below you can see how the crop is filled.

Now this is where it gets interesting. Electra thinks she is finished with feeding her chicks. But…

No. They would have let the food into their stomachs and the chicks begin to cry for food again and walk over to the fish. Electra feeds them again.

Meanwhile, Wattsworth is getting impatient. He would like some of Electra’s fish!

Electra continues to feed the chicks til they are full. Wattsworth seizes the moment and moves in to take the fish.

Wattsworth moves the fish off the nest.

Electra broods her babies while they have little fish dreams.

A few hours later, Wattsworth returns with what remains of the fish. He had a nice feed off that big mid-section but it is very good that he returned the fish so Electra and the babies could eat again.

The second that fish hits the nest the two chicks are ready for another feeding! Electra begins to feed them. One of the chicks gets full and goes back to the centre of the nest to sleep.

Then they are both full and sleepy.

Wattsworth would like the rest of the fish but Electra decides she is going to keep her talons on it and not let him take it away. This was a real stand off. Did the Bobs sense that the fish was going to leave the nest again? Something prompted them to move up between the two adults. The entire time they are food begging. The crop is smaller. They have allowed it to drop to fill up their stomach and get their digestive system working again.

Electra feeds them. The chicks get full again.

They go to sleep. Electra still has her talons on that fish. It is not going anywhere!

The fish scuffle wakes the chicks up again!

There is a tug of war with the fish between Wattsworth and Electra. During this time the chicks are food begging really loud. I wish I could get that sound on this page.

Electra won!

For a bit it looks like Wattsworth is going to leave but no, he wants that fish and gets into a fish fight with Electra.

Electra held her ground for a long time. Was she waiting to see if the babies wanted some more food or was she hoping to hold on to that fish for later.

Eventually Wattsworth takes the fish. Electra broods her sleepy chicks and then it begins to rain. They are all full. Electra will keep them warm and dry as the rain falls.

It was a real miracle that Electra went out today and brought in such a big fish so that her and her babies could eat their fill. At the same time I could not help but be more than annoyed with Wattsworth. He is not injured so there is no reason that he should not be fulfilling his role as provider and security for his family.

At the same time, while watching this nest so closely today, I could not help but look at the disarray of the sides. I am truly hoping that this is the camera angle and the walls of this nest are much higher than they appear. At the beginning when the one chick was well off the floor of the nest proper and into the twigs it looked like it could easily fall off.

My heart really goes out to this mother and her two chicks. I hope that Electra will take the initiative tomorrow and go out and fish if Wattsworth does not have fish for them early in the morning. As I sit here I think of all those Ospreys nests in the UK where you know that Blue 33, Laddie, Idris, and Dylan are going to be right there – responsible – with fish in hand as dawn breaks.

Thank you for joining me as I recount the fish battle on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey nest on 12 June. You are probably shaking your head as much as I am at the behaviour of Wattsworth – and sometimes Electra. She has allowed Wattsworth to take fish off the nest when her babies were starving and crying for food. Hopefully she will stand her ground and will go out and fish again if it is needed. The proper growth of the chicks feathers and their internal organs depend on the hydration of the fish. Researchers can actually look at the feathers of food deprived birds and show you when those events took place. —— Well, take care everyone. We can all go to sleep feeling good for Electra and her babies. One day at a time.

Thank you to the Cowlitz PUD for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Tuesday Nest Hopping

Well, dear Tiny Tot did return to the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest this morning. Made me feel all joyful! He was on the perch and a bird buzzed him at 12:09:58. A full seconds later Tiny Tot leaves the perch. Was he in hot pursuit? Or was he just fed up being annoyed? The adult intruder had been on the nest earlier, too, when Tiny Tot was not there but it seems to be the Mockingbird that was a nuisance. Small birds love to annoy Big Birds. And how much longer will Tiny come to the nest? I wonder.

That adult intruder comes in every so often just to check things out. When Tiny arrives, it leaves! Tiny has made an impression – don’t mess with Tiny! Good.

Here comes Tiny heading for the perch at 11:07:27! You don’t see the adult Osprey – it took off the minute it saw Tiny arriving. Jack really does need to agree on a hefty amount of fish for this little one for securing the family nest all the time. :)))))

Oh, it is so nice to see you, Tiny Tot.

Tiny Tot is on the perch. If you look to the right and slightly up you will see the nuisance bird flying away from the nest.

Tiny flew off at 12:10:28 to the left.

Across the continent, Rosie is on the Whirley Crane nest in Richmond, California, with the trio. The chicks were banded on 4 June.

Isn’t that just a gorgeous location for a nest? Richmond is a great provider. This is their fifth season as parents. Rosie will stay around til the trio are well and truly fledged and independent then she will migrate. Richmond does not leave the area in the winter so he will be there helping the fledglings if necessary until they leave the territory.

