Late Wednesday in Bird World

8 June 2022

We are continuing to have the most beautiful days with bright sun and blue skies and no rain. The ground is actually spongy the water table is so high and there remains clear evidence of how high the river continues to be when I drive through the park. For the past week I have attempted to find and count goslings and ducklings. In the beginning it was very frustrating as all I could find were six goslings with two other Canada Goose couples incubating eggs. Then a couple of days ago I decided to go ‘somewhere else’ to see what was happening! There sure won’t be Guinness World Records broken this year for the number of goslings and ducklings in our City. It is quite sad! At the same time, when I hear someone interviewed about the issue of Canada Geese down by our Legislative Building and their solution is to tear up the nests and break up the eggs, I go wild! What they have now is a loud speaker projecting the sounds of hawks that are keeping the geese away from the water and the grass. Why not hire workers to clean the sidewalks? One day we will wake up and there will be no songbirds singing or geese honking or little ones scurrying to catch up with the attitude that it is simply alright to destroy their nests. It isn’t alright. They are protected by our 1994 wildlife protections for migrant birds.

At any rate, I found spawning fish, an Osprey flying overhead, a single American Pelican, and lots of geese along with a couple of duck couples at one site.

A female Mallard with her 9 ducklings. She never took her eye off me. The male left the edge of the pond first and then she went in with the 9 ducklings. I was approximately 37 metres or 120 feet away.

One Canada Goose family with four little ones.

At another park, I found a couple of Mallard and Goose families along with a lot of male wood ducks and only one female in sight.

These little ducklings were having so much fun racing ahead of their Mum.

At the other end of the pond, a single gosling constitutes the ‘family’ for these two geese this year. Back on the island scattered about are abandoned eggs that would have been destroyed by the flood waters at the pond.

The Wood Ducks were not at this park the last time I visited. It was very disappointing as the pond is normally full of them. There were some this time, thankfully.

The little female Wood Ducks are adorable.

Mixed in with the geese and ducks was this one particular shape that did deep dives into the water. The light was not good but what you are looking at is a very wet Common Goldeneye below.

What is interesting to me is that Common Goldeneyes will seek out tree cavities or stumps – even chimneys. The females have also been known to lay their eggs in another duck’s nest (if they do not have a suitable one). This is known as ‘brood parasitism’. Thankfully ducklings are precocial – they can take care of themselves once they hatch! There could be as many as 30 in a single clutch! Since ducks return to the site where they hatched, it is common for them to be related to one another.

This is the first time I have seen this species at this pond. It is a female. It is possible the floods have caused a variety of species to come to the city where it is dry than stay in the rural areas where the fields are totally flooded.

At another park this afternoon, there was one group of goslings totalling 11 with both parents and another younger group totalling 9 with no parent visible. It felt odd to see them alone and not a single goose with them!

It was, however, great to see those fuzzy little bodies on the water paddling or eating grass.

Let’s take a spin around the nests and see what has been going on.

At the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest, ND17 Little Bit 17 does an amazing steal at 13:08. Little Bit just seems to be coming into his own – much more confident. Today at 13:08:53 he made a major steal from one of the big siblings. I believe it was 15.

In the beginning Little Bit went up between the two sib siblings looking to snatch and grab. That didn’t work so well.

He crept closer to the beak but the big sibling only started flapping its wings.

Little Bit went back by the porch when 15 started flapping. Meanwhile 16 is looking to see what is going on.

Little Bit wasted no time getting up on the other side of the big sibling.

The kid is lighting fast – he grabbed that prey item and off he went to the porch. Both big siblings look on in dismay. Dismay because Little Bit actually pulled the prey item out of the beak of 15 and ran with it!

Little Bit ate all of it! Great steal. This kid is really getting so confident. When he wants something he has been able to get it – at least for the past couple of days. Just imagine if he had food everyday. This eagle would be a very formidable opponent – long ago. He is getting there now.

As evening arrives, it is pitching down rain on Little Bit 17.

All three Bobs are growing and doing well at the Loch of the Lowes nest of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Even Little Bob is growing – still smaller but right up there.

Aran has a huge Perch for Mrs G and the trio at the Glaslyn nest.

Come on Little Bob get up and get some fish before bedtime.

The winds are blowing a gale up at the Llyn Clywedog nest. They even sent Seren flying over the edge of the nest earlier. Here Dylan (on the right) is helping Seren feed the three Bobs so that everyone eats. There has been some nonsense on this nest in the past couple of days.

Idris just keeps catching whoppers for Telyn to feed their three Bobs at the Dyfi nest. Just look at that fish! And they still have big crops from an earlier feed.

Idris takes the fish he just brought and Telyn gets a piece from the nest and they do a tandem feeding. Everyone gets fed – once again before bed – including the littlest Bobbi who goes over to Dad!!!!!!! Do you find that the males seem to empathize with the small little males having to fight sometimes for food? like they might have had to do once?

The three Bobs are still lining up like a perfect choir for Maya to feed them at the Rutland Water Osprey nest she shares with Blue 33.

Besides L1 and Clem fledging, Jack at the Cromer Peregrine Falcon scrape fledged yesterday.

Speaking of Clem fledging. They are keeping an eye on her and Maria, the local Wildlife Rehabber, will return her to the scrape if she can. A big shout out to all the wildlife rehabbers that help these wee ones.

