If I mention the name Aran, who is the first to come to mind?
This morning there was a posting about a ‘miracle’ chick – indeed, 2 miracle eggs and one of those being a chick that never should have hatched but did. These stories always interest me because, I immediately think that they are third hatches. This was not the case with these two little bundles of joy.
What a beautiful couple. They have been together now six seasons. You can see Aran’s prominent feather problem.
Aran arrived at the Glaslyn nest, unringed and, as you know if you follow the Ospreys of the UK or Wales, specifically, in 2015. The public wanted the couple named. The female who had raised chicks at the nest previously was to be Mrs G, after Glaslyn. Aran was named after the local mountains, Eryri. The story is lovely and deserves to be read in its entirety. I am enclosing the news from Glaslyn. The story of how Mrs G and Aran came together and how Mrs G’s sixth and seventh eggs – yes – 6 and 7 – came to hatch is remarkable. It makes you feel good. I can add that WO was last seen a couple of years ago in the north of England. So, he really was a survivor! (I intend to check the listings to see if W0 has been spotted this year and the circumstances).
I did get my hair cut and the minute I got home I went to check on the PLO nest. In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner explains the term ‘Kathleening’. It is when a person claims to have seen the biggest, and the most after someone tells their story. I do not want to sound like I am ‘Kathleening’ but, seriously, Mum was feeding those kids – again. When I left they were eating and when I got home they were eating.
Are those babies getting squirmy? She hardly got them covered and she is feeding them again1
Mom has decided that she wants the fish on the other side.
Yeah for Mom. She pulled that fish over the nest of babies without clobbering one of them.
Mom has decided that it is time for some more fish. The little ones will make their way to the table shortly.
That’s Little Bob on the left with the two older sibs facing in the same direction. Little Bob has his mouth open and he is looking at Mom.
Little Bob has a nice crop. He is the one on the far left. You can still see his egg tooth. It will be gone soon! Big Bob is in the middle. She is the one with the most pin feathers and Middle Bob is on the right.
Mom is looking for another delivery and the three Bobs are waiting at the table with their napkins tucked in and forks at the ready.
It is 12 degrees C with 11 kph winds. What a difference from the days when it was blowing at 34 kph. Dad was able to get some rather large fish those windy days. I wonder if it is the same with the calm water???
I have been notified that the Season of the Osprey, the much awaited documentary put out by Nature and PBS will be shown in the US on 27 October at 00:00:30. Please do check your local stations to make sure this is correct!
That is it for me tonight. There will be at least another 7 or 8 feedings today before Mom gets some time to rest. I will bring you the details tomorrow. Take care everyone! Thank you for joining me.
Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project’s and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn’s streaming cam where I took my screen shots.
The female on the Port Lincoln Osprey barge woke up to some rain and by mid-day there was rough weather. The moderator of the PLO chat said they hoped that the chick would choose to stay in the egg!
It is currently 12 degrees C with a wind speed of 42 km/h or 26.09 miles per hour. Blustery. Not good for fishing. Best wrapped up in a cosy blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. Hang in there mum.
Aran is still in the Glaslyn Valley. Doesn’t he look grand on one of his favourite perches looking over ‘his’ territory. As much as others might have their eyes on their natal nest, Aran doesn’t intend to hand it over to either Tegid or Aeron, Monty’s boys, Z1 and Z2, respectively.
Some are worried. My notebook just said that ‘Aran migrates after the middle of September.’ That was accurate but not precise enough.
As it happened, Tiger Mozone on the PLO chat and so I was able to ask him. Immediately – literally – there was a link to ‘Tiger and Chloe B’s Osprey Data’.
These are the dates that Aran was last seen at the Glaslyn nest from 2015-2020:
2015. 25 September
2016. 16 September
2017. 12 September
2018. 22 September
2019. 16 September
2020. 15 September
The average is September 17th. That is six days from now. There is no need for anyone to be alarmed that Aran is still in the Valley, worrying that he is unable to migrate due to his earlier injury. Aran is ‘being Aran.’
Everyone that watches the Royal Cam Chick at Taiaroa Head, Tiaki, you should be giving a shout out to Ranger Sharyn. She located Tiaki 150 metres from her natal nest and the streaming cam. She carried her back to the general area of the nest – and just in time. LGL flew in and fed her daughter shortly after.
Here is Tiaki seeing her mom and coming quickly for that delicious squid shake. These chicks can really move when food is involved — or running away from ‘the dreaded basket’ when the rangers come round to weigh the chicks.
Victor Hurley, the Peregrine Falcon specialist who uses the streaming cam in Melbourne to study the falcons, is looking for some help. He was on the 367 Collins Street Falcons FB page today asking for individuals to accurately provide the time stamp for the incubation hand over duties. Later, he will be looking for time stamps for prey delivery. If you would like to help, please go to the 367 Collins Falcon Watchers and PM Hurley.
Here is a great example of what he is looking for. Mum is getting off the eggs and Cutie Pie ‘Dad’ is falcon walking on the ledge. They are such a good team.
It is windy in Sydney, too. WBSE 27 and 28 had a tiny bird – looks like another gull chick – around 6:29. 28 held back until almost all of the bird had been eaten by 27. That is a bit unusual for the first feeding in the morning. Normally 28 is right up front ready to go.
Notice that 27 stood for its breakfast! Oh, these two are really developing. Both have been standing more and trying to walk.
Another food item comes to the nest around 10:00. This time Lady splits the meal between both of the chicks.
28 is on the left and 27 on the right. You will notice that while the wing and back feathers are growing in nicely on both, 27’s tail is longer and 27 is noticeably larger.
In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner reminds readers that at the time of migration the juvenile Ospreys are transformed in appearance from when they were first fledglings. Gone is the white scallop on the feathers, gone is most of the down, the eyes are yellow, the dark feathers are darker, and the birds have ‘slimmed down’ somewhat.