Those white storks in Mlady Buky are really growing. Just miss a day and they look all grown up! And look how clean and dry they are. This is one of the best feel good stories of this year – it really is. I would love to wake up every morning and be surrounded by people who care about all living things.

Look carefully. You can see the throat pouch in the image below. Remember storks make a lot of sounds but they do not have vocal chords like songbirds. Instead, they clatter their bill together very, very fast and the noise resonates in this throat pouch making it much louder – like an amplifier.

Looking at how quickly these three are growing made me realize that I also need to check on Karl II and Kaia’s three storklings. They are the Black Storks in a nest in Southern Estonia.

Here is Kaia looking down at the three of them. Oh, I am so hoping that enough food arrives on this nest so that the little third hatch will survive. Kaia is a new mother and Karl II’s old mate, Kita, laid 5-7 eggs and they could not feed them all. Kita was known for tossing one or two of the small ones off the side of the nest. It is understandable when there is a food shortage but it looks like Karl II might have this under control and if Kaia only lays three eggs then they might fledge all their storklings without hardship.

Karl II and Kaia take turns feeding and watching the storklings. That is Kaia above. She has no bands on her legs – makes her easy to recognize. Those long legs help her wade through the long grasses and water in search of food.

Here comes Karl II. See his band. Kaia moves off the nest for her break to eat and forage for food for the storklings. So everything is just fine on this nest also. So far the day has been good for the birds I have checked on.

Taking turns.

In Wales, the camera operator gave everyone a good tour of the landscape that is the territory around the nest of Aran and Mrs G. For those of you unfamiliar, Mrs G is the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom. She is 21. Her and Aran lost all three of their 2021 hatches due to Aran being injured while protecting the nest. He lost some primary feathers and could not fish. The community provided a fish table. Everyone ate but the wee ones not having food for 48 hours meant they could not be saved. Aran and Mrs G are getting their strength back and Aran is now flying much better. They are a strong established couple and will return next year from their African migration to try again.

Isn’t this just the most idyllic setting? There is a beautiful pond, an old stone fence along with cows and sheep. You can almost ‘hear’ the landscape!

All the rain made the Welsh countryside emerald green.

Now look carefully. Can you spot the Osprey?

Gorgeous landscape around the Glaslyn Osprey Nest.

The Two Bobs at the Rutland Manton Nest look almost as big as Maya and Blue 33 (11). Looks like it is time for some fish!

Blue 33 brings in a nice fish for Maya and the lads.

Now this image is really making me happy. The other day Idris got one of those mesh bags that holds produce – like oranges – caught on either his talons or a fish. It got into the nest with Telyn and the two Bobs. Thankfully no one was injured. The staff were watching it closely and if necessary, they would remove it. Otherwise they were going to wait to remove the mesh when the Bobs are banded at the end of the month.

Here is an image of the Two Bobs and the mesh the other day. You can imagine how worrying this was for everyone. You can also see the flat crops of each of the osplets, the down off their heads and the feathers growing in, and their deep amber eyes. They are in the reptile phase and for some, this is not so attractive as when they have either their natal down or their juvenile feathers. They really do remind us that Ospreys were around 50 million years ago – and as my son tells me – scientists only figured out that dinosaurs had feathers a few years ago so are they birds? or dinosaurs?

Another way that humans endanger wildlife is not disposing properly of our rubbish.

And this is today. Oh, what a relief. I hope someone finds that mesh and disposes of it properly.

Mesh is gone fron the Dyfi nest! Yeah.

Wattsworth has brought in a really nice fish to Electra on the Cowlicks PUD Osprey Nest in Washington State. I sure hope she takes the time to feed each oproperly. There was an awful lot of aggression on this nest yesterday and I am going to put it flatly on Electra for the lack of feeding when she had fish in hand on Sunday.

Wattsworth delivers a big fish – now feed your babies til they are bursting Electra!

And speaking of little bobs – oh, my. The third hatch at Foulshaw Moss of White YW and Blue 35 is really a wee lad. Everything is fine as long as food is not around but there is also a lot of aggression and it seems that there needs to be more fish delivered. Come on White YW!

Bob Three is really so tiny. He is cuddled up with sibling 2 having a nap. Of course sibling 1 is so big that it wants all the food but – Bob 3 is still here with us today and that is a good day in my books.

Wee little hatch 2 at Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria.

The only child of Dylan and Seren is just in fish heaven. Growing up with no competition, s/he will need the parents to help it understand how to survive in the wild – the fight for the fish! I wonder if they will do that?? Certainly Bald Eagles train their only eaglets by pretending to be surrogate siblings. Samson did a wonderful job with Legacy on the Northeast Florida nest in Jacksonville.

All that chartreuse is moss. The first time I looked I thought it was another mesh bag. Is it just me or does this nest need some tidying?

