Late Friday and early Saturday in Bird World

3 June 2022

If you have been watching the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest you might be wondering why so much fish are coming to the nest today. When I was learning about hawks, the female stuffed the kids all one afternoon. At the time I could not figure out why. I was told by a respected falconer, Laura Culley, that the raptors will feed their chicks full to the brim and more to prevent them from flying when the weather is not good. They know that that the chicks do not have enough skill in their flying to deal with torrential rains and wind. Smart!

‘R’ confirmed that there will lots of rain coming to the area of the nest. Gainsville is just north of the northern most dark green band in the centre of Florida. The nest is not currently in the areas of higher winds. Thankfully. This can change.

Both Big and Middle slept on the nest tonight. Fantastic. If the rains start early, they will both stay on the nest as well. It is the safest place for them to be.

The Tropical Storm tracked more south! The nest did not get the heavy rain predicted.

Mum brought a nice chunk of fish to the nest Saturday morning. It looks like Big got it first. They are so civil these two! Then Middle had some and then Mum is feeding Big.

There is bad weather coming to the Black Stork nests in Estonia tomorrow. Janika left the chicks overnight in the nest in Jegdova County in the southern part of the country. The temperature is 8-10 degrees C – too cool for the chicks who really need to be brooded by their mother. They should be 22-25 C now til they get their other feathers. But Janika had to make a choice. She has no mate. Jan has now been missing for well over 50 hours. She needs to feed herself and her chicks. Does she leave them in the rain and cold tomorrow to hunt? or tonight when it is cooler but not raining? It is very, very challenging for these parents. They make the best decision that they can. She does not know that Urmas will bring fish.

It is 0300 and the birds in the forest are singing. The chicks are sleeping. Janika is not home yet.

The morning is coming to the forest. The chicks are waking up. They must be very, very cold. I hope that they all made it through the night. It is possible that Janika will abandon the nest. Black Storks are entirely different than White Storks. The White Storks in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic, did not mind the human intervention but Black Storks could be very different.

Saturday morning and Janika has returned and fed her storklets. There was also fish remaining on the nest from Urmas. All four ate. Janika has been aerating the nest and preening the chicks. It is not believed she has found the pond with the fish basket set up by Urmas which is less than 1 km from the nest. I hope she does!

Images of Janika aerating and preening.

This is the fish basket that Urmas has placed in the small pond of water with the decoy trying to lure Janika so she does not have to travel so far for food.

There is also a note in the Forum that Urmas may take the chicks to the Vet Clinic at the University of Life Sciences. They will be watching the nest closely. Fortunately the bad weather predicted did not happen but it was terribly cold for the little ones last night.

If you would like to follow this nest, here is the link.

There has been much sadness at the Latvian and Estonian nests. To my knowledge, Grafs and Grafiene did not return to their nest this year in Latvia. With the problems at the Jegova County nest of Jan and Janika, I hope that Karl II and Kaia have all their chicks to fledge this year.

Karl II was brooding the chicks last night and he often got up to aerate the nest.

Talk about intruders. A Raccoon climbed the whirley crane to get to Rosie and Richmond’s osprey nest with their three osplets!!!!!!!!! Why are these raccoons becoming such a menace to the nests? Ospreys do not eat mammals!!!!!!

There is really good news at the West End Bald Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Ahote who was the youngest and the eaglet that fledged has made it to the top of the rock near to the nest known as the Transmitter Rock. You can see him on the left and his siblings Kana’kini and Sky on the natal nest.

Thunder and Akecheta can lure him to the natal nest with food or deliver prey to him where he is. This is an amazing image and the camera that is providing it was just installed last year by Dr Sharpe.

Takoda at the National Arboretum Bald Eagle nest is enjoying a lovely fish. He began self feeding and then one of the adults (Mr President or Lotus) came in to feed him. Takoda has branched but not fledged (as far as I know). What a beautiful eaglet he is!

We are definitely on fledge watch for the three eaglets at the Pittsburgh-Hayes Bald Eagle nest! I wonder if they will all go at once! They are all ready and maybe rivalry will step in. That would just be incredible – as long as each of them makes it home for dinner.

It is fledge watch for Liberty and Guardian’s two eaglets at the Redding, California nest, too.

Dylan came with a nice fish at 20:36 for Seren and the three Bobs at the Llyn Clywedog nest – before the rain. He offered her a piece of fish on arrival and then she feed the kids. The Welsh call the smallest chick, the third hatch, ‘Bobby Bach’ – and Bobby Bach certainly holds his own in this nest. No worries!

What a cutie. Right up there and getting a crop – not afraid of the older siblings now decidedly in their reptile phase.

Everyone got to eat well before the rain set in and night fell. That storm is brewing too. Hopefully the winds will not be too bad. Hold on everyone.

Idris also came in with fish for Telyn and the chicks. He even took some time to feed one of them! The winds really began howling during the wee hours of Saturday morning on their Dyfi nest in Wales.

Aran caught a fish and brought it to Mrs G at the Glaslyn Osprey nest. It had already started raining there and everyone was a bit soggy. Bobby Bach got himself up to the front – thank goodness he is so tiny compared to the others – and had some fish before bed.

Louis and Dorcha are a pretty good team. I admit to falling in love with Aila – this was the first nest I watched so many years ago now. But, I like Dorcha. Louis is so special. I wonder if she knows how lucky she was to land on his nest last year? Today he brought in three whoppers. Dorcha is just feeding the chicks the last of the fish before the sun sets on Loch Arkaig.

Blue NC0 was busy with the wee three at the Loch of the Lowes as the sun was setting. These nests are so regular you can know something is right – or wrong – by the feedings and fish deliveries.

Orion, the chick of Martin and Rosa at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest fledged Friday. He returned for a nice fish dinner Friday night!

An adult brought in a fish to the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest at 08:15:48. One of the older siblings got it. It is unclear how much fish Little Bit 17 had or did not have. It did appear that Little Bit might have had a crop a little later. The issue, of course, is the camera position. We cannot see what happens on the porch.

There is a real nice write up about the little Peregrine Falcons, Grinnell Jr and Lindsay, today. They are soooooo big and healthy. Just look at those legs! and all those beautiful juvenile feathers coming underneath that white down.

For all my fellow duckling and gosling lovers, have a look at these lovely babies taking the leap from a nest box in Japan!

Thank you so very much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Have a wonderful Saturday! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages: NOAA, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Eagle Club of Estonia, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Explore.org and Institute for Wildlife Studies, NADC-AEF, Pix Cams, Friends of Redding Eagles, CarnyXWild, Dyfi Osprey Project, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Woodland Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig, Cal Falcons, Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagles, the People’s Post Code Lottery, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Thursday Afternoon in Bird World

2 June 2022

I am so impressed with the way that the raptors get great coverage by the radio, television, and daily newspapers. Spirit and her fledge have once again made the news! Why do I like this? Because the more people are aware and the more they appreciate the raptors the less likely they will be to harm them or their habitat. As each of us learns about their journeys and hardships we might change the way we do things to benefit their environment. We might make a donation to a wildlife rehabilitation clinic that has helped them. The possibilities are endless to do good things for the birds just like the joy they bring to our lives.

I admit to loving this image of the three – from left to right, Shadow, Little Spirit, and Jackie. What a beautiful family. Just so very happy for all of them – Spirit could not have had better parents and let us hope that she hangs around for a month honing those flying skills so we still get to see her!

Here is one article today:

https://www.vvdailypress.com/story/news/2022/06/01/spirit-big-bear-eaglet-flies-first-time-jackie-shadow/7475154001/?fbclid=IwAR3wJ1PcWT8t9ksw_4G6lHWHVJOu127Hl9iiUaTVDy8JHyt64mLCFIROT5o

Here is another that appeared on the FOBBV FB page:

‘R’ has been collecting images of Big at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest and they are amazing captures of the height that Big is achieving in her hovering. Thank you, R! I missed these and saw the hovering last evening. Big is so ready to fledge.

It is OK to go ‘Wow’.

These are from today. It continues to look as if Big is the one that is doing all the hovering. There is a bit more chocolate on her head. All that is needed is just the right wind!

Can you tell who is who? I never ever thought I would be in a position at this nest to wonder that!

What is wonderful is that there has been so much fish lately at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest that there are leftovers and tonight Mum even got to eat some by herself after feeding Middle.

Big is looking around and you can just feel her wanting to fly! Is Dad doing flying demonstrations above to try and get her interested? Maybe.

At 16:15 Little Bit 17 stole the fish tail form his big sibling 16 – the one that pulls out his feathers. Wow. Little Bit 17 is hungry and that was a nice piece of fish and the tail but the hunger has made Little Bit 17 brave today. He needs to eat. He spent much of his energy trying to get some food out of that road kill yesterday. Perhaps he expended more energy than what he got in terms of food. But, yes! Go Little Bit!

Little Bit moves in close to the right of 16 and grabs the fish tail. Remember he is the King of the Grab and Snatch.

Little Bit moves over to the side of the nest in a mantling position. He eats the fish by holding it down really tight and pulling up. Little Bit is getting faster! He knows that those big siblings could grab his precious food, too.

Protecting himself and eating fast.

Done. He goes around the nest after to see if there is any other food remnants. So far there has been a Blue Gill, a Small Mouth Bass, a Rye Bird and what looked to be a really bad piece of road kill. Perhaps a possum.

The nest needs much more food. But grateful for what comes. And it came in the form of Mum feeding – sit down – 16 and Little Bit 17 at the same time!!!!!! Seriously. She was mostly on the porch side of the nest but at 17:24:15 Little Bit has a nice crop and passes out in a food coma. It doesn’t get much better than that. Tears.

Sweet Eagle Dreams Little Bit 17. No one can say you are not brave – you are!

Dylan and Seren have plenty of fish up at Lyn Clywedog. Any early worries about the third osplet are all over. Each of the three chicks is doing extremely well.

Dylan is on the perch eating the head of the fish that he is going to take down to Seren and the kids.

One of the chicks is playing peek-a-boo.

They are all getting to be Reptiles!

It is evening at Poole Harbour. Fireworks are going off for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. (Don’t get me started on why fireworks are entirely unnecessary and harm wildlife and domestic pets). CJ7 doesn’t seem to be bothered but she does seem to be listening. Are we ready for the second hatch at Poole Harbour?

It is a bit drizzly up in Scotland at the Loch of the Lowes. Everyone is eating. The three are really growing. We can still tell Little Bob because he is a lovely light grey but he is growing and Blue NC0 has been super to make sure all are fed.

Big Red brought a big grey squirrel to the Ls for their dinner! Looks like a Thursday night feast.

Life looks pretty good on the nests. I will be watching the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest intently. Both birds are ready to go – but, I suspect it is Big with all the flapping and a nice gust will carry her off!!!!! Little Bit 17 is full and that is good.

Take care everyone. Thank you so much for being with me. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, ND-LEEF, Cornell RTH, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, CarnyXWild, and FOBBV.

Breakfast with Ervie, Middle, and Little 17

21 May 2022

I cannot think of a better way to start a Saturday than having breakfast with Ervie, Middle Bob, and Little 17! What a positive way to kick off the weekend.

