Late Afternoon in Bird World

26 May 2022

The morning started off terrible in Bird World. Dylan was believed to be missing at Llyn Clywedog with three hungry chicks on the nest and Seren calling and calling — and another floppy fish covered the oldest Bob at the Dyfi Nest. Things turned out well and I thought it was a good idea to tell everyone immediately!

The weather is very bed at the site of the Llyn Clywedog Nest. The wind is blowing strong and it is raining. Dylan did manage to get a fish on the nest for Seren and the chicks. Fantastic. The babies were so hungry. You can see one of them at the left.

John Williams says the weather and fishing are set to improve tomorrow. Thank goodness. Most of you will recall the horrific storms, the damp and cold last season.

Telyn got up to eat the Flounder and there was Big Bob. There was also Middle Bob!!!!!!

What a relief.

Just look. Big Bob was so strong when it hatched and so is Middle Bob. Middle Bob is still a little wet from hatching. These two are going to be a handful and we have egg 3 to go.

A look at Aran and Mrs G’s first Bob at the Glaslyn Osprey nest. Cutie Pie. This is chick # 50 for Mrs G.

It seems that the Racoon event at the Fort St Vrain Bald Eagle nest is not a one off revenge attack. EJ searched and found a 2019 incident at a nest in Washington DC involving a Raccoon and an Eagle.

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/raccoon-invades-justice-and-libertys-nest-eats-their-eggs/2693/

It doesn’t look like there has been a fish delivery at the UFlorida-Gainesville Osprey nest before 1430. These are such gorgeous chicks. That is Middle flapping his wings this afternoon.

Things are still going well at the Loch of the Lowes!

Here is a good look at that eye. Looks perfect to me.

There continue to be six storklets on the nest of Jan and Janika in Lativa. No elimination so far.

At the nest of Bukachek and Betty, there are three storklets and two eggs. So far everyone is doing well.

The eyases at the Manchester NH scrape are going in and out of the scrape to the ledge. If you go to the streaming camera and only see one or two chicks, do not panic!

Oh, Annie, Grinnell, and Alden’s chicks are getting their beautiful feathers too. Look at the eyes beginning to reveal those steel blue-grey feathers. Gorgeous. There is a reminder at the bottom that the banding is at 0800 tomorrow – Friday the 27th. Set your clocks!

Cal Falcons posted a great growth chart of these two chicks on their Twitter and FB feeds. I am certain that they do not mind if I share this with all of you. Everyone is here to learn!

Mum and chicks doing well at the Great Spirit Bluff Peregrine Falcon scrape.

If you do not have it, here is the link to the Spirit Bluff streaming cam:

Life on the Red-tail Hawk nest of Big Red and Arthur at Cornell is changing rapidly. Juvenile feathers are coming in. Indeed, with the sticks in the nest you can see how well camouflaged the eyases are compared to a couple of weeks ago.

Self-feeding is happening! Lots of little chippies on the nest for the Ls.

Gorgeous peach feathering coming in along with the belly bands!

Every time I go to the Big Bear nest, I fear that Spirit will have taken the leap. She spends a lot of time on the balcony and is now able to go back and forth from the front porch to the back. For viewers this means that she could be on the nest tree and just out of view of the camera.

Today is the last day for the Captiva Osprey cam and chat to be operational. If you would like to be notified of any videos posted by Windows for Wildlife be sure to go and subscribe – it is the bell under the streaming cam image on the right.

The streaming cam at the West End Bald Eagle nest of Thunder and Akecheta is running again! Fantastic. Many of us were afraid we would miss the trio – Kana’kini, Sky, and Ahota – fledging. Oh, how grand.

We are also able to watch Lancer on the Two Harbours Alternative Nest of Chase & Cholyn.

It feels like we can all go whew but the weather at Loch Arkaig is not good. Poor Dorcha. It is great to have the cameras running at West End and Two Harbours. Remember that the banding for the Cal Falcons is at 8am Pacific Time tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: CarnyXWild, Dyfi Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, ND-LEEF, Friends of Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, FOBBV, Cornell RTH, Mlade Buky, Peregrine Networks, Cal Falcons, and Explore.org

Friday Morning in Bird World

29 April 2022

Good Morning everyone. The sun is trying to shine in southern Manitoba and the sky is light blue grey. Everyone is preparing for the onslaught of more rain headed our way — will it really be 50mm? That is close to 2 inches.

Mother Goose waiting for the all clear to leap from the Decorah nest. 28 April 2022

First up. I have received a number of letters about the 5th gosling of Mother Goose at the Decorah, Iowa nest. As many of you know, three goslings were with Mother and Father Goose after they jumped out of the nest and two were not. Boots on the ground found 4 and got it with Mum and Dad. Volunteers of the Raptor Resource Project and Mother and Father Goose continued to look and call for the 5th. Sadly, it was found dead. According to the following official release, it was not the youngest that died.

This is the statement released by the Raptor Research Project on their FB page:

“The goslings jumped today! We’ll have video tomorrow, but for now, we know that: Four of five goslings survived and were last seen swimming happily in Trout Creek, foraging along the bank, and following their parents up and down the small pool below the nest. One of the four went the wrong way after jumping! We managed to reunite it with its family after some mad scrambling through the brush, a low crawl across the river bank, and a little rock jumping. This gosling seemed determined to stay with new Papa. David Kester: it took two tries to get it back where it belonged! One gosling died. We initially thought it might have been the last to jump, since it was younger and smaller than its siblings and took a while to follow them out of the nest. But the gosling we reunited with its family was smaller than the one we found dead. We suspect (but don’t know for sure), that the reunited gosling was the last gosling, and the gosling that died was gosling number two. One, three, and four joined their parents quickly, but we don’t think we saw two after it jumped.”

The ‘sad’ part of all of this is that Mother Goose is still looking for her 5th gosling. She was at the nest this morning.

The Cape Wildlife Centre taught us much last season about Canada Geese – if we did not already know. When Arnold had his digit bitten off by a snapping turtle in their pond, Amelia looked and looked for him. She waited on the porch knowing he was inside the clinic (their pond is on the grounds of the clinic). The staff helped them to be together, for her to watch Arnold’s recovery, for them to share meals, and then finally to be outside. The take away from that is that Canada Geese are intelligent and sentinel. Was the dead gosling shown to the parents? And in asking that question I am not criticizing what was done yesterday at Mother Goose’s nest. Just asking a question. If not, perhaps in the future this should be done and also, when one goose is taken into care, that the other one go along, too! They really are bonded!!!!!!

L4 at the Cornell Red0-tail Hawk nest did survive what felt like a 72 hour pip and hatch. It completed its hatch at 23:08 on the 28th of April. Here is the video of Big Red and Arthur and their four Ls! Congratulations Big Red and Arthur!!!!!! This is going to be fun. Big Red will be in her glory – 4. It is, as far as is known, a first for her.

L4 will be substantially smaller than L1 which is a week older. But, see all that prey on the nest. There is plenty of food and there is no reason not to believe that L4 will not thrive. The beaking only occurs in falcons and hawks because 1) their eyes have to become clear and focused and 2) every black beak with pink inside is potentially food. Normally subsides after a week. As far as my understanding goes, siblicide is extremely rare in hawks and falcons unlike eagles and ospreys.

Yes, Arthur, there really are four of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just look at the prey pantry in this nest. Arthur is so excited it will be filled to the brim with all sorts of critters. No one will go hungry. In the image below, Big Red is checking each beak to make sure none of the Ls want any more squirrel before she quits feeding. She is a pro at taking care of chicks and Big Red loves being a Mum.

There are a couple of Bald Eagle nests that I continue to check. One of those is the National Arboretum nest in Washington, DC. Mr President and Lotus have a gorgeous eaglet who is just losing the last of the dandelions on the top of its head. However, this eaglet has been fed duck and I worry a little when waterfowl are consumed because of H5N1.

The remaining two Osplets at the UFlorida-Gainesville nest on the light stand are doing fine.

Both of the eaglets at the MN-DNR nest are doing fine this morning also. They have had some waterfowl so I continually check on them like the NADC-AEF nest.

The two eaglets on the Dale Hollow nest continue to thrive also. They are gorgeous birds and today they are (counting hatch day) 61 days old. Soon!

I know that almost everyone is a fan of Harriet and M15 at Fort Myers. It appears that E19 might have left the territory yesterday. Lady Hawk made a video of those final interactions and moments.

There is good news. Janika returned safely to her nest with Jan yesterday at 16:15. There had been a fight with an intruder and Mum is now home safely after some worry. Jan and Janika have 6 eggs in their nest in Jogeva County, Estonia. They were laid on April 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, and 25. The last time I checked on this nest – shame on me – we were waiting for Janika to return from migration! Hopefully no more intruders!

If you watch this nest – and storks are absolutely lovely with all their rituals – you must be prepared for the parents to ‘sort’ the chicks. A clutch of six is surely too many to feed – but we will find out.

The celebration is still going on in Poole Harbour. Ospreys CJ7 and Blue 022 are making history. CJ7 laid her third egg at 08:57 on the 29th of April. Will she stop at three? Oh, I hope so. Remember, these are the first osprey eggs laid for 200 years and then – the first fledges in 200 years. I can hear the ‘happiness’ for all those involved in the Osprey restoration/relocation project to Poole.

It was the tail movement that gave it all away. CJ7 should begin hard incubation now.

Want to watch history being made? Here is the link to the streaming cam at Poole Harbour.

In Latvia, at the nest of Anna and Andris in a Spruce tree in the Zemgale region, Andris brought a very small snack to his mate. So far, the Lesser Spotted Eagles have only one egg which was laid on the 26th of April. Perhaps it will hold at one!

Karl II and Kaia now have three eggs in their Black Stork nest. That nest is in Karula National Park in the very south of Estonia. Kaia is Karl’s new mate as of 2020. Their first clutch was not successful. In 2021, they fledged three! This year, Karl II returned from migration on 8 April with Kaia arriving on the 12th. I am very fond of this nest and this couple! Third season.

There is Karl II with his band and his tracker. You can follow him all the way back to the Sudan and Chad when he migrates in the fall.

Here is the link to Karl II and Kaia’s streaming cam in Estonia:

As we wait anxiously for the Peregrine Falcon nests to begin hatching – and I am really anxious for Annie and Alden – there are four eyases in the scrape in Utrecht. Each is doing very well.

Here is a video of the snack feeding a few hours ago:

Here is the link to the falcon cam in Utrecht with those four gorgeous little ones.

Here is a link to a peregrine falcon scrape cam in Belgium where there are also four little falcons.

This nest in Belgium also has a great entrance cam!

For those of us wanting an international ban on sticky glue traps, England has now banned their use. Excellent news. Here is the announcement that came yesterday, “The Glue Traps (Offences) Act, introduced by Jane Stevenson MP, bans the use of inhumane glue traps which are a widely available method of rodent control but can cause immense suffering. Animals can remain alive for 24 hours or more, eventually dying of stress, exhaustion, dehydration or self-inflicted injuries”.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10759059/Inhumane-glue-traps-mice-rats-set-BANNED-England.html

With the exception of the one gosling not surviving the jump at Decorah, everything seems to be fine in Bird World on Friday morning the 29th of April. Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: The Latvian Fund for Nature, The Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Explore.org, NADC-AEF, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Oudenaarde Falcon Cam, Raptor Research Project, DHEC, MN-DNR, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and LFC Utrecht.

Late Thursday and early Friday in Bird World

14-15 April 2022

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the end of the storm system that is staying over Manitoba. Hopefully it will be on its way eastward late on Friday. There is so much snow. It has been a privilege to feed so many visiting Dark-eyed Juncos over the past two days as well as the regular garden birds, squirrels, and rabbit. My live is so enriched by their presence that it is hard to imagine not having them visit daily.

Things are really busy in Bird World. The UK and European raptors are busy laying eggs, eagles are preparing to fledge or just hatching, US Ospreys are arriving and laying eggs and some nests are just coming back on line.

I know that many of you love the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagles. That nest is now back on line with eggs being laid when? the end of April? or beginning of May? For whatever reason, that camera will not allow me to post it here so do go to YouTube and search for Glacier Gardens! Isn’t it gorgeous. There are so many Bald Eagles in Alaska – they love the salmon and the cooler temperatures. Indeed, the 67 or 68 Bald Eagles taken into care during the heat of last summer in British Columbia flew north to Alaska, not south. This will be a growing trend as the raptors adapt to climate change.

Oh, goodness. Little Bit at the UFlorida Gainesville Osprey nest is doing so well. What a little cutie pie. He is still tiny compared to Big but Mom is doing really well.

Look at him stretch those neck muscles to reach his fish. Yes, that is him at the back. Big has already eaten, is full, and is walking away to the left front. Excellent!

The Patuxent River Park has started the streaming cams to their osprey nests. This is cam 2. Now isn’t she gorgeous?

This is the nest where the foster chick went overboard last season and where a staff member took her canoe out and retrieved the chick and got it back on the nest – after hours! So many were grateful for that act of kindness.

Thank you ‘L’ for alerting me to this camera being back on line.

Here is the link to cam 2:

And this is the link to cam 1:

I decided to go and check on Jasper and Rocket at the NEFlorida Bald Eagle nest of Samson and Gabby at Jacksonville. And look where I first found them! It will not be long for their first flights.

The AEF did a short visit of Rocket joining Jasper.

Besties.

At the SWFlorida Eagle nest of Harriet and M15, E20 is turning into a great prey stealer. Lady Hawk made a video of M15 with prey by the pond when E20 snatched it and took it to the nest to eat. Bravo!

I am going to bed with a smile on my face. Look at that crop of Little Middle at the Dale Hollow nest!

Spirit continues to grow and be well loved and cared for by Jackie and Shadow at the Big Bear nest. Gorgeous.

For all of those waiting, the chat will open for Big Red and Arthur’s streaming cam on Monday. Normally the chats vary the times between M-W-F and T-Th-S. Great moderators with years of experience are there to educate you about the hawks, their history, and what to expect. I hear Laura Culley, the falconer, will be with us again this year. Fantastic.

Here is the link to access the camera:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/red-tailed-hawks/

You will see the page below. Click on the red chat symbol! It is easy. Just don’t go to YouTube expecting a chat!!!!!!!!

As some of you may know, the female at the Duke Farms nest left on the 11th when the eaglet was banded. She has yet to return to the nest. While we all want her to be safe and return soon, it is reassuring that the eaglet is of the age that it can be left alone and would naturally have been at times. The male is bringing in food and feeding and caring for his eaglet and this is all good.

UPDATE: Biologists have spotted the female this morning and she is fine.

Harry, Nancy and the two eaglets at the MN-DNR nest seem to be just fine – for now. North Dakota got really dumped on with the snow. The storm is moving east. I hope it stays away from this nest in Minnesota!

The Black Storks at the Sigulda County nest in Latvia are busy. They are doing a lot of restoration work on their nest for this breeding season.

Here is the link to the camera of Grafs (m) and Grafiene (f):

Here is Grafiene feeding the storklets in July 2021. The parents go fishing and regurgitate the small fish onto the nest for the babies.

The nest seems to get so small as the storklets grow.

It was a hot summer with food becoming scarce. Many individuals helped the storks and the storklets by setting up a pond with a decoy to try and lure the fledglings to they could get food. I was very grateful for the efforts made at some of the Black Stork nests last year including the delivery of fish to keep Jan and Janika’s storklets alive. Droughts, rising summer temperatures, the erosion of wetland habitat all impact our beautiful feathered friends.

The Poole Harbour Osprey couple made the BBC news.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-dorset-61109786

Have you voted for the name for Annie’s ‘New Guy’? You have until noon PST 17 April. New name announced on Monday the 18th!!!!!!!! Yahooooooo.

I know that some of you love Dyson. I don’t normally post other wildlife but I found this streaming cam with a grey squirrel box, a mother and 3 wee ones. You might enjoy watching it!

We still have light snow falling and the Juncos are still in the garden in full force. The great thing about this morning – the sun is out!

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. See you soon!!!!!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Cornell RTH, DHEC, UFlorida Ospreys, Looduskalender, Latvian Fund for Nature, Duke Farms, Friends of Big Bear Valley, MN-DNR Eagles, NEFlorida and the AEFR, Patuxent River Park, and Glacier Gardens.

Tuesday in Bird World

12 April 2022

The ‘historic’ storm is set to hit us sometime during the late evening or night. It will snow and blow then calm and start up again on Thursday. Apparently people are hoarding food and turkeys are said to now cost $80 each. Of course, they will be useless if the electricity has an outage. It is the reason that we have a back up wood stove in the City. Eons ago and I do mean eons, I remember a storm that hit leaving several feet on the roads and downing the power lines. The cables had thick ice – first sagging and then snapping under the weight. The house in the country had a hand pump to the cistern if the power was lost and a large wood stove. We ate, had hot baths and meals – one day it was so warm the children were wearing their summer clothes. The snow was so deep. It took 13 days before we were a priority with the municipality – being the only house on a road for several miles. We were fine. Sometimes old school is best. All of the garden critters have been fed so much especially Dyson and Scraggles as well as Little Red. They can hoard it all away and munch and stay warm inside their nests and the penthouse til the storm is over. No worries for them!

Dyson really does enjoy those nice nuts. He even seems to be putting on some weight since he discovered he prefers the ‘luxury’ bird seed. Too funny. He feels his cheeks and runs away returning quickly!

The soap opera in the Glaslyn Valley is officially over for the 2022 season. Mrs G is back with Aran on the Glaslyn nest and Blue 014 has Aeron Z2 all to herself at Pont Cresor. Aran has delivered half a fish to Mrs G. He might be waiting to deliver a whole one until he is sure she is staying!

Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the UK, is as gorgeous as ever with her dark plumage.

Aran on his perch and Mrs G in the nest.

Mrs G enjoying the fish that Aran provided.

As the sun begins to set, Aran is in the nest working on the walls that were installed by the Glaslyn staff in an effort to ease the nesting season for Mrs G and her mate.

It is raining at the Dale Hollow nest. Little Middle and Big are soaked.

At 11:10:31 Obey brings a fish to the nest for Big and Little Middle.

Everyone is soaking. Little Middle was first up at the feeding once River decided it was a good time to start – around 12:13.

Even when Big moves up, Little Middle stays in place and continues to eat. It is all good.

Little Middle is happy River came to the nest. He loves cuddling with Mum.

The little eaglet at the National Arboretum nest of Mr President and Lotus is thriving.

While this wee one begins to get its thermal down, there is branching happening at the NEFlorida Bald eagle nest of Samson and Gabby. Yesterday Jasper branched at 10:10:53 as Rocket looked on.

No worries, beautiful Rocket. You will be up there soon enough! Too soon for us!!!!!

Just look above and have a quick peek at this short video – a reminder of how quickly the eagles grow! I recall the days that we were all worried that Rocket would survive but, he did. He was self-feeding first and became ever so clever.

The bonking has started at the UFL Osprey nest. I am cautiously hopeful that the beaking will subside but let’s see if Dad can get more fish on this nest pronto.

Richmond and Rosie at the SF Bay Osprey nest have their third egg. You have heard me say it many times. They are good and solid and capable of dealing with three! Eggs were laid on April 5, 8, and 11. Just perfect.

Everything is fine at the Black Stork nest of Karl II in the Karula Forest in Estonia. Kaia has returned!!!!!!!

I am so happy to report that the male is back on the Black Stork nest in Latvia! This nest is in the Sigulda region of Latvia.

Oh, and I am so excited. I love Black Kites and Grey and Golda are working on their nest in Latvia. This is exciting. Some of you might remember the Black Kite nest in a cemetery in Taipei. I continue to look for that streaming cam to start operating. But now we can watch in Latvia!

Black kites are medium sized raptors. They generally live in the forests where they generally occupy the lower canopy. This is where they hunt small mammals, frogs, salamanders, and even grasshoppers as well as other insects. They will lay between 2 and 5 eggs.

Last year there were three hatchlings. They were seriously cute.

The second White-tailed eaglet hatched at the Danish nest yesterday. Both hatches are doing well. Just watching for the third to arrive tomorrow.

White YW and Blue 35 have been working on their nest at Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria. The camera does not have a rewind capacity so you have to watch often and long to catch the ospreys on the nest. This is the nest of Tiny Little’s parents. S/he was ringed Blue 463 and as the third hatch, with the help of Mum and Dad, s/he thrived. I am very much looking forward to this season with these fabulous parents. Where do the parents roost? On the tree in the distance.

Here is the link to the streaming cam. There are two views when you click on the page.

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

Everything is fine at the Dyfi Osprey nest of Idris and Telyn! They are a super couple. Again, great nest to watch. Link to camera is below. You can count on Idris bringing in some whoppers!

This is a new couple. CJ7 who has hoped for a mate for so long and the more than eager to oblige dashingly handsome Blue 022. They are at Poole Harbour and as I always mention – any chicks that hatch on this nest will be the first in over 200 years. You can well imagine that the local community is pretty excited.

Here is the link to their camera as you begin to get your UK Osprey nests to watch consolidated.

There is a soft rain at the Loch of the Lowes. You can hear the songbirds in the distance. Laddie and Blue NC0 have a beautiful nest and it is impossible to see if there is an egg yet. I don’t think so.

Blue NC0 has been on and off the nest. Did I tell you she is a fantastic fisher? It is not clear whether or not Laddie caught this fish and handed it off to her after he had eaten the head but, that is probably what happened. Blue NC0 would be pleased. She turned out to be a fantastic Mum last year to the surprise of some. Once the chicks were old enough she was out fishing. She really kept the fish flowing on the nest for the two healthy chicks last year.

Here is the link to the camera at the Loch of the Lowes.

Tomorrow, Cal Falcons is due to post the list of names so that the community can vote. It will be so nice for the New Guy to get a proper name. Everything is going fine for this new couple as we continue to mourn the loss of Grinnell.

All of the Peregrine Falcon nests are doing just fine as is Big Red and Arthur’s Red-tail Hawk nest at Cornell. The action will be starting in a few weeks!

Thank you so much for joining me today as we skipped around some of the nests. The weather that is approaching Manitoba will also impact the MN-DNR nest I am pretty sure. I will try and keep an eye on Harry and Nancy and the two eaglets. Take care all. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, DHEC, Birdlife Denmark, NADC-AEF, NEFlorida-AEF, UFL Osprey, CFN, SF Ospreys and Goldden Gate Audubon, Latvian Fund for Nature, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Dyfi, and Cal Falcons.

Thursday in Bird World, 2 September

It is pretty quiet at the nests these days – that lull if you like between the Ospreys leaving for their migrations in Europe and the US, the Bald Eagles slowly returning to their breeding areas, and the falcons and Ospreys incubating eggs in Australia. The biggest news in Bird World is that Diamond laid her second egg at 20:55 September 2nd.

Xavier taking a turn incubating and rolling the eggs for a bit this morning. Gosh, those are big eggs!

The Osprey was officially adopted in 1994 as the is the provincial bird of Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s ten provinces. Nova Scotia is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Fundy, the Northhumberland Strait, and the Gulf of Maine. It is one of Canada’s Atlantic or Maritime Provinces. At its widest, 128 km, it is easy to reach any body of water easily. It is said that Nova Scotia has more Ospreys than the United Kingdom in its entirety. Many live on McNab’s Island at the mouth of Halifax Harbour.

@Wikimedia Commons

The lighthouse was built in 1809. In 1852, Dr. Abraham Gesner was given control of the lighthouse. In December, Gester used a fuel that he had just discovered – kerosene – to operate the light.

“McNabs Island” by KellyMercer is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Maugher Beach Lighthouse (McNabs Island, Nova Scotia) – (Adventure of the Seas – August 1st, 2018)” by cseeman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
“Wharf at McNabs Island” by wdrwilson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
[[File:Osprey Bird.jpg|Osprey_Bird]]
[[File:Osprey on Sandy Hook (70318).jpg|Osprey_on_Sandy_Hook_(70318)]

Ironically, there were hardly any Ospreys in Nova Scotia two decades ago. The use of DDT had weakened the eggs to the point that the birds were virtually going extinct. Since 1979, the Osprey Management Program, operated jointly between Nova Scotia Power and the environmentalists at the Department of Lands and Forestry to relocate nests that are on top of live utility poles to safer unused poles nearby. Each year they partner with the Museum of Natural History to live stream an osprey nest. The Osprey are in Nova Scotia from April to September. At the end of the summer, when the juveniles are old enough, they leave for their winter grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

The first little video is from 2014. Seven years ago, when streaming cams were not so HD. Here is a typical Osprey family of five in Nova Scotia on top of one of the partnership nests.

Here is another short video of 2020 showing the improvement in cameras. It shows the hatch of the second chick at this nest on 9 June.

Speaking of Osprey, Sharon Leigh Miles took this image today of an Osprey at Mt Sentinel in Missoula, Montana. It is Iris’s favourite tree and it is presumed to be Iris, the grand dame of North American Ospreys. Hopefully she will visit her nest before she leaves. She is the oldest Osprey in the world.

In other news, White YW, the male at the Foulshaw Moss Nest, dad of our one and only Tiny Little, Blue 463, is still in Cumbria. He was photographed there today. White YW hatched at Bassenthwaite in 2008. Gosh, he is a great dad. One of the unsung heroes. Chris Wood has received word that the estuaries that the UK Ospreys travel to for their winter season are filling up with water. Wonderful! Yesterday, I saw Cormorants here in Manitoba and today a couple seem to have taken over Maya and Blue 33’s nest at Rutland (at least for part of the day). The two little sea eagles are getting along fine. Food remains plentiful and they are growing, flapping, and learning to walk. Those clown feet are really growing. Just look, with food, 28’s feet are getting huge. Wow.

I am attaching the progress map of the Ospreys and Black Storks:

Pikne, in orange, is really travelling well. She has gone straight south almost beating Karl II in royal blue. You can follow them, too. Here is the link:

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. Stay well. Look for egg number 3 on 4 September down in Orange.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University in Orange, The Montana Osprey Project FB Page, Sea Eagle Cam @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and BirdMap.

Oh, our lovely fish eating birds

I love Ospreys – bet you can tell! Still, the anxiety rises when there are three eggs on a nest that, historically, simply cannot support that many mouths to feed. Right now the Mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey barge in Australia is incubating three eggs. In 2020, a drop in fish deliveries around day 16 of the youngest life meant that food insecurities hit the two older and much bigger siblings. Tapps was a victim of siblicide. Will 2021 be different?

So far the two adults are working like a super machine. Today Dad came in with a fish delivery for mom. She left and he incubated the eggs for a half hour. Have a look at that smooth exchange:

The 2019 female fledgling of the PLO nest has been seen and photographed at Tulka yesterday. Solly, the 2020 fledgling with the satellite tracker still seems to prefer Eba Anchorage but she has spent some crazy time at Streaky Bay again. Solly is 339 days old on 26 August Australian time.

If it has been awhile since you watched an Osprey catch a fish, have a look at this slow-motion video shot in the Scottish Highlands. Incredible. When you are watching this remember that Ospreys and Owls are the only birds whose outer toe is reversible to help them hold on to their prey. It allows them to grasp with two toes in the front. Great design.

The Ospreys that live in Australia along the coasts and the rivers are Eastern Ospreys, Pandion cristatus. Eastern Ospreys do not migrate. Their status ranges from secure to vulnerable and rare in various states of Australia.

Ospreys have a system of communication between one another that individuals, such as yourself, will recognize if you have been watching Osprey nests. There are 11 physical and visual displays that show they are resting, alarming, soliciting for food, in a defensive posture, nest protecting, under attack, or sky dancing to impress their mate. In addition to the body language Ospreys use they also have 8 sounds that they make alongside the physical signs. Those include alarming, food solicitation ranging from a very low sound to an extremely high pitched sound, a sound for guarding, being excited, screaming, and the sound during copulation. These findings were published in 1993 by Vincent Bretagnoll and Jean-Claude Thibault. The article is “Communicative Behavior in Breeding Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus): Description and Relationship of Signals to Life History.” It was published in The Auk, Volume 110, Issue 4, 1 October 1993, Pages 736–751.

The British Library and the Cornell Bird Lab have an extensive library of bird sounds that you can access. Also, just watch the birds intently on their nests in different situations. You will soon be able to recognize their different visual postures. For those working in situations that deal with Ospreys, it is essential that they learn the communication and behavioural signals of these birds. These skills would definitely have helped those reviewing Malin’s flight off the nest and, in the future, could save a bird’s life.

Blue 33 (11) has delivered Maya a nice fish for breakfast. So Maya is still here. It doesn’t mean she won’t eat and fly! We just need to wait and see.

Either White YW left Tiny Little an early fish or the silvery white object is a leftover piece of fish from last night’s late feed. Is Tiny home to eat it? and will she be in Cumbria all day?

Ooops. Looks like Tiny Little is too late!!!!!!!! Mr Crow has found a nice breakfast. Does this mean Tiny Little has started her first migration?

UPDATE: Tiny Little is still here. I didn’t get the photograph but someone else did. Yippee. Will try and chase her down today.

It is another misty morning. Aran is on his perch almost in the exact same position as he was yesterday morning.

And here is Aran with Mrs G. She remains in the UK still.

At the Dyfi nest, Telyn was last seen on 21 August at 12pm while Ystwyth was last seen on 24 August at 09:26. Dysynni and Idris were both at the nest on 25 August. Idris brought Dysynni a whopper.

Yesterday, Laddie, LM12, delivered a fish to LR2 on the nest. LR2 was 97 days old.

After a pesky crow flew around the nest, LM2 decided it was safer to take that whopper over to his favourite Birch tree to eat it. Wow, Laddie, great fish!

LR1 left for her migration on 15 August. This was only the second time in the history of this nest that a fledgling has left before the female.

Oh, it is lovely to see some of them still home. Thank you, Tiny Little! News in other news is there are now three eggs for the Collins Street Falcons! That last egg arrived at 23:53 last night. Congratulations. And last, if you follow the Loch of the Lowes Nest a wonderful surprise. A 2015 fledgling, FR2, flew over Guardbridge in Fife yesterday. They got a photo. Fantastic. A survivor! There is sad news today. The Black Stork fledglings received their names yesterday. 7181 (no 1) was named Julge meaning Brave. 7181 (no 2) was named Malbe meaning Sedate. 7183 (no 3) was named Tasane meaning Peaceful. You might have recalled some animal sounds being heard at the base of the nest tree. It is now confirmed, so sadly, that Malbe has been killed by an animal. Urmas has taken the body of Malbe to be examined. Word has also come that Tuul, Karl’s fledgling, has also perished. The Black Storks are so rare – it is so sad to hear of these deaths. Our hearts go out to all who loved these beautiful families and to those who so diligently worked to make sure Jan’s nestlings were fed and healthy to fledge. There has been some problems with the tracking and posting of Karl II and his fledglings locations. I will bring this to you as I locate it. Did you follow Milda? You will know that this brave White Tailed Eagle from Durbe lost her mate and sat on her eggs for eight days without food and then a potential mate came. But last year turned to be a sad year for Milda. She is now working on the nest with her new mate, Mr K. So happy for her. There is word that WBSE 28 did, finally, get some food. Send your warm and positive wishes off to all of the birds.

Correction to earlier news letter. Karl II has only had a transmitter for two years. I said ‘many’. Thank you!

Have a wonderful day everyone. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and The Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi Osprey Project, The Scottish Woodland Trust and the Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, LWRT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and FB Page.

Black Stork news – the good and the sad

All of the storklings from the Estonian nests of Karl II and Kaia and Jan and Janika’s have fledged. In Latvia, the three nestlings of Grafs and Grafiene’s nest in Latvia have also fledged! This is simply fabulous news. Some are finding their own food and others return to the nest at different times to be fed by dad. They could also be self-feeding off the camera – no one can see and be sure.

In Jan and Janika’s nest, there was one unfledged storkling on the nest yesterday. That chick had two meals from Jan – eating alone, how grand. Gosh, they must have been overwhelmed. One sibling fledged and was gone from the nest since 22 August at 17:35. The other fledged yesterday at 09:15. There was some concerns for a storkling yesterday before 11:00. There were growling sounds and stork bill clattering below the new. It is believed that there was an encounter between a storkling and an animal but it appears to have ended well. Today, 24 August, the yet-unfledged storkling had breakfast from Jans at 9.34 am. After spending the first part of the day in the nest, the last, 3rd hatchling fledged today at 13.57 pm. My source tells me that “It sounded like an awkward fledge, probably got entangled in some branches, but we did not see it, since it was out of the camera view. However, judging by the wing flapping afterwards and not seeing the storkling anywhere when the camera zoomed out and did a 360 degree view, he/she managed to fly off unharmed. Based on the transmitter data of the storkling who fledged yesterday, everything is well with him/her.” The adult male, Jan, returned to the nest in Jergova County at 15:56 with a full crop. “He waited an hour for any of the kids to show up, but none did. However, everyone enjoyed seeing Jan in the nest for such a long time, since he seemed to enjoy his rest preening himself and tidying the nest. Until now, for a long time his visits have been super-short and did not allow us to admire this majestic bird in the way that he deserves.
As I am writing this, Jan came to nest again at 6.09 pm, the second fledgling (fledged yesterday, 23/08) followed and in a short while got a meal from Jan. Now we know that the second fledgling is still alright. Great news! Two of Jan’s children have gotten fed today. No such luck for our storklings in Latvia which makes me a bit sad, of course.”

I am so grateful to ‘S’ in Latvia for her great descriptions of the latest events on the Black Stork nests in Latvia and Estonia.

Here are some images of the nest of Grafs and Grafiene both empty and with the one fledgling.

This is a reason for having satellite transmitters – to do checks on their migration progress and to provide attention if a problem is noticed. ‘S’ reports about the migration of Karl II and his three storklings since they also have transmitters along with Karl. She says, “Karl II and his storklings have started the migration. According to the today’s data, Karl II was in Belarus, the oldest storkling Udu (meaning “fog” in Estonian) was in Poland, but the middle storkling and last fledgling Pikne (meaning “god of lightning” in Estonian) – in Ukraine. Sadly, it seems that we have lost the youngest storkling Tuul (meaning “wind” in Estonian). Yesterday’s data showed him only 400 m away from the previous location of 17th August. No one is speculating about what may have happened, but it is clear that there are 3 options: 1) Tuul is alive, but for some reason stuck somewhere; 2) Tuul has perished; 3) something wrong with the transmitter. Urmas will probably go look for him soon and report as soon as he knows something.”

This is a map posted of the Karl, Udu, and Pikne locations this morning:

You can read about Karl family’s migration here: https://www.looduskalender.ee/forum/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=945&start=11420

Every bird that is lost leave us with a hole in our hearts. There are as many people attached to Tuul who loved Malin. We know the depth of that sadness. I hope that his transmitter is broken. As soon as something concrete is available, I will update you.

That is it for me on a Tuesday. My mind and body are exhausted over the events surrounding Malin’s death. That energy will return – no fear. I am determined that Malin’s death will not go unnoticed. There are things that must change and there are several, working behind the scenes, to ensure that can happen.

I can’t leave you without giving you a smile. Tiny Little was on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest this morning screaming at White YW for a fish. Everyone thought she would die – just shows them who truly is the fittest.

Thank you for joining me. It is always a pleasure to hear from you and once again – thank you for the hundreds of outpourings for Malin. He was a very special bird who fought to live and was loved by many. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen images and video clips: The Estonian Eagle Club, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and The Latvian Fund for Nature. I would also like to thank ‘S’ in Latvia who gave me the up-to-date information on the Black Storks that I shared with you. I could not have done it without her!

The First Egg for the Collins Street Falcons

Oh, my goodness. The male at the Collins Street Peregrine Falcon nest is nothing short of adorable. I spent all last year wanting to scoop up this stealth fighter in my arms and cuddle with him. Or dreaming of a Peregrine Falcon onsie. Wouldn’t that be cute on a toddler?

The first egg of the 2021 season has been laid on 21 August. Wow. It is eggciting.

You might be asking why the female is not incubating that egg. The female will not start incubating the eggs until the last one is laid. This is because the adults want the nestlings to be about the same size for the first fortnight so that there is no rivalry over food. Last year, the three big girls all hatched within a 24 hour period. There was never any sibling rivalry – that is what I love about falcons and kestrels. Once the last egg is hatched, they will be incubated for 32-40 days.

Mom looks so proud of herself!

These are some images from last year:

Mom brooding the triplets.

Dad feeding the girls when they are a little older – before they lose all that fluffy white down.

This year Mirvac, the property owners, are in charge of the streaming cams of the Victorian Falcon Project. You can watch these falcons from the very beginning.

Telyn at the Dyfi Nest, Wales. 20 August 2021

Some more great news. The Season of the Osprey will premier on PBS October 27 at 8pm! Please check your local stations for the exact time in your area. This is what they are saying about this documentary:

“Birds of prey exist in myriad shapes and sizes. Scores of eagles, hundreds of hawks and countless kites and falcons have all adapted form and behavior to fit diverse habitats. But in all the world, there is only one osprey. Following a single evolutionary path, it has conquered every continent save Antarctica. One bird, one design, unchanged. It is the only truly aquatic raptor, the sole member of its own taxonomic family. This one-hour, blue-chip special brings viewers into the life to this incredible raptor with a depth and intimacy never before attempted. Shot in and around Great Island Marsh, where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound, cameraman Jacob Steinberg has achieved unlimited access to an osprey nest and captured the struggles, failures and triumphs of a single osprey family.”

Oh, I can’t wait!

I am afraid that I am having Malin withdrawal. A week or more ago I took a few video clips of Malin being fed by Marsha. I would like to share one of those with you now.

And another one of Malin exercising his wings.

It is so much easier when you know that the little one fledged, returned to the nest for food for 36 days or so, and then flew off to find their life. There is a level of anxiety when it doesn’t happen that way. I sure miss that little one. I have not, as yet, received any images of the two Osprey chicks found or any other news. I am hoping for tomorrow or Monday. It is a busy time of year for the wildlife rehabbers.

Two of the storklings have fledged at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene near Siguldas – the youngest was first and then the oldest yesterday. Only the middle remains. All have returned to the nest safely. The one that had its wing up against the far branch seems to be alright as well. That is good news. I have heard of no feedings since Grafs came in with some very small fish for the trio on 19 August. That means that if the storklings did not find the feeder – the two that fledged – they have had little food but nothing for two days. This is critical. There is concern that Grafs has left for his migration — it was the very initial concern. I want to remain hopeful.

Jan has fed his storklings but the meal was only tiny fish or worms. Urmas has not brought any more fish to the nest. Since he has fed them once and they accepted the fish, I hope that Urmas will do this again (he also left fish when he banded them and put on the trackers). It is not clear whether the anxiety of starvation is worse than having a human bring food to the nest.

These are very difficult times for everyone but they are especially difficult circumstances for these six starving Black Storks – rare Black Storks!

At the Black Stork Nest in the Karula Forest in Estonia, Karl II was still in the nest area. His transmitter told us. The two early fledges, Tuul and Udu, headed the wrong direction due to weather concerns and then turned south. Pikne travelled south from the beginning. New tracker information should be coming in soon. Safe travels all of you!

Oh, this youngster can really scream for food on the Loch of the Lowes nest. What a beauty. This is another good example of a ‘normal’ fledge. The chicks return to the nest to be fed and fattened up for migration.

I really want to put a plug in for the administration of the lochs in Scotland. No one is allowed on those lakes from April to the end of September so that humans do not disturb the birds. It means that motor boats with their leaking fuel are not chasing the Ospreys and making the water toxic. Gosh, I hope that only human powered boats are allowed. What a great idea – leave the lakes to the birds during breeding season. Three cheers for Scotland! This could well be the case throughout England and Wales also. I will try and find out.

And look what is on the Foulshaw Moss Nest. It is a flounder for the lucky chick that makes it to the nest first. Tiny Little!!!!!!!!! Where are you Tiny Little?

It’s a few minutes later and I missed that lucky fledgling that snagged that flounder! It’s gone. That leads me to believe that it was probably Blue 464, the male, the first to fledge. He likes to take the fish and eat it on the branch of the parent tree.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you are looking forward to those falcons hatching as much as I am. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clips: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Mirvac Corporation and the Collins Street Falcon Cam, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Club for Nature, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, and The Dyfi Osprey Project.

Sadly, no word about Malin

I want to thank everyone that took the time to write to me and tell me how much Malin meant to them. My inbox was overflowing with letters expressing love and concern for Malin. Everyone wanted to know if there had been any word. Mom and Dad have both been on the nest with fish and today Marsha (mum) was there around 13:00. She did not have any fish that visit. During her morning visit she called out for Malin. So far there has been no sighting of Malin.

After going through the FB postings of the Nature Center, we were able to determine that Malin was the middle hatch. The youngest just disappeared from the nest and the eldest died in the middle of June leaving Malin, the chick that hatched on 18 June, alive. Malin was then the middle hatch of 18 June. Malin then was 63 days old at fledge. The average age for ospreys to fledge in Wisconsin appears to be 55 days. That would make Malin’s timing within range. Most ospreys spend at least 2 weeks flying and letting their parents feed them. Many stay much longer. Two examples that I give are Tiny Tot and Tiny Little because they were both hatches that suffered from lack of food. Tiny Tot stayed on the nest for a total of four months or 120 days. That is more than twice as long as Malin. Tiny Little remains on the nest in Cumbria. She will probably fledge before Tiny Tot’s 120 days – but she could be on the nest for 90 days.

There is disagreement over whether Malin simply flew or whether or not Malin was frightened off the nest by an intruder. Experts on both sides see that exit differently. It is unfortunate. The result is the same – Malin has not returned to the nest. The reactions to looking for Malin are different depending on which you believe. If Malin just flew because he wanted to then no one would go and really look for him. If one believed that Malin was frightened off the nest, they might worry that he was injured and look harder. Something that has to be kept in mind is that Osprey feed their fledglings on the nest – it is preferable. They do sometimes feed on a branch but I haven’t found an Osprey expert that has ever seen an Osprey parent feed their fledgling on the ground. In fact, if a fish falls off a nest they will not go and retrieve it. Have you ever seen an Osprey eat or feed its chick on the ground?

The research continues to stress that the more food and the longer fledglings stay on the nest the higher the success rate. That is the reality. This nest is really empty. Malin defied the odds – he survived and thrived. We hope that the name we gave him carries him on into his life and that he is somewhere safe eating a fish.

Collins is looking down like he might be seeing Malin.

One of the last times the entire family was together on the nest. It was a real privilege to watch little Malin survive and then – thrive. Let us all continue to send this family positive energy.

19 August 2021. Malin, Marsha, and Collins.

It is about 7am in Latvia and Estonia as I write this. The Black Storklings are waking up and like all birds are a little more energetic than they are at mid-day.

The two images below are from Grafs and Grafiene’s nest near Sigulda, Latvia. At least one of the storklets has fledged. Perhaps today they will all fledge and find the feeder area with the beautiful Grafiene decoy.

It is now just after 9am in Latvia and there is only one storkling on Graf’s nest near Sigulda. This means two have fledged just like my source had indicated. The second fledge is the oldest at 7:43 am. He is 70 days old today. The youngest fledged at day 66 after hatch.

This was not the smooth flight of the youngest. The oldest hit the branch on the other side of the tree. There is concern about the condition of that wing. I will update you as soon as there is any information. Send your strong and positive wishes. I hope it looks worse than it was. How terrifying for this young bird to have that happen.

Even so, I hope that both of the storklings are at the feeder filling themselves with fish – just like we hope Malin is doing the same.

There is now only the middle hatch. Perhaps it will go today. They are 68 days old.

When I checked on Jan and Janika’s storklings in Estonia’s Jogeva County, no more fish have been delivered to the nest. It looks to me like every scrap of the old fish has been eaten – I thought that yesterday. Perhaps one really packed down in the nest is there, the one the storkling on the left is pecking at. All of the birds need food.

Hopefully all of them will fledge and find the feeder set up for them, too.

They are so beautiful with the sunlight filtering through the trees. The storks are 67 and 68 days old today. The average for fledging is 68-72 days. I wonder if Urmas will deliver some more fish?????

Do you watch the peregrine falcons, Xavier and Diamond? If you do, then you will know that part of the pair bonding ritual is Xavier presenting a prey item to Diamond. Diamond is not that particular but, she does not like Starlings. She cannot stand them. She has turned Xavier away when he had a Starling for her. They must taste terrible!

Well, today, Xavier hit the jackpot. Diamond was completely excited about her lunch – although some of you might not be. Xavier had a Superb Parrot for his beautiful Diamond. Make sure your sound is turned up.

Superb Parrots are also known as Green Leek Parrots or the Barraband’s Parakeet. These little beauties are native to southeast Australia living in the dry woodlands of New South Wales and Victoria. They were once considered vulnerable in terms of conservation and have been listed as Least Concern since 2012. Loss of habitation due to timber logging might well see this bird back as being vulnerable.

They are medium sized, growing up to a little over 15 cm or 16 inches in length. The bird in the image below is a juvenile. How do I know that? It has brown eyes while the adults have yellow-orange eyes. The adult male has a bright yellow face and throat while the female looks like the plumage that the juvenile has below. They eat fruits, berries, insects, as well as grains and nuts.

Awww. What a sweet face.

WBSE 27 and 28 continue to charm the socks off of everyone. That beautiful fluffy white down is in transition. They look a little like old terry cloth towels sleeping in their nest this morning in Sydney.

Look closely along the edge of the wing of WBSE 28 on the left. You will see the little pin feathers coming.

The pantaloons are growing too.

Just look at that sweet baby, WBSE 28, looking up at its parent. How adorable.

They are so young and yet, both of them know to pancake when there is an intruder near the nest. They hear their parents alarming and down they go. Look at the concern shown in the eye of WBSE 27 on the left. You can also see the black pin feathers coming in on both in this image better than the other one. But look – their cute little tails are growing!

You cam almost see them growing right before your very eyes.

Tiny Little still makes my heart skip a beat. Oh, what a wonderful bird you have turned out to be. You were so very tiny with that big older siblings but just look at you waiting for your breakfast to arrive.

Oh, you have that ferocious look like Mrs G. I have said that a couple of times but you do, Tiny Little. I hope you live as long as Mrs G and have lots of successful hatches. You really are quite amazing, Tiny Little.

Tomorrow is Saturday but there is no Ferris Akel tour this week. I was hoping to catch up with what is happening with Big Red and her family. It was raining yesterday but the Hornings were able to spot all four of them so we know that K1 and K3 are still with us – how grand, the 21st of August.

I am researching ‘Climate Driven Evolutionary Change’. If you know of bird arrivals or departures that are earlier than normal or later than what has been the norm, please let me know. It is much appreciated.

It is so nice to have you here with me. The rain is still falling – and that is a good thing. Please continue to send your positive wishes to Malin and all the bird families. Take care of yourselves. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots and video clip: The Falconcam Project at Charles Sturt University and Cilla Kinross. Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Fund for Nature, and the Sea Eagles Cam, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre.

Send love and positive energy to Latvia and Estonia

I want to begin with the Black Stork nests today. For those just learning about the situation of the Black Storklings in both Latvia and Estonia, here is a very brief summary. The storklings at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene in Latvia and that of Jan and Janika in Estonia are late hatchlings. There was concern from the beginning that both parents might leave for their migration before the storklets fledged. Currently, the mothers have left and the fathers, Jan and Grafs, are the sole providers. Neither male can provide enough food for three storklings to thrive. There is also a question of the supply of the fish. In both Latvia and Estonia, feeder situations have been established with decoy female Black Storks. To date, neither male has found these feeders.

‘S’ in Latvia reports, “The good news is that it seemed that yesterday Grafs had encountered a generous feeding place on the way, not so far away. We were already a bit sad thinking that the storklets will have to spend another day with just one small noon feeding, what a celebrated surprise it was when he came back less than 4 hours later with plenty of food. Many of us bursted into happy tears:) It is good to know that he can still manage to get food elsewhere even if it is not from the feeder. And the most important thing is that he is still here caring for his young.”

aGrafs and Grafiene’s Storklings, Sigulda, Latvia 19 August 2021

At the very beginning, M. Strazds, a Latvian Black Stork specialist, warned that he felt that there was only 0.1% chance that Grafs would find the feeder because birds do not normally search for new feeding spots at the end of the nesting season. Still, as I understand it, the storklings, once they fledge, will find the feeder and it will be very good for them.

In Estonia, Jan has made only one delivery that I am aware of. The storklings have supplemented that with the fish that Urmas delivered last night. I was made aware that the storklings were playing with the fish but, it appears now that they have been eating them as the pile of fish is almost gone as I write this. I am aware that there are controversies about the effect of humans getting close to the nest because of the stress that it causes on the birds. But starving is also a major stressor. I believe that Urmas and his team know what they are doing and I hope they continue to feed these birds.

Jan and Janika’s Storklings, Jegova County, Estonia

There is one other nest with a fledgling, Pikne, the female, still being fed by a parent and that is the nest of Karl and Kaia in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. ‘S’ reports, “The feeder approach has been very successful with Karl’s nest in Karula for the sole reason that he has a transmitter and it is possible to track his usual feeding places.”

Pilkne, the last remaining storkling being fed by Karl II at the nest in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The other two have fledged.

It has been a very difficult year for those who care for the birds and who watch the streaming cams. Osprey chicks died due to weather related issues and Cooper’s Hawk eyases got so hot on the nests in Canada, they lept off the nests to avoid literally being roasted. Many are dying as they undertake their migrations which are challenging enough without having fires and smoke enroute.

At the same time, there have been some remarkable situations. Around the world, humans have stepped in to save birds of every variety. In the interior of British Columbia, the wildlife rehabbers climbed the Osprey nests and removed the chicks taking them into care because of the extreme heat and fires. At various places around the world, Osprey chicks have been fostered and received a second lease on their life. A Canada Goose named Arnold had his digits fixed so that he could live a full life with his mate, Amelia. A very old Bald Eagle full of lead was given treatments and is now thriving and waiting for A Place for Hope to get its permit so he can be their ‘forever’ bird. Every day I read about a group of people and trying to help fix what many believe is unfixable. I hope that this is just the beginning of a change in intervention and our understanding of what works and what doesn’t. The key is not to give up.

There are, however, three miracles. I am thinking of the three Ospreys that should have died but did not – they have thrived – two of them to become dominant on their nests! Those were Tiny Tot aka Tumbles at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida and Tiny Little Bob aka Blue 463 on the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. To me these are simply nothing short of a miracle.

Tiny Little Bob aka Blue 463, Foulshaw Moss Nest, 19 August 2021

The third has yet to fledge but has shown remarkable growth. I am aware that many on the chat rooms in Latvia and Estonia are concerned about feather growth. This was also a big concern for Malin on the Collins Marsh Nest in Wisconsin. Malin is our third miracle.

Malin, Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, 19 August 2021

I cannot tell you what happened to make the food deliveries on this nest turn around. All I can say is that they did and there are no more missing feathers, the tail now has 7 dark bands when 3 weeks ago there were 2 with the hint of a 3rd. It has been a remarkable recovery. At one time, there was concern that Malin might survive but not be able to fly. Those concerns have now vanished. Today, Malin has had 3 fish deliveries before 1pm and one of those was a whopper. Malin actually walked away from being fed by mom, Marsha, he was so full.

One of the major concerns for the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest is that the parents would also leave Malin on the nest and begin their migration. So far everything is going smoothly so I will just ‘knock on wood’ that it continues to be that way.

One other good news story is that the fires in Turkey are dying down or are out.

And there is more. Aran, the mate of Mrs G on the Glaslyn Valley Osprey Nest, was injured and was missing a couple of primary wing feathers,. There was a huge concern that he would not be able to fly — and consequently that he would not be able to fish or be able to migrate. Well, look at Aran’s feathers today! Yahoo. He is good to go. Tears. This is an amazing couple who lost their three chicks due to starvation when Aran was injured. The Glaslyn community kept the birds alive with a fish table until Aran was able to fly and fish.

Indeed, I do not want people to think that feeder areas or fish tables do not work. It depends on the circumstance and in the case of Aran and Mrs G as well as the Mlade Buky White Storklings, those fish tables saved the lives of those two families.

Aran at the top sitting on edge of nest! 19 August 2021.

We have a lot to be thankful for – and there is a lot of work to do to figure out how to help our precious birds – all of the wildlife. Humans stepping up to take responsibility and to “try” even if they are met with low odds and negativity should be the norm not the exception.

What can you do today to help the birds and all of the wildlife?

I want to close today with a bit of a giggle. If you watch Ospreys you understand how difficult it is for both the male and female to raise three. Actually that is true of eagles as well. Well, what about five? Now consider the fact that those five are all female. The poor dad would need a set of sound cancelling headphones!!!!!!!!!! You can hear females clear across a lake. Oh, my. The parents of these Westport, MA fledglings will certainly deserve their winter break.

Thank you for joining me on this quick update on what is happening in Latvia and Estonia. Send them all of your positive energy – and take care.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Eagle Club of Estonia, the Latvian Fund for Nature, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn and the anonymous reader of my blog that sent me the image of these five beautiful female Ospreys. Thank you.