Sunday in Bird World

Today it not just about Ospreys. There have been some nests that have been overlooked lately so I am going to try and catch up on some of those for all of us.

I love how the wildlife rehabbers go to great lengths to make certain that the babies they rescue do not imprint on humans. Have a look at an eaglet that came into care and how it is being fed:

https://fb.watch/v/1NOZVD1I5/

The female White Storkling at the nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia is ready to fledge! Look how beautiful she is with her wings spread. She looks like a dancer bowing to her audience. She was making all the right moves this morning. She began flapping her wings as the sun was rising and got very enthusiastic around 6am. She is restless and continues flapping and looking out to the world beyond the nest.

Father Stork comes in to feed the three youngsters. This generous community continues to provide supplementary food for Father Stork so that he and his three babies can survive. You can see, in the background, Father Stork eating from the fish table that is provided to him and his family. Sadly, their mother was killed on one of the electrical lines and these three are alive today because of this community. It is heart warming to see that the storklings are ready to fledge. Everyone can be so proud of their efforts!

The Bucovina Golden Eaglet, Zenit, grabbed the prey delivery from Mom and completely self-fed today for the first time. Zenit mantled and flapped all the while telling Mum to go away he could do this himself. Wow. Another milestone to independence. Lady Hawk caught this magical moment in a video:

There has been a lot of discussion about goshawks lately because they have raided and killed many Osprey both in Latvia and an eagle in Spain. There is a Crested Goshawk nest in a park in Taipei. The adults failed at their first breeding attempt and had one hatch on their second. The eaglet is three weeks old. So cute.

Crested goshawks live in Asia. Their territory is from the Indian subcontinent to Taiwan. In terms of its range and numbers it is of ‘least concern’. It is, however, a protected species in Hong Kong because of the encroachment on its forest environment. The hawks are now adapting to urban living. The Crested Goshawk is 30-46 cm in length or 12-16 inches. Like other raptors, there is reverse sex size diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. They feed on insects, birds, and mammals. The nest is normally made of sticks in a tree and most often the female will lay between two and three eggs.

The image below shows a Crested Goshawk Female. Look at that gorgeous plumage.

“鳳頭蒼鷹 – 雌鳥 Crested Goshawk (Female)” by alexwhite21 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In size comparison, the Northern Goshawk that has caused issues related to the death of the Osprey chicks in Latvia and Spain is approximately twice the size of the Crested Goshawk. Each species has a long tail and shorter broad wings to help them speed around the forest area where they hunt. They are more adapt at living in the forest and often lure their prey into that environment.

Here is the mom in her nest with her eaglet.

The eaglet has been ringed with two official bands.

The eaglet will fledge in 2-3 weeks. You can watch this little one grow up here:

Now let’s check on some of those Ospreys!

Foulshaw Moss. Tiny Little is still moving in to get fed. I have seen some people worrying about him but, honestly, this little one is going to be grand. At tea time on Sunday, 464 was self-feeding. Self-feeding is hard work and the chicks spend a lot of time and energy fighting with the bones in the head. They get tired. So when 464 finished eating, Blue 35 took over and fed Tiny Little and Middle Bob.

In the image below, 464 is self-feeding. Mom, Blue 35, is waiting and it is Tiny Little stretching his wing. As we will all be saying, Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore. And that is a good thing!

Blue 35 has taken over the feeding and, of course, Tiny Little is right there for the bites! Tiny Little and Middle Bob have always done well together. It is really good that 464, the big female, fledged first. It is hard to imagine but a couple of days ago Tiny Little looked like an extremely young chick. Now, unless the bands are visible and you follow the chicks it is hard to tell them apart. Now that is magnificent and it shows precisely what getting a good feeding means to these chicks.

Dyfi. Right now it is pitching down rain. Earlier it looked like Dysynni was hovering so high that he was going to fledge – but, he didn’t. Ystwyth is in awe! Dysynni is 52 days old today and Ystwyth is 48 days.

