Mother’s Day in Bird World

8 May 2022

It’s Mother’s Day and every year I send a shout out to all those great bird mothers who don’t know anything about flowers, chocolates, or going for brunch but who, as best they can, as old as some are, keep our skies filled with the sound of hawks, eagles, falcons, Sky Calls, and song. They have brought us great joy, sorrow, and have taught us so very, very much.

Each of you will have your own list. I have discovered that birds are very personal. So pause and thank your favourites!

The first bird mother I always think of is Big Red. She is not a big strong eagle or a fish hawk. No, she is a medium sized hawk that melts our hearts year after year. Big Red, the Matriarch of the Red-tail Hawks is enjoying early morning sunshine and a necklace of eyases – four of them. She surprised everyone with those four eggs. This nineteen year old probably has a lot more tricks up her talon for us.

We know she hatched in 2003 and that she was hatching chicks in 2005 but the camera did not come live until 2012. That is 7 years unaccounted for. Big Red has consistently laid three eggs and the only time since 2012 she did not fledge three was last year because of K2s beak issue. Potentially she has fledged 51 hawks. 51. Incredible.

She is always happy when there are chicks in the nest and she seems energized this year with the four.

Cholyn at the Two Harbours Bald Eagle nest in the Channel Islands gets the thumbs up this morning. At the age of 24, she is still busy raising eaglets. This year her and Chase had the soon-to-be-banded Only Child, TH1, this year. Cholyn is the mother of Thunder at the West End nest and is the grandmother to another generation of Channel Islands eagles.

Redwood Queen is 23 years and 11 months old and is currently either incubating an egg in Big Sur or brooding a chick! She survived the Dolan Fire and is famously known for her chick, Iniko Orange 1031, who also survived that fire to the surprise of many. She has hatched and fledged 6 condors and fostered and fledged 3. She is currently with 477 Phoenix. It is their second season together. Their egg failed last year. Fingers crossed for this year. Fitting that they both survived massive fires to rise again.

Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the UK, at the age of 21-23 years is currently brooding three eggs with her mate, Aran, at the Glaslyn Nest. They had a rough patch last year so I am really hoping that this year turns out incredibly well for them.

If we count this year, she has laid 57 eggs with 46 hatched and 41 fledged.

There are lots of Ospreys. I can easily put Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay nest at the top of a list – 20 fledglings in 6 years. Is that correct? But I want to give a hat’s off to a much overlooked female at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. Blue 35 was smart and sneaky and made sure that her third hatch —–1/8 the size of the other two older siblings at hatch – survived. She removed fish and once the older ones were asleep returned to the nest and fed Blue 463. As a result, 463 thrived and became a huge female and quite dominant on the nest. Thank you Blue 35. She was also one of the only Osprey nests to fledge three in 2021.

Peregrine Falcon Mothers. Hats off to the Mum at the Manchester New Hampshire scrape for keeping those five eyases in tip top shape. Not easy when some are extraordinarily larger than the youngest! The tiniest one is in the front. So small you can’t see it! Mum is doing a great job.

All full and sleepy.

There is one other Peregrine Falcon Mum who is now raising two eyases after losing her mate during the egg laying part of this breeding season. That falcon is Annie at the UCal-Berkeley scrape in The Campanile. She is a grandmother – they know that her daughter is on Alcatraz Island and that this is at least her second year if not more to raise chicks.

There are now too and it appears that Lynn Scofield was completely correct. The last egg is unviable. This means that egg 1 and egg 3 hatched with the potential for one chick to be Grinnell’s and the other to be possibly Alden’s. I hope so! Annie survived the death of her long term mate, Grinnell, to hatch the two chicks. Heart warming.

Why not think about your favourite ‘Bird Mums’ today? It is a great way to thank them ———— each and everyone of them ——— for the joy they bring to our lives!

Have a great Sunday everyone. There will be a nest check in later today. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or webpages where I took my screen captures: Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Ventana Wildlife Society, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Peregrine Falcon Network Manchester NH, Cal Falcons, and Explore.org.

Late Thursday in Bird World

5 May 2022

Tonight, the Audubon Society believes that 380 million birds will be on the move from the south where they wintered to the north to their breeding grounds. Manitoba is set for a huge number of birds flying in especially to the very north near Churchill and to the wetlands in the middle of the province. I draw your attention to the Wapusk area because I want you to see Churchill. Churchill is now as the ‘accessible Arctic’. Here beginning in June you can see many species including Ross’s Gull, the Northern Hawk Owl, Smith’s Longspur, Spruce Grouse. the Three-Toed Woodpecker, and Harris’s Sparrow. Of course, the list is endless for the ducks and geese that make Hudson’s Bay and the area around Churchill their summer home. Raptors include the Northern Harrier, Gyrafalcons, Merlins, Bald Eagles, and Golden Eagles. Lots of other wildlife abound in the area including Polar Bears.

North of Riding Mountain National Park, also in Green to the south and west of Wapusk is Winnipegosis. This is the place to see Osprey. Directly east and north of Gimli near Hecla Island is a large concentration of Bald Eagles. Canada Geese have arrived and the Trumpeter Swans are arriving now along with the American Pelicans and Red-winged Blackbirds. The shores of the two very large lakes, Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, are home to a huge variety of shorebirds that are beginning to arrive.

It felt like I watched Annie and the wee hatchling all day under a microscope. Alden got to see the chick and brood it and incubate the other two eggs. There is a dent in one of the two remaining eggs.

Alden checked earlier to see if Annie wanted a break and she wasn’t ready yet.

The baby was wanting food so Annie gave Alden a shift. I noticed how extremely careful he was with his lame leg not to stop on the chick. Well, done, Alden.

Annie arrives with a bird for the little one’s first meal. I could not possibly tell you what species this is. It is not familiar to me in Manitoba.

First hatch had a nice meal.

Annie catching some sleep. She is going to need all she can as the next eyas appears to be working on its shell. So happy for Annie. Things feel like they are going to turn out just fine.

Afterwards I went to check on the osplets at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. I had been watching earlier in the day but not early enough to catch a morning feed. It was apparent that the chicks and Mum had eaten as all three had crops heading into the evening.

It is good to see the Mum on the nest and the osplets – and her – nicely fed. Middle is the one closest to Mum.

Middle is growing. A few days of good meals makes all the difference in the world.

Big Red has a nest full!!!!!!! She must be in her glory. Oh, I hope the weather holds.

