A Hop, Skip, and a Jump through Ospreyland

Several people have written and asked about the third or last chick placed on the Patuxent River Park Osprey Nest 2. Many call that little one the ‘Silo Chick’ since it fell out of a silo and was fostered on this nest at the River til fledging. This little one seemed to have a short run, hopefully, of bad luck as it also fell out of the Patuxent nest as well and was rescued by Katherine Dami and her boyfriend. That little Osprey was so lucky! The flurry of activity around that rescue made me realize that every streaming cam needs to have an active 24/7 emergency number to the local wildlife rehabber or the person who would instigate emergency rescue at the nest. Ah, but back to the topic at hand. Silo chick fledged and has not been seen at the nest. Katherine, when asked, wrote to ‘S’ and said that they had not observed Silo Chick at the nest. Katherine did say that a large number of fledglings have gathered together and were honing their flying skills on another spot in the Patuxent River. So let us all hope that Silo Chick is there! If I hear anything more I will let you know. That nest looks very empty right now. Some fledglings like to be fed on the nest. A good example of that is LM1 and LM2 up at the Loch of the Lowes but maybe these three are being fed off camera.

So far there are only two eggs on the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest in Australia. I am quietly cheering that it remains only two. There are nests, such as that of Blue 33 and Maya at Manton Bay Rutland, that can feed and manage four chicks but, Mom and Dad at PLO will do better if there are only two. It could stop the rate of siblicide on this nest.

Tiny Little our ‘Big Girl’ at the Foulshaw Moss nest snagged herself a nice fish this morning from dad, White YW. After losing one to a bigger sibling last evening it is grand to see her eating away. Indeed, it is always nice to see Tiny Little!

Aran and Mrs G have been staying around the nest at Glaslyn. There was even sky dancing observed. The Ospreys want to seal their bond before migration. I am so happy to see the two of them around the nest. There was a time when Aran was injured and not flying much or fishing that I was concerned that Z2, Aeron, from the Pont Croesor Nest nearby or his siblings including Z1, Tegid, who has a nest in Snowdonia, might be eyeing the Glaslyn nest.

Mrs. G on the nest:

Aran up on his perch.

There has been a lot of discussion about when NC0 will leave the Loch of the Lowes Osprey nest in Scotland for her migration. She is still here and she is fishing – hauling in some nice ones for her two babies who prefer to eat on the nest. This was Sunday late afternoon.

The anticipation and seeing mom arriving with a fish:

NC0 lands it.

LM2 got the fish and ate really fast with older sibling hanging around.

Maya is also still at Rutland Manton Bay – there had also been questions about whether she was still around. Seen on nest with chick around 18:00 Sunday. Blue 33 had just brought in a fish for Blue 095.

The Friends of Loch Arkaig have just announced that the names of Louis and Dorcha’s two male chicks for 2021 on the alternative Loch Arkaig nest will be Aspen and Alder. The names are derived from the two popular trees in the area. They took 45.5% of the votes. Well done!

People have been wondering where Iris is. The cam operator spotted her early this morning, around 9am, on her favourite perching spot on Mt Sentinel. Iris is fine and is enjoying her summer. Worries, of course, continue for the Montana Ospreys as the Clark Fork River water levels are at all time lows. The trout are dying. The New York Times carried an article on this urgent matter. If you don’t have a subscription you might not be able to open the article and I apologize but do try. Just look at the level of the water in the image and the dead trout. So terrifying.

Speaking of Iris, I promised the Montana Osprey Project that I would mention their fundraiser – The Iris Pens – this weekend as a reminder to everyone. Dr Erick Greene has collected a few more twigs and sent them off to the workshop of Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles in South Carolina. The pens are $45 US and that includes postage.

This is Dr Greene with the box of Iris twigs.

This is Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles opening up the box of twigs they received from Dr Greene.

Richard begins by cutting the sticks in their workshop.

Pens get their beautiful shape on the lathe.

This is what the finished ‘Iris Pens’ look like – the colour and patterns will depend on the wood that the pen is made from. Iris spreads her love to various trees and shrubs!

The pens have been made and sold out for the past few years. This year as in other years we wish for Iris’s safe return to us from her migration next spring. If you want an Iris Pen, do so quickly. The original 35 are gone and, as mentioned, Dr Greene has sent some more twigs the birds knocked out of the nest to Richard and Sharon. Follow these directions supplied by the Montana Osprey Project.