So today an Osprey appeared on the Achieva Nest in St Petersburg. Help me out here. Could we be looking at a slightly older Tiny Tot?
The top two images are of the visitor today. The top one looks more like the face of Tiny Tot with the trademark ‘heart’ on the top of the head.
These are the first images that I grabbed of Tiny Tot out of the hundreds that I have. I wish that I could get both of the birds in the exact position.
Of course, it could be my mind playing tricks. I would dearly love for this to be Tiny Tot.
When I was scrolling for images of Tiny Tot, I cam across this one of Tiny Little. The Two Tinys are the stars of survival for 2021. The most amazing, clever, determined to live little birds who beat the odds. What I wouldn’t give for Tiny Tot to have a Darvic ring! Then we would not be guessing who is on that nest.
I will leave all of you with this mystery and a reminder of how inspiring these two little ospreys are to all of us.
Thank you so very much for joining me today. Take care everyone. Stay safe.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: PLO Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagles @ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Achieva Credit Union St Petersburg, 367 Collins Street Falcons, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.
It is 9 September in Australia. My computer tells me that it is 17:34 on the Canadian Prairies on the 8th of September. In three hours, around 20:00. CDT, the NZ DOC rangers will fit Tiaki with the tracker. She is 228 days old and could fledge any time.
Here is the link so that you can watch. Both LGL and LGK were fitted with trackers. LGK’s is still working providing valuable information on where the adults forage for food for their chicks.
In other nest news, it has been confirmed that Z2 (Aeron) and his family have now all departed for migration. Aeron’s nest is the Pont Cresor in Glaslyn. At the same time, Aran is still at the Glaslyn nest. Many worry about his late spring wing injury but, he most often doesn’t leave until mid-September.
Wales issued a statement that due to the cold spring weather and misfortunes, their six nests produced only six chicks to fledge.
9 October is one of Cornell’s big bird submission dates. This year they are even calling it October Big Day. They want everyone to do a bird count around the world. Mark it on your calendar. I will give you more details closer to the day.
eBird submissions are very helpful. Some recent discoveries, sadly, include bird and plane collision information.
A photo of an adult Osprey yesterday leads everyone in Missoula to think that Iris is still in Montana. The image was taken from the Owl Pole Camera.
Let’s chick on where the Black Storks are today.
Pikne is in Moldova.
Udu is in Southwest Poland.
Udu’s area is full of lakes!
There was no data update for Karl II.
Julge, the only surviving chick of Jan and Janika, has made its way through Germany and looks like he is flying into France. This stork picked the Western Route! Julge is the purple line going into Belgium. It is nice to know he is safe.
The last time that Big Red and Arthur’s K1 and K3 were spotted was 3 September. If they are truly gone and starting their own lives, we wish them and those that are migrating good winds, food, and safe landings.
My original computer issue was fixed but now it seems that some of the keys are sticking. It isn’t fun to keyboard. I will leave you with a couple of images of ducks and geese from my excursion to the park today. It was quiet. Everyone was off tracking down a Green Heron that had flown into town!
Thank you so much for joining me today. Don’t forget to drop in and see Tiaki get her tracker! My hope is that it is equipped with a 7 year battery. Take care everyone. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Montana Osprey Project, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and BirdMap.
I love Ospreys – bet you can tell! Still, the anxiety rises when there are three eggs on a nest that, historically, simply cannot support that many mouths to feed. Right now the Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in Australia is incubating three eggs. In 2020, a drop in fish deliveries around day 16 of the youngest life meant that food insecurities hit the two older and much bigger siblings. Tapps was a victim of siblicide. Will 2021 be different?
So far the two adults are working like a super machine. Today Dad came in with a fish delivery for mom. She left and he incubated the eggs for a half hour. Have a look at that smooth exchange:
The 2019 female fledgling of the PLO nest has been seen and photographed at Tulka yesterday. Solly, the 2020 fledgling with the satellite tracker still seems to prefer Eba Anchorage but she has spent some crazy time at Streaky Bay again. Solly is 339 days old on 26 August Australian time.
If it has been awhile since you watched an Osprey catch a fish, have a look at this slow-motion video shot in the Scottish Highlands. Incredible. When you are watching this remember that Ospreys and Owls are the only birds whose outer toe is reversible to help them hold on to their prey. It allows them to grasp with two toes in the front. Great design.
The Ospreys that live in Australia along the coasts and the rivers are Eastern Ospreys, Pandion cristatus. Eastern Ospreys do not migrate. Their status ranges from secure to vulnerable and rare in various states of Australia.
Ospreys have a system of communication between one another that individuals, such as yourself, will recognize if you have been watching Osprey nests. There are 11 physical and visual displays that show they are resting, alarming, soliciting for food, in a defensive posture, nest protecting, under attack, or sky dancing to impress their mate. In addition to the body language Ospreys use they also have 8 sounds that they make alongside the physical signs. Those include alarming, food solicitation ranging from a very low sound to an extremely high pitched sound, a sound for guarding, being excited, screaming, and the sound during copulation. These findings were published in 1993 by Vincent Bretagnoll and Jean-Claude Thibault. The article is “Communicative Behavior in Breeding Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus): Description and Relationship of Signals to Life History.” It was published in The Auk, Volume 110, Issue 4, 1 October 1993, Pages 736–751.
The British Library and the Cornell Bird Lab have an extensive library of bird sounds that you can access. Also, just watch the birds intently on their nests in different situations. You will soon be able to recognize their different visual postures. For those working in situations that deal with Ospreys, it is essential that they learn the communication and behavioural signals of these birds. These skills would definitely have helped those reviewing Malin’s flight off the nest and, in the future, could save a bird’s life.
Blue 33 (11) has delivered Maya a nice fish for breakfast. So Maya is still here. It doesn’t mean she won’t eat and fly! We just need to wait and see.