L4, the smallest one, hatched a week after the first, likes to be at the front of the line. Gosh, sounds like another Ervie!

At 19:32, two Crows arrived at the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. This is the nest of Jack and Diane. Last year Jack and Diane fledged three – this is the home of Tiny Tot -. Those chicks hatched the beginning of March. Jack and Diane had a previous clutch of eggs that went down a hole in the nest. Diane laid three more eggs but the dates were unknown because the cam was offline. I know that the Achieva nest is a favourite of many but, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. It is really late to have osprey chicks in Florida due to the extreme heat.

It is doubtful that any of the eggs made it. Crows watch and wait just like they did with Daisy Duck’s clutch. Eggs left alone even for a few minutes will be eaten if there are Covids around.

Bird flu continues to be in the news as 37 million factory farm birds are killed.

https://kdvr.com/news/bird-flu-not-just-affecting-colorado-bald-eagles-other-wild-birds-dying/?fbclid=IwAR21A8vcIZW0WgdOK4c4rYk9prFMvvUbxDm3u6BqNHLQkV4cEq-YYHkkG6k

We are one week away from pip watch for Richmond and Rosie at the SF Osprey nest on the Whirley Crane in SF Bay.

One of my favourite Osprey nests in the UK belongs to Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi in Wales. Idris is know as Daddy Long legs but he is also one of the best fishers amongst all the UK osprey. Look at this one he hauled in today!

Beautiful Maya at the Rutland Manton Bay nest she shares with her mate Blue 33 (11). We are on pip watch for this couple!

Another fantastic Osprey Mum, Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes nest in Scotland that she shares with Laddie. We will be watching for her eggs to hatch after Maya’s. What a beautiful setting for a nest!

The oldest Osprey in the UK is Mrs G. She is believed to be 22 years old. She is incubating the three eggs of her and Aran’s. They will be hatching late as Aran was late returning from migration. Today Aran was busy keeping intruders away from the nest.

Of the nests I have checked, all seem to be doing just fine.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, LRWT, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cal Falcons, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, and Achieva Osprey.

Early Saturday in Bird World

30 April 2022

UPDATE 2: My very reliable eagle source just sent me the following information. Nancy hunted on Wed when Harry didn’t show up. Nancy brought in a monster fish and another later. Both chicks fed and had huge crops. On Thursday there was an adult intruder. Nancy could not go far and yesterday people searching for Harry and intruder. Today, more people by the nest and raining most of the morning. Thank you ‘P’. As we all know the female will protect the chicks if there are avian or human intruders about. Let us hope that the rain stops and they find E2 and the nest can become quiet so Nancy can hunt more. She is perfectly capable like the Decorah Mum in doing so. The search area for Harry extended 3 miles and the team did not find him. This does remind me of Bella.

UPDATE: Terrible turn of events. The youngest eaglet was pushed off of the MN-DNR nest by the eldest. This was a second attempt and it was successful. It is possible that there will be a search for it and for Harry. Meanwhile, Nancy is feeding the eldest.

It is rainy, grey, damp, dreary in the garden this morning but, it could be worse! The rain is not torrential and the wee birds are not scurrying to get under the eaves to hang on to the vines. What a miserable spring ‘welcome home’ they are having!

Bird World news today includes some items from late Friday, also.

As I mentioned yesterday, Harry has been missing from the MN-DNR nest since late Tuesday. Things appear not to be going well. As Paul Kolnik mentioned on Eagles 101 FB page, there is a duck pond right below the nest. I don’t like seeing waterfowl on a nest these days due to H5N1 but it is better than having starving chicks.

Yesterday, the nest was volatile with the biggest trying to push the youngest off the nest. Nancy flew up and saved the day. I remember – was it Ma Decorah – that quickly went into action feeding her eaglets and they thrived and fledged- after the dad went missing. These are older chicks. Nancy can hunt! Get going, Nancy!

Nancy sits in the tree and there are more attacks this morning. The chicks – if they have not eaten since Tuesday – are in dire straits. I use the word ‘if’ because I have not seen a feeding, you might have. #1 continues its attack on #2. These two have had problems all season but now it is entirely worse. This is another form of siblicide – pushing sibling off the nest to their death and of course the attacks.

#2 chick might just want to jump off the nest to save its life. This was also this morning. Nancy is up in the tree. I am shocked if she has not brought food to the nest. Nests can turn on a dime. If you have seen Nancy bring prey, please let me know. TY.

Big Red looked tired last year with the Ks but she looks healthy and energized this year. It must have been a good year for prey for her during the non-breeding season. As ‘W’ put it, Arthur looks like he is in ‘shock’. Add one more eaglet and the work seems to be so much more strenuous. The pantry is full and L4 is eating fine. Big Red will not let her kids go hungry!!!!!!! Right now she needs Arthur because the hawklets are so young. They still have their fuzzy white down and need to be brooded. I giggled. No one thought Arthur could get the hawklets under him – well, he did this morning early when BR took a much needed break.

Arthur looks down at some of the Ls with the same loving eyes as Big Red.

You can still see the crop on the hawklet as Arthur gets up to let Big Red feed the gang —- you will always hear that Big Red does not like her kids to be hungry. She doesn’t. At 19 years old, she knows that to get them to quiet down they have to be full to the brim and then some!

Arthur is a great provider and mate. Big Red really picked a good one when she bonded with Arthur before he even had his red tail.

The nest cup is nice and deep and it is getting more and more fur lined. That would certainly make for not only a warm nest but a comfortable one for Big Red and Arthur. Imagine twisting and turning with babies under you and getting poked by sharp sticks.

L4 is on the left and is being fed.

Full and settled for the moment!

The two hawklets in the Presidio nest in San Francisco are doing great! Both are losing their soft fluffy down. You can see a few dandelions that will be gone soon. The white down on the head seems to be the last thing to change. They will be preening a lot to help with the itch but also they are learning to keep their feathers in tip top condition.

Mark your calendars for May 5-6 which is the hatch watch for Annie, Alden, and Grinnell’s eggs at The Campanile on the grounds of UC-Berkeley.

When Jasper and Rocket were younger, Rocket was the champion for snatch and grab because Jasper was dominant. After fledging – and some time prior – Jasper started getting really good at stealing the prey. After fledging, Jasper continued to perfect this to the detriment of Rocket who might be much more hungry. So yesterday when Rocket got the big fish and ate the entire thing – horking down the tail so we could see it on camera – it simply felt good! Way to go Rocket. Got your mojo back?