And my last check in, the two Bobs up at Loch of the Lowes with Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Gosh. They are looking good, too.

It is so nice to stop in and find that everyone seems to be doing alright on a Tuesday. No telling what Wednesday will bring but for now, these birds are surviving.

I want to thank ‘S’ for writing to me and telling me that Tiny Tot had returned to the nest. It is much appreciated as are all your letters. Tomorrow I am going to explain something I learned today – the difference between the Migratory Birds Treaty of 1917-18 and the Wildlife Protection Acts of each individual province including my own.

Thank you for joining me. Smile. It is a great day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Mlady Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, LRWT and Rutland Water, Clywedog Osprey Project, Carnyx Wild, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Achieva Credit Union, Bwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD, and Golden Gate Audubon.

Sunday Evening Nest Hopping in Bird World

The three storks on the nest with their dad in Mlady Buky are doing so well. If you do not know, their mother was electrocuted and the people from the community are feeding the family three times a day so that they will survive. The dad has the same issues as a single mom. He cannot go and hunt for food and protect the nest. So everyone is helping him!

Aren’t they looking good. The community continues to supply straw, too, so the storklets do not get damp and cold.

The three storklets on the nest of Karl II and Kaia in Estonia are also doing really well. It looks like most of the chicks on the nest today are being well fed no matter where I look.

Kaia is preening her first ever babies.

And here the three are with Karl II their dad.

Jack flew in and delivered Tiny Tot a fish at 4:30:42. There were no intruders at the time. Tiny really enjoyed that fish. It was well earned after defending the nest in St Petersburg Florida twice today.

Laddie has been delivering fish and NC0 has two Bobs that are in their fast growing period. They are hungry all the time!

Laddie is a nice looking male Osprey. He seems to enjoy bringing in the fish but I have yet to see him feed them. Once the little ones thought he was going to when NC0 took a break but Laddie was a bit nervous and waited for his mate to return to do the honours.

NC0 has learned to make sure that both Bobs get full – not just the Big one. So proud of her.

Big Bob is full and it is time for little Bob to fill that crop of his.

NC0 will not eat until her two Bobs are full.

At the Cornell Red Tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur, K1 is getting really good at self-feeding. My goodness they catch on fast. It was just a couple of days ago that K1 was pecking. Now she knows how to hold down the prey and eat.

Big Red left that chippie there on purpose. She knows precisely when they should start feeding themselves!

Is it really two weeks to fledge? There will be some hints from Big Red as to when fledge will start as well as some changes in the plumage of the Ks. First they need at last 5 dark lines in their tails before they are long enough to fly. If there are 6 it is even better!

Look at the tail in the image below. What many dark lines do you see on a single feather? If you said 2 dark lines you are correct.

Also Big Red will stop sleeping on the nest with the Ks as fledge approaches. Often the prey delivery dwindles, too, as Big Red and Arthur try to lure the Ks to the top of the Rice Building across the street for prey drops. If the weather is going to be bad, Big Red will fill the Ks up on the nest – she did this last year – to try and delay fledging until the weather was clear. Having a first flight in pouring down rain is not very smart!!!!!!! Big Red is amazing.

Idris and Telyn are also keeping their two Bobs full, just like Laddie and NC0. On 4 June a mesh bag made its way to the nest. The staff are monitoring the situation closely as it could have dire implications. If all is well it will be removed when the two Bobs are banded. If there is an emergency, it will be dealt with prior to banding.

Just like NC0, Telyn does not eat – unless it is to take the head off the fish – until the Two Bobs are fed.

It is a beautiful sunset at the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest in Cumbria. Dylan has been busy brining in trout today and I think this is the second or third one for little Bob who is fast becoming Big Bob! He has had a full crop all day.

Seren is really beautiful in the sunset.

Other quick notes: The three osplets of Richmond and Rosie at the Golden Gate Nest on the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards were banded yesterday. They were weighed and measured and it was determined that they are all males. Gosh. Just down the road Annie and Grinnell had three male peregrine falcons this year. Is it a year of all males on nests? That could present some problems in future years as it is the males that return to their natal nest area to raise their families. The Pittsburg Hayes eaglets are branching and hopping. It won’t be long til they will want to fly. The two osplets on The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island (the Savannah Ospreys) are getting some air under their wings, too. It always scares me when they begin to hover and we are at that point. I did check on the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest. Electra drives me crazy. Those babies need to be fed until their crops are fuller. She will eat the head off the fish, cover the little ones, and let Wattington take the fish away. Don’t get me wrong. She has fed them but often she eats the head and then broods the Bobs without feeding. I am always wondering what is up with Electra.

Thanks for joining me today. I hope that you had a nice weekend wherever you are.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Mlade Buky Stork Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and Red Tail Hawks, Achieva Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Carnyx Wild, and the Dyfi Osprey Project.