Adventures in Ospreyland and other bird tales 16 July 2021

Imagine that you have one child. Everyone is happy – it is easy to provide for the one. Then imagine one day you blink and think you are seeing double. But you aren’t. There are two children. Now imagine that you are away from home and return to find three. Osprey families have the same difficulties in providing for multiple children just like humans. The adults at the Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Osprey nest number 2 now have that challenge! The pair had only one chick of their own and are now fostering two chicks about the same age as theirs.

Cathy Cohen of the Jug Bay Natural Area posted the following image on the park’s FB page today of the mom and the three chicks. The first foster chick was placed on the nest on 30 June. Nest 2 was chosen because the foster chicks are about the same age as the one hatched on the nest. There they are. It is incredible. They look like a perfect match. How wonderful to give those two lucky ones another chance. Intervention can be a good thing.

The foster Mom was said to have welcomed the chick who had fallen from a barn silo with open wings yesterday! Here she is looking over the babies while they are sleeping (or supposed to be sleeping).

And here they are this morning. It is getting warm and the new babies are getting shade.

Most of the time if I say the name ‘Iris’ everyone knows who I am talking about. If you don’t, here is a mini-bio. Iris is an Osprey. She is 26-28 years old. This makes her the oldest Osprey in the world. Iris has her nest at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. The platform was put up for her and her mate, Stanley, to save them from getting electrocuted on the hydro lines. When Stanley did not return from migration, Iris bonded with Louis. They have only had one chick survive. That was a female, Le Le, in 2018. The reason for this is that Louis has another mate and another nest at the ballpark. For years, people have watched Iris perfect the renovations on her nest, catch magnificent fish, mate with Louis, lay her eggs and then either have the ravens steal and eat the eggs or have the chicks die because the female cannot protect them and fish at the same time. Individuals are very vocal in their support of Iris. They want her to have another mate and to be able to raise chicks. I have always thought maybe she could retire with dignity and just take care of herself during her summers in Montana. At the same time you know just seeing her work on the nest and the fish she brings in that she would be an amazing parent. The issue is one of territory. Iris’s nest is in Louis’s territory – according to Louis. Louis has protected Iris on a couple of occasions this summer from intruders. Iris has also managed on her own to thwart them. She is strongly independent.

When someone posted an image of Iris sitting on a branch with another Osprey on Twitter 15 July 2021, people got excited.

The notion that Ospreys mate for life is not consistently true. When Blue 5F, Seren, got tired of laying a nest full of eggs only to be abandoned by Aran because he also had a nest with Mrs G at Glaslyn, she left Aran’s territory and found another mate, Dylan, at Clywedog. According to Google Maps, Seren moved a distance of 67.4 miles. Seren and Dylan are the proud parents, this season, of fledgling Blue 396 otherwise known as Only Bob.

It will be very curious to see how things develop over the end of the summer.

We all worry about Tiny Little. It is easy to forget looking at Blue 463 that at one time his older siblings kept him from eating and were quite aggressive. Because of that Tiny Little is hesitant to engage with the older siblings and, in particular, Blue 462. So there are worries that he will not get enough to eat. Today White YW brought in a fish and within about 15 minutes he brought in another fish. Blue 35 took that one and fed Tiny Little while the other two were eating fish pieces. What a beautiful image of Mum and her three chicks on the Foulshaw Moss nest having a nice meal of fish.

People have been asking if Tiny Little has been flapping. OH, yes, he flaps those wings all the time.

If you want to join in the fun watching Tiny Little prepare to fledge, this is the link to the Cumbrian Wildlife Osprey Cam:

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

Erick Green with the Montana Osprey Project posted some images of chicks who were entangled with baling twine. They saved three chicks a week ago but sadly one had died. Another chick had twine cutting into his right leg to the bone. Dr Green reported today that the chick is doing fabulous today. In his posting I learned something interesting. He says, “One thing that seems to work in their favor is that ospreys (and all birds) have very high body temperatures – about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. These high body temperatures help birds fight off many bacterial infections.”

Only Bob, Blue 396, has gotten really good at flying and zooms in when Dad Dylan does a food drop. Poor Seren might have to discuss Dylan bringing in an extra fish for her. Only Bob can finish them off pretty good! Look at how big this fledgling is. Wow. Dylan delivered the fish around 13:09.

At the Dyfi Nest, Idris and Telyn are waiting for Ystwyth to fledge! So is her brother Dysynni. He is sitting there urging her to come on and join in the fun while the parents are up on the camera perches watching. Ystwyth was getting some really good height to her hovering and she will go soon if not today. She is 53 days old.

Here is Ystwyth hovering. Isn’t she great?

Other nest news:

There is sad news coming out of Taiaroa Head, NZ. One of 33 Northern Albatross chicks died yesterday. The chick was not gaining weight and the NZ DOC rangers gave it a supplementary feeding. When the chick died following this it was discovered during the necroscopy that it had a piece of charcoal stuck in its trachea. As Sharon Dunne notes, charcoal floats on the surface of the ocean and it can easily be taken in by the parents when they are out fishing for food for their chick. I never imagined charcoal! Everyone is distraught. The rangers do such an excellent job taking care of these parents and chicks. Condolences go out to all of them including the albatross parents.

Our little Golden Eagle, Zenit, has had a prey delivery – a bird – and is beginning to stand really tall and strong on its legs – adult style. All good news! The Golden Eagles eat the bones – absolutely every part of their prey so Zenit will have something later. Still, having lots of meat is what this young eaglet needs right now. Excellent news.

Ferris Akel has posted a nicely edited version of his tour on Wildlife Drive on the 14th. The editing is well done and there are discreet bird names in case you do not recognize what you are looking at. There are some really nice shots of a Black Tern. Here is that short clip.

My friend, ‘T’ tells me that there is a stork with an injured food that is getting a prosthesis. Will try and find out all the news on this incredible intervention.

And speaking of storks, there are still three White Storklings on the Mlade Buky nest in Czechoslovakia:

That’s a short morning round up of happenings late Thursday night and early Friday morning at some nests. Remember that Ferris Akel does his tours on Saturday. He begins at noon NY time and ends up at the Cornell Campus. It is a great opportunity to see the Red tail fledglings in action. They have now moved from flying near to the nest to other buildings farther away. Big Red and Arthur do this with prey drops gradually to expand their territory. It will not be too long til they are down by the barns at Cornell. Always fun. You can search Ferris Akel Livestream on YT. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots or add their videos: Ferris Akel Live Tour, Patuxent River Park Ospreys, Montana Osprey Project FB Page, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Dyfi Osprey Project, CarnyX Wild and Llyn Clydewog Osprey Cam, Capi Hnizdo- Mlade Buky, and Asociatia Wild Bucinova.

Monday Nest Hopping – to keep my mind off Elsa

There were some lovely letters in my inbox today – articles and quesions – to keep me busy and to try and curtail me from checking on Tropical Storm Elsa every half hour. My friend Wicky – lover of books and hawks as long as they leave her songbirds alone – pointed my noise to an article in The New York Times by Margaret Renkl. Renkl is the author of Late Migrations, a fabulous book that I pick up often to simply read a single entry. Today in “Hawk. Lizard. Mole. Human”, Renkl speaks to the garden that she can see out her windows. She says, “How lucky I am to live in a home with windows. Against all odds – the encroachments of construction companies and lawn services and exterminators – those windows still open onto a world that stubbornly insists on remaining wild”.

Here is the link. I hope that you can open it. Renkl is a wonderful writer always leaving me appreciative of her love of our feathered friends and – others. Thank you, Wicky.

Like Renkl, I am grateful for my windows and astonished at what happens in a tiny bit of paradise inside the heat and concrete of a big and growing city. The birds have returned to the garden after the extreme heat. It is simply glorious seeing them splash around in the baths, having drinks, and sneaking off with some birdseed that looks like trail mix. The Blue Jays love the cashews and the berries and have gone through the large berry-insect-suet cylinder in a few days. There seem to be fewer insects every year. Is it the spraying of the caterpillars who eat the leaves off the trees? the greening of the lawns so that they look like they came out of a magazine, or the opposite where concrete is replacing grass? What are the birds to eat? Thankfully a growing number of people are willing to put the time and effort into helping them survive.

A lovely note came in from Finland, also, telling me about the ten Osprey nests. Thank you Tiny Toefan! I admit to not knowing enough about the Finnish nests but tonight while that storm is churning through the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida I am going to begin my education on these Ospreys. I want to learn more about them so I am just not an occasional observer. Tiny Toefan says that their Ospreys had a bit of a sad year. The attack of the Raven at the Satakunta Nest and the death of Alma spread quickly within the community of Osprey Lovers around the world. Our hearts broke for that dear family. Intruders, lack of food, and weather-related events have wrecked havoc with all the Ospreys this year.

Speaking of intruders, the UK nests are having issues with the returning two year old juveniles. They are all excited and flying about while the adults are trying to take care of their chicks that will soon be fledging. Today there were three intruders at the Glaslyn nest. All hatched at the Dyfi Nest. Z2 (Aeron, 2017) has chicks on the PC nest with 01 at Glaslyn. He quickly moved Hesgyn KA3 (2019) and Dinas KS6 (2018) along before they could do any lasting damage. Here is a video clip of all that action:

There were intruders at Foulshaw Moss Nest also. While watching Tiny Little get ready to stand up, in a quarter of a blink he was flat down like a pancake. For a moment I thought he had broken his leg – but, no – somewhere there were unwanted guests.

Did the adults teach them to do this? or is this 65 million year old instinct at work?

My friend, “R” also wrote today to tell me of another bird in the wrong place. It begs to ask how many instances of birds being where they shouldn’t are there? There is a Stellar’s Eagle in New Brunswick, Canada that should be in Russia and there were definitely birds out of location in Toronto earlier in the season.

The bird in England is a beautiful Black-browned Albatross. It should not be in the Northern Hemisphere! Imagine what a sight it was for those in Britain. I will follow up later on this story with more information. Thank you, “R”.

Here is the article. If it won’t open, try to copy and paste the URL in your browser. What in the world is this bird doing in England!?

https://www.thisisthecoast.co.uk/news/local-news/rare-albatross-sighting-on-yorkshire-coast/?fbclid=IwAR2lu8erfI5wv_J-I0gGdUvcJ2YM35wipWkXornJDTVtlAdiUgMs372NWRQ

In a swing through the Osprey nests, Tiny Tot is not on the Achieva Osprey Nest. She came in during the night and then left. The fireworks for the 4th must have been really disturbing to all the Osprey in that area. I am going to hope that Tiny Tot is down by the water catching fish to hold her until Elsa passes. She might also be looking for a place to hunker down til the storm passes. Again, because she is a fish eater and not an insect or nectar eater, Tiny Tot should be alright. It is the wind and flying debris if it gets bad. Well, it is worrisome. We can all image a hundred scenarios. I continue to run Laura Culley’s advice in my head – “worrying is nothing more than establishing an outcome in your mind before it happens. Don’t do it!” Need to put that mantra on repeat. Culley would tell me that these birds are much smarter than we are.

Electra has a huge fish that she is eating on the Cowlitz PUD Nest. It is good to see her eating well. She needs to regain her strength. On the other hand, it also makes me very sad. It would have been grand if that size of a fish came on that nest when the little tykes were alive. It might have made all the difference.

Give a shout out to the linemen of Fortis Alberta and to the streaming cam watchers who notified them that Legacy was tangled in monofilament line. They got there in time and saved her life. Legacy was so wound up in the line that she could not even lift her head to eat – and this was during the heat wave. She needed that hydration! The linemen responded to the call quickly. They removed the fishing line as well as the two dead chicks from the nest. Today, just look at her. Legacy is chowing down on a nice fish on the Fortis Red Deer Nest. There are still dark clouds but the rain has stopped and the nest seems to be drying out. That said the forecast is calling for rain tomorrow. The temperatures are in the 17 degree C range, a far cry from the extreme 40s C.

The two chicks on the Fortis Exshaw Nest at Canmore, Alberta seem to be doing alright, also. They are both being fed by mom. The skies are the same as those at Red Deer but they are calling for a thunderstorm tonight and rain tomorrow at the nest. Oh, stay dry little ones!

There seems to be a constant stream of intruders on the Hellgate Osprey Nest of Iris. It is prime real estate right next to the river and the fishing continues, despite the heat and low water, to be good for Iris. Louis has come and helped ward off the Dunrovin juveniles looking for a nest but sometimes, Iris has had to fend for herself The indignity of it all!

There are not enough good trees for the Ospreys and the placement of platforms has to be carefully evaluated because of all the territorial issues. It is confusing. On the one hand old timers tell me that Ospreys do not have territories but if you watch, Louis certainly claims this nest and the one at the baseball park as his even if he fishes in the same river as the other Ospreys. As more male chicks survive and return, careful planning will need to be undertaken for nests – if the water in the rivers and the fish stay sufficient to support a growing population of these fish eagles.

The predictions for Elsa are becoming more worrisome. Each change in the model sees it bearing down more heavily along that Southwest coast of Florida including Fort Myers up to St Petersburg. Please send any warm wishes you have that the system pulls more to the West as it heads towards Florida after Cuba.

Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe wherever you are and thank you to everyone who writes to me. I do try and get to answer your letters as quickly as I can and please know that I appreciate them. I learn something new every day from you! And thank you to all of you for simply loving the birds and doing what you can to make their lives better.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Fortis Exshaw, Fortis Alberta, and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.

Happiness in Bird World

It seems like it has been a pretty good day in Bird World.

The two little ospreys on the Cowlitz Nest had plenty of food today and nice crops albeit one of them had a bigger crop than the other. But, hey! I am not complaining. Fish is fish and they both ate really well. So did their Mom! Yippeee.

The little ones really blend into that nest with that bright sun. The one is in profile and the other is still being fed by Electra. And, of course, Wattsworth is hovering in case there is fish left! Can you hear me growling? Electra has done really well eating along with the two chicks and using up every morsel of the fish.

Now this Bob has a bit of a crop, too. He is going to drop it shortly. Wish he had done now and turned to get some more fish. For some reason this chick does not eat as much as the other.

Little Bob on the Foulshaw Moss Nest was right up there today with his big siblings – all standing in line nicely. Blue 35 is doing a fantastic job keeping those kiddos in line.

Little Tiny Bob has figured out where the ‘sweet spot’ is for feeding. Good for him. He has a lot of growing to do but, already, he is getting his beautiful curved feathers. What a cute little one.

Jack brought Tiny Tot a fish at 11:57:26 and then the rain started falling. Tiny really earns that fish. All day he has had to contend with adult intruders. He is doing an amazing job keeping those adults moving off that nest. Here is a short video of Tiny Tot getting one adult off the nest. That adult had the nerve to dive bomb Tiny!

Over at the The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island (Savannah) the second chick has fledged. That happened this morning at 6:13:51. By 8:50 both were on the nest having some breakfish. Scarlett and Rhett do not seem to be in any hurry for these two gorgeous ospreys to leave the area. Food arrives in good time to keep them on the nest and practising their flying skills before taking off for good.

There was quite a bit of excitement over in the UK today related to Ospreys. The 150th juvenile to fledge from Rutland Water has returned today for the first time. It is Male 056 hatched on the 13th of May 2019, one of four chicks of Maya and Blue 33 (11). 056 was seen in January 2020 in The Gambia. Wow! That really points to the success of their reintroduction programme.

Now to celebrate the translocation project of Poole Harbour. Translocation is when young birds are taken, at a certain age, and moved to a different location to try and establish an osprey colony where there is none. Such was the situation of Poole Harbour. In an earlier blog, I told you how Roy Dennis worked with the Poole Harbour Ospreys to introduce birds from Scotland to Poole Harbour. Remember, male birds normally return to the area of their natal nest to breed while females go elsewhere. The celebration is not happening at Poole Harbour per se but over in Glaslyn in Montgomeryshire Wales. There is the nest of Mrs G and Aran and then there is the PC nest. Z2 is the 2019 hatch of Monty and Telyn and his mate is Poole Harbour 014. And, while there are no images available, boots on the ground note that the behaviour in the nest has changed and it looks like there could be two hatches now! There is really good DNA in those chicks – lucky youngsters!

And everyone is wondering what in the world is going on in Missoula, Montana. Iris had the most handsome visitor – a three year old juvenile returnee visiting on her nest. His name is Congo 4C and he was hatched at the Dunrovin Nest in Missoula in 2018 just when Iris was taking care of her last ever chick, Le Le. This image shows Iris on the nest. She has been doing all manner of nestorations this morning. Then Louis has gotten a whiff of the visitor who is flying overhead with a fish! Like everyone else, I would love for this to get interesting!

Iris is on the left and Louis has just landed on the right. Overhead you can see Congo 4C coming with the fish – possibly for Iris? Now wouldn’t that be an interesting match? The oldest Osprey in the world with a 3 year old. And he is trying to show her he can fish.

Someone once told me that Ospreys do not have territories since they all fish in the same spots. That said, I have always understood that Iris’s nest is on Louis’s territory – that Louis more or less inherited it when Stanley died. But can a territory be divided? what about Starr and her chicks? My answer to that is that I wish Louis would take good care of his family at the baseball park and let Iris find herself a young man who wants to take care of her!

Here is Congo with Iris on the nest earlier:

Wow. Lots of things happening and then there is the fledge watch at the Redtail Hawk Nest of Big Red and Arthur. Laura Culley says it isn’t going to happen til next week. I hope she is right. K3 almost fludged today! But K2 has a bit of a sore or something causing its mouth not to close and a problem with an eye which Cornell experts are monitoring. I am really hoping that she has not cleaned her beak well and this is dried prey. The eye issue could relate to the chicks pecking at one another when they were younger???

K2 is on the left and K1 is on the right. K1 is distinguished by her very dark and thick belly band.

And then there is the adorable K3.

I am a real sucker for these tiny third hatches – for sure!

Thank you so much for joining me today. The ten goslings at Schloss Benkhausen in the White Stork Nest hatched and jumped to the ground this morning. You can see it here again:

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots and video clips: Schloss Benkhausen, Achieva Osprey, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell and Skidaway Audubon, Cornell and Montana Osprey Project, and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Here a fish, there a fish, everywhere a fish!

One of the things that I have learned but which I continually have to remind myself is this: birds are individuals. They may have instincts that have developed over 50 million years but, at the same time, they definitely have their own character. One of the first times I noticed this was with the Royal Albatross Family in 2020. The Royal Cam chick was Atawhai (Pippa was her nick name). Her parents are OGK (orange-green-black) and YRK (yellow-red-black). OGK hatched in 1998 and he was 22 years old last year when Atawhai hatched. YRK hatched in 1994 and was 26 years old when Atawhai hatched. They have been a bonded pair since 2006 and 2020 was their seventh breeding attempt. They have four children and one foster chick as of 2020. So they are not ‘new’ parents. OGK would fly in to feed Atawhai. He loved to sit next to his baby girl and have the most animated conversations. OGK was never in a hurry to leave. Atawhai adored him and would go running when he would land. Sometimes he would even spend the night with Atawhai. In contrast, YRK liked to feed her daughter and leave! Then there are the adults that I call over providers. A case this year was Louis, the partner of Anna, at the Kisatchie Forest Bald Eagle Nest. They were first time parents of Kisatchie. At first I didn’t think that Anna would ever figure out how to feed her wee chick. The parents try to look straight at their chick and keep their beak straight and vertical but in fact, because of the way the raptors see, the mother needs to angle her beak. Anna figured it out – thankfully. Louis was the envy of all the people fishing on Lake Kincaid. One day there were eighteen fish piled up on that Bald Eagle Nest – 18! He had enough food for all the Bald Eagle nests in the southern US. Unbelievable. And then there are those nests where you just sit down and weep. I said I was not going to watch the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest but one day I peeked. How bad could this dad be? I know that I often called Jack at the Achieva Osprey Nest a dead beat dad and for several weeks he was but I didn’t think it could get worse than Jack. Oh, but yes it can! Wattsworth. I only have to say his name and those that watch the nest know precisely what he does and doesn’t do. Wattsworth gets caught not bringing in fish but if Electra catches one he is right on the nest expecting her to give it to him! Meanwhile the two barely living chicks – those poor little things – have barely enough food to live. They certainly don’t get enough food to thrive. And Electra is worn out and ever so hungry, too.

Can a nest be an indication of the success the couple will have with their nestlings? I know it sounds like one of those really stupid questions. The day that Louis landed on the rim of the nest at Loch Arkaig, the nest he shares with his mate Aila, he began to do nestorations. He repaired the walls of the nest, brought in new seaweed from the loch to dry and got everything ready for Aila’s arrival. As the days passed and Aila didn’t show up, Louis continued to work on the nest in case she was really late. Have a look at this nest. There has been snow, lots of rain, and some pretty windy storms but the nest is more or less the way Louis left it when Aila did not return this year.

From the moment Iris arrived at her Hellgate Missoula Montana nest she began to repair it. Iris had a lot to do. Last year she went on a rampage when a squirrel climbed up and tried to get in the nest cup. This was after the raven had eaten her egg. There wasn’t much left of the walls. So in 2021 it was almost like starting from scratch. One of the people who belong to the FB page of the Montana Ospreys commented on how Iris was still doing her best even though Iris knows that the outcome in 2021 will not be any different than previous years. The key is that she is doing her best, regardless.

Even CJ7 and 022, who are currently bonding on the Poole Harbour Nest but will not have chicks this year, are working on their nest!

Just yesterday one of the two chicks on the Cowlitz Nest almost fell out of the nest. There is no wall on the far side! You can see it plainly in the photo below.

Is this because there are no sticks to bring to continue building? or there are so many intruders there is no time to secure the nest? or is it indifference? or is Jack just lazy? or does he have another family or two? If anyone knows the answer, write to me – I would sure like to know!

How can you tell if a raptor has food in their system? We all know by looking to see if they have a crop but is there any other way? I happened to catch Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest tonight doing his ‘ps’. That white streak ends between the C and the H in the Achieva logo below. The PS left Tiny Tot’s body like a cork popping out of a champagne bottle. The point of all of this is that Electra had such a tiny ps yesterday that you knew her system was almost entirely void of food. The same for those babies. They fight now – they each want to live. It is sad because that clobbering one another uses up their precious energy.

Tiny Tot doing a PS. 15 June 2021

The Cowlitz kids had feedings from two fish today and Electra was eating too. We can hope that all of that small fish will go to Electra and the babies and not into the talons of Wattsworth who was waiting to claim it! Wattsworth certainly gets the Dead Beat Dad award for the past two weeks!

Speaking of Dead Beat Osprey Dads. I have to give Jack a gold star. He has really turned around. Every day he brings at least one fish to Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest. One day – was it Sunday? – he even brought in four – FOUR – fish for Tiny. Jack has not forgotten his little one protecting the nest!

Here comes Jack with that fish for Tiny at 7:05:17.

White YW and Blue 35 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest have also been working on the nest. White YW is getting much better at bringing in fish to the nest for Blue 35 and the three chicks, too. My concern is really only Tiny Little Tot. Oh, he is starting to get clever like Tiny Tot did when he was starving and being picked on by the bigger siblings. One of the FB friends of the nest said it well today, “Little One saw the fish coming in and made sure he was in pole position!” Her observations were absolutely spot on. Tiny Tot got right in front of mama so that she could see him clearly and Tiny Little Tot didn’t move. Not only did he not move but he also took bites meant for one of the bigger siblings. Oh, I just adore this little sweetie. He could go on that list of third hatches that survive and thrive!

That was just brilliant! And the older ones didn’t even seem to mind. What a relief. Tiny Little Tot had a really good feed.

Speaking of crops, have a look at the crop of Little Bob on Loch of the Lowes. Looks like everything has straightened itself out on that nest as well. Both Bobs are really thriving.

Today’s winner of provider of the day goes to Idris, however. Sorry Laddie! Just look at that whale that he hauled in for Telyn and the Bobs. He didn’t even eat the head!

Oh, thanks so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure. I will be checking in on Big Red and Arthur and the Ks first thing tomorrow. Fledge watch is truly on for that Red tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Nest, Achieva Credit Union, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig.

So you want to read about Ospreys!

I have received several letters asking about books on Ospreys. I have quite a few in my bookshelf and I will try to spend a little bit of time telling you about each of them. I have picked out the ones that are well written and easy to read. I have not ranked them. That would be impossible or at least to me it is. Each one is rather different. Some are general knowledge while others focus on specific sites where ospreys breed. There are even books on specific birds. For those wanting to find books on these beautiful sea eagles, you are lucky. There are a number of well-written books available both new and used. I cannot say this about Red-tailed Hawks!

Alan Poole’s Ospreys. The Revival of the Global Raptor came out in 2019. It is actually a much revised version of a book by Poole written several decades earlier. Poole is an enthusiastic lover of Ospreys. The book is easy to read and extremely informative. If you wanted a first general book on Ospreys this is a good choice. It covers everything you might want to know about ospreys from the four different sub-species and their differences, to the geography and distribution, their behaviour, life cycle and breeding habits, challenges during migration to the intimate details of the mother feeding the little one. There are personal stories that bring the information to life. Only available in hardback. 220 pages with beautiful colour photographs.

Roy Dennis’s A Life of Ospreys is written just as enthusiastically as the Poole. This book also has some good general information on Ospreys but, at the heart of it are the personal anecdotes and stories that go hand in hand with Dennis working decades to reintroduce the Osprey back into the United Kingdom after it was almost made extinct at the beginning of the twentieth century. One of the things I enjoyed most was the information on conservation ecology and the Osprey as well as the inclusion of Dennis’s original notes from the 1970s. Paperback. 224 pages. Colour photographs, maps, and charts. Published in 2012.

I am a big fan of Roy Dennis and the work that he did to bring the Osprey back to the skies of of the United Kingdom – as well as his work with translocating Osprey to places such as Urdaibai Biosphere Park in Spain. Dennis fell in love with Ospreys as a teenager and has never looked back. His latest book, Restoring the Wild. Sixty Years of Rewilding Our skies, woods, and Waterways was published in 2021. It is really the personal journey and all the challenges with the kind of personal details that animates the story of the return of the Ospreys. Hardback. 452 pages. Black and white.

Written with all the love and joy this man can muster for his beloved birds of prey. While you can order this from the many on line book sellers, if you do decide to purchase it and you can afford the postage from Scotland, I suggest you order it directly from Roy Dennis’s website. Roy Dennis Wildlife Trust. All of the funds go back into helping the osprey and you can get it signed.

Many of you will be familiar with Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate, Missoula, Montana. Dorothy Patent and William Munoz have written a book specifically about the Ospreys in Montana – Call of the Osprey. Along with a general introduction, the pair cover, in great detail, the setting up of the artificial platform near the Riverside Health Centre for Iris and Stanley. There are excellent colour photographs. The book also discusses the Montana Osprey Project which looks into the toxins in the rivers from mining in the area as well as the new research using satellite trackers to find out where the osprey from Montana travel for the winter. Lovers of Iris and Stanley will, no doubt, like the detailed history of them as a couple. Hardback. 80 pages.

Another geographical specific book is The Rutland Water Ospreys. It is written by Tim Mackrill. You might recognize the name. Mackrill is the expert that assisted the Glaslyn Wildlife Centre with information on setting up the fish table for Mrs G, Aran and their now deceased chicks at the beginning of June when Aran was injured. Beautiful colour drawings and photographs give the history of all of the Ospreys at Rutland Water. There is information on the use of satellite trackers and migration. It is a great book if you are a fan of the ospreys at Rutland – and who isn’t, right? There are maps of Rutland Water Nature Reserve, histories of the birds, as well as information by year going from 2003 to 2012. A real who’s who of the Rutland birds! A joy to read. Hardback. 2015. 160 pages.

For older children (and adults like me), I highly recommend Belle’s Journey. An Osprey Takes Flight by Rob Bierregaard. Written in 2018, it is a beautifully illustrated book telling the intimate story of Belle. Belle hatched on Martha’s Vineyard. The book covers her migration to Brazil using real satellite tracking information. Easy to read but not childish. Extremely informative. There are 19 chapters – something to keep going as a bed time story for nearly three weeks. I would suggest getting a map if you do purchase the book or a globe so that you can follow Belle’s journey. 106 pages. Hardcover.

There are more books and I will mention them another time but there is one book I have in my hand to read in the next couple of days and another that I am waiting to purchase. There are many biographies about famous people but a biography about a bird? Lady of the Loch. The Incredible Story of Britain’s Oldest Osprey celebrates Lady, the oldest osprey in Scotland. She laid eggs and raised chicks for more than two decades at The Loch of the Lowes where Laddie and NC0 have their two chicks this season. It is a remarkable little paperback that from the first few pages appears to be written with great love. General information about ospreys, conservation efforts, migration and its perils are interwoven with stories about Lady. As I understand it from people I have spoken to, Lady gave all those trying to reintroduce ospreys to the United Kingdom hope. 2011. 177 pages. Black and white.

The book that I am waiting to get my hands on is only available through the Dyfi Wildlife Centre. It is by Emyr Evans and is on the life of Monty, the male super star of the Ospreys that located themselves in Wales. It is called Monty and if you followed him and his mates this will be a book that you will want to order. I understand the shop will be back on line for orders in September.

Thank you so much for joining me. If you are looking for books on ospreys, one of these should help. I want to close with a picture of the morning of 15 June 2021 at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest – the home of White YW and Blue 35 and their three osplets. I am particularly interested in Tiny Wee Bob. He has been having some nice feeds lately but yesterday he decided to pick on Middle Sized Big Bob. It wasn’t such a good idea as you might image. He looks OK this morning. Fingers crossed he is one of the amazing third hatches that survives and goes on to do wonderful things.

You can hardly see his head but there it is in the middle of the image below. He is sort of in a strange state of his feather development. Hopefully any pulled out by the bigger siblings will return! You cannot see his body. He is between the bigger ones.

Here is Tiny Little Bob with his neck extended. You can see the Reptilian phase feathers coming and that great line of mascara extended from his eye to his neck.

Thank you to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust streaming cam where I grabbed the screen shot of the chicks at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest.

First known Albino Osprey Chick Hatches at Urdaibai Biosphere Park

The Urdaibai Osprey Nest is one of the nests that Roy Dennis helped to establish in Northern Spain. According to Dennis, he tagged a breeding female near his home in Moray, Scotland and named her Logie. She had one of the new GPS transmitters so the local school children could follow her travels just like Belle in the book, Belle’s Journey. What did they learn? Well, she spent her first winter in the Bijagos Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau, an island off the coast of west Africa. She set off on her spring migration to return to Scotland on 12 March. She had good weather til she got to Basque Country in northern Spain. The winds were blowing to the west and there was heavy rain. She stayed there waiting out the bad weather from 29 March to 7 April on the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, north of Bilbao. Knowing her location, Dennis asked someone to look for her and his call was answered by a local biologist who took photographs and send them to Dennis. Logie was eating a fish she had caught. The pair, Dennis and Aitor Galarza, stayed in touch. Galarza visited Dennis in Scotland because he wanted to learn about breeding Ospreys and they got to talking about translocation. In October, Dennis traveled to Spain to see the places where Logie had stopped over.

The next year, more Ospreys stopped over on their spring migrations and to make a long story a little shorter, Aitor received funding and authorisations to set up a reintroduction programme of Osprey to the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve in 2013. Dennis got permissions and licenses to collect 12 young Ospreys per year for five years and move them to Urdaibai. During the five years, as planned, Aitor and Dennis moved sixty young Osprey from Scotland to Basque Country in Spain.

The males, of course, returned to their nests in Basque country after their migrations but, at the beginning, these translocated boys could not attract females to stay with them. Then a male in 2017 managed to attract a migrant female in September. The rest is history as they say. This is nothing but the briefest of overviews. If you have Roy Dennis’s book, Restoring the Wild. Sixty Years of Rewilding Our Skies, Woods, and Waterways you can read all of the details on pages 314-16.

The Spanish government also prepared a detailed report about the reintroduction of Ospreys with other information about Osprey populations in Europe. For those of you that love detail like I do, here is the link to that report:

This little albino hatched on 2 June at 8:47 and is the first known Albino Osprey in the world. From the look on the one parent’s eyes they might be wondering what they are seeing since the white down and the pink eyes and beak stand out against the nest materials. Of course, that is precisely the problem for this little one. It ‘stands out’ and so predators can see it easier than its two older siblings with their typical Osprey plumage. Its eyes could be sensitive to light that could also cause issues as an adult but the truth is – this is new Osprey territory and a lot will be learned from this precious white bundle.

If you are ever wondering about the egg tooth that chicks have to help them peck through the hard shell, you can see it easily on this little one – it is the white tip end. See the hook? Imagine the chick upside down hammering away with that on a shell.

You can watch this nest here:

Wow, what an exciting morning. I am happy to say that at 6:49:40, Tiny Tot had a fish delivery from Jack. After all the past days of others stealing his fish deliveries it was a delight to see him eating first thing. Tiny really mantled that fish! And no doubt he enjoyed it. It is going to be another scorching hot day in St Petersburg, Florida at 30 degrees C. That nest has to be a lot hotter. There are chances of thunderstorms in the area for the next four days.

Wadsworth flew in with a fish delivery this morning for Electra and the two chicks. He is getting better at these deliveries – maybe he has figured out his responsibilities. I might now continue checking in on this nest. It is in Washington State. One gets so emotionally involved with these nests and, historically, Wadsworth has not been reliable. Fingers crossed. Those are two cute little ones there. And just look. Their tower is located higher than the location where the Ospreys made their nests on the power line. And look, it is right by the water – he doesn’t have to travel far to get the meals for his family!

The Cowlitz Osprey platform was put up in Longview, Washington by the Public Utility District (PUD). They have actually built five platorms. This is number 6141. There are two cameras and one of them has sound.

You can watch this Osprey family here:

To make the day even more special, Iris stopped in at her nest to say hello to all of us this morning! It is just after 6:30. She has a full crop and just look at her. She is keeping herself in prime condition. Well done, Iris – and Iris, it is so nice to see you. Thank you for stopping in!

Thank you for stopping in today to check on Bird World. I will have quick reports on all the UK nests this evening and any unusual happenings during the day.

Thanks to the Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, the Cowlitz PUD, Achieva Credit Union, and the Urdaibai Biosphere Park for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots.

Tiny got fed up!

I wasn’t expecting to do another posting this evening but I found myself checking to see if a fish had wound up in Tiny Tot’s talons. I kept doing this every so often and then, all of a sudden, that intruder bird is on the perch pole and Tiny Tot is in the nest. Keep in mind that the last meal that Tiny Tot had was last night – 24 hours ago. He chased the adult intruder out early today and then brow beat a juvenile that came on the nest and took the fish that was supposed to be his! He is hot, hungry, and fed up.

And then there, perched on the pole is the intruder. Again. Now Tiny Tot is clever and he knows that if there is going to be a fish delivery it will be coming soon. And if he can do anything about it, he is going to get that fish. I grinned as I was watching Tiny Tot. Laura Culley is a falconer and she says that “food is a great motivator”.

So, at 8:25:55, Tiny Tot flies off the nest. You can see the intruder on the perch. I watched the footage four or five times. It seems that Tiny somehow hovered and reversed in the air. Tiny Tot’s flying prowess is increasing daily.

Then he sort of reverses and turns 45 degrees toward the perch. It reminded me of the men with those little carts that are hooked to the nose of airplanes and help them turn. Tiny didn’t have any help – he just did it.

He is doing a rather complex series of movements to turn around and get behind the other bird on the perch without flying forward off the nest.

OK. Tiny is aiming for the back of the intruder.

He flies up and gets on its back!

There he is flapping his wings and landing on the intruder at the same time.

He is hanging on the intruders side and is pushing him off by flapping his wings.

Down they go. Tiny Tot chases the unwelcome guest across the road. Hopefully that bird will not be back again tonight.

Tiny Tot returns to the nest. And at 8:35:12 Jack arrives with a fish for Tiny Tot. Oh, this is a well deserved fish. I hope it is a whopper.

Tiny is really hungry and he is gobbling the fish. I think he realizes that sometimes you just have to eat that fish fast so another bird doesn’t come along and steal it.

Tiny was finishing up and cleaning his beak at 8:54:54. Wow. That fish didn’t last very long.

Sleep well, Tiny Tot. We are all so proud of you. You defended your nest valiantly.

Thank you for stopping in to check on Tiny Tot. He will always be close to my heart but I know that he is loved by so many others. I am glad that his bravery and confidence – plus his knowledge of how to survive – is growing every day. As I have always said, if only one out of three survives in the wild – my money is on Tiny Tot.

These times with Tiny Tot are precious. There is no certainty that he will be there tomorrow so every day is a gift.

I want to close with an image of Iris’s nest at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. If you are familiar with early 20th century American artists, you might know the work of Edward Hopper. For some reason the lighting and the emptiness remind me of Hopper’s images.

Now that Iris’s eggs have been taken and eaten by the Ravens, she has no need to come to her nest. She can just be out fishing and enjoying herself. But, on occasion, she stops by to say hello.

Thank you Achieva Credit Union and Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project for your streaming cam. That is where I get my screen shots.

‘As the Nest Turns’ – late Friday and Saturday edition

I don’t quite remember when the heavy rains started in the United Kingdom last week. It was a terrible time with many of our Bird friends suffering because of the unseasonable weather. Chicks died, generous people came to the rescue of the Glaslyn Nest, and at two different villages in Czechoslovakia, ordinary citizens are helping two stork families survive by providing food and dry hay. You might wonder why I say ‘dry’ hay but it has been chucking down rain and the nests get soaked. Because of that and the coolish weather, the wee ones are more susceptible to any type of virus or disease. Their system can get stressed. So providing the storks with dry hay is a fundamental way of helping them to cope in what is already a stressful situation – the death of a parent. I really applaud those who stepped up and are helping out. I hope that after things settle down in Glaslyn they might publish every detail about the feeding table they provided so that others in similar situations can more quickly help the Ospreys because of what Glaslyn learned. One thing we did learn is that Ospreys will eat fish that they did not catch. Another feeding table at Rutland in 2012 also provided fish but people forget and many carry on with the belief that Ospreys will not eat fish that is provided to them. Nonsense! Aran and Mrs G were very grateful and continue to be.

I had a question from a reader and I am trying to find out the precise answer. They wondered if Aran would be alright. Yes, Aran is getting stronger every day. It was exhausting trying to fish in Force 11 winds with flooding and intruders and then an injury to the feathers required to fish and fly well. As long as Aran continues to eat the food provided he will continue to improve. We hope that there are no more intruders on that nest to damage more feathers. We must also remember that those feathers help Aran with his flying and he needs them to migrate. Please continue with your donations – no matter how small. Glaslyn exists solely on donations to run their streaming cam plus everything else and now they are feeding Aran and Mrs G. The staff and volunteers are really amazing and they are also stressed and worn out. So don’t forget them simply because there are no longer chicks to feed – they still have Mrs G, the eldest osprey in the UK at 21 and her mate, Aran, to care for. Thanks!

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will recall that I often say that a fledgling that flies off and returns to the nest to be fed by the parent is one that has a better chance of success. Indeed, when I hear that a bird has fledged and never returned to the nest my antennae go up and for all the wrong reasons. So, it was with great joy that not only did Fauci, Annie and Grinnell’s Peregrine falcon fledgling, fly from the nest on the Campanile at Berkeley yesterday over to the Evans building but, Fauci returned to the nest tower today. My goodness I bet he was hungry – he flew in screaming. Here is the video of that return:

I hope that his siblings do not try and copy Fauci’s landing when they return!

The two Bobs had a nice fish dinner before bed last night at Loch of the Lowes. Both of them looked wide awake and hungry after Laddie brought in a nice fish.

Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes. 27 May 2021

Laddie is a good provider as long as the weather cooperates. He has brought in a couple of big fish. There is an enormous size difference and NC0 doesn’t always fill up the beak of the smaller one but today it stood there til she did!

It’s Saturday and Laddie delivered another fine perch to NC0 and the little Bobs. And guess what? The sun has come out in Scotland. My goodness. They were beginning to think that winter had returned. Looking forward to some nice weather and the nest drying out!

Little Bob seems to like to be on the right side looking up at Mom. It must be working. It looks like he is growing and he is certainly holding its own. Sure makes you happy.

NC0 is doing a great job keeping the Bobs in the shade. It is about 15 degrees and it could be warmer on the nest but oh, how I bet that warmth feels good to mom. And getting this nest dry is a primary importance, too.

Iris stopped in at the Hellgate Nest today. It was almost like she was posing for all of her fans waiting to get a glimpse of her. The Ravens took and ate her three eggs so Iris doesn’t need to come to the nest but there she stood looking straight into the camera. And look at that crop. Iris can now focus 100% on herself – she has earned it. Having fledged 30-40 chicks before Louis and one with Louis, she is the grand dame of Ospreys everywhere. Thank you for popping in to show us you are OK. Put your talons up, Iris. Have a fish smoothie on us!

Isn’t she looking good?

The IR camera has been tripped by the sun rising on the Dyfi Nest in Wales. Telyn was off for a quick comfort break and the two wee ones are awake and wanting breakfish. Idris will no doubt bring in a whopper as soon as he can.

It looks like Idris and Telyn and the Two Bobs are getting a break. Their nest seems to be drying out a bit. Idris came in with a nice fish and you can see that both of the Bobs are getting a crop and Telyn hasn’t even finished feeding them. Wonderful.

There is still only one chick on the Llyn Cleywedog Nest in Wales of Dylan and Seren. And if the other two eggs do not hatch, I continue to say that one healthy little Bob is fantastic. The image below was taken last evening as the sun was going down. The little one had a nice feed along with mom, Seren.

It is late Saturday in the UK and there is still no sign of a pip on that second egg. Apparently the longest incubation for a second egg was at Dyfi – Idris and Telyn – at 37 days. The second egg on this nest was laid on 19 April. Any way I count it makes that egg 40 days old. Perhaps it is not viable. If the third egg is 38 days old today, it might still hatch. We wait!

It is just coming on 5 am on the Rutland Manton Bay nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11). The Two Bobs are still asleep and Maya is expecting an early morning delivery from dad. Just look at that beautiful sky. These nests are often located in some of the most picturesque landscapes. How wonderful!

The storklets are just waking up on the nest in Mlady Buke in Czechoslovakia. The mother was electrocuted on the hydro lines and the father cannot fish and protect the nest. The villagers have gotten together and are providing fish for the family. They bring fish right up to the nest three times a day. People can leave donations. This is heart warming.

The live camera to watch this family is here:

Yesterday, Big Red and the Ks were getting soaked in Ithaca, New York. It was hard to tell form the weather forecast if they would even catch a break before the middle of the week. Big Red was still cold and soaked this morning at 6:40 am.

She kept those babies covered as best she could but around 9am when the heavy rain had stopped, Big Red got up and took a comfort break. It was out and back in a blink trying to find something on the soaking nest to feed the babies. Arthur had brought in a Robin – not their favourite but food anyway – late yesterday. Critters hide and birds sit and hunting is difficult with wet wings – even for Arthur!

By 11 am, feathers are beginning to dry. Big Red is preening and the Ks will be working on themselves too.

I would like you to locate the black dot behind the eye of K3 nearest to you. That is the ear. It is not yet covered with feathers. Mites can get in there or mosquitoes can lay eggs and cause horrific problems for the hawklets. That is why Big Red has to keep that area clean for them until the feathers have grown over them.

They are preening away. Those feathers are all important – they will keep them dry and wet when they all come in and they will help them fly so they can hunt. They say birds spend 70% of their time conditioning and preening their feathers.

Ah, what a great shot. The Red-tail hawks only get their beautiful red tail feathers once they have their first moult and are a year old. You can just see the little tail feathers beginning on K1. “One day I will look just like my mom!”

It’s 11:33 and already the rain on the metal of the lightbox where the nest is located is drying off. Oh, goodness, I hope Arthur has good luck hunting and that our Red-tail hawk family in Ithaca gets to completely dry out and eat before the rains begin again.

Today, Aran and Mrs G have been sitting with one another on the perch post of the nest. Aran has also been seen flying as far as the Visitor Centre where he has been chasing off intruders. This is good news because this is the farthest he has flown since his injury.

It is so nice to see them together. They will both regain their strength and Aran will heal so they are ready for their late summer, early September migration.

Thank you for joining me today. I am keeping an eye on Tiny Tot at the Achieva Nest. The intruder is still around and he is sure wanting to have a fish drop. Fingers crossed for our brave little one. Take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab Red Tail Hawk, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Ziva Camera in Mlade Buky, Clywedog and Carnyx.

Thursday hoppin’ and skippin’ through Bird World

Oh, there are so many happy people today. The Glaslyn Wildlife Center started the streaming cam on Aran, Mrs G and chicks 2 & 3 at 8am this morning. Thanks to the advice of Dr Tim Mackrill, the staff, and all the volunteers for jumping in there and doing what they could to save this iconic Osprey family. It worked. Aran is getting stronger, Mrs G is getting stronger, and the two remaining chicks are thriving. Just look at the fish on that nest – what wonderful people.

Aran is on the perch protecting the nest from intruders – and there still remain intruders!

Aran is one handsome Osprey with that beautiful crest of his.

So many were relieved and that soon turned to a state of elation when Aran accepted the fish.

Mrs G is also alert to the intruders.

No one ever imagined these little ones could go without food for at least two days. They did. Chicks 2 and 3 survived. It is not clear what happened to the first hatch but it died late Sunday afternoon after eating all day. But, it is time for the joy and everyone is rejoicing that there are 2 strong little ones left!

Here is a really good look at those two plump strong little chicks of Mrs G and Aran. Gosh, just look at them with those strong necks and wings and little fat bottoms. My goodness I never would have imagined.

Everything seems to be going pretty well up at Loch of the Lowes. NC0 took a break and had Laddie doing incubation. Laddie appears to be very uncomfortable around the chicks but he stepped up to the job and did it well. He is keeping the nest supplied with fish and the two remaining chicks are looking good – albeit one much smaller than the other. NC0 is a first time mom and let us hope that she makes sure the little one gets food at every meal. I have to say I am worried because that tiny one is so thin. I hope I am worried for nothing. Sadly we have already lost one chick, the last hatch, on this nest. It would certainly be nice if these both fledged.

Over at the Clywedog Nest with Dylan and Seren, there is one healthy chick and we are waiting for egg 2 to begin to pip. Tonight? Possibly.

Seren is restless. She can hear the chick in the egg. But, stop for a moment and look at Seren’s gorgeous yellow eyes. They are stunners.

A mysterious unringed Osprey has appeared on the Loch Arkaig Nest. Look at that fabulous dark plumage. Surely someone recognizes this Osprey as it is so distinctive.

Blue 33 (11) brings in an early morning fish delivery for Maya and the Two Bobs over at the Rutland Manton Bay nest. These two are really in the growth phase.

The two chicks of Idris and Telyn are doing fantastic. They sure know what to do when mom walks over to the fish! Lunch time!

Lined up nicely! Idris brought in another one of his whoppers – actually he has brought in several. One just about knocked the poor babies right off the nest.

It is sure good to see these Welsh nests drying out from all of the rain and wind last week.

Going stealth like a Peregrine Falcon from Wales to San Francisco and all eyes are on the tower of the Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus today. It is fledge watch for Annie and Grinnell’s three boys and Fauci has been on the ledge since yesterday! While Fauci is occupied with ‘the world out there’, the other two, Kaknu and Wek-Wek, are having their lunch.

I put in an arrow so you can see where Fauci is on the ledge. He moves, of course!

Here is the link to the fledging camera:

In Ithaca, the skies opened up to some torrential rains last evening and Big Red rushed to get the Ks under cover.

The sun came out Thursday morning and everyone was floofed by breakfast.

Just about three weeks to fledge. Time has melted this year. These three are standing and getting their legs strong and attempting to walk. Soon they will be running and flapping all over the ledge. Everyone needs a pocket of worry beads then.

Around 6pm on 26 May, the Raven arrived at Iris’s nest in Hellgate while she was away. It took all of Iris’s eggs and ate them.

The mist is rising over the mountains in Missoula this morning. It is a new day for Iris. She is no longer tied to the nest because of the eggs. She is now free to enjoy her summer fishing and building up her strength for her long migration in early September. While many would like Iris to have had a loyal supportive mate, the fact is, she doesn’t. She hasn’t since Stanley died and she won’t as long as Louis is alive. Is it better for the Raven to eat the eggs or the chicks starve on the nest? For me, there is no question – let the Raven have them.

There is no reason for Iris to be at the nest so we will not see her as much. But, last year she stopped by once in awhile even just before she migrated. So fingers crossed. Catch fish, get really healthy, enjoy your summer break, Iris – you certainly have earned it.

If I pulled the image below out of a pile of photographs, would you recognize these two beauties? They are both standing and walking now, their juvenile plumage is really coming in with all its peach and they certainly don’t look like reptiles anymore – ah, that was a hint. Yes they are the chicks of The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island in the ‘Peach’ State of Georgia. Gosh, Rhett and Scarlett make beautiful babies. Goodness.

The Achieva Osprey Nest has settled into a routine. In the morning Jack brings a fish for sibling 2 and Diane brings a fish for Tiny Tot. It means they both have a nice meal in the morning. This method is working and 2 is not ‘hogging’ all of the fish that come on the nest. The parents maintain this effort 2 or 3 times a day. Tiny Tot remains on the nest and is still doing its practice flights. This is one smart fledgling! Sibling 2 is in and out, mostly coming for fish. He must roost somewhere close to the nest.

After sibling 2 departs, Tiny Tot decides he is going to get up there and try out that perch! These days are precious. Tiny won’t necessarily give us any warning. One morning he will go for a flight and he will be off on his journey.

The only osplet on the Lake Murray Nest in New Hampshire is being well taken care of – just look at that crop! That ‘little’ one looks like he is trying out for the role of Hulk in some new movie. Lucy and Ricky have certainly taken good care of their only chick! Mom has a big crop too. Fantastic! This is the way it should be.

It is really green in Minnesota just like it is here on the Canadian prairies. We have had a good rain. Harry and Nancy’s two are soaked through. Don’t think they plan on leaving the nest today!

For those of you who watched Kisatchie hatch and grow up on this historical nest near Lake Kincaid in the Kisatchie National Park, it has been a great disappointment that he did not return to the nest after his fledge on 22 May. The Wildlife Services have had no sightings of Kistachie up to yesterday. The streaming cam will remain on until 11 June at which time it will be shut off until next season. The adult eagles, Anna and Louis, will migrate north to cooler weather returning in the fall.

The Bald Eagle juveniles that are ready might get the same phone call telling them it is time to leave their natal nests. Legacy’s nest is empty as is the nest of E17 and E18. Both of the fledglings at Duke Farms are now away.

Thank you for joining me today. It is a blessing getting to watch these birds live their lives day after day meeting enormous challenges. Thank you to the people at Glaslyn for their fortitude.

Thanks go to the following organizations or companies who streaming cams provide my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Falcon Cam, LRWT, Scottish Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Clywedog, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Lake Murray Ospreys, KNF, MN DNR, Dyfi Osprey Project, and last, but not least, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

Rain, rain, go away! Osprey moms need to dry off.

Ospreys do not shy away from water. Indeed, they embrace it whenever they are fishing for themselves or their families. The 12,000 or so feathers helps to keep them dry. But what about all those new mothers? They not only have to keep the wee ones dry but they also have to feed them – which means that the dads have to go out and fish.

Nessie is a first time Osprey mom. You can see the rain on her feathers as it pools. She is nice and dry but her nest at Loch of the Lowes is getting quite wet and damp.

Underneath her are two wee ones. One is not even 24 hours old but both are hoping for some fish and Laddie does not disappoint. Laddie comes in to check on Nessie and to see the babies – and he brings a fish!

The rains get heavier as the day progresses and Nessie hunkers down so those two Bobs do not get wet. She might have also noticed that there is a pip in the third egg. It shows up around 16:07.

Mrs G at the Glaslyn nest has had her second hatch and she is soaked to the core. The third hatch is expected Saturday. Aran was right there by her side today bringing a fish in when there was a wee bit of a break in the downpour to feed the two Bobs.

Mrs G is a very experienced mom – the opposite of Nessie who has just hatched her first two. Mrs G has had 46 hatch and 41 fledge making these two her 47th and 48th chicks to hatch. Wow! That would really help when the weather is so dire.

Telyn and Idris had their first hatch at the Dyfi Nest in Wales and they, too, are having issues with rain. Gosh, it is sort of raining on the Canadian prairies but, we sure could use a big downpour like Mrs G is having! Telyn is having much more wind than Mrs G. Wow!

Idris comes to the nest with a really fine fish for Telyn and little Bob. I am thinking Nessie wouldn’t mind a fish that size.

Idris stays to help Telyn with the little one while she is trying to feed it. It was blowing so hard little Bob could have been blown off that nest! What a cute little osplet – so strong! This kid has great DNA.

Oh, and no one is getting a break. At the Llyn Clywedog nest of Dylan and Seren, it is blowing and blowing with heavy rain. The nest is really exposed and Seren does not look impressed. Her first egg was laid on the 16th of April. Let’s all hope her little one can wait. Someone said she is getting a proper ‘Welsh rain’. Seren might be wishing she was back in The Gambia.

The winds, heavy rain, and the choppy water that is impacting all of the Welsh and Scottish nests also hit the Manton Bay nest of Blue 33 (11) and Maya at Rutland.

The Two Bobs are doing great. Look at the wee ones on the Loch of the Lowe nest and then look here. These two are entering their reptilian phase – just look at those feathers coming in! Oh, baby dinosaurs.

It is still raining on Iris at the Hellgate Osprey nest in Missoula, Montana. It is currently 6 degrees C dropping to 2 degrees C with drizzle – 35.6 degrees F. If anyone is wondering, the eggs are almost certainly not going to hatch.

Iris returned to her nest at 13:15:10. She aerated the nest a bit and might have rolled the eggs a bit but it was not clearly evident.

Iris settled down to incubate the eggs.

At 13:49:42, Iris flew over to her perch. She incubated the eggs a total of 34 minutes and 2 seconds. At this point in time, Iris is just going through the motions. As I said earlier, I don’t think there is any osprey expert in the world that thinks any of the eggs are viable.

That said, the eggs were destroyed by the Raven last year and this year, I have not seen it about. As long as the eggs are there, I don’t mind Iris coming to the nest – we get to see her then! Otherwise we would not and seriously, seeing Iris live her life (regardless of the circumstances) is a real joy.

Iris was really floofing trying to get the water off her feathers.

At 14:20:31, she flew off the perch! Aren’t those wings amazing? This is one beautiful osprey!

It truly isn’t easy for the Ospreys. The lochs are very choppy and it is difficult to fish. Keeping the babies warm and dry plus fed is a big challenge. A friend of mine in Scotland says it is like they skipped summer and fall and it is winter again. Clearly there could be snow in Montana, too. Oh, my. Let’s hope they get some sun and can dry out.

Thank you for joining me today. I have checked on our other nests. Tiny Tot has not fledged but has eaten well. He had a bit tug of war over a fish yesterday with sibling 2. It was fantastic to watch. Tiny lost but he didn’t. He waited til #2 had eaten about half the fish and then rushed at sibling 2 and she flew off. Tiny ate that fish and two others after before lunch! Tiny isn’t Tiny anymore. Legacy had a nice big fish this morning from Samson. Big Red and Arthur are keeping the Ks full and E17 and E18 were down at the pond playing in the water with Harriet. Everyone seems fine.

Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Carnyx Wild Wildlife on the Web, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru National Resources, Dyfi Osprey Cam, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, and LRWT.