Jasper looked on in shock as Rocket grabbed the fish tail and down it went. Jasper really must have believed that Rocket was going to leave her something. No way, not today.

A massive feast landed on the Decorah North Nest of Mr North and Mrs DNF yesterday. Here is a video of that arrival and feeding. Turn down your sound!

Are you a fan of the Finnish Osprey nests? This announcement was posted this morning.

Finnish nest #4. 30 April 2022

Here is the link to Satakunnan #4 streaming cam:

There are 10 Osprey nests in Finland (this is what I was told last year). Here is the female on nest #5.

In the information section on YouTube, you will find the links to all of the cameras that are currently live in Finland. I am including only two here this morning.

Here is the link to Satakunnan Saakset #5:

At the Captiva nest in Florida, Andy has brought in Middle (LittleO’s) lunch.

Middle or Little O is the male of the fledglings. Little or MiniO is the female and Lori Covert, the owner of the property, has observed Little or MiniO diving for their own fish. Isn’t that wonderful? Lori does not know if Little or MiniO, the last to fledge, has been successful with their fishing but she is sure out there perfecting her survival skills.

I know that many watch the Osprey nest in Bremen, Maine. The adults this year are Steve and Calli. Steve brought the breakfast fish and Calli took off with it this morning. No eggs yet.

Here is the link to Steve and Callie’s Osprey cam – especially for those of you that are having withdrawal symptoms from Captiva!

I just wonder how many are watching the UK Osprey nests? I would definitely encourage you. (Unless there are severe weather issues, all of the nests below are excellent! There are many Pacific NW Osprey nests that I do not recommend such as Cowlings PUD, etc). Mary Kerr compiled a listing of the hatch watch dates for several of the nests in the UK. I know that she will not mind my sharing them while at the same time giving her credit for all the math – I did manage a B+ in Advanced Trigonometry in Uni but I can’t add!!!!!!! LOL. Here are those dates:

  • Manton Bay at Rutland Water: Blue 33 (11) and Maya: 7 May
  • Loch of the Lowes: Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0: 19 May
  • Dyfi: Idris and Telyn: 23 May
  • Glaslyn: Aran and Mrs G: 26 May
  • Loch Arkaig: Louis and Dorcha: 31 May

At the Pont Cresor nest in Glaslyn, Aeron Z2 and Blue O14 laid their first egg yesterday, 29 April so they are going to be much later than the nests mentioned above. I have said many times ‘why’ I prefer the UK Osprey nests but there really is something good about not allowing humans to have motor boats racing around and fishing – the silence of the lochs and the fish for the birds makes for good conditions. I just hope the nests avoid the terrible storms that have been coming to the UK.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care everyone. Please send your positive wishes to the MN-DNR. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cornell RTH, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Audubon and Explore.org, Explore.org, Bald Eagles 101, MN-DNR, NEFlorida-AEF, Cal Falcons, Presidio Trust, Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), and Lounais Suomen Saakset.

Early Tuesday in Bird World

26 April 2022

Monday the 25th: It is going to be a long nite for the eaglet, TH1, of Chase and Cholyn. The eaglet attached itself to Cholyn’s talons around 14:35 on Monday and fell – thankfully not directly into the sea but, luckily onto a tiny ledge on the cliff face. Dr. Sharpe of the Institute for Wildlife Studies is looking for someone to help him rescue the eaglet in the morning. It just needs to hold on. How easy this is to do is unknown to me. The ledge is not wide. It will also be a long night for all those worried for the eaglet. It is, however, in the best hands that any eaglet could have. Dr Sharpe will do anything for the birds that is in his power.

The wee one lasted through the night. Let us all send positive energy to help it hang on and not tire out until Dr Sharpe and his volunteer can reach it and do the rescue.

The eaglet is on the ledge directly above the word ‘Institute’.

The three at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta are fine. The chick that is clinging to the cliff is Chase and Cholyn’s at Two Harbours.

It has, indeed, been a long three weeks that awakens us to all of the perils that our feathered friends face. Grinnell, the male at The Campanile scrape and mate of Annie, was killed within a mile of home probably chasing an intruder, a juvenile female. The three Denton Homes eaglets most likely died of H5N1 on the 23rd.

iThe male adult has returned to the nest and is roosting on a branch above the remains of two of the nestlings. He looks to be in good health. The female consumed one of the carcasses. It is hoped that it has done her no harm.

Little Bit at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest died from starvation induced by siblicide sometime between 18:32 on the 24th and the morning of the 25th. Little or MiniO fledged or was fludged by wind gusts at Captiva on the 23rd and has not been seen since. The biological chick at the Pink Shell Osprey nest died from siblicide brought on by the addition of a larger foster chick to the nest. The third hatch at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest is small with two big siblings and is being (sometimes) kept from eating even when food remains on the nest (I have not included this nest in my blog). Siblicide is perhaps more widespread than is recognized. The list goes on and on with many, many more eagles, geese, ducks, hawks, and falcons dying daily of H5N1. It is easy to feel completely helpless.

We cannot, however, become complacent. First, we have to savour the good moments and appreciate the birds that are alive and we owe it to them and their children to create a better place. Each of us in our way can help. Perhaps you can help by getting barbless hooks mandated or if you know a fishing friend or family member, ask them to cut the barbs off. When I lived in England no one used barbed hooks. It really does help the fish from enduring pain and suffering. Organize a clean up – get some gloves or a picker and set out to clean up all the pandemic masks that have been tossed at a local park or in your neighbourhood. Remember we should cut the ear loops. Lobby in any way you can the use of lead in hunting and fishing equipment. Make it known how dangerous rodenticide is to domestic pets and raptors – get it banned. Find accurate information about the Avian Flu and how it is spreading. Consider eating less meat or eating locally raised chickens, etc as opposed to factory farmed ones. If you can afford it, drink certified bird friendly coffee. Feed the birds. Plant bird and insect friendly plants in your garden. Keep the cats indoors. The list is endless.

I have not brought recent news from some of the European nests so I want to do a hop and skip through many of them while I am waiting for tomorrow.

The White Storks at the nest in Armenia have at least four little storklets so far.

Here is the link to the camera:

Two things about this nest. There is some plastic sheeting that has been brought in that makes it difficult to see the storklets. Secondly, if it turns out that 7 or 8 storklets hatch or even 4 or 5 and the parents do not feel that they can adequately feed them based on the current availability of food, they do not let them have a prolonged starvation on the nest like Little Bit had to endure (along with the physical trauma that little osplet went through). No, the adult storks will pick out the weakest and drop them off the side of the nest. Death is instant. It often traumatizes viewers but, what is more traumatic? a chick being physically beaked, plucked, thrown about and starved for days? or this? I pick the stork method.