1) Send an email to montanaospreyproject@gmail.com2) If your mailing address is in the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by Pen OrderFor example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.comSubject: Your Name – Pen Order3) If your mailing address is outside the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by International Pen OrderFor example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.comSubject: Your Name – International Pen OrderIf yours is an international order we will get back to you with a few additional instructions.4) The email’s body should include the following information:a) Your name b) Your email c) Number of pens you would like to order.d) Total amount ($45.00 per pen). Shipping is included in this price.e) Your mailing address just as it should be on the envelope. f) Send the email to MontanaOspreyProject@gmail.com5) For those of you who live in the United States, make out a check out to: Montana Osprey Project – Erick Greene(We are not set up to take credit card or Pay Pal orders. Sorry – has to be a personal check or money order)6) Mail your check to:Dr. Erick Greene – Montana Osprey ProjectDivision of Biological Sciences 32 Campus Drive University of MontanaMissoula, Montana USA 598127) For those of you who live outside of the US, send us the email with all of your information, but hold off on sending a check. We will get back to you with a few more instructions.

I can’t wait for mine to arrive.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am off in search of hawks and ducks this afternoon. It is sunny and warm but we are going to venture out in the heat anyway! Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Manton Bay Osprey Nest and Rutland Water, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Patuxent River Park Osprey Cam 2, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I would also like to thank Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles for allowing me to use the information and the images for the Iris Pens and for their dedication to the Montana Osprey Project. A big shout out to Dr Greene for his devotion to the Montana Ospreys. Thank you!

Featured Image are the two 2021 chicks of Laddie, LM12, and Blue NC0 waiting for NC0 to get the fish to the nest. Their numbers are LR1 and LR2.

They Don’t Look like Ospreys!

Maybe it is better not to make plans! We have so hoped for rain and this morning the forecast said – ‘70% chance of rain’. My heart skipped a beat. If it would just pour. As I write this I can hear thunder.

One of my readers wrote to ask about the fires we are experiencing. First, just so everyone knows the area where are talking about you need to know where Manitoba is. Our province is on the Canadian prairies between Saskatchewan and Ontario. We are directly north of Dallas, Texas. If you drove without stopping, it would take you 24 hours to reach Manitoba if you started in Dallas.

There are two very large lakes, Lake Winnipeg on the east and Lake Manitoba in the West. Both are north of Winnipeg; it is about a 90 minute n drive to the southern tip of each. Many of the migrating shore birds and large raptors, Ospreys and Bald Eagles, have their summer breeding areas around these lakes.

Our provincial Department of Conservation and Climate reports that there are currently 159 wildfires in our province today. 17 of those started in the last 48 hours. They also reported that the yearly total of acres lost to wildfires is 904,111. That impacts wildlife. There can be no question. Here is the current fire map:

The purple areas are fires that are being monitored; the red areas are fires that are out of control; the green areas are fires under control while the yellow ones are fires being held. We are fortunate that fire crews from other provinces have come to help. The smoke from the fires impacts everyone but the city of Winnipeg is not under any threat. My concern is the area around the Osprey nests and that is in a monitored area.

That is the state of our wildfires. Of course, our thoughts are also with those people in California where the Dixie Fire is raging and has already scorched 275,000 acres.

With the promise of rain, we head to one of the most beautiful areas in our City: Assiniboine Park. It is named after one of the two rivers that meet here; the other is the Red River. The park has our zoo, an area known as the English Gardens and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden (Mol is a noted local sculptor who worked in bronze) as well as the Duck Pond.

“Leo Mol Sculpture Garden” by D-Stanley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Turns out this was a great decision. We managed to get lost and when we asked directions, a wonderful woman offered to show us the way. Then she stopped. “You know we have a family of Cooper’s Hawks right in that tree”. If it was not for pandemic restrictions, I would have thrown my arms around her in thanks. As it was, I quietly stood jumping up and down in my mind. It was simply magical.

The couple have three fledglings this year. They are all about the grounds catching bugs. The tripod proves cumbersome. Remember I have only practiced with this lens at home. This is the test to see if I can manage it.

A squirrel has the attention of the hawk in the back.
This hawk is looking up at a chipmunk.

Cooper’s hawks are about the size of crows. The Cooper’s are constantly confused with the Sharp-shinned Hawk. In flight, the Sharp-shinned has a squared-off tail and the Cooper’s is rounded. The prey for both are small birds, chipmunks, small squirrels and the books say small hares but Sharpie, who visits my garden) has never bothered the garden rabbit, Hedwig. The Cooper’s were busy eating bugs but also keeping their hawk eyes on a squirrel and a chipmunk! The eating of ‘bugs’ is not mentioned in any of the bird books. These hawks are adorable. It was fun to stop photographing and sit and watch the adults teaching the fledglings to hunt. They were having so much fun!

