Late Monday and early Tuesday in Bird World

27 June 2022

Latest news on Little Bit 17: This was posted by park staff:

10:54am 17 has been spotted on a low branch in the vicinity of the nest tree. Appears vigorous and healthy. As soon as searchers spotted him, he raised his wings & hissed. Searchers immediately left. 5:38 PMLJ ​We are celebrating!🥳🥳🥳

I am going to toss my 25 cents worth in here. Eagles hiss and go into a protective posture when they are banded. They hiss to keep humans and other animals away. We can definitely celebrate that 17 survived the night. That is fantastic. Still, it remains that Little Bit 17 needs to be observed and/or taken into care by a qualified rehabber. Eagles never show fear or pain. Everyone is right to leave him be. Chasing him would could cause a fatality. In comparison to the RTH chick that was force fledged off the Eagle nest in Gabriola, it was able to climb back up to the nest. This morning 15 and 16 are on the nest, there is no room for Little Bit and there is no indication that he is able to ‘climb’ or scratch his way up to the nest. Someone needs to be at a distance observing closely his movements and if the parents feed him. And, yes, did I say it ten times? A wildlife rehabber needs to come in and do a thorough check. They are the only individuals that can expertly assess his needs.

I don’t know about anyone else but it sure is hard waiting until tomorrow morning to find out if Little Bit 17 survived the night. If you are coming in late or catching up reading the blogs, Little Bit fell off the ND-LEEF nest at 15:45:12. The circumstances are confusing. Suffice it to say that ND16 had returned to the nest today and it was crowded with all three birds. 16 had pecked Little Bit and, perhaps in reaction to that, Little Bit wanted away from 16 and well, he fell. Whether or not 16 helped with that fall off the nest will be debated for eons. What matters most is that staff from St Patrick’s County Park in South Bend, Indiana were there immediately giving updates. One wildlife rehabber has Covid (from Elkart) and the second was out of office on Monday. I understand they have been notified and will help tomorrow, if necessary. Since Little Bit 17 is on the ground under the nest tree there is some concern about predators such as coyotes. Many of us hope that there are volunteers watching through the night so no harm comes. It is unclear if Little Bit 17 has any injuries. Will the parents entice Little Bit with prey and get it to fly? Can Little Bit fly or are there wing issues? We simply have to wait and waiting is hard! Because of the deterioration of the nest, it would simply be unwise to place him back on the nest. It could completely collapse at any time. Thankfully both 15 and 16 are both flying reasonably well. So….until tomorrow!

There is another fledgling eagle being closely watched by Dr Sharpe of the Institute for Wildlife Studies. This is Sky at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta. Dr Sharpe said, ” I’m aware that Sky seems to have an issue breathing, but it is not feasible to capture a free-flying eagle in the terrain around the nest. The stress to the bird in association with chasing it around for hours could also be fatal.” 

Do you know much about the history of falconry? My friend Wicky sent me this article that showed up in The New York Times. It is quite an interesting read.

The two chicks of Laddie LM12 and Blue NC0 were ringed on the evening of 27 June. This was the announcement from LOTL:

Loch of the Lowes reports that the Blue Darvic rings are LP8 (oldest) and LR0 (youngest) on the lower left leg identifying them as being Scottish birds. They could not determine gender – said it was too close to call or either small females or large males.

Everyone had a large trout compliments of Laddie at 0530 Tuesday morning.

The three at the Foulshaw Moss nest in the Lake District (Cumbria) in the UK were ringed yesterday. The streaming cam was off for most of the day. Here is a photo of the trio with one of the three showing their bling. No other information. Mary says that they will release information at the end of the week. Blue Darvic Rings on the lower right hand to indicate an English bird. Scotland puts them on the lower left. Numbers are 479, 480, and 481.

The close of the day at the Mispillion Harbour Osprey nest was really soggy. Kids are sleeping adult style instead of duckling!

They are having a lovely Tuesday at the Mispillion Harbour nest – thank goodness. Gosh they were so soggy on Monday. Nice.

It looks like wind is hitting the Dyfi nest of Idris and Telyn during Tuesday afternoon. The weather radar indicates that more rain is coming but it might just clip the area of the nest. No word that any ringing was done today for the chicks here at Dyfi.

It is extremely windy at Glaslyn and from the drops on the camera it has either been raining or is continuing to be wet. How miserable for Mrs G and the kids. The strong winds and rain were supposed to be gone by 1500 by they certainly are not!

It is wet at Llyn Clywedog as well. Poor Seren and the triplets. Soaked to the bone.