The RSPB has its first Goshaw streaming cam in Scotland. Hatch watch is the 23rd of May. Today, while the female was incubating her eggs, a Buzzard attacked the nest. It lasted less than 17 seconds.

Goshawks are beautiful creatures that live a rather solitary life in the forest. They are large hawks with rounded wings and a banded tail. The eyes of the adults are red. Their bluish slate coloured plumage is gorgeous; they have a dark crown. There is a bit of a white band and then a dark band extending from the beak through the eye to the back of the neck. No doubt this helps with glare when hunting. The raptors are quick often luring their prey into the forest.

The Goshawk returned to its nest after ridding its territory of the Buzzard.

Here is the link to this new RSPB nest.

Are you fans of Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi nest? Telyn has just broke the nest record for the laying of eggs! I adore this couple. In the past five years she has laid three eggs each season for a total of 15 eggs from 2018-2022. The previous record holder was Glesni who laid 13 eggs in a five year period.

At the Glaslyn nest of Aran and Mrs G, Mrs G has now laid her 60th egg. That is going to be a record very hard to beat. Mrs G is incubating and Aran is on the perch.

Mum and Dad have been coming and going to the barge at Port Lincoln.

I have not seen any mention of any Ervie visits lately. His tracking from the 25th of April shows him traveling to the marina and to an area known as Delamere.

It would seem that Ervie has found a very good area to fish and roost. So nice to know that he is alive and doing well.

There has been no more discussion at the Cornell Bird Lab about the pip in the 4th egg. Perhaps it did not make it. The three Ls are doing great and Big Red will not have to deal with trying to get four wee ones under her if the weather gets poorly.

These three are utterly adorable.

Send all good energy over to Two Harbours for strength for the little one and a quick rescue! Here is a link to that camera in case you do not have it.

One last thing before I go. If you go where there are ducks and geese – as at a park – please understand that the Avian Flu can be spread by both footwear and car tires. While this might pertain to factory farming of chicks where delivery trucks and workers go in and out, it is very appropriate to try and help. H5N1 is spread through feces and mouth droolings (or so I am told). It is now in the far western province of Canada where free range chickens have been dying off.

Take care everyone. I hope to be able to bring wonderful news about the West End nest soon. It is nice to have you here with us – with the good news as well as the challenging.

Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors this morning. I have had to write this in a bit of a rush this morning.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures and video clip: RSPB Goshaw Nest, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Explore.org, Denton Homes, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, and NABU.

Late Friday and early Saturday in Bird World

22-23 April 2022

Friday was drawing to a close. Big Red had been restless all of Thursday and it was a wonderful relief when L1 hatched and was deemed ‘perfect’ after a worry over some blood coming from the egg earlier. Tonight (Friday late) Big Red is trying as best she can to get some sleep while L2 is hatching. The cracking is such that we now have gone beyond a mere pip.

If all four of the eggs hatch, Big Red s going to need to grab those naps as much as she can.

Big Red is not giving away any hints Saturday morning. But you can see the more than pip in the back right egg and a pip in the back left egg. L1 is doing fine. Being an Only Child – even for a short time – has its advantages.

Arthur brought in another starling in the morning. There are now 2 Starlings (one partially eaten), 1 grey bird, and a partially eaten snake in the nest.

Dawn is just breaking in the Tucholskie Forest in Poland. You can hear the songbirds singing as the sun rises through the pine trees. This just reminds me of a fairy tale forest. White-tail Eagles are so beautiful with their lighter heads and darker bodies – all seemingly touched with a bit of silver.

Mum left to take a wee break. Both of the eaglets are still alive and appear to be doing well.

Mum returns to brood the chicks in the soft morning light.

Do you know the Anacapa Peregrine Falcon Nest? This couple have been together since 2013 raising chicks on the cliff face on the remote Anacapa Island in California. They are known as Mr and Mrs A.

Anacapa is part of the Channel Islands where we have a couple of familiar Bald Eagle Nests, Two Harbours (Chase & Cholyn) and West End (Akecheta and Thunder).

Two chicks have hatched this year. Just look like white fluffy little teddy bears with big pink beaks and pink toes and feet. So cute. They are 3 days old. It is hoped that the third egg is non-viable. It is typical for not all of the falcon eggs to hatch. These chicks are big and strong and that chick would be behind.

Here is a feeding from yesterday.

This is a feeding from today.

This is the link to the streaming cam for all you falcon lovers!

https://explore.org/livecams/falcons/peregrine-falcon-anacapa

I want to check on the status of the Black Stork nest that was the home of Grafs and Grafiene last year. The very late arrival of the female last year caused issues at the nest. The male returned earlier in April this year. Many on the Forum are wondering if it was Grafs or another male. The male worked away bring twigs and moss to prepare such a nice nest. Now it is the 22nd of April and there is no female yet. The male sings and looks around. Fingers crossed for a quick arrival of a female to this gorgeous nest in Sigulda County. Come on Grafiene!!!!!

Here is the link to the nest:

Karl II is working very hard on the nest he shares with Kaia. He is very handsome!

Karl II and Kaia have had a male intruder land on the nest. Kaia helped magnificently in defending the nest. Unlike other species, the males and females will defend the nest against opposite genders. There are apparently a lot of single male floaters due to a lack of female storks. They are causing problems with established nests. We are waiting for an egg at this nest!

Here are the couple defending their nest.

Mum and Dad returned to Glacier Gardens yesterday! Looking forward to another great year up in Alaska. Kindness was the sweetest little eaglet. It was a great name and touched the heart of so many. It is so nice to see Mum and Dad.

There are now three eggs at the Llyn Clywedog nest of Dyland and Seren Blue 5F. Dylan is a great fisher but he also loves to incubate and he wasn’t wanting to give up that spot Saturday afternoon!

Mrs G and Aran have two eggs now.

Cheers are happening in Poole Harbour because CJ7 and Blue022 have their first egg. There will be more. The first hatch will be historic – the first Osprey in Poole Harbour in over 200 years!!!!!!!!! Incredible. The community worked hard to relocate Ospreys to the area and it looks like they will have success this year.

This is such wonderful news for this couple that began bonding last breeding season.

The very first osprey of the 2022 season has hatched in the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve in Maremma in Tuscany, Italy yesterday.