Either White YW left Tiny Little an early fish or the silvery white object is a leftover piece of fish from last night’s late feed. Is Tiny home to eat it? and will she be in Cumbria all day?
Ooops. Looks like Tiny Little is too late!!!!!!!! Mr Crow has found a nice breakfast. Does this mean Tiny Little has started her first migration?
UPDATE: Tiny Little is still here. I didn’t get the photograph but someone else did. Yippee. Will try and chase her down today.
It is another misty morning. Aran is on his perch almost in the exact same position as he was yesterday morning.
And here is Aran with Mrs G. She remains in the UK still.
At the Dyfi nest, Telyn was last seen on 21 August at 12pm while Ystwyth was last seen on 24 August at 09:26. Dysynni and Idris were both at the nest on 25 August. Idris brought Dysynni a whopper.
Yesterday, Laddie, LM12, delivered a fish to LR2 on the nest. LR2 was 97 days old.
After a pesky crow flew around the nest, LM2 decided it was safer to take that whopper over to his favourite Birch tree to eat it. Wow, Laddie, great fish!
LR1 left for her migration on 15 August. This was only the second time in the history of this nest that a fledgling has left before the female.
Oh, it is lovely to see some of them still home. Thank you, Tiny Little! News in other news is there are now three eggs for the Collins Street Falcons! That last egg arrived at 23:53 last night. Congratulations. And last, if you follow the Loch of the Lowes Nest a wonderful surprise. A 2015 fledgling, FR2, flew over Guardbridge in Fife yesterday. They got a photo. Fantastic. A survivor! There is sad news today. The Black Stork fledglings received their names yesterday. 7181 (no 1) was named Julge meaning Brave. 7181 (no 2) was named Malbe meaning Sedate. 7183 (no 3) was named Tasane meaning Peaceful. You might have recalled some animal sounds being heard at the base of the nest tree. It is now confirmed, so sadly, that Malbe has been killed by an animal. Urmas has taken the body of Malbe to be examined. Word has also come that Tuul, Karl’s fledgling, has also perished. The Black Storks are so rare – it is so sad to hear of these deaths. Our hearts go out to all who loved these beautiful families and to those who so diligently worked to make sure Jan’s nestlings were fed and healthy to fledge. There has been some problems with the tracking and posting of Karl II and his fledglings locations. I will bring this to you as I locate it. Did you follow Milda? You will know that this brave White Tailed Eagle from Durbe lost her mate and sat on her eggs for eight days without food and then a potential mate came. But last year turned to be a sad year for Milda. She is now working on the nest with her new mate, Mr K. So happy for her. There is word that WBSE 28 did, finally, get some food. Send your warm and positive wishes off to all of the birds.
Correction to earlier news letter. Karl II has only had a transmitter for two years. I said ‘many’. Thank you!
Have a wonderful day everyone. Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and The Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, The Scottish Woodland Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, LWRT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page.
Ah, the sweet and the bittersweet. All of my friends from the Achieva Osprey Club who loved Tiny Tot or Tumbles as so many called her, will remember that she was the last fledgling to leave the nest. She was there for precisely four months – worrying us, causing us to lose sleep, cry, hope, cry again, bite our finger nails to the quick and watch the hurricane warnings with great anxiety. And then, of course, the miracle of it all, Tiny Tot became the most fierce and dominant bird to hatch on that nest this year. She will survive anything. No doubt. Tiny Tot stole my heart because of her ferocious desire to live. She had been starved – not being allowed to eat for several 72 hour long sessions by her two older siblings – and she tried every way to get around and get the food. Of those four months, she had no food for 12 full days, scattered more in the first half than the last. In the end, Tiny Tot ‘didn’t take anything from anyone’. She could handle an intruder as well as an adult – and she did, many times protecting the nest alone. Here she is a few days before she left the nest for good. She was gorgeous and she was the first miracle of 2021.
The second miracle I often talk about, too, is Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss Nest of White YW and Blue 35. Like Tiny Tot, Tiny Little is the only fledgling left on the nest in Cumbria. Everyone else but dad, White YW, has migrated. She has benefited, like Tiny Tot, from getting well fed, getting her flight skills in order, and not being in a hurry. She was enjoying a nice fish tonight for dinner (nest time). Will it be the last on the nest? Or will we get the pleasure of seeing her tomorrow? There are still plenty of Ospreys hanging on.
Polly Turner caught Tiny Little with her fish in this very short video!
The view this morning from the Glaslyn nest is Aran overlooking the valley. It reminded me of the paintings of the German Romantic painter, Casper David Friedrich. Aran’s healing from his late May-early June injury is something to smile about as well.
Idris and Dysynni were still at home on the Dyfi Nest. Idris brought in quite the catch for his boy, Blue 490. Telyn has not been seen since around noon on Saturday, 21 August.
That fish is just amazing. Idris you are so strong and just a great provider!
And what a beauty Blue 490 turned out to be. A lovely male.
So proud of his fish!
You can’t see them – sadly the camera at the Llyn Clywedog nest of Seren and Dylan and Only Bob, Blue 496. John Williams reports seeing Seren fishing and Only Bob later in the afternoon today, UK time. So they are still with us.
Maya was still at Rutland yelling as loud as she could for Blue 33 to get that breakfast fish on the nest! Ah, so happy to see you Maya. You deserve the time to get in great shape after the kids have headed off on their adventure.
I mention all of these because I really hope that Tiny Little is in no hurry to get on with her life. Selfish me. I want to enjoy her for a few more days.
In Latvia, everyone is elated. One of the storklings of Grafs has found the feeder!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a success.
No matter where you live, remember this, please. In the future when our birds are at risk with no food or water – an area can be designed for them with a decoy to lure them to the site.
So happy for our friends in Latvia. It has been a long worrisome year.