Middle has dropped his crop at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest. For several days, many of us have watched intently believing that now was the moment he would fledge. Middle is still with us! He will fly off easily, just like L2 as if he had been flying all his life.

That is just a quick stop at a few nests this afternoon. Everyone of the Ospreys nests in the UK appears to be doing fine. Lots of eaglets wanting to fledge in the US. Different events happening all over the place! Looking for more fledges at Cornell this week and surely Middle at UF-G will let the wind carry him upward and forward. I am working on an article on a couple of amazing Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres for the beginning of next week. If you have a favourite send me a note and tell me how they pulled your heart strings!

Thanks so much for joining me this afternoon. Stay safe. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ND-LEEF, Dyfi Osprey Project, Llyn Clywedog and CarnyXWild, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Loch of the Lowes and Woodland Trust, Cromer Peregrines, LRWT, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

Everyone at the Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre are working hard to provide videos and updates on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle Cam in the Sydney Olympic Forest. A number of days ago I simply had to quit watching the live camera feed. The level of prey had dropped coming into the nest and WBSE 27 was overly aggressive to WBSE 28. It appears that the current delivery of prey items is quite good and, 28 has figured out how to wait and watch and then get fed. These are all good things and helped our Ospreys, Tiny Tot Tumbles and Tiny Little survive.

In the image below, both WBSE 27 and 28 are full to the brim. This is excellent. Soon WBSE 28 will be too big and any worries of siblicide should evaporate. Fingers crossed for this little one.

Gorgeous light on these two. 27 is quite large compared to 27. But both are full and clown feet are coming!

Diamond, the female at the Peregrine Falcon nest in Orange, Australia continues to think about laying that first egg. It is Sunday morning in Canada and I just checked on Diamond. Still waiting for that egg.

If you missed it, the female at 367 Collins Street laid her fourth egg.

My goodness what a beautiful morning in Wales. I wonder what impact the streaming cams will have on tourism when the world can travel again?

I love seeing the cows going in from the fields. It is all so serene.

These little birds seem to be all around the nest. Do you know what they are?

Aran came to visit the nest before the mist was gone.

He looked around every direction and then left. Yesterday he was on the perch with Mrs G. This morning, Sunday, Aran was at the nest around 6am. He will probably leave when Mrs G does. They may be staying longer to make sure Aran is fit for migration – every day of healing helps – or they may still be protecting that nest against Monty’s kids. Maybe they will wait for them to leave!

Yesterday, both of the boys, Idris and Dysynni, were on the nest at Dyfi. Dysynni was 100 days old. This morning all is quiet. Are they still around? Telyn migrated on 21 August with Ystwyth following on the 24th. There are sure lots of people including Emyr Evans watching the Dyfi nest this morning to see if either Idris or Dysynni or both show up.

Idris has arrived with a nice fish for his son. He is looking around. Doing his duty. Idris flies off the perch with the fish looking for Dysynni. Will he find him? has he left? It is about 6am.

Idris arrived back in Wales on 29th of March. He is reputed to always be one of the last Ospreys to leave Wales. What a fabulous dad he has been. With all the sadness this year, Idris raised one-quarter of all Wales’ hatches to fledge. You are a great dad, Idris. I remember those whoppers you brought in this year. Incredible. You deserve your break now.

It is equally quiet up at The Loch of the Lowes. The Scottish Wildlife Trust has issued their official statement that Laddie, LM12, Blue NC0, LR1 and LR2 have departed for their migration. Stay safe all.

Rutland Manton Bay’s Osprey nest seems very lonely as well.

Are you interested in Goshawks? Here is a lovely six minute video I found of a compressed breeding season. It is quite nice. I love when the three are learning to self-feed. So cute.

We have Northern Goshawks that live in Manitoba year round. They only come down to the southern areas of our province if prey is limited in the north.

My heart skipped a beat. There is an Osprey on the Foulshaw Moss nest! Is it Tiny Little? No. It is White YW also doing his duty, like Idris, to make sure that his chick has breakfast. White YW has been looking about and calling. There is no Tiny Little rushing to the nest to tear at his toe or grab the fish. While he waits, White YW decides to do some nestorations. Gosh, it must be hard trying to figure out if they are just over at the river or have left.

White YW flies away from the nest. Will this be his last visit to check on Tiny Little? Blue 463 – our fantastic Tiny Little – could be in Brittany by now.

My garden is filled with birds this morning. It is a roar to go out to the feeders. Today we may have to fill them up four times. The delight, however, came in the form of a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the Vermillionaires. Did you know they are capable of speeds up to 100 km per hour. Their wings beat up to 1200 times a minute – which is precisely why it is hard to get decent photographs of them.

We are just so delighted to see them.

If this is a normal year – and so far it has been anything but, the hummers will be gone by 3 September.

We did not put our the sugar water for them this year because of the wasps. Our City has been consumed with them and they take over the feeders. The wasps do not, however, bother with the Vermillionaires.

Soon all of the Ospreys in the UK and Europe will be making their way to Africa. We wish them good winds, great feeding places enroute, and a safe arrival. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you have a fabulous Sunday or start to the week depending on where you are. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots and video clips: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dfyi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss, 367 Collins Street by Mirvac, Charles Sturt University Falcon Cam and Cilla Kinross, Sydney Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre FB Page, LRWT Manton Bay Ospreys, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.