The situation at the Florida-Gainesville Osprey nest is not improving. I captured a couple of images of Little Bit taking a few bites of a fish on the nest before Middle went after him. You have to look carefully. Its tiny head is in the very centre of the nest under the tail of that fish.

The minute the older sibling notices Little Bit move it attacks despite it having a full crop.

The two large siblings prevented Little Bit from getting any food even though they were clearly full.

Feeding and any movement by Little Bit triggers their aggressive behaviour. The ability of both Big and Middle to dominate the food coming into the nest is directly seen in the growth progression of the three nestlings. I often smile when I see people in chat rooms saying not to call the dominant birds bullies but in his 1979 article “Sibling Aggression among Nestling Ospreys in Florida Bay” in The Auk (vol. 96, no 2, 415-17) Alan Poole says just that in discussing the difference in size of the nestlings “however, 3 days after the first sibling bullying was seen, nestling A was 165 heavier than B…” (416). The older two are simply that – bullies. What I did find interesting about Poole’s study was that he did not find the same level of aggression in the Ospreys in the Chesapeake Bay area. Some of you will have observed, as I have, sibling competition and aggression at several Florida Osprey nests such as Achieva Credit Union (2021), Captiva (2022), Pink Pearl (2022), and Gainesville currently. You might well know of others in the last couple of years.

Little Bit mustered the courage to get to the beak but there was no fish left.

In the image below you can see the size difference between Big, Middle, and Little Bit. The older ones will continue to have the advantage unless this chick gets fed – it had a few bites yesterday and some fish later on the 21st. Tiny Tot lasted for 72 hours before getting some fish at Achieva in 2021. Indeed, that chick had – in a month – the equivalent of 12 full days without food. She went on to become dominant. It remains unclear to me if Little Bit will survive the weekend, sadly.

Little or MiniO fledged yesterday morning early (the 22nd) and has not returned to the nest. It is unclear to me whether she is in a tree or is grounded. Middle (or Little) is in the nest with Lena fish calling to Andy.

I never like to close with sad news but I have just heard that two of the eaglets at the Denton Homes nest have died. It is suspected that it is Avian Flu. We will see if the third survives but it is doubtful. The Dad is there and is very confused. The surviving chick is in the nest with the two deceased ones. — It was thought that Avian Flu was mostly staying on the East coast. This is a move into the heartland being triggered by migrating birds? There will be concern for other nests in the region. Please send them your warmest and most positive energy.

We have had rain since the wee hours of the morning on Friday. It has filled several of the low areas of the garden with water. The worry is that they are reporting a drop in temperature that would freeze the ground surface causing the rain not to soak in (the ground is already saturated) and create wide scale flooding. We worry about the animals. All of the squirrels, Hedwig, Mr and Mrs Woodpecker along with a myriad of Juncos, Sparrows, Grackles and Starlings have been trying to eat. It is difficult to convince Hedwig that we have special food for him on a plate that is relatively dry!!!!!!

Thank you for joining me. I hope to have some happy news on Big Red and Arthur’s L2 later this evening. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Brywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Biehki Online Bory Tucholskie, Estonian Eagle Club, Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve, CarnyxWild, Explore.Org, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

Late Tuesday in Bird World

19 April 2022

Right now it is hard to believe that snow will be arriving again in about 4 or 5 hours. All of the garden animals are out and about running around on the hydro lines and poles and checking to see if there are any corn kernels hidden in the wood in the little sheds. Dyson knows it is there! He will find it for sure.

Sharpie seems to have some competition in the garden now with a Cooper’s Hawk (note the curved tail). This hawk is much larger than Sharpie. I wonder if it is a female. Certainly didn’t need to worry about birds at feeders!!!!!!!! They took off but a few went down under the deck and Cooper knows they are there.

Besides the garden chaos with Cooper, there has been a mini-kerfuffel going on in my City today. To feed the songbirds or not? to put out feeders or not? in times of Avian Flu. I decided to ask the Cornell Bird Lab and also sent a question to Dr Thijs Kuken at the University of Erasmus in Rotterdam who is a virologist and studies Avian Flu. I have not heard from him. But the Cornell Bird Lab did send the following information:

“Hello,

Thank you for reaching out to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

We are paying attention to the situation. Avian influenza viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Wild aquatic birds can be infected with avian influenza viruses in their intestines and respiratory tract, but usually do not get sick.

There are no suggestions to take bird feeders down unless you have backyard poultry or work with poultry or other domestic birds. Of course, this may change as birds begin their migrations north.

Below are some resources that should help.

Fact Sheet from the Cornell Vet School: https://cwhl.vet.cornell.edu/system/files/public/cwhl-fact-sheets-ai.pdf

I hope this helps.

Thank you.”

Sarah Wagner, PhD
Public Information Specialist
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

It is recommended that you clean your feeders with a very mild mixture of dish soap and either white vinegar or bleach (very, very mild). You should allow everything to fully dry before using them. There are also recommendations that you clean your feeders every 48 hours. But do note, if you have feeders near poultry – as in a back yard poultry area), those feeders should be removed!

Checking on the UK Ospreys, Mrs G and Aran have their first egg. It arrived at 19:37! Aran saw the egg and went to get Mrs G some more bedding. Sweet.

Telyn and Idris welcomed their second egg at the Dyfi Osprey nest at 18:01.

Sweet. A nice fish for Telyn. Oh, Idris. You are a darling.

A small piece of fish with the tail arrived at the Dale Hollow Eagle nest late in the day. Big and Little Middle were decidedly hungry! It was nice to see the adult feed them both.

I know that the parents slow down the delivery of fish as the eaglets get older providing them with plenty one day and nothing another so they learn about living on their own. However, it sure was nice to see a piece of fish show up for these two!

Martin and Rosa’s eaglet at the Dulles-Greenway Bald Eagle nest is doing great. They have had some bad weather and it is still really windy there.

Akecheta has been busy protecting his three eagles at the West End nest on the Channel Islands. It looks like he was concerned about some gulls that were overhead this afternoon.

I did not see it but ‘B’ sent me a video clip of an intruder getting right in the scrape box at Cal Falcons. I am glad I did not see that event live. Thank you, ‘B’.

Sadly, the successful breeding and relocation programmes often cause a lot of floaters looking for nests that can be quite disruptive to established pairs with eggs or chicks. Or, sadly, cause fatalities.