Discussed on the Latvian Forum today is also a theory that the male, Grafs, lured the storklings off the nest by flying close and then flying away. This was what was suggested by chatter Liz01, a long time watcher and forum poster, “After the first storklet leave the nest on August 23 and didn’t come back, someone landed on the left. He flew away and the Storklets followed his departure with their eyes .. they turned and looked towards the forest on the right. One of the two, the eldest, took courage and flew behind. I already saw it yesterday, but only the departure and wondered how it could be that he chose this route. Now I have the explanation. It could be it was flying with Grafs!”
That is a very interesting and astute theory. I have seen hawks take a small piece of prey to lure their fledglings from one hunting spot to another or Peregrine Falcons that tease the eyases with prey flying in front of them to get them to leave. It is certainly a very credible idea by Liz01. Here is the link to the page where you will find photographs and a short video of what she noticed.
The wind continues in Sydney, Australia. At this point I am not prepared to report on the White Bellied Sea Eagles nest. The amount of prey has dropped to the point that I fear that WBSE 28 will be killed by 27. I do hope that the situation turns around. I am still working on how best to deal with the situation that occurred with Malin in the hope that people will learn and help wildlife. In a few weeks, someone let me know how WBSE 28 fared. Thanks.
Last a very rare sighting of a White-tailed Eagle has occurred in King’s Lynn, UK. If you are an eagle fan, have a read. This is amazing news.
In Manitoba, we are celebrating the work of our great vets, the rehabbers, and the visiting vets at Wildlife Haven. We also have the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. I will tell you more about that in a couple of days. For now, our grand dame, Princess is 19 years old. She hatched in Minneapolis in 2002 and was translocated to Winnipeg that same year. Two years later she meets up with her first mate. She has had 4! In 15 years, she laid 54 eggs, hatched 46 chicks with 37 fledges. More about her later this week and her rescue. Everyone is happy.
Take care everyone. I am hoping to let you know that Tiny Little is still with us and has not started her migration. Just a few more days, please, Tiny Little. And where are Karl II and family? Updated reports tomorrow. Stay safe. Be kind to one another. Protect our wildlife.
I am grateful to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Latvian Fund for Nature and the Latvian Fund for Nature Forum, the Dyfi Osprey Project, LRWT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, the Achieva Osprey Nest, and the Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn.
The term ‘Pair bonding’ was first used in the 1940s. In terms of birds, it refers to a long-lasting relationship that results in breeding, care of one another, the nestlings and fledglings.
Pair bonding is “reinforced by ritual behaviour.” That is a very simple definition. A good example of on going pair bonding, is the ‘Morning Duet’ of Lady and Dad on the White Bellied Sea Eagle nest in Sydney, Australia. In fact, the rituals associated with pair bonding often occur at various intervals as a means of reinforcing the relationship not just before breeding.
This is Lady and Dad doing their duet together.
Pair bonding rituals also take place as many ‘bird couples’ prepare to begin their long migration. Working on nests is also happening, preening one another is on the rise. It reminds me of certain war movies where the couples seal their relationship as the male heads off to the field of battle – that sealing often consisting of an engagement ring or a promise to wait for the other. It is precisely the same with our birds. In this instance, both will migrate and each will hope that the other returns to the nest in the spring to renew their bond.
Aran has undertaken any number of sky dances with fish deliveries for Mrs G this week at their nest in the Glaslyn Valley.
Blue 022 and CJ7 continue to work on a nest in the midst of sky diving, fish deliveries, and mating. Sadly, they have chosen one of the Poole Harbour nests that doesn’t have a camera! Still, it is wonderful that they have remained together since spring and that brings promise to everyone that osprey chicks will hatch in Poole Harbour once again.
This evening, my friend, ‘R’ sent me the links to the two short videos below. It seems that Bukacek, the single father White Stork, in Mlade Buky and his new love, are sealing ‘the deal’. You can see some of the community coming out to watch – what a happy ending to such a tragic season for Bukacek.
Xavier and Diamond, the resident bonded pair of Peregrine Falcons whose scrape box is on top of the water tower of Charles Sturt University, are not migrating. Indeed, they are just beginning their breeding season. They continue to pair bond in the scrape. Here is a short video clip I made today so you can see this ritual:
According to the Falcon Cam Project of Dr Cilla Kinross, the average date for the first egg is 27 August. Here is the historical information for Diamond:
2015 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
2016 with Bula. 31 August, 2 September, 6 September
2017 with Xavier. 26 August, 28 August, 31 August
2018 with Xavier. 20 August, 22 August, 24 August
2019 with Xavier. 28 August, 31 August, 2 September
2020 with Xavier. 27 August, 29 August, 1 September
It is going to be so exciting when the little white balls of fur hatch. Can’t wait!
Other Nest News:
Some of us watching Malin on the Collins Marsh Osprey Cam are simply left shaking our heads. The female has been absent from the nest the last three Saturday nights in a row. There is no perch to the nest (they seriously need one). In addition, fish delivery just goes ‘off’ at the weekend. Malin slept alone through a thunder storm with lighting and rain last night and did not receive a single fish today – Sunday. Oh, I can hear you thinking that Ospreys do not need to eat every day and you are absolutely right. In fact, Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest had 12 full 24-hour days that she did not get food. Often the parents teach the chicks that food does not always come every day. Still, the weekend pattern with this pair of adults mystifies me. Both came to the nest for short spurts without fish today. Malin was food calling (finally) late in the day. She is such a sweet little Osprey – and everyone is delighted that her droopy wing and feathers seem to be filling in and correcting themselves. So, once again, let’s put the optimist’s hat on and hope that there will be 5 fish deliveries tomorrow for Malin! Come on Mom and Dad prove me wrong and bring 6 big ones.
Malin’s beautiful feathers quickly dried out.
At one point, Malin was so excited when Mom arrived that she began to flap her wings and so some little hops. It is reassuring to see those feathers improve every day. We are all hoping for some big fish for your tomorrow, Malin!