‘A’ sent me a note that Ervie was on the nest at Port Lincoln. Thank you, ‘A’! I would have missed him! Much appreciated. How grand to have the time to rewind and see our special Osprey fledgling. ‘A’ said she hoped that Mum and Dad would not kick Ervie off too soon. I am hoping that they will allow him to stop by for a visit continually as long as it does not disturb the next breeding season for them. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

There was something very satisfying seeing Ervie on the barge. He arrived at 16:17 wet from catching his fish, shaking off the water droplets on arrival. In the footage below, look carefully. It is not a puffer! I cannot tell you what kind of fish it is but it is a nice size normal looking fish — which means that even with his tiny talon, Ervie can now catch a much bigger fish. He certainly looks healthy.

I was thinking the other evening that perhaps that tiny talon saved Ervie’s life. It is not clear to me what the first year survival rate is for Eastern Ospreys – ones that do not have to migrate like those at Port Lincoln. By staying in a familiar area and learning how to fish -starting with those puffers- Ervie appears to have a better than average chance at long term survival.

Here is a video clip of Ervie eating some of his precious fish while being bombarded by sea gulls.

Sometimes you just feel ‘lucky’ and I decided to check on Middle at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. Yesterday Middle had delighted in having an ever so tiny fish and Mum and Dad have been dropping off fish so that the two can get proficient in self-feeding for their life after fledging.

It is 09:02. Mum has a fish and she is eating some bites. Middle, despite having a bit of a crop, is anxious for some more fish and is tugging at the new delivery. Big is there but doesn’t seem bothered.

Middle is getting a lot of bites! I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Big is on the left facing the opposite direction and Middle is on the right. It is difficult to catch the action. Middle is very quick doing his snatch and grabs. Middle is definitely aware of Big’s presence. He would get a lot more fish if Mum would feed a little faster!

Big does turn around and get interested in the food. Notice how Big is watching Middle do his snatch and grab. She is not liking this and after a few minutes, she pecks at Middle and he moves over to the rim of the nest. Big eats for a few minutes and then moves away with Middle going in to eat the last of the fish.

It was a real positive morning so far and could it also be that something good was happening on the ND-LEEF nest? To my shock and to everyone else on the chat, the female actually fed Little 17 some food this morning. It was like she remembered that she had three chicks and not just two. Will 17 get more food today – let us all hope so!

There is, of course, so much happening in Bird World but for now — this is quite enough. Smiling.

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. Take care. See you later with a check on more of the nests in Bird World.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Ospreys, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and ND-LEEF.

Late Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

It is the end of what seemed like Saturday but it was only Friday. The snow did come to Manitoba but not to the City but the temperatures fell here. The Baltimore Orioles are all over our City to the delight of everyone who can lure one of those orange and black beauties into their garden. One man built a big segregated feeder with alternating jelly, orange halves, and watermelon. My friend Wicky lives on the NE coast of the US and she says her Orioles will not eat the oranges. They want the Quince buds on her tree! What I found interesting today about the garden was the lack of European Starlings and the return of the Grackles and the Dark-eyed Juncos. It was rather odd. I wonder if it was the snow in some of the rural areas that pushed them back into the urban sphere???

We relish the triumphs of the birds who we thought might not make it. Middle at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest is just one of those birds. After Little Bit was killed by Big, she set her sights on Middle. Things went smoothly then when fish deliveries were at a minimum the dominance returned. Mum and Dad are dropping off pieces of fish and small fish for the two on the nest. I happened to check on the pair this evening and there was Middle with his prize tiny fish! He was so happy and making such a racket (that bird really is loud – loud like Middle Little at Captiva) it is a wonder that Big did not try to take it away.

Middle has the little fish. It reminds me of a very small sun fish. He is mantling and protecting himself and his prize.

At one point Big looked like they were interested in what Middle had but then they went back to flapping their wings. Middle protected the fish for a few minutes before trying to figure out how to unzip it. The key would just have been to hork it – but Middle will learn that later!

Big is still watching but he is not making any attempt to interrupt Middle.

Middle turns his back to Big to finish the tiny morsel.

Sound asleep. It is very difficult to tell the two apart now. You have to look closely because Middle’s plumage is getting darker.

Sweet Osprey Dreams.

Big on the left and Middle on the right.

The first chick has hatched at the Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria. These are the parents of Tiny Little who fledged last year as one of the smallest third hatches I have ever seen.

Both Lady and Dad spent the night on the nest tree in the Sydney Olympic Forest waking up to sing their lovely duet. Will we have eggs within 2 weeks? Probably!

Staying with the Australian raptors for a moment, Diamond and Xavier have been bonding in the scrape on the grounds of Charles Sturt University in Orange.

It has been wonderful to see Ervie on the Port Lincoln barge. I checked a few minutes ago and he was not there but it does not mean he won’t be with one of his delicious puffers at some point during the day.

The Anacapa Peregrine chicks are no worse for ware after getting their bling from Dr Sharpe this morning. One girl and one boy. Dr Sharpe banded them on the edge of the cliff.

I mentioned that the five Manchester NH chicks were banded this morning. A picture posted on FB with the news shows them on a table in a room with an audience being banded. Quite the opposite experience from the chicks at Anacapa.

Picture credit goes to Linda Furlizz.

The pair at the University of California at Berkeley scrape gave their Dad, Alden, a tough time the other day. Someone said it was like Alden being a substitute teacher! I smiled. Today they gave Annie a bit of a time.

The trio at the Manton Bay nest have so much fish to eat they cannot help but grow. Dad brought in the breakfast fish and Maya immediately fed the chicks. Dad returned to take some leftovers for his breakfast but Maya convinced him to leave it and then she fed the chicks a second breakfast immediately. There was still some fish on the nest for later.