Little Bit has a nice crop. You can see it in the ‘cuddle puddle’ on the nest. That fuzzy light grey marble looking thing is its crop! The nest has done well today. Mum has tried to keep those osplets cool.

Jasper at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest took its first flight and has since made several others. Rocket is ‘thinking’ about flying. Jasper, however, seemed to have everything happen the day he flew for the first time. He roosted during a storm on the nest tree and, as the AEF realized, he was also hit by an owl! Needless to say he was tired and starving when he got back in the nest. Here is the footage of the owl attack.

This has been a very short newsletter. I hope that everyone is doing well. Take care and I will see you again soon – with more eggs being laid tomorrow in the UK! Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: DHEC, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Explore.org, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Dulles-Greenway Eagles, Pix Cams, and Dyfi Osprey Project.

Friday in Bird World

15 April 2022

It has been a cracker of an afternoon in Bird World. The ‘New Guy’ – to finally have an official name at noon on the 18th – is ready to step in and incubate when Annie calls. I like this fella’. No, he will never replace Grinnell – he is his own endearing self. Through his kindness and generous spirit of heart, ‘New Guy’ saved this clutch and won the heart of Annie and so many of us. Precious.

The more I watch the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest, the more that Mum endears herself to me, too – just like the ‘New Guy’. At lunch time, she had a huge chunk of Mullet (please correct me if I am wrong) to feed the trio. That is nothing extraordinary but how she checked on Little Bit offering it bites when Big Sib had calmed down, how she moved the fish to feed again when Dad came wanting leftovers, well…none of the chicks were left out. They all had a nice feed. Little Bit is spunky, too. Big tries to intimidate both Middle and Little Bit but, thankfully, is not all that aggressive. They wait and head back up, sometimes walking right in front of Big to get to the beak. I am impressed.

Each raptor mother has their own personality and way of feeding. Some feed fast and only to beaks open at the front. This Mum is slow and methodical, not stopping til all are full unless the fish runs out. Oh, I wish I knew more about this couple!

Little Bit managed to get some nice big bites amongst lots of smaller ones.

The bigger siblings can eat more at one feeding than Little Bit but this morning it appeared that Little Bit did a bit of a crop drop and wanted more fish. Excellent.

When the Dad arrived the Mum went to protect the hunk of fish and the chicks moved up and she fed them more.

Then Mum moved the fish and continued feeding -topping everyone up. She is very, very smart. She topped herself up, too. It is hot on top of that light stand – fill the kids up!

Little Bit wants more fish and Mum made sure he got some more.

Mum ate some of the nice fish once the babies were full and sleeping.

Then she began to call for Dad.

Food comas.

The third hatch at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey got some fish at the beginning of the 13:07 feed. All three are fine.

Blue NC0 and Laddie now have two eggs in their nest at Loch of the Lowes. Congratulations!

B15 is believed to be a female. She certainly is a big fledgling. B15 has stayed around the Berry College nest of her parents, Pa Berry and Missy, learning to fly and coming for food. Missy loves to feed her baby! This is such a huge help to the success of this gorgeous juvenile. It was a great year for Berry College.

There is another fledgling happy to visit home. Oh, is Kincaid ever loud! He will be just as happy if Anna wants to feed him, too, like B15. Last year Kistachie shot out of the nest never to be seen again. That is not especially a good thing. This year Kincaid is hanging around to the delight of everyone.

There is Kincaid on the branch of the nest in the Kisatchie National Forest near Alexandria, Louisiana. The sound on their camera is simply incredible.

Want to have a listen? Here is the link to the camera. The laughing frogs will put a smile on your face.

Martin and Rosa’s eaglet at the Dulles-Greenway Eagle cam lost all that baby down and is getting its juvenile feathering. The change seemed to come in a blink of an eye. The eaglet hatched on 13 March making it (counting hatch day) 33 days old today.

Just look at those ‘Daddy Longlegs’ on Little at the Captiva Osprey nest! Good gracious. He will rival Idris!!!!!! Little got the 11 am fish. Lena is calling Andy to get some more fish on the nest. She is so loud, you could hear her in Fort Myers.

There was a wonderful article about the Bald Eagle Mum at the Pittsburgh-Hayes nest that defended her three eaglets against a determined intruder. Have a read and look at the picture. That was an amazing event on this nest. I would never want to make an Eagle mother upset – absolutely never.

https://triblive.com/local/dont-mess-with-momma-hays-bald-eagle-defends-against-intruder/?fbclid=IwAR3mMoCGGnzMsuESvp53P4ndAqCpyeHk6dCO_nlt8xKR4Wy-wc3KM8pDMK4

It is always nice to see Iris. What a joy it was when she returned to her nest at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana this year — the oldest Osprey in the world believed to be 28/29 this year.

So loved.

Port Lincoln posted a great remark on the chat for the PLO barge:

​”Who said Ospreys don’t fly around at night. Mum returned to the barge at 23.02 tonight and Ervie was fishing off the end of the main wharf at 20.47.”

It is always wonderful to hear about Ervie!

Aran and Mrs G have been in the nest. Later in the evening, the pair fly out to a favourite tree of Aran’s admiring their territory. This is what ospreys do on a Friday night in Wales.

Idris is on his perch while Telyn works on nestorations. She is a great one for moving large twigs. Wow.

A nice fish came to the Dale Hollow nest at 13:45. Both of the eaglets had a great feed.

Big is full and now it is Little Middle’s turn.

Then Big wanted some more of that nice fish.

Both eaglets were happy and had nice crops. A whole fish doesn’t go a long way anymore. If you count hatch day, the DH eaglets are 47 days old today.

Can you tell who is who?

The way to tell Little Middle is that he has a more prominent white ruffle on the end of his tail! (The angle of the camera makes Little Middle who is closest to the bottom appear slightly larger than he is but…that good fish is really causing this eaglet to grow).

It has been a great Friday in Bird World! The sun is still shining on the Canadian prairies, the wind is calm, and the snow has stopped. Nice.

Thank you for joining me today. Please take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida ospreys, VGGCO, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Berry College, KNF, Dulles-Greenaway, Port Lincoln Ospreys FB, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, Montana Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi, and DHEC.