A few of us have been calling the Collins Marsh chick, Malin which means ‘mighty little warrior’. That is because it had neither a number or a name. The Neustadter Nature Center at Collins Marsh is having an official naming contest. My friend ‘S’ just told me about this. I am so sorry it is such short notice but please go to their FB site and enter a name in the comments. Put in your favourite name – it doesn’t have to be Malin! I want the Nature Centre to see that there are many people, from around the world, interested in these Ospreys! But be fast. The names must be in by closing time tomorrow, Monday, 10 August. Here is the link where you can go and simply add a name in the thread:
After Monday, the names will be short listed. Please go back to this FB site and vote for your favourite. Thank you!
There are now three eggs in the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest. They were laid on 3, 6, and 9 August. That means that there is already six days between the first and the last. This nest always makes me nervous because of its history of siblicide. But, I am going to strike an optimistic note this year and take a wait and see attitude.
The White Rock Fire that was threatening Dr Christian Sasse’s property where he live streams his programmes on Ospreys and Bald Eagles is no longer out of control. Rain and the gallant efforts of the firefighter’s seem to have stifled this wildfire. This is great news for all the people and the wildlife. Let us hope that rain pours down on all the wildfires.
Thank you for joining me. It is so nice to have you here. Please go on line and put in a name for the little chick. Take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University and Dr C Kinross.
Many who read my newsletter have a love for all birds and a particular fondness for one or two species and a number of nests. My personal journey began with an encounter in my own garden – literally, getting up close and personal with a female Sharp-shinned hawk in the dead of winter who, I believed at the time, was eating the garden rabbit, Hedwig. She wasn’t. Our eyes locked to one another’s, ‘something’ happened. I cannot describe it but those minutes changed my life. I know that many of you have had a similar experience as well as others who have gone on to write books about their journeys.
Philip Brown’s, The Scottish Ospreys from extinction to survival, written in 1979, is just such a book. My used copy arrived in the post a couple of days ago from the UK. The only time that I have had to read has been late at night. The book is so well written that I was often hesitant to stop reading. His enthusiasm and love for these fish-eating birds animates the drive in Scotland to reintroduce the Osprey after years of extinction. Brown gives a good solid history but it is his personal stories of spending time with others at the eyries of Loch Garten guarding the nests that draws the reader into sympathy with the birds. Brown worries about the trees that are partially dead but have nests, about the poachers that are killing the birds, and how to halt the illegal practice of egg collecting. Those are woven in with the growing understanding of osprey behaviour and the efforts to grow public interest in the birds. If Ospreys tug at your heart then this is a book that you should read. When I was looking for a copy I discovered that the book could be ordered from the UK with standard post for a very reasonable price. It is a hardback book and used copies are available for less than 5 GBP.
I want to re-mention another book, available only in paperback. Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey is by Helen Armitage. There are a couple of ways it is different than the Brown volume. It is newer, written in 2011. The book covers the reintroduction of the Osprey to Scotland also but does it by focusing on a single bird, Lady, at the Loch of the Lowes. Lady raised 48 chicks migrating to Africa and back 20 times. That is simply astounding. Armitage’s book is different in another way. The lens is female, a welcome change when the majority of books on Osprey are written by men. She includes details not found in other volumes including one that I found particularly interesting. In trying to protect the Osprey, “In September 1899, Queen Victoria confirmed that certain regiments would stop wearing osprey plumes…” She also notes that it was women who continued the fight to stop the use of bird plumes including the Duchess of Portland who became the head of the Society for the Protection of Birds. It is time to think of fall reading and these are two really excellent books to curl up with.
In nest news, it appears that Bukacek or Father Stork is the only member of his family sleeping on the nest at Mlade Buky.
It is possible that both Pankrac, the female, and Servac, the male are with other fledglings preparing for their migration?
The normal practice with raptors is the female leaves for migration first. The male remains feeding the fledglings and bulking up himself. Once the fledglings depart, the male begin his long journey. Is this also the same ritual for storks?
I had a beautiful letter from a reader, ‘S’. She confirms the special status of storks in her country, Latvia. The people of Latvia have a special name for the White Storks, svētelis. She says the term speaks to the “embodiment of something holy and brings peace and protection from bad things.” This belief explains so much about the great love the people of Latvia have for their storks and that same understanding of storks being special must extend to surrounding countries where people go to great lengths to care for these amazing birds.
In regards to the migration of the storks, ‘S’ says that every year the storks gather on the trees, the roofs of all the houses and buildings, as well as on the electricity poles close to where she lives. When they are all ready to leave they begin clacking their bill together similar to what they do when the storklings are wanting food. Close your eyes and try to imagine how wonderful it would be to see this enormous gather of storks, each being called by the winds to begin their journey. The only equivalent we have in Manitoba are the Canada Geese. Every year they gather on the large ponds near to our nature centre, Fort Whyte. They arrive as the sun is setting calling one another. It is extremely moving. I can only imagine if it were storks!
There are several videos on YouTube about Klepetan and Malena, the famous Croatian white storks and the man, Sljepan Vokic, who has cared for Malena for more than 22 years. Sometimes, it is nice to see one of those videos just to remind ourselves that the world is full of kind caring people.
Skipping down to Australia, the two little sea eaglets, 27 and 28, are doing really well. It is mystifying watching Lady feed them the tiniest morsels of fish from her large beak.
Just look at the size of fish flake Lady is feeding to 28. She is so gentle.
There is plenty of fish in the nest and, so far, I have not seen any signs of food competition. Both of the little ones have nice tiny crops after their feedings. So far, so good. Fingers crossed it keeps up. Indeed, the only cheekiness I have seen is 28 trying to take a bite of 27’s head!
I love the look in Lady’s face as she stares at those two precious little fluffy bobbles. In many ways Lady reminds me of NC0 on the Loch of the Lowes nest in that she has grown into being an excellent – and loving – mother.