I imagine that Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Galactic’s Unity Spaceplane took off from Spaceport America this morning successfully returning to Earth from space would really like to fly like a bird. Laura Culley, falconer and great mind, told me once that humans have the DNA for feathers and flight we just haven’t turned them on. Any geneticists out there to confirm that?

And then the rains came and Idris delivered a really nice fish that Telyn is feeding the nestlings. No more thoughts of fledging today!

Poole Harbour. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were at the nest at Poole Harbour today. They continue bonding. There is at least a month or six weeks til they head off on their migration. Let us all hope that this lovely new couple return in late March or early April – both of them – and entertain us with their antics while raising chicks.

Clywedog. Oh, it is wet and miserable at this nest in Wales today. Only Bob looks pretty miserable.

Never fear. Dylan went out and got a nice perch for Only Bob’s (Blue 496) tea time treat. Seren is happily feeding her little one. Soon Only Bob is going to be thinking about fledging too.

Look at Dylan’s strong thin legs. The other day he flew 13 km to get a trout for his family’s dinner. Thanks John Williams for confirming that distance!

Loch of the Lowes. It is raining in Scotland, too. NC0 is on the nest feeding her nestling and her fledgling their tea time meal. NC0 has been flying with Fledgling Bob over the loch. It will be wonderful to see her spend time flying with both her babies once Second Bob has fledged. NC0 has become a very good mother. She struggled at the beginning with the feeding and many thought that Second Bob would not survive and perish like little third Bob. But, look at these two now. Fantastic. NC0 really came into her own. Laddie has done his part, too!

Are you interested in France’s plan for their Osprey and White Tailed Eagles? If so, Stephanie Scofield posted the French government’s document on the Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) FB page. If you cannot read French, have a look anyway. The graphics are very helpful. Here is that report:

Thank you so much to the person who forwarded me an image of Z1, Tegid. I do not know who to credit for the image so thank you to that individual. I hope you do not mind my posting it today!

I am so grateful to my friend ‘T’ for telling me about this brave little osprey. As many of you know, I am setting about on a ten year plan to follow the osprey hatches that were beaten and battered and deprived of food but, who made it despite all the odds against them to fledge! I want to see how their lives unfold. Sadly, many like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey nest are not ringed and most are not seen on camera. So my list is short. It includes Z1 Tegid, JJ7 Captain, Tiny Little Bob Blue 463, and Tiny Tot. If you know of others please alert me. You can leave me a comment or send the information through e-mail (maryannsteggles@icloud.com). It is much appreciated.

Here is Tegid. He has a nest with chicks for the second year in Snowdonia in Wales! Look at those strong little legs, too.

It is a soaring hot day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are really enjoying the water dishes and baths – they are keeping us busy filling them. I am taking a break from cleaning my tiny home office. It got stuffed with all manner of everything during the pandemic and now it is time to get that sorted. It is so nice, like now, to stop and check in on our friends with feathers!

Thank you so much for joining me and thank you for all the letters, comments, and pictures. I love hearing from you.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, CarnyX Wildlife and Clywedog Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Crested Goshawk Nest Cam in Taipei, and the Mlady Buky White Stork Nest Cam.

Wednesday in Bird World

The rain is pouring down and it is so welcome. Thunder and lighting have sent the family cat scurrying off to her ‘tent’. The smell and the sound of the rain are a delight and the greens in the garden seem to have come alive. I cannot remember when last we had downpours like this. One of my friends in Regina, Saskatchewan says it has been four years for them.

Years ago I remember standing in the street in Chennai, South India. The skies opened up on the first day of the monsoon. It was around 4pm. People were dancing and raising their arms singing and shouting. It was a beautiful experience. Rain is certainly a gift.

A good friend of mine that lives south of the East Kootenays, at the base of the Purcell Mtns, wrote to me yesterday to tell me about the drought in their area. They have been warned that the wildfires in their area of British Columbia will be worse this year and already the creek beds are drying up and people are not able to find water when they try to drill wells. How sad. I wish I could share this downpour with her.

Today I went and checked on the tiny little third hatch at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest of White YW and Blue 35. The little one has been treated very aggressively by both of its older siblings. Today, it waited til they had eaten and then went up to get some fish. Many of you know that I cheer these little third hatches on with all the might I have – and I know that hundreds, if not thousands more, send them positive energy and love. If they survive, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest is recent proof of what can happen when a third hatch is almost starved to death and survives. They become ‘street’ smart – so to speak. They refuse to take abuse. They learn how to fight. They are clever and they are not afraid to eat left over pieces of dry fish found in a nest to survive. Tiny Tot remains on the Achieva Osprey Nest and it is wonderful to see him.

Roy Dennis in his book, The Life of Ospreys, suggests sketching the plumage on the head and neck, particularly around the eye of these unringed birds. It can help in future identification. Believe me when I say that I hope that Tiny Tot takes over this nest he has so valiantly defended – and why not? I don’t even know why he should leave. There is no rule book that says he has to. And since Florida is a year round home for the Ospreys he doesn’t have to migrate – it is his instinctual choice.

Tiny Tot sleeping on the perch ready to defend his nest if any intruder comes in the morning.

But back to these little ones. Tiny Tot did survive and the wee Bob at the Foulshaw Moss, with its sore eye from the others pecking it, has learned to wait. Here he is. He has a crop from the last feed but he is going to go up and get some more. He has stayed away til the big ones were fed and have quieted down. He may only get the food left towards the tail but he will not get walloped by the others. He needs to learn to protect himself and it looks like he is figuring that out. Well done you.

Look at the size of those other siblings! Bob 3 is hardly the size of their wing.

If you know of any third hatches who have survived aggressive treatment and gone on to fledge, please do send me a note. I am collecting information on them. Of course, on my list are Tiny Tot, Z1 Tegid of the White Egg, and JJ7 Captain (who had amazing parents and did not get the treatment that Tiny or this one on Foulshaw Moss has received). It will be interesting to see their survival rate at the age of 2 moving forward. Z1 already has its own nest in Wales for the second year of breeding. His believed to be more survivable sister died shortly after fledging. Go figure. So thank you. There are so many nests and such a history I welcome any that come to your mind. Thanks so much!

Indeed, for awhile, I thought that the second Bob on the Loch of the Lowes nest was going to suffer but Laddie seems to have kept the fish coming and NC0 has grown into being a great mother. They are both doing well.

Here is Laddie flying in with a delivery.

Here is Laddie still on the nest after delivering a fish and NC0 feeding both of the Bobs. Bob 2 is still small compared to Bob One but they are both getting their beautiful curved juvenile feathers rimmed in white. Look at those cute little tails and the blood feathers coming in on their wings. This nest at the Loch of the Lowes is really a delight to watch – and such a beautiful landscape!

It has been a really nice day in Scotland and in southern England but it is raining in Wales.

Blue 5F Seren is keeping her wee Bob warm and dry.

A lonely fish waits at the Glaslyn Nest for Aran or Mrs G to come and fetch it (or an intruder).

Over in Storkland, the three White Storks in Czechoslovakia continue to grow and do well. Every morning I wake up and smile because of the kindness of this community. I wish it were everywhere!

Everyone is doing really well at the Red tail Hawk Nest of Big Red and Arthur. Arthur made a prey drop this morning. The two older siblings ate off of it and then Big Red flew in and fed little K3.

Yesterday Big Red spent a lot of time on the fledge ledge and the fledge post. She will continue to do this showing the Ks where is the best place to take that leap of faith. Big Red is an amazing mother. I honestly don’t know how she keeps it up encased in ice and snow, soaked to the bone with rain, loving each and every chick!

Thank you so very much for joining me today. It is a wonderful day because of the rain! And it warms my heart to see the tiny little one at Foulshaw Moss still alive. I hope that everyone is well. Stay safe. See you tomorrow.

Thank you so much to the following who have streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Carnyx Wildlife, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Trust, Foulshaw Moss and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Achieva Osprey, Mlady Buky, and the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Project.

Leaving you with a lovely image of Tiny Tot. I have a collection of these noting the distinguishing markings of this beautiful Osprey. He will not be ringed so hopefully these marks and his behaviour will always help us to identify him.