For the love of Ospreys

14 April 2022

The first time I watched an Osprey nest I swore I would never watch another one. Here I am years later. My book shelves are full of information on Ospreys, I dream about Ospreys, I do research on third hatches. My mind is filled with ‘Osprey’. These birds can take you to the lowest depths and send you to the highest heights of joy. Together many of us cheered on Ervie – the third hatch at Port Lincoln, Australia in 2021 – who was clever and survived winning our hearts and the sat-pak over Bazza and Falky. Since then he has had at least one talon pulled out – it is growing ever so slowly. As a result, Ervie has stayed around Port Lincoln. Ervie has entertained us by returning to the nest barge over and over with his puffers. It is the best! We get to enjoy him longer.

The camera at the Achieva Osprey Cam in St Petersburg, Florida is now on line. It looks terrific. While the camera was out of order, Diane laid three more eggs – a second clutch. The first fell in a hole in the nest (or so it was believed). Normally, the eggs would be hatching at the end of February or beginning of March. The hot Florida weather may pose a problem. I found it very endearing when I discovered, this morning, that David Hancock is adding a shade canopy to all of the Bald Eagle nests he is building in British Columbia. That is something that may become very necessary at the Florida nests!

Jack and Diane fledged three last year. It was not an easy nest to watch as Tiny Tot Tumbles struggled. More than three times we thought TTT would die but she was clever and persistent. She learned to eat old dried fish and she lived to become the most dominant – and beautiful. In the end, Diane went and caught cat fish to supplement what Jack brought to the nest. This is what turned the corner for Tiny Tot.

After fledging, Tiny Tot remained at the nest for some time. She even defended it against adult intruders on her own and with Jack. Oh, how I wish she was banded!

But, I will warn you. With the late hatch and the heat, there is no telling what will happen at this nest.

I have no idea how the three will be doing in a week at the U of Florida Gainesville nest. It is hot! The chicks are enjoying the shade under Mum.

These are also three of the most active little ones I have ever seen!!!!!!

At least two are up out of the egg cup. If Little Bit isn’t yet, he will be out of there soon clamouring around on the Spanish Moss.

Lena and Andy were one month ahead of the normal egg laying time in Florida. Their two osplets are just about ready to fledge. They are beginning to get a little air under their wings and it won’t be long til they are hovering about. Andy and Lena did a great job this year.

By laying the eggs a month early at Captiva, Andy and Lena might have saved their chicks from the Crows and other predators that predated their nest for two years.

The two are yelling at Andy to get the breakfast fish on the nest pronto! Lena can sit back and let them take care of it – if she chooses. They can be pretty loud.

You can still watch this nest and enjoy seeing these two beautiful birds fledge! Here is the link:

Idris has brought a large Mullet onto the Dfyi nest in Wales today but Telyn wants more fish and she is really telling him!

I am not sure what is happening in Loch Arkaig. Louis and Dorcha seem to be playing musical nests. Yesterday it felt certain that Louis and his new mate of last year would go back to the old nest but, today, Dorcha has been on the one that they used as a couple last year. It doesn’t matter for watchers – cam 1 or in this case, cam 2 – we can see them at either one!

Mrs G and Aran on the Glaslyn nest – now that everything is sorted and the females are where they should be – everyone can settle. Aran brought in five fish so far today – 3 yellow-bellied trout, 1 sea trout, and 1 flounder. He is an incredible fisher.

Mrs G, the oldest UK Osprey.

Aran! And he is very handsome.

While we wait for Mrs G to lay her first egg, Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes nest laid her first a day ago and we will be watching for egg 2 shortly.

Seren and Dylan have their first egg yesterday at the Llyn Clywedog Nest in Cumbria.

One of my favourite nests is the Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria. This nest fledged three last year. It was the home of a third osplet that no one thought would survive – the others were monstrous when the third hatched. It was to the keen parenting and the tenaciousness of Tiny Little Bob. She fledged as Blue 463 and she was queen of this nest! It was incredible to watch her figure out how to get around the big ones.

They are not on YouTube and there is no rewind on the two cameras. You can access them here:

https://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/osprey-cam

That is a very quick run through some of the nests. I wanted you to know about Achieva in case it was a nest that you watch. Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida Ospreys at Gainesville, Captiva Osprey and Window on Wildlife, Achieva Credit Union, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig, Dyfi Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, and CarnyxWild.

Sunday in Bird World

10 April 2022

Hi Everyone. It has been a nice day on the Canadian Prairies. The Dark Eyed-Juncos, that I have mentioned earlier, are descending on lawns all over our City today. It is lovely to have them back with us!

Cal Falcons posted a link to an Instagram feed that features some beautiful images and a lovely tribute to our beloved, Grinnell. Please read the text. Go to the feed to see the images. If you missed this, here is the link:

Cal Falcons also had a super cute image of ‘New Guy’ relaxing on the ledge. Like everyone in Berkeley, I hope – as I know you do – that the rest of the time for hatching and feeding eyases and fledging is completely and utterly boring and uneventful. This Peregrine Falcon nest has had enough drama!

New Guy is really growing on me.

Thought the day could not get any better until it was discovered that both female CJ7 who has been longing for a mate and found one too late last year – and Blue 022 – who became smitten with her – have reunited on the Poole Harbour nest!!!!!

If this couple hatches osprey chicks this year, it will be the first time Ospreys have hatched in Poole Harbour in over 200 years. And that is a big Wow in the Osprey world.

Aran returned as previously reported and him and Mrs G are getting reacquainted. Aran is one handsome Osprey!

Here is the link to the streaming cam for Mrs G and Aran at Glaslyn:

One of the things that I really admire about Emyr Evans and the Dyfi team is the amount of data they collect on their Ospreys. Here is Telyn on the nest.

Idris is unringed. Tely is Blue 5F. Idris is known for his great fishing abilities and his long legs which often earns him the nickname, ‘Daddy Longlegs’. Here he is enjoying a fish on his perch today.

If you look at the chart below, you will see that Idris replaced Monty at the Dyfi nest in 2020. They fledged two chicks and in 2021 they also fledged two chicks, a male and a female, not recorded yet on the chart.

This is a highly recommended Osprey nest to watch with chat. Emry Evans often stops in to answer questions and say hi. Here is the link to the streaming cam.

There are expectations that Blue NC0 is thinking of laying her first egg of the season with mate LM12, Laddie, grew more intense today as she kept close to the nest.

Ospreys have been breeding at the idyllic site for more than 50 years.

No eggs yet. I often think that Laddie could treat NC0 a little better. Last year she proved that she was as good a fisher as he was – if not better – hauling in large fish for the kids as they grew bigger and demanded more.

Here is the link to the camera at the Loch of the Lowes:

Blue 33 (11) and Maya always seem to be ahead of everyone else! They arrive early and get down to business. Their three eggs were laid on 31 March, 3 and 6th of April.