There is a gentleness about her movements with the two chicks this year that is striking. These moments of both of them tenderly tucked under mom will pass so quickly – they grow so fast!
A quick early Monday morning check on the UK Osprey nests reveals that Aran and Mrs G have been on the nest together since approximately 4 am.
Amidst the bleating of the sheep and the cows mooing, Aran brought in a fish for Mrs G and did a survey of their nest.
It is reported that Aran’s wing is much improved. He is flying more and fishing for himself as well as delivering fish to Mrs G. This is all good news since it was unknown at the time of his wing injury in late May whether or not he would be healed in time for migration.
One of Laddie and NC0’s chicks is on the Loch of the Lowes nest hoping for a food drop. Of course, that band is in hiding so it is anyone’s guess which chick is calling for fish!
The scene at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn and their two fledglings is simply pastoral. That said, no one is home!
The nest of Tiny Little is equally beautiful. I love the gentle yellows of the sun kissing the Dyfi Nest as it moves above the horizon and the gentle golden pink colouring the landscape of the Foulshaw Moss nest below.
A little later the Foulshaw Moss is magical. No Tiny Little though.
I cannot think of a better way to start a Monday morning than collapsing into the serenity of one of these landscapes. You can feel the stillness while, at the same time, soaking in the freshness of the smell of dew on grass.
Thank you for joining me. I will get the synopsis of what is happening with the Gough Island Recovery project this week. Once I started reading Brown’s book on Ospreys many other things went to the wayside. I hope that you have a great start to the week. Take care all.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.
If you have watched Kindness, the Bald Eagle nestling at Glacier Gardens, then you might have caught her nipping at her mum’s beak. It looks like she is trying to kiss mum. A couple of days ago a video was made showing Kindness interacting with her mum. My goodness, Kindness, you are lucky your mum is so patient! Have a look.
At the Port Lincoln Osprey barge, it looks like the final touches have gone on the nest renovations. The egg cup is now lined with very soft pieces of bark. Mom decides to try it out!
Dad flies in with something else on his mind! No eggs yet but mating is taking place. Season will begin soon!
As we approach fledging at all of the Northern Hemisphere Osprey nests and migration in a month to six weeks, if you fear Osprey withdrawal, here is the link to this nest. Just a warning. This nest has had instances of siblicide in the past.
The Port Lincoln’s eldest chick from the 2020 season, a female named Solly, was fitted with a satellite tracker. Solly is 301 days old and she is still hanging out at Eba Anchorage and Kiffin Island. It sure seems that Solly has found her forever home at Eba Anchorage. For those of you unfamiliar, the movements of Solly changed what everyone understood about Ospreys in Australia. It was believed that ospreys stayed near to where their natal nest was located. Solly travelled over 200 km to Eba Anchorage and Perlubie giving the researchers fresh insights to the behaviour of these ospreys.
To my knowledge there has been no sighting of DEW, her younger brother. He did not receive a tracker but he did get a metal ring and a Darvic colour band.
Suzanne Arnold Horning was on the Cornell Campus again this evening. How lucky she was to get some great images of Big Red with a squirrel down on the ground – and it wasn’t raining. (Send the rain to the Canadian Prairies when you get tired of it, Suzanne!).
It was wonderful to see Big Red with prey that she was going to eat herself. She needs to build up her strength after laying eggs, incubating those eggs, and feeding and caring for the three Ks until fledge. Even now she is doing some prey drops and is busy training the Ks to hunt.
The Robins were giving Big Red a lot of grief. Could it be because Arthur has been up at their nest eating their babies? Or the fact that K1 caught a bird today and it was rumoured to be a young Robin?
Big Red and her squirrel also attracted another visitor – a Turkey Vulture!
The pair also attracted a human who was said to have tried to interfere with the situation. Both of the birds were fine. Big Red was eating and the Turkey Vulture appeared to be waiting to see if she left anything.
One of the things that I have learned is that hunting is difficult and prey is not abundant always. Raptors can wait for hours, half a day, or even a day to catch prey to eat. It is estimated that only 1 out of 3 juveniles live to the age of two years – mostly due to starvation. Humans should not interfere when a raptor is eating. As a result of the human intrusion, Big Red chose to fly away from the human who was interfering. This also caused her to leave part of her meal. The vulture did eat the rest – so in the end everyone ate- but it was a situation that should never have happened. Remember if you see a hawk hunting or eating, please leave them alone. Finding their meal is not that easy.
The scientific name for the Turkey Vulture – Carthartes Aura – means ‘cleansing breeze’. They are scavengers, eating mainly carrion. They have dark espresso coloured feathers, red legs and head, with a white beak. Like the condor, there are no feathers on their head. This is a great evolutionary trait so that pieces of the dead do not stick to them causing disease or parasites. The Turkey Vulture’s sense of smell is so great that they can find a fresh killed animal a mile away! The only raptors larger than the Turkey Vultures are the Eagles and the Condors. What I find interesting is that they are the only raptor that cannot kill their own prey. They simply do not have the right talons to do this – their feet are more like that of a chicken. That said they can tear through really tough hides with their beak. In other words, the Turkey Vulture was never a threat to Big Red.
As I prepare to settle in for the night, Tiny Little is waking up. The early morning fog over the marsh is just starting to clear. You can see the parents, or siblings, or both back on the parent tree. Tiny Little is still sleeping like a duckling on the nest. Good Morning Tiny Little! Let’s get that gear box into forward today.
Tiny Little is also checking the nest for any little tidbits of leftover fish. And just like Tiny Tot he has found some lurking under those sticks.
Tiny Little was doing some prey calling and looking up in the sky. The morning fog doesn’t seem to be clearing. What a beautiful colour it is – that sort of golden pink gradually fading into the grey-blue-green. Lovely.
Update: Tiny Little had a huge breakfast. It is now mid-afternoon and Blue 462 is working on a fish that arrived. 464 is standing next to that fish and Tiny Little, 463, is ignoring it right now. She is probably still full enough from the morning not to bother. Unclear if Tiny Little has taken a second flight today. I stayed up waiting! But had to give in to being tired.
This is the image of the afternoon line up for a fish! 462 is eating, 464 is pretending to be Tiny Little and bugging his big sibling. Tiny Little is over at the side duckling style. Tiny Little is full from breakfast and knows that Mum will come to the rescue later if she gets hungry.
There is a beautiful peachy almost coral sky as the morning begins at the Poole Harbour Osprey nest. CJ7 and Blue 022 are roosting elsewhere.
Golden diamonds are falling on the nest of Blue 33 and Maya at Rutland Manton Bay. No one is home. They are all perched elsewhere. Blue 33 does make food drops at the nest for the two Bobs.
A little later, Blue 095 flies into the nest and settles down and then flies out again.
Oh, wow. Just look at that sun coming up over the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn in Wales. It is so bright you cannot see the perch!
A very short video of Ystwyth fledging at 7:59 am on 17 July is here:
It is serene up at The Loch of the Lowes. No one is home but it sounds like there is a fledgling on the camera perch.
What you don’t see here is that later, NC0 is on the nest, spots a fish, goes out and gets it, and gives it to LM2.
The only thing you can hear at Glaslyn are either bees or wasps on the microphone! Oh, it is so beautiful and green. It has been hot at this nest, 26-29 degrees C – and the birds are staying cool in the shade of the trees. Even with the heat the landscape looks so lush. What a gorgeous way to begin the day.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I so enjoy hearing from all of you. Stay safe! See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Byrwd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, LRWT and the Manton Bay Ospreys. I would also like to thank the Port Lincoln Osprey Research Project and the PLO FB page where I took a screen shot of Solly’s recent tracking. And last but never least, I would like to say a huge thank you to Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to use her images on my blog. She holds the copyright on them so please do not use elsewhere. Thank you.
Yesterday was quite an anxious day with people all over the world staying up to see if the little osprey chick was saved at the Patuxent River Nest 2. In the flurry of the moment, a few people were not thanked who need to be. The first is Burky4 from the Achieva Osprey chat group. Indeed, Burky4 was the first person to mention that there were only two chicks in the nest in the nest in the Patuxent chat room. So this is a huge shout out to Burky4. Thank you! I will not know the names of everyone and I apologize – but another shout out to S Shen who then in her own words, “found the number of Tom O’Connell, director of the USGS Eastern Ecological Science Center (EESC). His business number went to voice mail which INCLUDED his cell!! Yay. I was able to text him and he gave the phone numbers for the 24 hour a day Natural Resources Emergency or Assistance.” S Shen says that another individual to be credited is Barnegat Light. I also want to thank Linda Kontol who got busy phoning numbers as well to try and get anyone’s attention after hours. I also want to thank the young man on the Wildlife Emergency Services Line again who got in touch with the Fish & Game people. It was a grand team effort and this chick might not be alive this morning were it not for the efforts of these wonderful citizen birders and government officials who worked to save this little one. And to everyone that was inadvertently missed, thank you! Tom O’Connell will be posting information on the actual individuals who went to the site this coming week.
The ‘silo’ chick is the one that went into the water, the last foster chick to be put in this nest. It is the one in duckling mode. The chick has moved but has not moved a lot. It has had a lot of excitement. Let us hope that there is no damage from either of its falls.
Every day people watching nest cams move into action when they see an animal in distress.
S Shen reminds me again how important it is to have emergency numbers readily available. She said that several years ago she noticed a chick in a Lake Barkley, Kentucky nest entangled in fishing line. There was no chat room so she went to the nest’s FB page and remembered the name of one of the chatters who said they lived close to the nest. She tracked down their phone number and called them. That person, ER, managed to get someone up to the nest and the chick was saved.
I remember that my mother had a list of emergency phone numbers for everyone helping her just in case it was needed. It was on her fridge. Here are three suggestions and I am certain everyone reading this will have more. The first is if there is a chat room associated with a nest that it have a moderator 24/7 (these are volunteers) who have emergency numbers to call the instant something happens. The second is for anyone administering a streaming cam that the local emergency wildlife numbers appear right under the name of the nest so people can locate them quickly. And the third is for everyone who watches a nest to begin to gather their own emergency numbers to call for each nest and make their emergency list for their fridge, phone, etc.
In other Osprey news, if you missed it Tiny Little of the Foulshaw Moss fledged yesterday at 20:19:57. He slept alone on the nest duckling style last night and was up early looking around. It is just a beautiful morning in Cumbria as the sun slowly rises the mist gives way to a pink hue over the landscape.
Tiny Little was doing a lot of flapping and looking. I wonder if he realizes that he actually flew yesterday?
Monty and Glesni have a grandchick. Oh, they would be so proud. Four of their chicks are now breeding. Yesterday on the Pont Croesor Nest in the Glaslyn Valley, the Only Bob of Monty and Glesni’s son, Z2 Aeron, and Blue 014 was ringed!
Blue 494 is also the first chick to hatch in this nest so there are a lot of congratulations and happiness going around. The PC nest was controversial when it was positioned where it is. Many thought it too close to the Glaslyn Nest of Aran and Mrs G. Only time will tell how this works out. For 2021, Blue 494 is also the only chick to hatch at Glaslyn with the three little ones of Aran and Mrs G dying due to the circumstances surround the storm at the end of May and Aran’s injury.
And congratulations to Idris and Telyn on Ystwyth’s fledge today! Both of their 2021 chicks have now fledged. Well done.
Doesn’t that empty nest look nice? Ystwyth is 54 days old.
She is investigating the area around the cameras.
I have some great pictures of the Ks to share with you. I will get them organized this evening. For now there is a lot of happiness to go around. Once again thank you to all of those individuals who helped save the ‘silo chick’ at Patuxent.