The wee babe at Loch of the Lowes looks up to its beautiful Mum Blue NC0. There was a pip in the second egg. Looking for a hatch when I wake up in the morning.

Richmond and Rosie’s two little ones are adorable. Rosie is so good at trying to get a flake of fish in a bobbing mouth!!!!!!!

That was so cute and it is a wonderful way to end this very short late report of happenings in Bird World. There should be a couple of fledges coming up and some more hatches at the Osprey nests. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Charles Sturt Falcon Cam, Orange, Australia Peregrine Falcons, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, LRWT, Cal Falcons, Explore.org, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and University of Florida-Gainesville Ospreys.

Early Friday in Bird World

20 May 2022

Oh, the torrential rain has finally stopped and the temperature is dropping. The Baltimore Orioles – who are arriving in droves and have arrived for the past week – are still with us eating jellies of all sorts and oranges by the dozen. What I have learned is that they will eat any kind of jelly including a lovely Danish Orange as well as the cranberry sauce jelly in a tin. They will also eat out of any type of dish! From tiny little sauce ones to cereal bowls. It doesn’t matter as long as it has jelly in it!!!!!!!!!! A neighbour told me they would eat applesauce as well. They certainly are beautiful birds but gosh they aggravate me. The males will bully the females from getting any jelly. I tried spacing the little bowls but, no. They are like all the Bigs – they see a whiff of a movement and they dart to make sure the smaller not so bright coloured female stays in the Lilac bushes! Can you hear me growling?

The Orioles will also eat anywhere. You do not need a fancy feeder for them although they sure make an impressive line including ones with a roof. I bought a small hanging one to test. The placement of the nails to hold the oranges is such that the birds have to duck under the large navel oranges to get to the jelly. I would not purchase one of these again despite Mr O’s approval. He finished off one orange half and then moved to the other side to finish off this half and finally most of the jelly.

Oh, look who finally got some jelly!

I was hesitant to check on the ND-LEEF nest this morning. 17 would have been without food for approximately 60 hours. The fishing had been bad because of the high muddy waters but also the Mum just seemed less inclined to feed the small eaglet. Seeing nests like this makes us all anxious and sad. To survive the third hatch – especially if they are small on a nest with two much larger siblings – really have to become super clever. They need enough energy to be tenacious when food does come on the nest ——– and sometimes they have to feed themselves when Mum won’t do it! This morning a miracle happened on the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. No, the mother didn’t go out of her way to feed the small one. That said a fish was left on the nest. The two older siblings did not bother but little 17, without food for at least 60 hours, self-fed the entire fish. Yes, he ate the entire fish and passed out in a food coma. This is the moment when the heartbreak turns into a glorious celebration!!!!!!!!

Little 17 moved around hoping that Mum might feed him but she did not.

A fish was left in the middle of the nest. One of the big siblings did peck at it but nothing more. Take a good look at the size of that fish.

19 minutes later. Little 17 pulled the fish to the other side of the nest and started eating. The siblings did not bother him. He ate and ate and ate some more. Fast.

That is all that is left of the fish – that little bit. Little 17 is sleeping on a huge beach ball crop. Smile. He has lived another day. While we would like for him to have food at every meal it does not appear that it is going to happen on this nest with this Mum. Will she change her ways if he grows big? We will see. But for now let us wish for large chunks of fish to be left on the nest with the other two having eaten. Little 17 can easily feed himself. He is a pro! This is what is going to keep him alive. So wish for fish – extra fish!

Why do I saw fish? Unless it is a catfish where the eaglet has to fight with that bony head, it is easier for this wee one to eat the fish than fight with fur, etc on a squirrel and, I would rather because of Avian Flu that the birds eat anything but birds!

Happy Eagle Dreams Little 17. You have the attributes of a survivor.

As we also know, the female at the UFloria-Gainesville nest favours the largest, Big. There is a fish on the nest. Big has intimidated Middle for a second but Middle is doing snatch and grab and Mum even fed him a couple of pieces. The level of intimidation and harm is so much less now that Middle is bigger. Hopefully Middle will persist and get a good portion of that fish!

Yesterday Dr Sharpe and team banded the two chicks at the Anacapa Peregrine nest on the cliffs in the Channel Islands. Dr Sharpe is so kind to move the backpack so everyone can see. Notice how gentle the person is holding the chick and how relaxed the chick seems to be. The other one appears frozen – . There is a boy and a girl in the scrape. Tremendous!

The five eyases at the Manchester NH Peregrine Falcon scrape are being banded today!

No one wants to show their bling and I have not seen any posting on the genders, etc. yet.

A nice lunch has arrived for the five after their ordeal!

Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 had their first hatch yesterday. There is now a pip in the second egg. How exciting. I hope that they all hatch one after another! Here is a short video clip of Blue NC0 feeding the first Bob.

Robert Fuller posted an update on the Kestrel chicks. For those that do not know, Mother Kestrel was in an altercation. She had six chicks in the nest. She returned once and then has not been seen. Robert Fuller removed 3 of the smallest chicks to feed leaving Father Kestrel the 3 largest. Father Kestrel learned to feed his babies. The plan was to return the 3 small ones to the nest box when they were strong enough and hope all would go well. It has! Father Kestrel has proven he is up to the task of caring for all 6 of his babies – and Fuller’s intervention meant that those 3 little ones get a second chance at life.

Here is the announcement on Robert Fuller’s FB page today:

Three perfect little osplets in a row! Blue 33 has been on and off the nest bringing food and enjoying a chance to feed the chicks. Maya takes every opportunity she can to get fish into them and look how they are changing. Can you identify the hatch order from the back of their heads, from the plumage development? Look close.

If you said – from left to right – 3, 1, and 2 you are correct. The oldest, in the middle, is losing the soft grey down and getting that oily head of the Reptilian period. So is osplet 2 but not as much. 3 still has its soft down.

The only eaglet on the nest at Dale Hollow is Middle or DH15.

At the National Arboretum nest of Mr President, Lotus, and DC9 hints are being given about ‘branching’.

Middle Little O has been on and off the Captiva Osprey nest this morning hoping that Dad Andy will deliver a fish to the platform! Oh, how nice it would be if Little Mini O flew up so we could see her.

There is no word yet when Dr Sharpe will be going to ring Two Harbours 1. It should be soon.

If you checked on the West End amigos and saw only 2, you are experiencing Highlights on one of the cameras. They are all still on the cliff nest!

Go to this streaming cam:

So many nests, not ever enough time! Today though it was enough to see Little Bob at the ND-LEEF fed itself to the point of crop explosion. Feeling joyful and relieved.

Thank you for joining me today. It is Victoria Long Weekend aka May Long Weekend in Canada and there are probably Bank Holidays in the UK and elsewhere. Have fun, stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Explore.org, ND-LEEF, DHEC, Captiva Ospreys, NADC-AEF, LRWT, Peregrine Network, Robert Fuller, Scottish Wildlife Trust, University of Florida at Gainesville Ospreys, Anacapa Peregrines and the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

Late Saturday in Bird World

14 May 2022

I get the most fantastic mail and have the most wonderful readers – you. Today, ‘EJ’ wrote to tell me about a nest that I might enjoy. I think you will love the heart warming story of this Kestrel family in North Yorkshire. Robert E Fuller has a number of web cams set up about his property. One of those is a Kestrel nest. This year the male and female had six chicks. Sadly, as EJ explains, the female got in a tussle with an owl. She returned to the nest only once after that. As you probably know, males are not so good at feeding chicks – that is normally the role of the female. What would happen to the six chicks? Robert Fuller took the three smallest to raise by hand. He left the three larger chicks in the nest. And guess what happened? Dad learned, after a little trial and error, how to feed his chicks!

This is a fantastic video. Look at the size of the chicks an see how the one horks own the snake. Incredible. I did not think they could do that at this age. Always learning something wonderful from the nests.

Dad is going to have to hunt during the day and stay with the chicks or nearby when the owls are out at night. They are still small and need protection. Send all your positive energy towards this great family. Oh, and the three small chicks are doing well. Google Robert Fuller on YouTube if you do not already subscribe.

Thank you, EJ. This is a really, really positive story – one that we need!

The UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys. ‘R’ sent me the dates for the three chicks today. Thank you so much! The eggs were laid on 27 Feb, 1 March, and 8 March. If I recall correctly that is the same difference between Solly and Tapps at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in 2021. That did not end well – both chicks died of starvation and siblicide actions. Sad. According to the news article below, Big hatched on 5 April at 16:45 with Middle hatching the following morning, 6 April, at 10:00. The article was published on 8 April and they were still waiting for Little Bit to hatch.

This now makes Big 39 days old and Middle would then be 8 days old. In reality, Big is only 17 hrs and 45 minutes older than Middle. Look at them – Big is a ‘big’ female and Middle has to be a male but – we will look at them again nearer fledge. Fledging for Western Ospreys normally occurs from 7-8 weeks or 49-56 days. We will have a way to go – but it will fly by quickly!

There is a great article on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest that I just located. It has 13 images. Have a look. It is fascinating reading and many images you would not have seen!

https://www.gainesville.com/story/news/local/2022/04/08/live-webcam-captures-newborn-osprey-in-nest-at-uf/9503896002/

Around 16:20 Mum brought a fish to the nest. In the image below, Big is behind Middle. She raises her head and walks towards him. Mum will begin feeding Big.

Middle gets its head down in a protective pose.

Mum begins feeding Big.

By the time four minutes is up, Middle is on the opposite side of Mum screaming for fish.

Mum feeds Middle. I was shocked but – she has been better with feeding Middle the past couple of days. Middle is like Middle Little at the Captiva Osprey Nest ——- he is ‘very’ loud.

When the feeding was over Middle had a really nice crop!

‘R’ sent me a lot of maps and information on the places where Mum and Dad fish. I hope to get that organized for all of you for tomorrow or Monday.

This is Alden. He spent some time with the eyases this afternoon. You might recall that Alden brought in a moth and tried to feed the chicks yesterday. Today he just went in with them. They see a parent and think ‘food’. Alden did some ‘fake feeding’ but I think he is going to get the idea just like the Father Kestrel.

Cal Falcons made a 2 minute video of Alden visiting the chicks. It is funny. Alden, I love you!

There is no pip yet – that I am aware while I am writing this – at the Osprey nest of Richmond and Rosie in San Francisco Bay.

Watching birds incubate nests is like waiting for the paint to dry.

Nancy and E1 Harriet were just enjoying a nice meal as the sun begins to lower itself at the MN-DNR nest.

All of the nestlings were anxiously awaiting fish at the multitude of feedings they had today at the Manton Bay platform of Blue 33 and Maya. Gosh they are soooooo cute. The baby is at the far end.

Chase and Cholyn have made sure that Two Harbours 1 (TH1) was full to the brim today. Wow. That almost looks painful.

There is news from Denton Homes today. You will recall that the three nestling Bald Eagles died very quickly from Avian Flu. Dad later died of Avian Flu also. Surprisingly Mum who consumed the infected chicks survived. Today, Mum was seen with a new potential male mate. I did not catch it – but, life goes on. Well done, Mum.