Their nest is often comical and/or sweet. Blue 33 is a great dad. There is fish on the nest at first light for Maya and the kids once the osplets hatch. Here is the link to their webcam at Rutland Water:

It is always a great day when Middle Little at Dale Hollow eats well and has a big crop. That would be today. Click on the streaming cam and Middle Little is looking good.

A big headless fish came in at 13:01:04. The parent did not immediately feed the eaglets but returned at 14:50:37 and fed Middle Little with Big looking on (below).

Middle Little did a lot of snatch and grabs when Big came up to get some nice fish, too.

Middle Little’s crop looks like it wants to pop. All is well.

The Ospreys at Skidaway Island have checked on their nest on and off while the Great Horned Owl raised Little Grey. Little Grey has branched and the Ospreys are anxious to reclaim their nest and start working on it.

As I have always said, Thunder and Akecheta’s triplets just put a smile on my face. This nest has done fabulous this year – no pecking, no fighting, no one scared to eat. Well done!

Thank you so much for joining me today in Bird World. Always good to have you here. Take care everyone. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Cal Falcons, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, People’s Post Code Lottery and Scottish Wildlife Trust, LWRT, DHEC, Cornell Bird Lab, and Explore.org and the Institute for Wildlife Studies.

Tuesday in Bird World

01.03. 2022

I was in great need of a giggle and a smile and Jackie and Shadow provided it. This couple is incredible. Now that pip watch is upon us, Jackie is less and less prone to letting Shadow do any incubation duties. In the short video below, I captured the moment that Jackie returns from her break and wants Shadow to relinquish the nest.

I have re-figured my math (never a strong subject of mine). The first egg was laid on the 22nd of January with the second on the 25th. If we do not count the day the egg was laid, that means that egg 1 is 36 days old today and egg 2 is 33 days. At an elevation of 2058 metres or 6751.9 feet, Big Bear Lake is within the Bear Mountain Ski Resort area.

Because of the elevation of the area, it takes eagle’s eggs longer to hatch than those in nests at much lower sites. It might be, then, that Jackie and Shadow’s eggs will take the full 40 days to start pipping. Each of us and the more than 3000 fans needs to keep up the positive energy for this much loved eagle couple.

News has come that the second Hilton Head Island Trust eaglet of Harriet and Mitch has died. The bodies of both HH3 and HH4 have been sent for a necroscopy. It is believed that both have died from avian flu but this has to be confirmed. Our thoughts go out to Mitch and Harriet and all the people at Hilton Head Island Trust eagles.

The first fish of the morning came in at 08:44 to the Captiva Osprey nest. Lena fed the chicks for nearly an hour. She finished off the skin at 09:44.

Just look at Andy’s long legs or tarsi. These allow him to reach quickly and deep to get his fish. You will notice that the legs of other raptors are not quite as long.

It looks like a different fish than the Sheepshead Andy normally brings to the nest.

Turn around Little Bob!

Little Bob still sports his fuzzy down which is actually unbranched feathers. Alan Poole describes them as being “almost furlike”. Little Bob is changing though. His head is not as soft looking as it was.

Awww. There you are right, Little Bob, up there with that long neck of yours. Dinosaurs. Tomorrow or Thursday you will all look like dinosaurs!!!!!!

These nestlings still cannot regulate their body temperature. It will be another week or 10 days. Until then it is Lena’s job to protect them from the heat of Florida and the rain.

They are, however, quickly entering the period of their fastest growth – between two weeks and a month when they will gain an average of forty grams or .09 lb a day, according to Poole.

From this angle you can clearly see the change in the plumage between one of the older Bobs on the left and Little Bob with its still fuzzy lighter down on the right.

At the Dale Hollow Lake Nest in Tennessee, the third hatch, DH16, is eating along with its twin siblings, DH14 and 15. They are so cute. Here are the fuzzy bobbles everyone loves. Precious.

The nest can only be seen from the water. In May, there is a large group picnic with opportunities to go out and have a view of Obey and River and their eaglets. Check the Dale Hollow Lake website if you are interested.

The second egg has hatched at Duke Farms. Congratulations everyone!

1 March is the first day of meteorological spring. The followers of UK Osprey nests bring out their UK Arrival Sheets and start keeping track of who arrives where and when. The first official sighting of a returning came today from the hide in the Holkham Fresh Marsh in Norfolk. Of the public nests where there are streaming cams, I am hoping for Blue 33 and Maya to get back to Rutland Manton Bay quickly!

Loch of the Lowes is gorgeous. This nest fledged two last year. It is the home of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. I adore Blue NC0. She is a great angler and she is not shy about getting a huge fish up on the nest for her chicks if Laddie isn’t delivering food quick enough!

Everyone is hoping that 2022 will be a fabulous year for Aran and Mrs G at Glaslyn. What a serene pastoral setting. Last year their three chicks perished.

There are, of course, many people who fell in love with Ospreys because of this nest, Loch Arkaig. We continue to hope for a miracle to happen and Aila to return after not being seen since August of 2020. That year her and Louis fledged the JJs – they stole our hearts and I personally cannot wait to see if JJ7 will be seen in Scotland this year.

The JJs, July 2021

Last year Louis bonded with another female at a close nest and fledged two beautiful chicks but not with the one he shared with Aila.

There are many, many more Osprey streaming cams in the UK and as the birds arrive I will be posting those. One of my favourites is the nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria at Foulshaw Moss. It is the home of Tiny Little, a third hatch so wee compared to the two older siblings, no one thought she would survive but, survive she did thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of the parents and her very own cleverness and determination.

The sun is out and there is a hint of blue in the sky today. Yesterday it was -8 and today it is a little colder at -13 C. I had a lovely walk accompanied by seven Black-capped Chickadees, a White Breasted Nuthatch and a Red Squirrel. They all knew I had seeds in my pocket!

They were so cute and it was a nice warm day for them, too.

There is still no sighting of Annie at The Campanile. It is very sad to say goodbye to her. She gave us and the world 13 beautiful chicks in the five years she was at the scrape as Grinnell’s mate. I hope by some miracle she returns and is only away quietly healing from an altercation. Send her your warmest wishes.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Take care everyone. See you soon.

My sincerest thanks go out to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures and video clip: Glaslyn Bywyd Gwyllt, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Woodland Trust, Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery, Duke Farms, Dale Hollow Eagles, Friends of Big Bear Valley, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife.