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.

Wednesday up and downs in Bird World

Wednesday started off with the sudden death of EE2 at the White-tail Eagle Nest in Estonia. The little one was up, bright and cheery at 4:04 and then gone. There has been a lot of speculation. A heat wave went through the area with temperatures doing from 1 to 26 degrees C in a day. Those dramatic changes can put stress on wildlife. Eve and Eerik had plenty of food and the eaglets were, as far as I could tell, growing and filling up the egg cup. Yes, there could have been a toxin and for sure, everyone has been watching EE1 closely. It could also have been a tragic accident of some sort. We won’t know because the body of the little one will not be taken – so I am going to stop speculating myself and hope that EE1 thrives and fledges. EE1 was fed five times between 13:22 and 19:14 and appears healthy.

The three eyases of Annie And Grinnell were banded today. The chick on the left has been banded. The one whose wings are back and looks totally frightened is just getting ready to be banded. It looks a little frightened.

The eyases receive two bands. One is metal and has a 9 digit aluminum band. There is a second coloured band with four digits that is unique to Peregrine Falcons in the SF Bay region. No gloves are used in the banding process so that the banders can handle the birds safely. Banding helps with studies in survival and movement. It does not hurt the birds.

The three are all males.

The banding was an on line event with two people from the centre answering questions as they discussed the process. You can see the whole procedure here and listen to the questions being answered:

Can you tell which of the two ospreys on the nest is Tiny Tot?

Oh, my, that bird has grown! Someone looking over my shoulder said, ‘The one with the beard!’ Well, if those feathers were smoothed down, it sure would be hard to pick Tiny out because Tiny isn’t Tiny anymore. Tiny Tot needs to grow some more feathers for flight. Look at sibling #2 at the back. See the length of the wing tip feathers? And the next layer? It would be really good if Tiny got all that feather growth before setting out on its own. Hopefully Tiny will hang around the nest, as #2 has done, to get some more flight training and to let the parents, Jack and Diane, feed it.

Sibling #2 is on the perch post eating a fish and Tiny Tot has just acquired the 3:47 pm fish delivery. No doubt s/he is going to be really full! Look at the size of that fish!

Big Red and Arthur’s little ones are doing fine. K3 really is a corker. Poor thing. I watched it yesterday when it got behind siblings 1 and 2 and wasn’t getting any bites. Oh, that little one – not scared at all – pecked at that big sib. I was rolling with laughter. It was like a comedy routine. Early this morning, for the first feeding, K3 was up front. It takes a few days to figure out the strategy but those little ones have spunk and drive. No one needs to worry about getting fed on Big Red’s nest!

This nest has a lot of different food items for the Ks. Believe it or not, at this age, they are already imprinting those birds and mammals so that when they are older, they will know that it is OK to eat them. The eyases have to pack a lot of knowledge into a few short months.

Big Red goes off for a break. It is a nice warm day. Arthur delivers a grey squirrel and then returns with a Starling! Everything is fine on the nest of the Ks.

I did a quick check on the little osplets on the Savannah nest. They had nice crops – both of them – around 13:30 – left over from the earlier feeding.

The second sibling is getting a nice feed from mom. That is nice to see. There remains some rivalry that can be unpleasant at times.

The image below was taken yesterday, 11 May. It is Iris and for those of you who do not know, Iris got her name from the specks in her right eye. You can see them clearly below. So, even without any band, everyone knows that this is Iris!

Iris did not incubate the eggs in the nest last night nor did she spend the night on the perch. In fact, she left her nest in good time to go and get herself a good fish dinner and did not return until this morning.

Iris had a nice fish breakfast before heading over to the nest nearby.

Iris returned to the nest at 6:42. She had been away at least twelve hours. Iris is taking care of herself.

As the graduate student at the UC Falcon Cam said today when asked if Annie and Grinnell would remember the banding every year. He said, “Birds have memories.” There is no doubt in my mind that Iris is chained to her hormones during the breeding season. She migrates to Montana and begins working on her nest. She lays eggs regardless or not of mating. She has some urge to incubate them BUT no doubt, over the past four or five years she remembers what has happened. Perhaps she remembers and isn’t caring so much this year? I cannot answer that. Perhaps she knows that both of those eggs are not fertile. ——- I just want to continue to enjoy seeing her. She is an amazing Osprey.

Legacy at the NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam in Jacksonville was waiting for a food drop this morning.

Isn’t ‘he’ gorgeous? He, you ask. The reasoning is in part because of the ‘flat’ head but more important the mandible – the yellow portion of the beak/mouth does not extend to 90% of the back of the eye. I hope that makes sense. Instead, the bright yellow area below stops almost level with the front of the eye. Take your finger to see – and then notice how much longer it would be if it extended to the back of the eye. Are you a boy, Legacy? Of course, there is never 100% certainty unless a DNA test is taken or you see Legacy lay an egg but, it is a good indicator.

Samson came in with a fish delivery at 2:11:32 and he got out of Legacy’s way fast!

Wow. By 2:31 – twenty minutes later – there is hardly anything left of that fish! Good work, Legacy. You are a pro at self-feeding.

I want to close with a look at a power couple in the Osprey world: Maya and Blue 33 (11). Blue 33 (11) has brought a fish to Maya so she can feed the two Bobs.

There was mention about Blue 33 (11) and this nest at Mantou Bay at Rutland. Tiger Mozone said something very ensightful: “Blue 33 (11) not only wanted the nest but Maya, too.” Right on. As Tiger pointed out, Maya had first been paired with 32 (05) who was shot. Then she was with 5R (04) but he didn’t return in 2014. In 2014, Maya paired with 28 (10) who Tiger calls Wonky Wing – Blue 33 (11) made short shift of him evicting him from the nest. Maya and Blue 33 (11) did not breed that year but they started in 2015 and have since had twenty-one chicks!!!!!!!! Blue 33 (11) knew a good female as well as a good nest.

Look at those healthy Bobs. I cannot think of a better way to end the day than seeing these two strong future ospreys.

Thank you for joining me today. It is nice to have you here with me.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: LRWT, NEFlorida Eagle cam and the AEF, Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab, Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, UC Falcons, and the Eagle Club of Estonia.

As the Nest Turns is spinning faster!

Big Red left the Fernow Lightbox Nest with the 2Ks at 14:10:46. She returned at 14:24:14. The temperature in Ithaca was 25 degrees C and the 2 Ks were fine. They got some much needed warmth from the sun.

Oh, gosh, aren’t they the cutest with those tiny little wings and fat little bottoms!

Oh, look at K1 looking up to its Mom. How sweet. And look what Big Red has in her talons!!!!! Looks like rabbit is in the pot for dinner.

Often Arthur will hunt – his job is provide the food for the family, security for the territory, and support for Big Red – and leave prey at a drop off for Big Red to pick up and take to the nest. Sometimes Big Red hunts herself. We will never know who caught the bunny but there it is – it will become hawk. I sound like a broken record but these kids will never be short of food – never. And if they are there will have had to have been a major catastrophe in the area.

The vandalism at the Llyn Brenig Osprey nest caught the attention of one of the BBC morning programmes. On Saturday night the platform was approached by boat and cut down with a chainsaw. A tragedy. On that nest was the female and her egg. Alternative arrangements have been made for the Ospreys which Wales Water hopes they will take advantage of – one is a new platform close by and another is a replacement platform where their original one was.

Here is that broadcast:

As gleeful as I am to see Big Red and her very trusted mate, Arthur, enjoying their beautiful babies, I am equally joyful to see ‘no’ eggs on the nest of Iris at the Hellgate Osprey Nest. Her mate, Louis, has two nests. Historically he has not been the best provider for Iris, the oldest breeding Osprey in the world. There has been nothing short of heart ache for Iris since her mate, Stanley, died. I am glad there are no eggs. Iris will not take another mate because she is bonded to this nest in Louis’s territory. Another male will not come and take over unless he takes out Louis – and then what about Starr and her osplets? It is very complicated. Raising chicks takes a toll on both of the parents.

Over in the United Kingdom, Maya and Blue 33 (11) woke up to a soggy morning. Blue 33 (11) loves sleeping and cuddling next to his mate. Their devotion to one another is refreshing when I think about what Iris’s life could be and isn’t.

As the day progressed, the sun came up and Maya dried out. It is day 35 for that first egg that Maya laid. You might remember that her and Blue 33 (11) were the first couple to return from their winter migration to Africa on 19 March. The normal incubation period for Ospreys is 35-42 days. We are now on hatch watch for this lovely couple!

If you would like to catch out the action, here is the link to their camera at Rutland Mantou:

I often get frustrated with prey delivery to the nests. The birds cannot, of course, go to a store and buy a bunny or a fish. They have to hunt and fish for their food. It was a lot easier for the birds to do this before we took over their land or killed it with pesticides and herbicides. Boating and fishing leave their mark on the health and well-being of the birds as well.

Here is a video of Richmond, the mate of Rosie, at the San Francisco Osprey Nest on the Whirley Crane. It is a 6 minute clip of him going out to fish. Richmond is a bit like Arthur – he is an incredible provider.

If you would rather not look at the video, I can show you that Richmond was successful but it was the legion of trips that he had to do across the water that is so impressive.

It is evening in the United Kingdom and any snow that was on the Welsh Osprey nests yesterday is now gone.

Mrs G is on her nest at Glaslyn as the sun is setting and all is fine.

Telyn is on her nest and all is well. She apparently called out to a train when it went by! No hatch alerts for either of these two nests. More than a week to go at either one (or a little more).

And the last for today, the White Tail Eagle nest in Estonia of Eve and Eerik. Eerik is another great dad – he is working on keeping the pantry full enough. Those two little ones are really growing. Everything is positively fine on this nest. The little ones sit up and eat and there is no mischief!

Thank you so much for joining me. I will see you tomorrow. Have a great evening! It is a wonderful day to work in the garden. I noticed there is now green on the rose bushes and the peony shoots are about 10 cm high. Stay safe everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Eagle Club of Estonia, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, LRWT Osprey Project with Rutland Water and Rutland Wildlife Trust and, Bay Ospreys by Golden Gate Audubon.