The Miracle Chick

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.

Mrs G (left) and Aran (right). July 2021.
Mrs G 3 September 2021
Aran in one of his favourite spots before he migrates. September 2021

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.

Taiki to get GPS tracker

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!

A juvenile male Wood Duck.
Juvenile Female Wood Duck
Adult male Wood Duck,moult
Canada Geese

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.

Fledge at Mlade Buky and other news in Bird World

We have a fledge at the White Stork nest in Mlade Buky!

Oh, this is just so wonderful. The people of this community can be so proud as these three beautiful birds leave their nest. It was their help that made it possible for these three to be alive today. Bravo.

Here is the video so you can watch it.

The heat wave has taken more tolls on birds in the Pacific Northwest not just the Osprey chicks that literally roasted in the nests. Cooper’s Hawks have been jumping off the edge of the nests so they do not get cooked by the hot sun. This is a real tragedy in the making. Even the number of birds at my feeders is down. They spend the day in the myriad of vines in the shade of the house and the lilac bushes only coming out to drink and return to shade. The outside temperature near the water bowls reads 34 C. That is hotter than it is in the West Indies! So please put out water for the birds! Find old dishes and provide them with something. Thank you!

I hope that you are able to open this. If not you could Google ‘hawks jumping out of nests to avoid heat’. This is just so sad.

The streaming cams for many of the nests are being turned off as the season ends. Glaslyn will turn off the feed to Aran and Mrs G’s nest shortly as will Rutland Water on the Manton Bay Nest of Blue 33 and Maya. We will look forward to another season with them in the future. Blue 33 and Maya are a super Osprey couple – celebrities if you will allow me to call them that. They have been together since 2015 and have fledged 17 chicks. They raised a nest of four in 2019. That is almost unheard of and really takes a strong male to feed that many. I am impressed. I told someone if I came back as an Osprey in another life I wanted Blue 33 for my mate. He is incredible. They will return to the Rutland Manton nest in late March – usually within an hour of one another.

I expect many others will follow as it is costly to run the cameras. If you go to the camera and it is not functioning check the nest’s FB page. They have probably turned off the camera til the next season. But please remember that the breeding season is only beginning in Australia with the Peregrine Falcons, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and the WBSE.

NC0 up at the Loch of the Lowes nest is out fishing for her chicks. She is incredible. She spots the fish from the nest and dives down and gets it. Here is a very rough cut of a video of the two Loch of the Lowes chicks enjoying themselves.

I never thought I would say that a Golden Eagle nestling was cute but Zenit certainly is.

Zenit is really working on his wing flaps and from his crop it appears that he has had a feeding. That is good. I am just thinking how lucky Zenit is to be in a tree nest with shade.

Kindness is one of the cutest Bald Eagle nestlings I have ever seen! Here she is again trying to nibble around mom.

Oh, how beautiful. Kindness sitting next to Mom. Everyone thinks Kindness is a female because her Dad loves to feed her!

You are getting to be a big girl, Kindness. You are 52 days old today! More than halfway to fledge which will be around 89 days – the average for the Glacier Gardens nest. (The average in Alaska is 80 days).

Tiny Little has been in the nest every time I checked on her. A fish came in and 462 ate and ate. Then 464 came and couldn’t get the fish tail down. Tiny Little was playing with it when White YW brought in another fish. Tiny Little ignored it and dad left with the fish! Silly Tiny! Some dads will feed their chicks but White YW doesn’t seem to do this very often preferring that Blue 35 take on those duties almost exclusively. Tiny Little has yet to get confident in opening up a fish with a head.

White YW returned to the nest at 17:39 and Blue 35 flew in to feed Tiny Little. Tiny did not ignore that fish this time!!!!!!!

Oh, she just loves being fed by mum. Tiny Little eats for about forty minutes.

This kiddo should be stuffed.

At 21:00, Tiny Little and big sib 462 were cuddled up duckling style read to sleep.

It is not clear to me if Tiny Little ever did a second flight today. She was flapping those wings really hard and walking around the nest looking down for a long, long time. Often I had to leave only to return to find Tiny on the nest. Maybe someone saw her fly again?

Tiny tried everything but getting over on the middle left side of the nest and just going for it like she did when she fledged was something she did not do. There were a few good hovers. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. Need to get those wings strong and self-feeding down for migration.

The couple who saved the little osprey chick that fell into the river at the Putuxent Osprey Nest 2 were surprised that so many people from around the world watch their birds! I mentioned to them the need for an emergency number on the streaming cam. Fingers crossed! Thank you to everyone that sent them a thank you note. The chick is doing well.

Thank you for joining me for a quick look at a few nests on a Sunday evening. Take care. It is very hot in so many places or there are torrential rains and flooding. So where ever you are be careful.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Park, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Patuxent Park Osprey Cam 2, and Asociatia Wild Bucovino.

Nest Hopping News for 1 July

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.

Last chick at Glaslyn dies

After the death of the middle chick last night, Mrs G kept the wee one warm even though it could barely hold up its head. It died late this afternoon. There has been much speculation as to what happened on this nest but nothing will be known for sure without a post mortem. Did the chicks get a pneumonia from all the rain and the damp cold nest? was it some other avian disease associated with rain and cold? I saw some chatter on another nest’s streaming cam speculate that it was starvation. I cannot even imagine that anyone would say that. The quantity of the food brought to this nest is not an issue. They were fed well. Was it a matter that the chicks had no food for several days that caused this? We do not know if that interruption caused damage to their systems. The Ospreys have been eating and the little ones were eating well. Mrs G tried to feed the little one at 8:20 am this morning but it was just too weak. Another person mentioned the deadly bird flu that is currently in northern Europe. That was the virus, the deadly HPAI of the subtype H5N1. The chicks would have, like others, caught the HPAI by eating an infected wild bird. Dr Thijs Kuiken of Erasmus University is a Virologist who deals with deadly pathogens in birds. I have written to ask him but I suspect that he would say nothing is sure without a post-morten. I believe he might also say that the Ospreys at Glaslyn have only eaten fish and could not possibly have the deadly H5N1. I will let you know when I hear from him.

Mrs G understands that all of her chicks are now deceased. She stood over them for a very long time in the same way we have seen the Bald Eagles at the Captiva Nest and the White-tailed Eagle Nests in Latvia and Estonia when eaglets pass. She was disturbed in her mourning by the crows who were finally driven away by Aran.

Mrs G looks down at her chicks many times. What does she understand about their death that we might not?

In her 21 years, she has lost few chicks. So this is a great sadness for this well established and respected – iconic – Osprey family.

Mrs G flies to the perch where she can still protect her babies and the fish on the nest from the crows if it is necessary while she eats.

Mrs G was ravenous. She has laid eggs depleting her calcium, she has incubated the eggs, and brooded her chicks during the most dire weather. Force 11 winds and steady rain came right when they were hatching. To add to that, Aran, her mate was injured by intruders and could not fish.

The volunteers and staff at Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife set up a fish table for the Ospreys. They placed large quantities fish there from dusk to dawn so that Aran and Mrs G could take them to the nest and so that the Crows would not get the fish (they would be sleeping).

More fish are brought to the nest after Mrs G finishes eating.

Mrs G is not ready to say goodbye to her three babies yet and she is brooding them another night.

Mrs G and Aran will be back to the nest next year. Aran needs to mourn and to heal and grow in his flight feathers and Mrs G needs to mourn and restore her health. It is a very sad occasion indeed but it is hoped that both of the adults will recover fully.

Thank you for joining me on this quick posting. I appreciate the streaming cam set up by the Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Center. It is where I obtained my screen shots.

World Osprey Week 22-26 March 2021

What is World Osprey Week? It is when the world joins with all our friends in the United Kingdom to celebrate the return of the Ospreys from their winter migration. It is a time for celebration, educational fun, and competitions – especially for children. There will also be a lot of videos for those of us who do not live in the UK. Congratulations to the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust who are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Osprey Week!

Ospreys are large ‘fish hawks’. In fact, they used to be included with all species of hawk but, now, they have their own category among avians. They live near water. It can be either fresh water or salt water – rivers like the one show in the image below or coastal estuaries, lakes, reservoirs, or fish hatching ponds. You will find them anywhere there are large numbers of fish. They are known for their ability to hover, like a helicopter. They do this often when landing at their nest or when fishing where they will hover over the fish until they plunge into catch that fish – feet first!

“One More Shot of the Wales Countryside” by Monkey Boson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The history of Ospreys in the United Kingdom is a sad one. By the middle of World War I (1916), they were almost extinct. The demise of the Ospreys was due to shootings and egg collecting. Later, in the twentieth century, more were dying because of pesticides like DDT. Indeed, the Ospreys were one of the first of the large birds to alert the world to the threat of these harmful chemicals. Electricity is something that each of us use daily. My laptop computer is plugged in right now recharging as I write. The lamp to my right allows me to see. But this modern convenience – electricity – is a real threat to raptors such as the Osprey. Indeed, the main threats today are loss of habitat, power line collisions, and electrocution.

“Ospreys Mean Spring” by Me in ME is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Operation Jimmy honours Blue CU2 ‘Jimmy’ an Osprey born in Scotland. On his migration home, Jimmy stopped in Wales and continued to return. Jimmy was very popular. Sadly, he was electrocuted on a killer pole on a windy rainy day after he had caught his last fish. People were sad and angry. But they got to work. In an effort to stop birds from landing on these electrical poles and being killed, artificial nests started being constructed for the Osprey. In this video you can see one being installed. With the addition of natural perches, it is hoped that there will not be another electrocution.

Last year there were four breeding pairs in Wales. Today I will take a quick peek at two of those nests: Glaslyn and Dyfi. The streaming cam links are posted so you can join in the fun welcoming back these very famous Osprey.

Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife (BGGW) started when the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) ended his stewardship program of the Glaslyn Ospreys in 2013. BGGW is a small community not-for-profit group that is dedicated to the care of the wildlife in the Glaslyn Valley including the current resident pair of Ospreys, Mrs G and Aran (since 2015).

What a gorgeous place for an Osprey nest!

“Llyn Gwynant” by Joe Dunckley is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Mrs G is the oldest breeding female Osprey in Wales. She has been breeding at the Glaslyn nest since 2004. She is estimated to be nineteen or twenty years old. Mrs G has laid at least fifty-one known eggs to date. Forty-one of those hatched and thirty-eight fledged. Mrs G has at least eight-five grandchildren – some have revised this figure to 100. Whew! Those are the ones they know about. What a legacy! Here is the link to their live streaming cam:

Another nest in Wales is the Dyfi Ospreys near Machynlleth. The current resident pair are Idris and Telyn and they are passionately adored by their followers. This project began in 2009 with the erection of artificial nest and perches. The first breeding pair were Monty and Nora. Nora, however, did not return from the winter migration. A new female Blue 12/10 took Nora’s place and was subsequently named Glensi. The couple fledged thirteen chicks between 2009 and including 2017. Glensi did not return to the nest in 2018. Did I say that migrating back and forth from the United Kingdom to Africa is dangerous? That spring Monty bonded with Blue 3J/13 named Telyn. Together the pair have raised six to fledge – three females and three males in the 2018 and 2019 season. Monty did not return after the 2019 season.

“Storm clouds over the Dyfi estuary” by Ruth and Dave is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I love seeing Osprey catch fish to feed their little ones. Here is a look at Monty and Telyn in 2019 when there were three hungry mouths. Sadly, this will be Monty’s last clutch. He was an incredible provider:

We are related to dinosaurs, can you tell?

Here is the link to the Dyfi Osprey Project and its streaming cam:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk70QelhKG9mVuj7jN4I5Cg

All over the United Kingdom individuals are posting their sightings of returning Ospreys. There are currently contests at many nests to predict when the resident pair will land. One of those is Loch Arkaig and I will be taking a look at that nest tomorrow.

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I have not checked in on Solly lately and it is time. Solly, the Eastern Osprey born on the barge in Port Lincoln is 172 days old today. She has been moving between the Streaky Bay area and Eba Anchorage with a couple of flights to Haslam for several weeks. Today she is back in Streaky Bay! These satellite trackers are really quite amazing.

These three images show her movements for today (the top one) and yesterday (the bottom one). This girl loves to fly around.

It is unclear if there have been any sightings of her sibling, DEW.

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Thank you so much for joining me today. Stay safe!

Thank you to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project for the satellite tracking imagery of Solly.