Next stop – Canada Geese! They are not Canada’s national bird. That is the Canada Jay – a grey version of a Blue-Jay (OK that is simplistic but it is a good description). The Canada Geese were in the pond but also seemed to be everywhere eating grass. Sadly, it looks rather dead in places from the lack of rain. Speaking of rain, we did get some. Probably not enough to even measure but it might help the grass!

And we have an update on your favourite goose – Arnold! The veterinary team at the Cape Wildlife Centre decided to remove Arnold’s bandage and boot today. Their assessment is that Arnold is doing great. He will not need any more bandages and will get to spend some time in the outdoor enclosure with a pool. Amelia comes every day and they get to spend time together having meals in the playpen. It will not be long until Arnold will be able to be in the wild with Amelia again. Isn’t that positive news?! What a great team.

@ Cape Wildlife Centre

Before I close, here is a reminder of a great fundraiser going on right now. I do not normally mention fundraisers unless I know that the funds really go to help the project – so I am delighted to mention this one again. I realize it is only August and everyone who has children or is a student is thinking about getting ready for ‘back to school’. I would like for you to think about birthdays and holiday gifts, too! If you are looking for something unique associated with the matriarch of Ospreys, Iris, whose nest is in Missoula, Montana – well, this is for you!

Dr Erick Greene of the University of Montana and the Montana Osprey Project gathers up the twigs that have dropped from Iris’s nest. These are twigs that Iris has broken off of trees and bushes in the area. The type of wood varies. Dr Greene then sends off a box of twigs to South Carolina to the workshop of master wood workers, Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles. They turn those twigs into beautiful pens. The patterns and colour depend on the type of wood. Iris goes out and gets Black Cottonwood, Douglas Fir and, sometimes, Choke cherry. Everything is sustainable and no one interferes with Iris when she is on the nest. Those sticks get knocked off and Iris will not go down on the ground and pick them up just like she won’t pick up fish that falls off the nest. This is such a unique fundraising even for the Ospreys but the number of pens are very limited.

I think they are gorgeous and can’t wait for mine to arrive. It is on its way. The cost is $45 USD. That includes postage within the United States and maybe parts of Canada.

@ Montana Osprey Project

This time I want to include the directions for you. Sometimes it is hard to find things on FB.
1) Send an email to montanaospreyproject@gmail.com
2) If your mailing address is in the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by Pen Order
For example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.com
Subject: Your Name – Pen Order
3) If your mailing address is outside the US, on the subject line of your email, type your full name followed by International Pen Order
For example To: montanaospreyproject@gmail.com
Subject: Your Name – International Pen Order
If yours is an international order we will get back to you with a few additional instructions.
4) The email’s body should include the following information:
a) Your name
b) Your email
c) Number of pens you would like to order.
d) Total amount ($45.00 per pen). Shipping is included in this price.
e) Your mailing address just as it should be on the envelope.
f) Send the email to MontanaOspreyProject@gmail.com
5) For those of you who live in the United States, make out a check out to:
Montana Osprey Project – Erick Greene
(We are not set up to take credit card or Pay Pal orders. Sorry – has to be a personal check or money order)
6) Mail your check to:
Dr. Erick Greene – Montana Osprey Project
Division of Biological Sciences
32 Campus Drive
University of Montana
Missoula, Montana
USA 59812
7) For those of you who live outside of the US, send us the email with all of your information, but hold off on sending a check. We will get back to you with a few more instructions.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is always great to hear from everyone. I have received a few letters this morning and there is some excellent information in those that I will share with everyone tomorrow! For those wondering about Malin, her feathers seem to be improving. We hope that her fish deliveries do the same. Take care. Stay Safe.

Thank you to the Montana Osprey Project FB page and the Cape Wildlife Clinic FB where I took my screen shots of the Iris pens and Arnold.

An Osprey blew off a nest! and other Bird World News

We were so concerned about the big storm that went through Wisconsin and the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest that nothing else mattered in the wee hours of the night the other day. In our mind’s eye, we could see that wee chick flying off that 120 ft retired fire watchtower.