Continuing to Track Elsa -and other news in Bird World, Sunday 4 July

Everyone that watches the Achieva Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida is following the tracking of Tropical Storm Elsa. The latest weather news is that Elsa will remain a Tropical Storm bringing heavy rain, thunderstorms and tornadoes, and some wind to Florida. The current tracking has Elsa interacting with Jamaica and that is slowing her down. She will speed up a bit as she hits the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Elsa is not expected to intensify to hurricane status.

The good news for Tiny Tot and the Achieva Nest is that the current model shows the intensity off the west coast of Florida (but it could shift). Elsa will be trying to make landfall North of Tampa early Wednesday morning. I pulled the following model shots off of the weather broadcast in the area. The white thicker arc line on the left is the current believed path that Elsa will take. That could shift, however, and be anywhere in the area between it and the darker blue arch line.

This is Elsa at 11 am EDT. You can see the strongest area is right over Kingston, Jamaica.

I will continue to follow Elsa and report as we get closer to the beginning of the week with more certainty as to how the storm will impact St. Petersburg.

The last time I checked on Tiny Tot was 1:54 nest time and she was there fish begging hoping Jack would hear her and bring some lunch in. I do not believe Tiny Tot has had any fish yet today. She had a nice fish at 6:47 last night.

I checked on the Fortis Exshaw Osprey Nest in Canmore, Alberta. There was a fish delivery at 9:30 this morning and both of the surviving chicks were eating. Last night one of them had an enormous crop. So this nest is bucking the trend and has 2 survivors and 1 dead from the heat. Indeed, last night I thought we might have lost 2 but this morning there were two little heads eating.

The top image is last evening. You can see that huge crop on the little one.

This was right after the fish delivery on Sunday morning around 9:30.

There were two heads clearly seen in the image below. Well done Exshaw!

Kindness just gets cuter every day. This is Sunday morning in the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Nest in Juneau, Alaska. Talk about one very much loved eaglet. Her parents Freedom and Liberty really take good care of her.

It looks like it is the end of the season at the Newfoundland Power Osprey Nest, sadly. We know that the oldest chick got on top of the little one hatching. Mom tried to pull the bigger one off by its legs and both died. There was one remaining egg. That egg now seems to be broken and abandoned. If I am reading this wrong, please let me know.

Tiny Little Bob continues to rebuild the Foulshaw Moss Nest. It is interesting that he is also finding pieces of dry fish there that must be yummy. Tiny Little isn’t sharing with Big Sister when he does find a piece!

It is still wet up at the Loch of the Lowes. Laddie delivered an evening fish and got out of that nest fast! There was quite the scramble. NC0 will try and feed the Bobs so everyone gets something. Sadly, it was a bit of a twiddler that was delivered so it won’t go far.

News out of Australia. Mom and Dad at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge have been mating and Mom is feverishly working on nest restorations. Mom is watching dad eating a fish not far away and wondering why he isn’t sharing and hasn’t been helping her! With all the twigs in and now the soft lining…it won’t be long!

Last year’s first hatch, Solly, returned to Streaky Bay and then went right back to Eba Anchorage. It appears that this might be where Solly is making her permanent home. Thanks to the satellite tracker her every move is monitored! Solly is doing well. That is excellent news.

News coming out of New Brunswick, Canada. A rare Stellar’s Sea Eagle – not seen in Canada – but in Russia – is in Canada on the Restigouche River! Have a read:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/stellers-eagle-new-brunswick-bird-1.6086439?fbclid=IwAR0AlwJvLZcMP4kaHkwTWzVPN6CWSIcngRufRVWPF3DZoi1Jwb63y3z6KFQ

And while I would like to leave us on a happy note, another Osprey was found entangled in monofilament fishing line in an Osprey Nest in Alberta and had to be detangled. Please, please, if you fish be responsible. Don’t fish where you know your line is going to get caught up and broken in underwater tree trunks leaving line and hook to harm the wildlife. Thank you.

Thank you for joining me today. Take care all. For those of you celebrating 4 July – have a happy one.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grabbed my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, Newfoundland Power Corporation, Fortis Alberta, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, Port Lincoln FB Page, Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle Cam, and Channel Two Weather News.

Tuesday Nest Hopping

Well, dear Tiny Tot did return to the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest this morning. Made me feel all joyful! He was on the perch and a bird buzzed him at 12:09:58. A full seconds later Tiny Tot leaves the perch. Was he in hot pursuit? Or was he just fed up being annoyed? The adult intruder had been on the nest earlier, too, when Tiny Tot was not there but it seems to be the Mockingbird that was a nuisance. Small birds love to annoy Big Birds. And how much longer will Tiny come to the nest? I wonder.

That adult intruder comes in every so often just to check things out. When Tiny arrives, it leaves! Tiny has made an impression – don’t mess with Tiny! Good.

Here comes Tiny heading for the perch at 11:07:27! You don’t see the adult Osprey – it took off the minute it saw Tiny arriving. Jack really does need to agree on a hefty amount of fish for this little one for securing the family nest all the time. :)))))

Oh, it is so nice to see you, Tiny Tot.

Tiny Tot is on the perch. If you look to the right and slightly up you will see the nuisance bird flying away from the nest.

Tiny flew off at 12:10:28 to the left.

Across the continent, Rosie is on the Whirley Crane nest in Richmond, California, with the trio. The chicks were banded on 4 June.

Isn’t that just a gorgeous location for a nest? Richmond is a great provider. This is their fifth season as parents. Rosie will stay around til the trio are well and truly fledged and independent then she will migrate. Richmond does not leave the area in the winter so he will be there helping the fledglings if necessary until they leave the territory.

Those white storks in Mlady Buky are really growing. Just miss a day and they look all grown up! And look how clean and dry they are. This is one of the best feel good stories of this year – it really is. I would love to wake up every morning and be surrounded by people who care about all living things.

Look carefully. You can see the throat pouch in the image below. Remember storks make a lot of sounds but they do not have vocal chords like songbirds. Instead, they clatter their bill together very, very fast and the noise resonates in this throat pouch making it much louder – like an amplifier.

Looking at how quickly these three are growing made me realize that I also need to check on Karl II and Kaia’s three storklings. They are the Black Storks in a nest in Southern Estonia.

Here is Kaia looking down at the three of them. Oh, I am so hoping that enough food arrives on this nest so that the little third hatch will survive. Kaia is a new mother and Karl II’s old mate, Kita, laid 5-7 eggs and they could not feed them all. Kita was known for tossing one or two of the small ones off the side of the nest. It is understandable when there is a food shortage but it looks like Karl II might have this under control and if Kaia only lays three eggs then they might fledge all their storklings without hardship.

Karl II and Kaia take turns feeding and watching the storklings. That is Kaia above. She has no bands on her legs – makes her easy to recognize. Those long legs help her wade through the long grasses and water in search of food.

Here comes Karl II. See his band. Kaia moves off the nest for her break to eat and forage for food for the storklings. So everything is just fine on this nest also. So far the day has been good for the birds I have checked on.

Taking turns.

In Wales, the camera operator gave everyone a good tour of the landscape that is the territory around the nest of Aran and Mrs G. For those of you unfamiliar, Mrs G is the oldest Osprey in the United Kingdom. She is 21. Her and Aran lost all three of their 2021 hatches due to Aran being injured while protecting the nest. He lost some primary feathers and could not fish. The community provided a fish table. Everyone ate but the wee ones not having food for 48 hours meant they could not be saved. Aran and Mrs G are getting their strength back and Aran is now flying much better. They are a strong established couple and will return next year from their African migration to try again.

Isn’t this just the most idyllic setting? There is a beautiful pond, an old stone fence along with cows and sheep. You can almost ‘hear’ the landscape!

All the rain made the Welsh countryside emerald green.

Now look carefully. Can you spot the Osprey?

Gorgeous landscape around the Glaslyn Osprey Nest.

The Two Bobs at the Rutland Manton Nest look almost as big as Maya and Blue 33 (11). Looks like it is time for some fish!

Blue 33 brings in a nice fish for Maya and the lads.

Now this image is really making me happy. The other day Idris got one of those mesh bags that holds produce – like oranges – caught on either his talons or a fish. It got into the nest with Telyn and the two Bobs. Thankfully no one was injured. The staff were watching it closely and if necessary, they would remove it. Otherwise they were going to wait to remove the mesh when the Bobs are banded at the end of the month.

Here is an image of the Two Bobs and the mesh the other day. You can imagine how worrying this was for everyone. You can also see the flat crops of each of the osplets, the down off their heads and the feathers growing in, and their deep amber eyes. They are in the reptile phase and for some, this is not so attractive as when they have either their natal down or their juvenile feathers. They really do remind us that Ospreys were around 50 million years ago – and as my son tells me – scientists only figured out that dinosaurs had feathers a few years ago so are they birds? or dinosaurs?

Another way that humans endanger wildlife is not disposing properly of our rubbish.

And this is today. Oh, what a relief. I hope someone finds that mesh and disposes of it properly.

Mesh is gone fron the Dyfi nest! Yeah.

Wattsworth has brought in a really nice fish to Electra on the Cowlicks PUD Osprey Nest in Washington State. I sure hope she takes the time to feed each oproperly. There was an awful lot of aggression on this nest yesterday and I am going to put it flatly on Electra for the lack of feeding when she had fish in hand on Sunday.

Wattsworth delivers a big fish – now feed your babies til they are bursting Electra!

And speaking of little bobs – oh, my. The third hatch at Foulshaw Moss of White YW and Blue 35 is really a wee lad. Everything is fine as long as food is not around but there is also a lot of aggression and it seems that there needs to be more fish delivered. Come on White YW!

Bob Three is really so tiny. He is cuddled up with sibling 2 having a nap. Of course sibling 1 is so big that it wants all the food but – Bob 3 is still here with us today and that is a good day in my books.

Wee little hatch 2 at Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria.

The only child of Dylan and Seren is just in fish heaven. Growing up with no competition, s/he will need the parents to help it understand how to survive in the wild – the fight for the fish! I wonder if they will do that?? Certainly Bald Eagles train their only eaglets by pretending to be surrogate siblings. Samson did a wonderful job with Legacy on the Northeast Florida nest in Jacksonville.

All that chartreuse is moss. The first time I looked I thought it was another mesh bag. Is it just me or does this nest need some tidying?

And my last check in, the two Bobs up at Loch of the Lowes with Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0. Gosh. They are looking good, too.

It is so nice to stop in and find that everyone seems to be doing alright on a Tuesday. No telling what Wednesday will bring but for now, these birds are surviving.

I want to thank ‘S’ for writing to me and telling me that Tiny Tot had returned to the nest. It is much appreciated as are all your letters. Tomorrow I am going to explain something I learned today – the difference between the Migratory Birds Treaty of 1917-18 and the Wildlife Protection Acts of each individual province including my own.

Thank you for joining me. Smile. It is a great day.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Mlady Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi Osprey Project, LRWT and Rutland Water, Clywedog Osprey Project, Carnyx Wild, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Achieva Credit Union, Bwyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD, and Golden Gate Audubon.

As the Nest Turns – Sunday focus: Loch of the Lowes

This blog will focus on NCO and Laddie at the Loch of the Lowes Nest for the most part. The reason? My goodness. NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest up in Scotland has really kicked up her game in feeding her Two Bobs. She is impressing me! She had me worried for awhile – all first time raptor mothers do. All of ‘us’ – the aunties and uncles – sit and loudly scream into our computer proper instructions for feeding the little bobbling heads. I suspect if we had to do it in real life it would be a far different story! Needless to say I am proud of her. She seems to have stopped the anxiety of the eldest by giving a bite to it and then a bite to Little Bob. Fabulous. NC0 is going to be one of those Osprey mothers that we are giving gold medals to in a few years. She has really come a long way in a couple of weeks.

Just a bit of a recap. This Osprey Nest is located near Dunkeld, Scotland in Perth and Kinross. I pulled up a satellite view of the area around the nest so you can see the trees and the water resources for the Ospreys, LM12 and NC0. It is maintained by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and those who play the People’s Postcode Lottery – and donations.

What a beautiful location! Dunkeld is 25 minutes north and slightly west of Perth.

LM12. known as Laddie, has been breeding at Loch of the Lowes since 2012. That makes him at least eleven years old in 2021. He raised 15 chicks with his previous mates. NC0 is LM12’s third mate. She was ringed at a nest near Loch Ness in 2016 so she is five years old this year. The pair fledged one chick together in 2020.

Laddie returned from his migration to Africa on the 21st of March at 5pm. He immediately went to work restoring the nest. NC0 arrived on the 25th of March. It was unclear whether or not they would again form a bond and raise a family together this year. People waited rather impatiently. I think Laddie almost lost NC0 when he would bring a fish to the nest and then take it away this year! What kind of a provider is that? Well, they did bond and NC0 laid three eggs – on 11 April, 14 April, and 17 April. The chicks hatched on 18, 20, and 22 May. The third chick died on day 3. The cause is unknown.

It is rare for a female to feed herself before she feeds her chicks. She will eat bites that are too big for the chicks when she is feeding. But when they are full and finished food begging, she will eat. Osprey females are known to lose from 10-15% of their body weight while feeding the nestlings. Now how do the researchers know this? They have scales hidden in the nest just like there are microphones to listen to happenings in the nest and cameras for watching. Incredible.

Just look at that crop on that little one in the image below. Of course, Big Tot has a nice crop too. Did you know that Osprey chicks triple their body weight in the first egg days after hatch? Then they will double it in the next four days. So those first 12 days are critical. The fastest growth phase comes between 15 and 30 days, according to Alan Poole, author of Ospreys. The Revival of A Global Raptor. The chicks will gain 2-3% of their body weight each day when, by the time they are a month old, they have attained 70-80% of their adult body weight and their growth will begin to slow. At this point, their energy will go into producing feathers! Today, Big Bob is 12 days old and Little Bob is ten days old.

This is an excellent image for you to see the difference in the plumage as the osplets get older. Little Bob still has the soft grey feather down from birth. Big Bob is starting to enter the Reptilian phase. At this stage, that soft natal down is replaced with the darker down. It is woolier. But look closely at Big Bob. Look at the top of his head, behind the eye and around the neck. Do you see the beautiful coppery-gold pinfeathers coming in? These are beautiful healthy babies.

NC0 instinctively shades her Two Bobs from the hot sun. At the age of 2 or 3 weeks they are able to regulate their temperature by panting. So Big and Little Bob are not quite ready to do this for themselves based on their ages. But, she protects their delicate skin from the sun. It will also be later when they can stand in the rain and protect themselves with their own feathers. For now, NC0 has to do it!

She will brood them to keep them warm and dry.

Laddie has brought in a big fish for the last meal of the day. NC0 will feed the chicks, then herself, and then Laddie flies in to have some fish, too, on the nest with his family.

You can watch this osprey family at the Loch of the Lowes here:

Good Night Loch of the Lowes. Have wonderful fish dreams!

Other quick news: There is still only one chick on the Clywedog Osprey Nest of Dylan and Seren. There have been intruders at Mrs G and Aran’s nest at Glaslyn. One of the culprits is KS6, Dinas, a hatch from Llyn Clywedog. KS8 has been bothering Idris and Telyn at the Dyfi Nest. People are hoping that this brother and sister pair will just join forces and find their own nest! Tiny Tot at the Achieva Osprey Nest had an enormous fish gifted to it by Diane and an hour later was still eating. And there is fledge watch at the UC Berkeley Campus. Annie and Grinnell’s Kaknu and Wek-Wek were up on the runway thinking about flying. Annie and Grinnell are doing some spectacular aerial displays to try and encourage them. Big Red is feeding the Ks several meals. She can feel the weather changing in her hollow bones and it seems she concurs with the weather office that rain is heading their way. And down in Australia, the gang is beginning to think that eggs might be appearing on the WBSE Nest around the middle of June.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe, stay well. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday wherever you are.

Thank you to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the People’s Postcode Lottery for the streaming cam where I grab my screen shots and to Google Maps.

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.

Late Wednesday Nest Hopping in Bird World

Blue 3J, fondly called Telyn, allowed Idris to incubate the three eggs this morning for a short time. As the first hatch is close, she will more and more take sole responsibility for those duties. It wasn’t clear if Idris wanted to get up this afternoon! Some of the dads really enjoy being on the nest. For me, these two are among the power couples of the Welsh Osprey.

There is, indeed, a tiny pip in one of their eggs which was seen at 15:31. In the egg near the top you can see ‘white’ instead of the rust or cream. Hatch is coming at Dyfi!

You can watch Idris and Telyn here:

Mrs G was a little tired after the second hatch and Aran had a nice fish on the nest which she used for a pillow!

Aran is a great dad and provider. Mrs G picked a good one. I love seeing both of them on the nest with the two little ones. It reminds me of Blue 33 (11) and Maya.

Just imagine. Those two little ones in the image above will be the size of Maya and Blue 33 (11)’s babies in a week!

Here is the link to Aran and Mrs G:

Maya is still being careful with the fish that are coming in but Little Bob doesn’t care, he just wants fish! He has scrambled out of the nest cup up to mom and is whispering “Fish, please”. Maya is listening carefully.

It wasn’t long until Dad had a nice big one on the nest for all three to enjoy. Little Bob got his ‘fish wish’.

You can watch Maya and Blue 33 (11) and the Two Bobs here:

Blue NC0 or Nessie has gotten the hang of feeding. I still have to giggle. She has decided that it is best if she sticks her entire beak into the little one’s mouth to make certain it gets the food.

That little one’s down looks like it would be super soft to the touch. Nessie has done a splendid job of keeping the wee one warm and dry with all the rain they are having up at Loch of the Lowes.

I observed Laddie bringing in three fish yesterday and there could have been more. NC0 is so funny. She is not so graceful on that wet nest and when she went to get the third fish her wing batted the little one. That didn’t hamper its appetite – it was right back up saying, “Fish, please!” You can see its tiny head sticking up amidst that beautiful rust coloured moss.

While we don’t see Laddie often, he is, in fact, perched on a tree to the left of the nest keeping guard on his family.

You can watch Laddie and Nessie and their wee ones here:

Darting across the pond, there are no food insecurity worries on The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island – commonly known as the Savannah Ospreys – anymore. The eldest was a bit of a beast the first week but wow, the crops of those two were bursting this morning.

That is the youngest one closest to the front. You can tell it because of its very dark chest feathers. These two have the most gorgeous plumage I have seen – there is peach bursting out everywhere!

Notice the oldest calling for another fish! It has a very nice crop. Wonder how much room is in there??????

You can watch Scarlett and Rhett and the two osplets here:

It looks like Diane and Tiny Tot are happy to have sibling 2 off the nest and back to their routine. Diane loves feeding Tiny Tot! —— and Tiny doesn’t mind either. He is strengthening his wings and hovering a bit more but Tiny doesn’t look like he is in a hurry to leave. I don’t blame him. Nature isn’t kind and it definitely isn’t Disneyland!

Pesky older sibling showed up later in the day getting another fish from Jack. Jack, Diane and Tiny need another fish! And he heard us. He brought in a really nice flounder and guess who claimed it? Tiny Tot!!!!!!!! Yippee. That’s Tiny with its wings up making the claim. Jack is in the front and there is sibling 2 who recently had a fish sneaking up the back.

You can connect with Jack, Diane, Tiny and elder sibling (2 probably) here:

Oh, those Ks are growing like bad weeds! K1 has discovered standing and is starting to figure out walking while K3 insisted on horking the leg of the Starling they had for late lunch.

Big Red kept trying to take that leg back but K3 was not going to give it up. Big Red watches as the little one gets the hang of horking. Horking has many meanings but with hawks it is getting an item of prey down whole (or almost whole) without chewing it. Is this a bit of a badge of honour for the youngest of the three?

You can see the little leg hanging out of K3’s beak. Big Red doesn’t know what to think.

K2 looks at K3 in disbelief as the last of the foot went down!

Little K3 is quite the character. It has seen K1 ‘walking’ – early stages – and it is even giving it a go. K3 held out its wings for balance and then started spinning and landed on its fat little bottom.

Kerplunk.

Big Red gathered up two Starlings and none of the Ks seemed interested in food. She looked over, saw the top of K3s head and started preening it. Oh, that must feel good. Maybe like getting a shampoo at the Salon! But, alas, it has been so long for so many of us maybe we have forgotten how nice that felt.

Big Red is one of the most beautiful Red-tail Hawks ever. Look at her gorgeous dark plumage! And that amazing red tail.

The link to Big Red, Arthur’s and the Ks camera is here:

There is absolutely no place like home if you are a juvenile eaglet and you fludged. Today, both of the eaglets were back on the nest at Duke Farms. What a relief.

I cannot promise how long they will be there but maybe they both won’t get on the same branch together any more! Be sure to look up if you go to this streaming cam. They are often on the branches like they are in the image below.

Here is the link to this nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey:

I will close with Iris. Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, laid her third egg at the Hellgate Nest in Missoula, Montana, at dawn this morning. It has been 9 days since she laid her second egg. Eggs are normally laid every 3 days. If you have followed me, Iris has sporadically incubated the eggs. Her hormones require her to lay them but she seems personally not interested. She knows if they are viable or not – or so the experts tell me. Iris raised many ospreys with her partner Stanley – at least, you might think, 30-40. She has done her part. She deserves to have a summer of fishing and taking care of herself. People continue to think that a new mate might appear for her but that will not happen unless something happens to Louis. And then you still have the problem of the other female, Starr, in the same territory. Iris might think we were foolish for feeling sad for her – but, we are human and we do. We want happy endings.

It is 6 degrees C in Missoula and it is raining. Snow and 1 degree C is predicted for Friday.

I have tried to ascertain how long eggs can maintain their protective coating if exposed to continual rain. How much rain is enough to ruin the eggs? Do you know? Message me.

Maybe Iris has her own message to Louis. I wonder. If she does, it is a pretty loud one this year. “I might have to lay those eggs but I don’t have to take care of them”. Do birds think like that?

Here is the link to the camera for Iris’s nest:

We are still hoping for rain on the Canadian Prairies. Fingers crossed. Today the Brown Thrasher, only one, has been in the garden thumping the ground, eating off the cranberry suet cylinder, and having a lot of bird baths. He was joined by a couple of really beautiful Purple Finches and a single male Black-capped Chickadee.

I hope you are finding some enjoyment in your garden or in the local park. Thank you so much for joining me as we check in on with our friends in Bird World.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Byweyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Loch of the Lowes, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Duke Farms, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project.

Lots happening in Bird World and it is just Tuesday!

My goodness. Monday and moving into Tuesday in the UK turned out to be a blur. Mrs G officially had her and Aran’s first hatch at Glaslyn Osprey Nest in Wales at 00.08 18 May. Mrs G, with her great experience – this is her 47th hatch – removed half of the shell. Good work, Mom. You can see the little Osprey to the left of the white egg – that sweet little stripe down its back.

There is Aran coming to check out how Mrs G and Q1 are doing in the early morning. Mrs G told him it won’t be long til Q2 is here – there is a big crack in that egg.

Little Q1 wanting some more fish. Oh, goodness. Not even 24 hours old and look how strong!

Here is the link to watch Aran and Mrs G with what will soon be the two Qs.

NC0 had her first hatch ever! The little one just needs mom to nudge that shell a bit. It has a really loud cheep that can be heard on the microphone under the nest cup.

And here is the little one getting its first feeding! So tiny.

No one gives the Ospreys a manual and it takes time to get to know how to feed a bobble head. I remember aching every time I saw Anna feeding Kisatchie at the Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana. Now Kisatchie is ready to fledge – it all worked out. Nessie (Blue NC0) is trying hard to connect with the little one to feed it and Laddie (LM12) seems to understand he is to deliver fish. Fingers crossed. I am certain they will have the feeding all sorted quickly before number two arrives.

Here is the link if you would like to check out this nest.

White YW (male) and Blue 35 (female) celebrate the arrival of the first hatch of 2021 at the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria.

There is a lot of excitement at the Poole Harbour Nest and ironically, I was just reading through Roy Dennis’s account of when they were first setting up the nests at the most opportune locations in Poole Harbour in his new book, Restoring the Wild. Sixty Years of Rewilding our skies, woods, and waterways. It is very interesting how they use Google Earth to help pick out the best places for the artificial nests.

CJ7 flew in with a fish and lo and behold, there is a male. It is Blue 022. They have been seen mating on the camera pole. Late eggs?

Another nice view of female CJ7 with her catch. Oh, the folks at Poole Harbour would be elated if there was a new pair at this nest! Blue 022 is a 2019 translocated Osprey.

The Cal Falcons need a name and the folks at UC Berkeley have narrowed down the field from 650 suggestions. If you would like to vote to name Annie and Grinnell’s vivacious boys, please go to the link below. There they provide information on the names submitted and then you just choose three. Why now join in the fun?

https://calfalcons.berkeley.edu/names/

Here is Grinnell giving the three their morning breakfast. They were fantastic for their dad, all lined up and being nice. Sometimes they run all over the place when Annie tries to feed them later in the day. Nice, healthy falcons!

You can catch the action here when they are inside:

And this is the link to the outside camera:

Oh, those babies of Big Red and Arthur’s get more adorable every day – even with their pin feathers starting to show. Glad to see Arthur snagged a chipmunk for the gang. Did you realize there is a shortage of chipmunks in 2021? It isn’t just Ithaca – across the state of New York. I also wonder about squirrels. Did Arthur wipe out the colonies of squirrels and chipmunks last year when he delivered 2x the normal amount of prey to the nest? It has to take many more Starlings – and I understand that hawks and falcons don’t particularly like Starlings. Wish for a chippie!

They are sure growing but immediately you can still tell which is K1, K2, or K3. Oh, the little wings and tails.

The little ones at The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island (Savannah Ospreys) are doing great. It is easy to tell them apart. The youngest one has a very dark breast. That one struggled for awhile but the feeding has levelled out and both are fed well and growing. This morning the youngest decided to try walking for the first time! Wow. What a milestone! These two have beautiful peach in their plumage.

Checking in on Iris, she brought in an amazing catch yesterday at 12:45 pm. She could hardly pull it into the nest and then she decided to fly off with it to the pole.

Iris already had a pretty full crop when she caught this one. She has to be the envy of everyone there on the river in Missoula.

Iris is such a beauty. I wonder if she remembers how nice it was to have Stanley for a mate? someone to share these precious moments with? to help her with the eggs and the chicks? Those are, of course, human questions but, you can’t help but notice when a chick is born how quickly the female wants to show it to the male. Iris, the oldest Osprey in the world, is much loved – by tens of thousands.

Iris is not tied to her eggs. Thank goodness. She spent the night on the perch and did not go down to the nest til 8:44 am and was gone by 9:06. She is taking care of herself this year knowing that a single parent cannot raise a family of Ospreys. It is very interesting to me. I would love to have a coffee with Iris and hear what she thinks about Louis! Can humans learn Osprey speak? Probably not. It remains a great unfortunate in the Osprey World that Louis has two nests and that he doesn’t have the energy of Monty to try and keep both thriving.

It won’t be long until Tiny Tot fledges. He is getting a lot of good height and is exercising those wings.

Tiny and Diane are waiting for a fish delivery. The pair enjoyed a late night delivery the other day from Jack and were eating well into the night. It is hot and windy in St Petersburg today, 30 degrees C. Fishing might not be that good.

Tiny has grown into a beautiful osprey. Such joy he has brought to everyone who cheered this little one being clever and wanting to live. It is one of those good news stories from 2021 for sure.

Legacy is still with us! Samson brought in two fish today for her – two at the same time! This is really amazing as there is a high rip tide warning for the coast between Jacksonville and Georgia.

Samson waits and protects Legacy while he eats.

We are so lucky to have this extra time with Legacy. He has not strayed since he was missing for three days. That must have been very scary. Samson is doing a great job feeding Legacy and keeping him on the nest.

Thank you so much for joining me today. We are once again on hatch watch at the Glaslyn nest of Aran and Mrs G. If I look at the other potential hatches in the UK, things are getting busy. It is difficult to keep up.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. That is where I get my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Cam RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, UC Falcon Cam, Poole Harbour, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, and the Achieva Credit Union.

Hatch at Loch of the Lowes

It is pitching down rain in the middle of the night and Nessie, NC0 has a hatch!

There is a little osplet’s head to the right of NC0’s head. Look carefully.

Congratulations to Laddie and NC0!

NC0 you are going to be a great mom. This is your first little one and you held back intruders and protected your eggs like a pro. Well done. Can’t wait to see the little one in the morning.

You can watch the excitement here:

Thanks to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes Ospreys for the streaming cam where I picked up these scaps.

From Mantou to Murray to Missoula – a check on our bird friends

How many people wake up in the morning and wonder if something has happened on a bird nest? Do you look at the birds in your garden and wonder what kind of a day they have been having? For a couple of days, there has been some sort of stress at the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, in Rutland. It began with a headless fish and included an intruder this morning.

Blue 33 (11) immediately flew to Maya and the babies. Maya hunkered down over the babies watching while Blue mantled and sent out loud alerts.

It was all over in about three minutes but it must have felt like an eternity to Blue 33 (11) and Maya protecting their nest and their babies. Right now, there are many two and three year old Ospreys returning to the UK from their migration to Africa. For many, they have been away for eighteen months and this is their first return journey home. Everyone is looking for a mate and a nest and this nest on Manton Bay is prime real estate.

You can watch the entire process of protecting their nest on this short three minute video:

Ever since Blue 33 (11) brought in a headless fish that twice battered around the Two Bobs, Maya has been somewhat cautious whenever he delivers a perch. Sunday, the 16th of May, was no exception at Rutland’s Manton Bay Osprey Nest.

“Blue, are you really sure this fish is dead? You just wait here with the fish and the Bobs while I have a wee break…”

Blue 33 (11) kept staring at the fish. At the same time, one of the Two Bobs thought maybe dad would decide to do the feeding.

Blue 33 (11) only flew off the nest as Maya was landing. They are taking no chances with stranger Ospreys in the vicinity!

Maya approaches the fish cautiously.

The Two Bobs, having forgotten about the dangerous flapping fish, were ready to tuck in!

There are a lot of intruders on the Osprey nests at the moment. The two and three year olds are returning from their migration to Africa. Many have been away for eighteen months and this is their first time back in the United Kingdom. They do not have mates and they do not have nests and as well know, Manton Bay is prime real estate. Blue 33 (11) will not allow any of them to take his nest or harm his family!

There could be a couple on the Loch Arkaig Nest. The unringed male brought in a fish for the Blue 152.

And there is a microphone inside the Loch of the Lowes nest and you can hear one of Laddie and Nessie’s chicks chirping away inside the egg. She is listening!

The single chick at the Lake Murray Osprey nest in NH is doing fantastic. Have a look! There are advantages to being an only child!!!!!

Annie had the three boys over in the corner and she was behind them protecting them and keeping them in the scrape box last night. Grinnell brought in a banded shore bird of some kind for their late dinner.

As evening came down on Missoula, Montana, Iris was in her nest incubating the eggs. Good Night, Iris!

For the fans of the Port Lincoln Ospreys, Mom has been spending more time at the nest and Solly is doing great. Solly is 239 days old today and she remains at Eba Anchorage. Don’t you just love these satellite trackers?

Thanks for joining me today. Take care, stay safe – enjoy being outside if you can!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Lab and Montana Osprey, Lake Murray Osprey Cam, UC Falcon Cam, Woodland Trust, and the LRWT. Thank you for the tracking information on Solly, Port Lincoln FB Page!