Thank you for joining me this morning. It is another scorcher on the Canadian prairies. There is rumour of some showers but like everywhere else in Canada we could use some rain and the birds in my garden are probably wanting their bowls and baths to be filled.
Thank you to the following streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife video on the ringing on their FB page, Dyfi Osprey Cam, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, and the Patuxent River Park Osprey Cam Nest 2.
Juvenile Osprey Blue 096 has fledged from the Rutland Manton Bay Nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11). It happened at 12:12:27 pm.
He looks up.
Wings begin flapping. Blue 095 goes, “oh, not this again! This nest is getting too small for flapping. I wish you would just go away!”
He’s on tippy toes and grabs the wind and…
Blue 096, male chick of Maya and Blue 33 (11) fledges on 1 July 2021.
Jack delivers a breakfish to Tiny Tot this morning. Oh, thank goodness! It is 28 degrees C and the weather service says there is a 40% of a thunderstorm around 5pm in St Petersburg, Florida. Thanks, Jack!
By 9:29 Tiny Tot will have that fish out of dad’s talons and she will be saying ‘Yum’.
There were, to my knowledge no fish deliveries to Tiny last evening. She was really waiting and watching for dad. Turns out it is a small headless fish, a bit of a teaser for our gal who chowed down on that whopper the other day, this morning.
Look at those magnificent wings. Tiny, you are such a gorgeous bird!
Well, one of those nests that I suggested you watch when others get stressful just turned up the noise. Lady Hawk posted a video of the Royal Cam chick going to visit her neighbor SSTrig and the neighbour gets into a big territorial dispute. Taiki is very social and meant no harm but we now know there won’t be any afternoon tea parties with these two. Here is that video:
There is great news coming out of New Zealand. Remember I love this country for the way in which it takes care of its wildlife. Well, today, New Zealand announced that it is putting surveillance cameras on all of its fishing boats to make sure that they comply with safe fishing so that no seabirds are caught as bycatch. Way to go New Zealand!
The landscape at the Glaslyn Nest of Mrs G and Aran in Wales is stunningly beautiful. I admit to dreaming of trees and places where you can look out and see birds and not the concrete of the city. Of sitting and smelling the wet grass and hay and not the petrol fumes of cars. Of disappearing into the wilderness.
Aran and Mrs G are spending more and more time together. Aran is able to fish after his injury in early June but he is still healing. There will be no more chicks this year but the couple was seen bonding. That is fantastic!
Aran brought in a big fish earlier that he was eating. I wonder if he shared it with Mrs G who now has a nice chunk and the tail in her talons. He has provided at least one fish to her that was caught on camera which is a great indication of Aran’s continuing progress in healing.
The two Bobs at the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales are enjoying a lovely fish that Idris delivered. Telyn is a fantastic mom but that nest is getting a little crowded. She may have to stand on the rails to feed her babies soon. These two are growing like crazy! You might remember that Dysynni, the male, is the largest male Osprey born on this nest ever. Idris has really brought in some of the large fish. It has been determined that many of those fish actually weigh more than Idris – breaking another myth that Ospreys can only carry a % of their actual weight.
It also demonstrates how much food and the quantity of it matter to the health and well being of the chicks. This is the nest of a super dad – as are many of those in Wales and other parts of the UK.
Meanwhile, over in Scotland, the two Bobs on the Loch of the Lowes nest are waiting for NC0 or Laddie to bring them in a tea time fish. Gosh these Bobs are beautiful. The time has flown by and they will soon be hovering and fledging but, in those very first days, I really wondered if Bob 2 would survive the bonking from Bob 1.
And goodness, I woke up this morning and had to look twice to figure out which of the chicks on the Foulshaw Moss Nest of White YW and Blue 35 was Tiny Little Bob! Which one do you think is Tiny Little?
If you said the one closest to the right looking out, you would be right. She or he is watching for one of the parents to arrive with a fish! As noted from the people who ringed the chicks, they could not determine the gender of Tiny Little from the measurements because of its small size at the time. Rumours had gone around that Tiny Little is, in fact, a female.
Today, the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust put out their announcement about the ringing of these three Ospreys. Part of the celebration is that Tiny Little was the 100th osprey chick to be banded in Cumbria since 2001. That is amazing. Here is part of the text that was posted:
“I’m incredibly pleased that we have ringed another three osprey chicks at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve this year. For a time we we’re unsure if the smallest chick was going to make it. It was rapidly being outgrown by its bigger siblings but it carried on fighting for its share of the food from mum and dad. Now there’s not much difference in weight – and it was the smallest one that was the 100th osprey chick to be ringed in Cumbria since 2001! Osprey chicks are weighed by the licenced bird ringer and each chick is given a coloured leg ring. This year we have Blue 462, a female weighing 1.6kg, Blue 463 weighing 1.5kg – gender unknown, and Blue 464, a male weighing 1.6kg”.
Paul Waterhouse, Cumbria Wildlife Trust
I wanted to check in on the little Golden Eaglet in Bucovina, Romania. He has changed so much in just a few days. Most of the white feathers are gone and are now replaced with the beautiful dark black kind of espresso coloured ones for the juveniles.
The female has come to the nest to feed the eaglet. There were lots of bones and scraps of meat left on them. It is unclear to me whether or not the mother has brought in new prey or is using what is in the pantry.
You can look and see the remote mountain area where this nest is located. I continue to hope that the parents are able to find enough prey for this little one to thrive and fledge.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I regret I have no images of the Ks for you – maybe later today. They are off exploring the trees and some of the buildings with Big Red and Arthur. Everyone is fine; they are just not around the nest!
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I obtained my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Asociatia Wild Bucovina, LRWT and Manton Bay Osprey Nest, Cornell Bird Cam Royal Albatross and NZ DOC, and Dyfi Osprey Projec. I would also like to thank Lady Hawk for her video clip of the territorial dispute between Taiki and SSTrig.