Five full sleepy falcons at the Manchester, NH Peregrine Falcon scrape. Gosh, these parents must be awfully busy — and so much for being able to see the chicks if they are at the other end of the box. Looks like the wee ones have been decorating the mirrors! All five are well fed. No worries.

Falcons can be very loud but, I don’t think quite so loud as ospreys. The four in the nest in the Polish forest had a great feed yesterday. Have a look at what it is like to feed four bigger falcons. Wow.

My apologies to everyone at Utica Peregrine Falcons. I think that I posted the wrong image for Astrid and Ares’s scrape with their two chicks.

The site of the camera links also as a great blog about all the daily activities with the chicks and their parents. Here is the link to the several cameras that cover this nest in Utica, New York:

That is a very quick check a few of the nests we have been watching. It has been a busy day – cloudy, grey skies, rain, then cloudy. It was bird count day and it has been busy in the garden. I am shocked at how many oranges and jars of grape jelly Baltimore Orioles can eat! Of course, they are so cute.

He seems not to have been able to decide how best to get at that orange slice.

It was all a lot of fun.

Thank you for being with us today. Take care. See you soon!

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, MN-DNR, LRWT Manton Bay, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Friends of Utica Falcons, Dolina Baryczy Falcons, Cal Falcons, Denton Homes Eagles, Robert Fuller, Peregrine Networks, and Explore.org.

Early Saturday in Bird World

13-14 May 2022

First up. By the time you open this blog, it will be Saturday the 14th of May – Global Big Day. Join in. Check out the link in the notice by Cornell and follow the directions. Join in everyone around the world counting birds!

At 18:55:06 Friday the 13th, a fish landed on the Osprey nest at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Typically, Mum would feed Big almost exclusively but today, something else happened. Middle got himself positioned perfectly and he was fed, almost non-stop, for 13 minutes until the fish was entirely gone. The Mum feeds fast and this time, instead of Big getting all the fish, Middle did. He seemed desperately hungry. Relief.

Middle’s position is perfect. Big tries to get under Mum and for some reason cannot seem to move forward to get up to the beak. That was a good thing as Middle just snatched and grabbed all of those bites encouraging Mum to feed faster and faster.

I kept capturing images but, in the end, they all look the same. Big on the right side of Mum (if you face the image) and Middle on the left getting fed.

It was really nice to see Middle get a good feeding. Earlier in the day but, typically, Mum feeds Big about 15 bites to every one for little. This is a great way to end Friday!

Blue 33 (11) kept good tabs on Maya and the three Bobs at the Manton Bay nest. There was another flippy fish that came in today but no chick was injured. Thank goodness. Each time I saw Blue there I thought how supportive it was if something happened again. He even got to feed the kids a couple of times. Super Dad!

The fish came in on a regular basis and sometimes Maya fed the kids more frequently than every two hours. Look at them all lined up so sweet.

There is something so cute about the Bobs at this stage. They can get a little aggressive when they enter the Reptilian phase. I wonder if it is in part that they are growing so fast and are so itchy with the feathers coming in??

Maya feeds each one until it is so full it passes out in a food coma. Blue 33 looks on at his trio. I love this family.

Next week we will be looking for a hatch at the Loch of the Lowes nest of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Last year the couple hatched three eggs with two chicks fledgling. Third Bob died within a couple of days. It was very tiny and weak and could not compete with a ‘Big’ sister.

Hatch watch will begin for Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi Nest in Wales on 23 May. That is 10 days away. Idris is incubating the eggs while Telyn enjoys her meal down on Monty’s perch.

It is just starting to get light at the Dyfi nest. The train is going by. Idris is on the nest again with Telyn on his perch having a break and a meal.

The surviving chick of Jack and Harriet’s at the Dahlgren Osprey platform on Machodoc Creek in King George, Virginia looks as if it will survive. The other two died this past week – probably multiple reasons such as lack of food and maybe cold and damp issues.

The triplets of Thunder and Akecheta are such striking eaglets. Here is a three minute short video of them – as we get closer and closer to fledge. Kana’kini, the only female of the three, has begun hovering. She will be 67 days old on the 14th.

One of the little eyases at the Cal Falcons scrape, is sleeping on the non-viable egg. It reminds me of those ‘medicine’ or exercise balls that people sometimes use for exercise or to sit on for their posture. Annie is such a sweet Mum brooding those fast growing chicks!

Every California Condor egg is precious. Many are not viable but when one begins to pip and hatch it is a time for hopeful joy. There is a Condor hatching right now. Here is a short clip of Cornell showing the pip. The egg tooth and beak are moving and the chick is alive! The nest is located in Tom’s Canyon which is part of the Hopper Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy.

It is past midnight and I am heading off to read and hopefully have ‘Sweet Osprey Dreams’. Thank you for joining me. Remember – join in and count the birds. Let’s find out where they are during spring migration! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, LRWT Manton Bay, Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Dahlgren Ospreys, and Cal Falcons.

Thursday in Bird World

12 May 2022

What a great day it has been- OK. I haven’t gotten to checking all the nests. There are way too many and I did get caught wondering what in the world is going on at the Hellgate Canyon Osprey nest of Iris. Then I had to check and see how the three chicks at the Manton Bay nest are doing. Was the one slapped by the fish still OK? The promised rain has not materialized as yet but the sunny sky is gradually turning grey again. It was a beautiful day to be outside. The grass is green and the leaves are beginning to pop out of the bud state. I can, of course, take the laptop outside but, you see, the garden birds start telling me that I am interrupting and in their space. You can hear them vocalizing a half block away. So trying to keep the neighbour’s friendly, I went for a walk and had a very sad chat with someone I have know for years from the Ukraine. She is passionate and optimistic. A lovely woman.

In the image below, Iris greets a male visitor.

They are actually a cute couple.

Iris is the oldest osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate Canyon by the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana. Iris had a wonderful mate named Stanley. Then Stanley died. Then Louis showed up. Now Iris is a cracker. She can out fish any of the male birds, she is beautiful, and she has an attitude. How she accepted Louis is beyond me. They had one chick survive and then Louis bonded with Star and they have their nest at the baseball park. Louis mates with Iris every year, she lays the eggs, and they get eaten by the Crows because she gets hungry. Louis has shocked everyone this year by bringing some fish to Iris. Did we have hope he would change his ways? Seriously, it takes a Blue 33 (11) or a Monty to handle two nests with two females and at least four or six chicks. Sorry, Louis, but I just don’t think you are up to it. Still, Louis has never let Iris have another mate because it is a ‘territory’ thing. So Iris does what Iris does, the eggs get eaten and she is free to have a leisurely summer. It is the same this year. But,…something seems to be happening. There is a male around. Iris let him land on the nest. Iris asked him to bring her fish. Strikingly Louis did not come and try to chase the male visitor away. In fact, I wonder if Louis would win that fight if it happened. The Montana Osprey Project video taped it. I had some stills but the video is better! BTW. The male’s name is not ‘Elvis’. If he were to stay around, Dr Erick Greene would give him a name.

Everything is just fantastic at the Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 and Maya. Blue has brought in two huge fish since the perch yesterday that was thrashing about. One of those monster fish today was another perch. The three nestlings have eaten well. Maya feeds them, on average, every 2 hours from the first light of the day til sometimes after dark. They are growing strong and there is no evidence now after about 36 or so hours that the wee one thumped by the fish has any lasting issues. At least not visible to the eye. All three are right up there, eyes open and beaks wide when it is dinner time.

Adorable. Everyone eats. All get full to the brim and they will sleep well. Enjoy the nestling cuteness. They change and grow so fast. I love their little wings and the soft down, the stripe through their eyes and down their back. Cute pies.

Every evening Blue 33 comes to check on the pantry to see what is needed for the morning and to say goodnight to Maya. Sometimes during the incubation period, he will sleep on the nest with her but not normally once the chicks hatch.

Every day I do check on Big Red and Arthur and it is astonishing how well those four little Red-tail Hawks are doing. They are now regularly all over the nest. Soon they will be jumping and flapping all over that metal grid ledge. They have done so well.

There is great raptor DNA running through the nests! Just look at the trio that Akecheta and Thunder parented. All I am going to do is say ‘Wow’.

Star (left) and Sentry (right) have dried off from all the rain that was pounding the Redding Bald Eagle nest of Liberty and Guardian yesterday. Gosh, we blinked. Do you remember waiting for them to hatch? and now look!

Sticking with California for a minute or ten, the trio of Osplets on the Venice Golf and Country Club platform have all done well despite early worries about the third hatch.

The Captiva Osprey nest had a 66% success rate this year. That is really good. Middle Little is still letting Andy deliver fish on the platform on the grounds of Lori Covert’s property. Middle Little is such a handsome bird.

So what about Little MiniO? Lori has been out kayaking and at the same time, keeping an eye on the birds. She has spotted the family together many times, the youngsters with parents Andy and Lena flying around the property and over to the island. The Windows for Wildlife chat has posted a link to an image that Lori took. Lori believes this is Little MiniO on her favourite tree. Stunning bird!

I don’t know if anyone reading this is interested in having their own Osprey and Bald eagle nests but Lori’s property at Captiva was for sale. It might have sold, I don’t know. But how grand. Sit and have dinner and watch the Ospreys!

Middle has a bit of a crop. I did not rewind to the beginning of the feeding but the positioning was good at 16:20, one chick on one side and one on the other, with Mum feeding Big a couple of bites to Middle’s one. I will take it! Middle is looking good. It is 26 degrees C, winds have dropped to 13 kph, and the barometric pressure is falling.

Nap time!

Mum has been spending more time on the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge as of late. It is wonderful to see her. It is hard to imagine but her and Dad will begin working on getting the nest back in order after their triplets Bazza, Falky, and Ervie had all those dust ups on it last season!

A nest known for siblicide fledged three. Was it just because they were all male? Let’s wait and see what this year brings. Mum needs to enjoy that fish. Soon she will be busy feeding a nest of little ones. For those of you following Ervie he is still hanging around Port Lincoln. Calypso appears to be with a male and we hope that she has her own nest this year. Mum and Dad can be grandparents!

I sometimes mention fundraising that groups are doing. The Port Lincoln Osprey Project takes care of the costs of the streaming cam, the barge, etc that many enjoy. They also raise awareness about the needs of the Ospreys in South Australia and lobby to get the hydro poles change, etc. They are now wanting to build more platforms for the growing population of Eastern Ospreys in South Australia. If you feel so inclined, you can join as a member or make a donation or do both or neither! [Please note: I post the information to support the groups. I do not make a penny on any memberships or donations.]

Here is the information that was posted on the Port Lincoln Osprey FB page today:

I want to close with something pretty special. It is a mid-air prey transfer between Alden and Annie. Quite amazing! These two are a great couple.

Thank you so much for joining me today. The one chick is still alive at Dahlgren Osprey Platform, all three are crackers at Manton Bay, the three at Venice are doing great, Middle had a crop – it couldn’t get much better than that. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey, Lori Covert, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, VGCCO, Friends of Redding Eagles, Explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Cal Falcons, LRWT Manton Bay, and Montana Osprey Project.

The Manton Bay Miracle!

11 May 2022

I am speechless in the best possible way.

Fingers crossed. Rutland made a short video of the feeding. Magnificent.

I am not sure that Maya is believing what she is seeing. I wonder if Blue 33 knows?

Gosh. Middle was getting some nice bites of fish at 13:28 at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest. Just grand. Big was getting more but fish is good. Any fish is good.

Earlier, there had been a fish. Around 11:28. The second fish, I believe, for the day. Big had spread her wings. They are big. She is a big girl! When Middle moved to even appear as if he was approaching the fish, she stood up, took a couple of steps towards him and he went into submission. Not good.

But then…Middle watches and listens making his way to the other side of Mum where he got some bites of that fish! And that is a good thing. Middle will survive as long as there is enough fish.

It took six minutes from the time of the intimidation but middle is eating. Lovely.

It is 28 degrees C but the humidity has dropped to 33% in Gainesville and the Barometric Pressure is dropping which should be good for fishing but the winds are at 16 kph. Let’s hope Dad is out taking advantage of any good fishing conditions in the heat.

Rosie and Richmond are having a beautiful day. Boats are going under the bridge and we will be on pip watch tomorrow.

It is a good day. It just can’t get better than what happened at Manton Bay. Let us continue to hope that wee one gets stronger and stronger. It was still exposed to the cold and wet for some six hours. Incredible.

Thank you for joining me. That is it for today. Middle has eaten and we continue to hope for the two wee ones at Manton. Take care.

Maya is exhausted.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: LRWT, SF Ospreys, and UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys.

Intruders, Confusion, Chaos, and fish at the UFlorida-Gainesvlle Osprey Nest!

3 May 2022

The trouble with intruders into established nesting territories is that they can cause a lot of grief and, as we have seen, they can cause part of a bonded nesting couple to die. We saw this with Grinnell at UCalifornia-Berkeley Falcons. We saw it at the Bald Eagle nest of Bella and Smitty when Bella was injured and feared dead when a female intruder attacked her. Bella returned. A week ago Harry disappeared at the Minnesota DNR Bald Eagle Nest. There have been intruders since last year on and off the Achieva Osprey nest. The list goes on and on. The success of restoring the Eagles, the Ospreys, and the hawks and falcons after DDT (DDE) destroyed their populations (along with egg collecting, feathers for hats, shootings, habitat destruction) has resulted in a growing population where there are challenges for the best territories and mates. At the same time, what you have witnessed here and at other nests is troublesome.

Intruders without nests and mates are now wrecking havoc at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. It is possible that this has been the issue for most of the nesting season when the male has not been able to bring adequate prey to the nest because of territorial surveillance and the removal of intruders. One chick lost and not enough food for three coming to the nest – Mum and two chicks.

The Mum left the nest at 15:25 on 2 May not returning until today. That same female intruder landed on the nest with the chicks this morning who, in their hunger, kept crying for her to feed them. She didn’t and she nipped at the Middle chick who was trying to get near to get a few bites. The chicks were confused. Dad flew in with a fish at 10:31, left, returned with a partial fish at 10:47, and was in a general state of anxiousness. Still the chicks cried for food.

In the image below Mum is on the nest. She returned with a full crop at 12:42. See the birds below the nest? That is Dad chasing away the female intruder.

Mum was attacked and now Dad is chasing off the intruder – this is a very good explanation for what has been happening on this nest. It is interesting to me, at least, that the causes of siblicide do not mention ‘intruders’.

I want to thank ‘A’ and ‘R’ who watched this nest while I was away.

‘A’ makes note of the intruder attacking the female at 12:57. ‘A’ also observed a fish, not a large one, being delivered at 14:43 where both of the chicks were fed.

From ‘R’s observations there appear to be issues with the intruder during this feeding. ‘R’ notes that “at 1501:10 you see two shadows very close together and Mum appears very nervous and stops feeding chicks and starts pulling the fish around the nest.   At 1508:35 she becomes agitated and appears ready to fly off the nest but settles down and starts feeding the chicks again.” Clearly the intruder is making the nesting birds nervous causing them to react and not focus on the chicks. ‘R’ notes that following a couple of aggressive behaviours, Middle manages to get the remainder of the fish. Well done, Middle! Most of the time it is to Big’s advantage.  Clearly another bird flying around as you can see the shadow pass the nest on multiple occasions.

Once Dad has dispensed with the female intruder, he returned with a large headless fish at 16:28. This is excellent and this is the way to get a nest back on track. Let us hope that the intruder has decided to go elsewhere.

There was a bit of a tussle between the two chicks once the fish had landed. I noted that each stood up to the other. Middle is hungry enough he might go on the attack.

I was surprised when Middle stood up big and bold that the two birds are not that much different in size. Clearly Big has the advantage of being energized by more food and is stronger.

Big exerts its dominance but this does not stop Middle from exerting its presence to get fed.

‘R’ noted that Mum moved the fish to the opposite side of the nest whiich was more advantageous to Middle. Once Mum got settled things began to get sorted with the feeding. In the end I would say that both chicks ate well.

It is 16:56 and both of the chicks are being fed in almost equal portions and there is still fish remaining. We can all sleep sound knowing that Middle had a really good feed late today!

Mum is still feeding at 17:01. How grand.

Each was offered a piece of fish tail at the end. Both osplets have crops. Nice.

I cannot think of a nicer way to end this blog. Despite all of the commotion and potential danger to this nest, in the end, Dad came through with a big enough fish for both of them to eat well. Sometimes we have to take the nests a day or an hour at a time. Today was a good day for Middle – and for Big.

Thank you so much, ‘A’ and ‘R’. You have each helped to fill in the gaps while I was away and to add substance to the angst that this intruder has caused. Much appreciated.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the UFlorida-Gainesvlle Osprey streaming cam where I took my screen captures.