Well, over in New Jersey, the mother on the Barnegat Light Osprey Nest did get blow off! The Conserve Wildlife Foundation wrote:

“On the evening of July 29, 2021 a line of severe storms moved across New Jersey. Many of these storms held the potential to produce damaging winds, hail and possible tornados. One such storm went straight for Barnegat Light, where our osprey cam is located. Watch as the wind shifts from east to west and the adult female was blown from the nest. Luckily she and her nestlings all survived unharmed, but there are many osprey who were right in the path of what looked to be a tornado, which hit High Bar Bar — just to the north of the osprey cam nest. Hopefully that the damage is not too severe to both people and ospreys.”

Here is that video of Daisy, the mother on the perch, and her two chicks on the nest.

The male, Duke, went missing in the storm. He showed up around 4pm today delivering a fish on that nest. Yippee.

Daisy and the chicks are sleeping well tonight. The family is back together again!

Fledge is over but the chicks are still actively coming to the nest for fish drops. Here is the link to that camera.

I will add a note. There were originally three chicks on this nest. The vast age and size difference meant that the third hatch became a victim of siblicide.

The Montana Osprey Project is having a fundraiser and it is really neat. Dr Ericke Green collects the twigs that fall off Iris’s nest at Hellgate, Montana. I know that almost everyone knows who ‘Iris’ is but, in case you do not, she is the oldest Osprey in the world. She has her nest in Missoula, Montana. She has spent the days since arrival and until recently adding twigs. Well, some of the twigs she adds fall off. Those that Dr Green picks up are sent to Richard and Sharon Leigh Miles in South Carolina who turn those twigs that Iris touched into pens. They cost $45 and that includes postage. I understand they sell out quickly if you are interested please go to the Montana Osprey Project FB Page. Scroll through their threads and you will find the information.

I was so excited to find this fundraiser. Can’t wait til my pen arrives!

WBSE 28 is working steady to get out of that shell! This was the progress around 10 am Saturday nest time. This sweet babe should be joining its ‘snowman’ looking sibling 27 late Saturday in the Sydney Olympic Ironbark Nest.

My first introduction to the White-Bellied Sea Eagle was last year. I am a ‘hawk and falcon’ person – smaller raptors – more than the eagles. I came across the WBSE streaming cam purely by accident. I have learned a lot about eagle behaviour over the past year.

This cute little bundle of fur is destined to be one of the largest eagles in the world. Look at its cute little wings. One of the worst things about eagle nests is the sibling rivalry – although I can say that this also happens on Osprey nests and to a much lesser extend the smaller raptors. Last year the sibling rivalry only lasted a few days. It seemed that WBSE 25 sensed that ’26’ was injured and I have said many times helped the little sibling. That said, one of the old timers told me that the second egg is the ‘insurance’ egg – there only if the first chick does not survive. When I heard that I shook my head. There can be siblicide on this nest. It is the only White-Bellied Sea Eagle Nest with a live stream that I am aware of.

I am including the link to the camera. If you are concerned about what appears to siblicide happening on this nest, this year, I urge you to stop watching especially if you have younger children. I will provide simple updates on the nest without graphic content. Hopefully there will be plenty of fish brought in at all the right times so that nothing triggers food insecurity behaviour. That said, siblicide has occurred on nests where food is plentiful.

Here is the link to Cam 4 for the Sydney Sea Eagles:

Ferris made it to the Cornell Campus tonight. He was able to spot Arthur fairly quickly but the Ks and Big Red were in hiding. He will probably return to the campus tomorrow on his regular Saturday tour. I know he will be stopping to see about the Roseate Spoonbill. Like all of us, it is a joy to see a bird outside of its territory but it is also a worry and as Ferris said, he would like this bird to get back to where it belongs.

Here is Arthur on the ‘throne’:

The chick on the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin was left alone as dark was coming. It had been fed reasonably well today with fish caught by Mom and brought in and at least one delivery by Dad.

I went back and checked again and Mom was on the nest with the babe. Whew!

The last check in for today is at the Loch of the Lowes where NC0, the female, landed a whopper and brought it to the nest. That fish was so large it would feed both fledglings and mom. There might have been some leftover for Laddie! NC0 is really turning into a super mom. She doesn’t sit around and wait for Laddie. Once the chicks were old enough, she joined in the fishing for the family!

It’s late Friday evening on the Canadian Prairies. My blog on Saturday will be in the late afternoon or early evening. I want to do a lot of nest checks.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is nice to hear from you – always – and it is so wonderful to know that there are so many people who care for our birds. Take care. Stay safe.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Barnegat Osprey Light Cam and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Cam, the Ferris Akel Live Stream and the Sea Eagle, Birdlife Australia, and Discovery Centre Sydney for the WBSE captures.