It is blowing and roaring and wet at Llyn Brenig also. Both adults on the nest helping with the two osplets.

Poole Harbour seems to be the place for beautiful skies, calm winds and no rain. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were on the nest with their two osplets this afternoon. That is certainly a deep nest. We have only been able to see the tops of their heads but look how big now. Wow. There is a lot of change between those wee little babes and a 27 and 25 day old osplet. These hatched on 1 and 3 June. the other egg was non-viable. Just lovely.

Yesterday I mentioned the idea of an intervention. The head of the Estonian Medical University’s Vet Clinic, Dr Madis V and Urmas, the main Ornithologist in Estonia, believed that there was a chance to save the lives of the three surviving storklets of Jan and Janika. They removed the three off the nest and took them to the veterinary clinic where they devised as best they could with the resources they had an environment where they would not imprint on humans. They would also hear the sounds of the forest and be fed in a way as if they were on the nest. The three storklets of Jan and Janika continue to do well in care.

Skipping across the pond to North America, the three osplets at the Hog Island nest of Dory and Skiff are doing fantastic. First time Mum has figured out feeding and the three had a great breakfast. Skiff had the fish on the perch and was eating the head – the portion eaten by the males before giving it to the females. This ensures that the male gets fed too! He has to be in good shape to fish. You will also see whole fish brought to the nest and sometimes they are still alive and cause mischief or serious mishaps.

The Boathouse kids did do some beaking this morning. This should go away. There is plenty of food! When small they are struggling keeping their heads up and their eyes focused. Of course, we all know that this seemingly innocent playing is also part of a dominance strategy and can, in extreme cases, lead to serious issues on the nest. We should keep an eye on this behaviour.

The two fledglings at Cal Falcons are incredible. They are doing the cutest things and often appear to be together. From chasing moths like Alden showed them to playing tag, they are learning what it is like off the nest. ‘B’ noted that the moth catching was a great way to improve eye-talon co-ordination and he is absolutely spot on! Who would have thought? Alden turns out to be an amazing role model including his loafing on the ledge.

And here is the loafing by Lindsay!

Thank you so much for joining me this morning. We will wait to see the status of Little Bit 17 and Sky. Waiting is very difficult – maybe weeding my garden will help! But there is also a garden announcement. We were happy to discover and observe Little Red in his new home and to see the two baby squirrels. Last evening Junior (you will remember that Junior came to the garden with his parents for several years but the parents did not return this spring) brought 3 fledgling little Blue Jays to the garden to feed. They were so well behaved waiting on the cable line til they were told to move.

I could not believe how well behaved they were.

You get whiffs of the peonies all over the garden. They are so lovely and were planted in 1902 when the old house on this property was here – along with the climbing roses. They have survived nicely, thankfully.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I am elated that Little Bit 17 survived the night. He has no nest to go to. Did parents feed him? That would need to be directly observed. How are his movements? going from one spot to another? Needs an expert to really assess. I hope that he is 100%. We all do. It is so much better if the birds are raised by their parents when possible. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: Arlene Beech, Explore.org and Audubon, Cal Falcons, Liz M and the EMU, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, CarnyXWild, Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery and the Woodland Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

25 May 2022

There is so much news that it is difficult to know where to start sometimes. But today it is going to be in Port Lincoln, Australia on the Osprey barge. Mum and Dad were sitting next to one another on the ropes. Mum then went to the nest and was looking around. She was not happy. One of the long time watchers of the barge of this Osprey family, ‘M’ suggested on the chat that Ervie had been trying to land to eat a puffer, like he has done now for nearly 5 months. The camera did not pull back so that we could have a clear view. Something was definitely making Mum quite upset and ‘A’ writes this morning and confirms that at 0952 Ervie was trying to land.

This is, indeed a sad day for all of us that loved Ervie and wished beyond anything that the parents might let him come to the barge. Maybe he will go to the old barge with his puffers – the alternative for Mum and Dad. (Is it still there?)

Mum was still preening at 11:10 on the nest.

The feeding of five little storks! They have grown so much in a week!

While those White Storks have been growing, Betty and Bukachek at the Mlade Buky nest in The Czech Republic are welcoming their newly hatched storklets. Congratulations!

At the black stork nest of Jan and Jannika in Estonia, frogs and fish were brought in to feed all of the storklets. If you have never seen storklets fed, this is a great way to start watching. The parents regurgitate the fish for the little ones.

There is a very confusing situation at the Latvian Black stork nest of Grafs and Grafiene. The ‘real’ Grafiene returned late and now there are three on the nest with mating and fighting.

The second eaglet on the Fort St Vrain Bald Eagle nest in Colorado, US is sleeping quietly. The eaglet is 6 weeks old and I am so hoping that there is a parent near by. Last night a raccoon climbed and pulled an eaglet off the nest to feed it and possibly its babies. I hope this eaglet stays safe!

Before night, Little Bit 17 was flapping its wings on the ND-LEEF nest. They are getting bigger and he is getting stronger with every bite of fish that he eats.

A fish arrived on the ND-LEEF nest at 0820. Little Bit 17 began moving up to eat and was at Mum’s beat at 08:21:37 where he got fed. Yes! That is a very good way to start a Wednesday morning.

It got a bit wet on the nest this morning and Mum is there with the eaglets.

Lady and Dad are busy working on the nest first thing in the morning. Dad has been bringing fish to the nest every day for Lady. Lovely.

‘S’ was kind enough to forward a statement from the Scottish Wildlife Trust on the issue relating to Laddie, LM12’s eye. They said, “

Our breeding pair, LM12 and NC0 have made an incredible effort to provide for their growing offspring since the first chick hatched on 19 May.

If you’ve been watching the webcam you might well have noticed that resident male LM12 has an injury on his right eye – this may have been caused by an abrasion sustained when his protective, translucent, third eyelid, also known as a nictitating membrane, was open.

Fortunately this injury seems to minor and it doesn’t seem to have affected his ability to fish. LM12 brought two perch to his hungry family at 20:05 and 21:20 this evening.”

Laddie’s eye appears to be perfect. He has brought in a big fish for Blue NC0 to feed the babies!

The two osplets of Dylan and Seren at Llyn Clywedog are almost the same size. They are terribly cute. It is pitching down rain there today and the third Bob has hatched. Congratulations Dylan and Seren.

Both eggs have hatched at the nest of White YW and Blue 35 at Foulshaw Moss in Cumbria. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Idris and Telyn on the hatch of their first chick of the 2022 season at 1628 on the 25th of May! It is Tiffin Cake all around in Wales today I am told.

Both of the osprey chicks on the UFlorida-Gainesville nest were fed by Mum this morning. They were both full with Mum betting a chance to eat the tail at 1105. Later images show them with a nice crop each.

Look at the size of Middle’s beautiful wings!

The only surviving osplet on the Dahlgren Nest in Virginia US used to be the size of the Bobs at the Loch of the Lowes and Llyn Clywedog. Just look at how big that chick is today!

It was heart warming to learn that the Friends of Big Bear had so many letters of support to stop the development in Big Bear Valley. Jackie and Shadow are much loved. In terms of social media stars, they have the highest number of visitors to their streaming cam than any other Bald Eagle nest. This is fantastic news.

The day that Spirit flies off the nest is coming. It could even be today. She has been on the branch flapping her big beautiful wings and standing on one leg this morning.

Was Spirit getting some advice for the future?

DC9 has been sitting on the rim of the nest looking out at the world from the National Arboretum nest in Washington DC. Mr President is doing a great job taking care of his only eaglet this year. Mum Lotus has not been seen for several days now.

The triplets at Pittsburgh-Hayes are starting to get out on the branches!

The oldest US Steel Eaglet is 50 days old today while the youngest is 47 days.

Liberty and Guardian have been making regular prey deliveries to Star and Sentry throughout the day. Some viewers have worried. There is a chat associated with the nest and the moderator will list the times of prey deliveries and visits from parents. The two eaglets are so large they take up the entire nest!

The eyases at the Manchester New Hampshire scrape continue to loose more of their fluffy down revealing their beautiful feathers.

The San Jose City Hall falcons are so cute. They are starting to lose their fluff revealing some nice feathers, too. Such cuties sitting there like little Buddhas. They are 20 days old today.

Here is a short video of Pedro meeting those chicks. Look at how much they have grown.

Talk about losing baby down! The two Red-tail Hawks at the Presidio Trust nest in San Francisco sure look a lot different this morning. I have not checked on them for awhile and they are big hawks!!!!!

It is a crazy time in Bird World. So many nests and everything happening from mating to fledging – with lots of intruders! Let us hope that all of our feathered friends have uneventful days. One of our readers asked about the Berry College eaglet. B15 fledged – if my memory holds true – on the 28th of April. She was still visiting the nest to everyone’s delight at 110 days old. Good solid eaglet. Pa and Missy continued to provide food for her.

Gorgeous picture that someone sent me of Pa Berry and Missy. (Do not know who to credit). They are a beautiful couple and did a fantastic job this year with B15.

This has been a long blog today. Please pardon any crazy typos or wording – I tried to cover too many nests! I will do a short check in on some of the nests with recent hatches later today. Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Berry College Eagles, Presidio Trust, San Jose City Hall, Peregrine Networks, Redding Eagles, Pix Cams, NADC-AEF, FOBBV, Dahlgren Ospreys, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Dyfi Ospreys, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, CarynXWild, Loch of the Lowes and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, ND-LEEF, XCel Energy, Mlade Buky Storks, and Port Lincoln Osprey Project.

Early Wednesday in Bird World

20 April 2022

The number of intruders or interlopers – or floaters – causing tense interactions at or near nests is becoming increasingly more alarming. We have seen Grinnell at Cal Falcons chase a female intruder from The Campanile only to be killed. Both Alden and Annie have, since, had to defend their territory with one male interloper coming right into the scrape while eggs were being incubated!

When did we realize that the life of our feathered friends is not just fluttering around and singing at sunrise and dusk? It is becoming quite worrisome.

Rosie was incubating eggs at the SF Bay Osprey nest at the Richmond Shipping yard when an intruder arrived. Richmond does not seem to be around and well, just have a look. The adults that have eggs and chicks that depend on them need to be hunting for food not defending nests in situations that might injure or harm them fatally.

It is happening everywhere and events such as these are causing a lot of anxiety. This morning an intruder with a fish tried to land on the Llyn Clywedog nest with a fish after Seren had laid her third egg. Dylan chased it off! Is it my imagination or is it worse this year than last?

There is a real lack of suitable nesting sites. Ospreys have adapted well to various human made objects such as the Whirley Crane in SF or the light stand at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I just learned the other day that there is an Osprey nest on top of one of the light stands at the University of Manitoba. I had no idea. Ospreys will use human made platforms – what they require is that the sky be wide open so they have a 360 view of any predators arriving. Otherwise Ospreys like the tops of dead trees. Bald Eagles like trees but trees – good old sturdy trees – are in decline. Ron and Rita took to the Papadam nest that Ron Magill constructed and, as I have mentioned a couple of times, David Hancock of Hancock Wildlife in British Columbia is construction eagle nests with sun shades! In San Francisco there is a real desire to have some of that prime real estate that The Campanile provides. Good trees and good territories with a growing number of birds looking for them tends to cause much distress.

It is a joy to see these two eaglets after the very rough start at the Dale Hollow nest. Both hatched on the 28th of February. If we count hatch day, they are 51 days old now. More growing, more wingersizing, and more jumping to do before fledging. Thankfully we will be enjoying them for awhile longer.

An adult brought in a small fish. Little Middle stayed back watching. Little Middle has not forgotten that he needs to be cautious. They have had days of many fish and then not much. Hunger could bring out the cranky side of Big. This is typical of eagle nests where the parents tend to show the older eaglets that sometimes it is feast or famine in the wild.

Little Middle moves up to eat before the fish is all gone, thankfully.

Cornell Bird Lab has posted a possible pip watch for Big Red and Arthur. They say they are in uncharted territory with four eggs. We will all be learning something. We will all be anxious to check on the status of this Red-tail Hawk nest first thing!

Wednesday morning. Cornell called a definite pip. Bit breezy there at times today.

You can see the pip in the third egg from the left as Arthur rolls the eggs this morning.

Big Red and Arthur are going to be really, really busy by the weekend.

B15 is 97 days old today. Pa Berry and Missy continue to come to the nest and to bring fish. Sometimes B15 self-feeds and sometimes she wants Mum to feed her. She tried both approaches Tuesday afternoon. It is such a joy that she is staying around the nest – getting strong, figuring out how to live on her own one day.

Well, the first fish of the morning did not arrive until 11:11:14 and it caused tension on the UFlorida Osprey nest at Gainesville.

Each of the chicks was hot and hungry and had been anticipating a nice piece of fish much earlier. As a result the eldest was cranky and Little Bit didn’t help itself by pecking at Big!

As you might well imagine a hot hungry bigger sibling wasn’t too happy and Big turned around and pecked Little Bit until he went into submission. Little Bit needs to not be so cheeky.

What was interesting to me was that, after a couple of minutes, the Mum got tired of the nonsense of the fighting and moved the fish and all three got in line and ate. Well done Mum!

Little Bit went and did a ps at 11:34 and went back to join the line. He has a bit of a crop forming and there is still fish left. Behave Little Bit!

There is a new study that is out in The Guardian this morning warning that protected areas aren’t always protecting the wildlife they should.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/20/protected-areas-dont-always-benefit-wildlife-global-study-finds-aoe

A quick check of what is happening in some of the nests.

Idris and Telyn have their second egg at the Dyfi Nest in Wales as of yesterday, the 19th.

Dylan and Seren 5F have three eggs at their nest at Llyn Clywedog as of today.

The Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 also have three eggs as of yesterday.

Everyone had a chance to eat fish at the Captiva Nest. Mum Lena is feeding Middle (Little) while Little (Mini) has his own fish on the left.

The two osplets are watching a Crow fly over head. Aren’t they just so beautiful? Look at those amber eyes and that plumage. Gorgeous. Did I say I love Ospreys?

The three eaglets on the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta are still on the nest. Oh, these kids make me nervous.

Just look at the size of the eaglet standing by Thunder being fed. My goodness. Check out the size of those legs. Wow.

It is certainly a gorgeous morning with that deep cobalt blue water and golden glow filtering on the Two Harbours nest of Chase and Cholyn and their little one.

Voting closes today for the two eaglets of Liberty and Guardian. Be sure to fill in the form and get it in by 5pm Pacific time today! The link to submit a name is below the image.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepb87S7zrcMZI6PXzhLCeFD6t21xj5sjw7mEV9n2aT_34CWg/viewform

At the Northeast Florida nest of Samson and Gabby, both of their eaglets have now fledged. Congratulations Rocket!

There will be an on line Q & A about the Cal Falcons on 22 April – that is Friday at 2pm Berkeley time. You can set a reminder!

Betyanka and Bukachek have their first egg at the White Stork nest in Mlade Buky The Czech Republic.

Thank you so much for joining me. There are so many nests with things happening that it is hard to keep up. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: Capi Mlade Buky White Storks, Cornell Bird Labs, DHEC, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Redding Eagles, CarnyxWild, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Explore.org, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, and Berry College Eagles.

Tuesday in Bird World

19 April 2022

This is a view of the storm that hit the other day. Today it is partly sunny but, there is another storm on its way. Winter continues for many of us!

Big Red and Arthur have snow. It seems every year Big Red will get encrusted in snow and ice and we sit and worry. She is used to the cold snowy wet weather living on the Cornell campus all her life (or nearby at Brooktondale where she hatched). Pip watch is the end of the week!

The Kakapo Recovery posted an announcement about their t-shirt fundraiser. That is incredibly wonderful – $27,000 is a wonderful amount for selling t-shirts. Well done. Waiting for ours to arrive!

This group and everyone associated with it does an amazing job trying to keep this critically endangered non-flying parrot alive. From changing transmitters, doing wellness checks, or ensuring birds that need care get off the islands to the Dunedin Vet – it is all fantastic.

And one another announcement that I am posting from FB. A Place Called Hope is one of those wildlife rehabbers like CROW that really goes all out for its patients. This Osprey needs fresh whole fish. Do you live in the area? Can you help? Do you know someone who does and could help? Give them a call!

Yesterday I was asked if I get terrified looking at the three West End eaglets now that one fell off and landed on a ledge below. (Thanks to Dr Sharpe, the baby is back on the nest.) The answer is ‘yes’. Utterly terrified.

I pondered that question for quite awhile before and after answering. We recognize that there are risks every day for our feathered friends. An eaglet could fall off the nest, a parent could be accidentally killed and not return with food for the female and chicks, a predator could come and predate the nestlings, fishing line can arrive at a nest and cut through the little legs and wings. We know these things like we have memorized a list of everything that could happen to the birds. But, until it happens, the absolute fragile life that they live does not register completely. That is what it was like for me with Grinnell. Grinnell was always going to return on the ledge and bring food to Annie. Grinnell was always going to protect The Campanile. Grinnell was always going to make a huge mess plucking a pigeon for the eyases. Grinnell would always be there. Until he didn’t come home. The eaglets were safe on the rock until one of them fell off. Absolutely ‘B’ terrified and helpless.

Here is a very different image of that Osprey nest at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Gorgeous wide open spot for a nest just the way Ospreys love it.

The osplets are really hot today. Mum is trying to shade them just like yesterday. Huge change beginning for Little Bit’s plumage. The back of his head is now oily black!

Look carefully. He is sleeping to the left of Mum. Look at the back of his head. Then look at the older sibling just left of Mum’s shoulder. They are all actively moving into the reptilian stage.

Feedings have been difficult to observe with Mum keeping her back to us.

Not a Raptor. Ferris Akel loves Roseate Spoonbills. Audubon has a lovely article about the oldest Roseate Spoonbill in the world and she is still raising chicks!

The two eaglets at the Dale Hollow nest are waiting for breakfast and lunch! It is often hard to tell them apart these days. Beautiful juvenile feathering.

Aran and Mrs G have been on their nest in the Glaslyn Valley protecting a piece of fish against a bunch of crows.

The rain has stopped at the Dyfi Nest of Idris and Telyn. Everything is fine on their nest.

Blue NC0 and Laddie have a wonderful day at Loch of the Lowes. This is just the most beautiful place for an Osprey nest. So serene. No motor boats, no people. Three eggs.

Louis and Dorcha seem to have settled on the old nest with camera 1 at Loch Arkaig.

As far as I know, Dylan and Seren Blue 5F have not experienced any other visits from the Goshawk at Llyn Clywedog.

And I have two new Peregrine Falcon nests for you. One is in Buckinghamshire in the UK and the other is part of the streaming cams of the Chesapeake Bay Conservancy. Thank you to ‘L’ and her daughter for news of the nest in New England!

The camera on the Buckinghamshire Nest is really good – nice and clear, good definition and a great view. Waiting for eggs.

Here is the link to the Buckinghamshire streaming falcon cam:

The second nest belongs to Boh and Barb and they also have four eggs this year. It seems to be a year for four eggs! Those eggs were laid on March 15, 18, 20 and 23rd of March. We are on pip watch.

Here is the link to the Chesapeake Conservancy falcon cam:

And last but never least, we are on fledge watch for Little (known as Mini on the Captiva Chat). She is 59 days old today. Should be flying soon.

On the right is Middle (Little) and on the left is Little (Mini). You can clearly see the difference in their size. If you watch the streaming cam check out the difference in their legs. Little (Mini) has long legs to help him fish! Middle (Little) has short stocky legs and she is bigger overall.

Both ‘babies’ (hardly babies anymore) had fish this morning at 09:45. There is Middle (or Little on chat) eating its own fish on the left. Middle fledged at 08:13:12 on April the 16th. The long thin legs are like those of Idris at the Dyfi nest and most believe that Middle (Little) is a male. Little (or Mini) is being fed by Lena. She is a nice big female it seems.

Middle (Little) could fly any moment it seems. Here is a link to the Captiva camera:

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please take care everyone! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Dyfi, Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Captiva Ospreys and Window for Wildlife, Buckinghamshire Council Falcon Cam, Chesapeake Conservancy, DHEC, CarnyxWild, A Place Called Hope, Kakapo Recovery, and Explore.org.

Late Sunday in Bird World

17 April 2022

This morning the sun was out and there was some blue sky. The most important thing was – no snow falling. And then it started falling gently before noon and by 17:00 there were times you could not see. There are still birds at the feeders and searching on the ground. At the same time the snow is heavy and met causing any seed on the ground to get wet and well, it isn’t good for them. This is set to continue for several more days.

There continues to be a lot going on in Bird World. I am still checking in on Little Middle at Dale Hollow while my focus has shifted to the UFlorida Osprey nest in terms of watching intently. Hopefully you won’t get tired of hearing about Little Bit. He is a strong vibrant character just like Ervie.

Speaking of Ervie, he was spotted along the North Shore and a couple of photos were sent in to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project. I don’t think they will mind if I share one of them with you. We are all ‘Ervie Lovers’ and it is always reassuring to hear that he is OK!

Everything you always wanted to know about Osprey eggs and more!

By the end of the week you will be wanting me to quit posting about the Osprey female at the UFlorida light stand nest. I just continue to be totally sideswiped by this nest.

The headless chunk of fish arrived at 16:18. Little Bit is dozing. It won’t take him long to wake up and get turned around.

Lined up like the good kids that they are! – and they are great. In fact, it is Little Bit that starts a lot of the problems which quickly fizzle out.

Such sweethearts.

If Little Bit thinks Mum is missing his turn, he will stretcccccch his neck out and grab the fish. Did I say for the tenth time today that this kid really reminds me of Ervie??

At the end of Sunday, Little Bit is still right up there eating some more fish. He certainly is getting a big crop!!!!! He is so full he has to lean down to eat.

Congratulations to Dylan and Seren Blue 5F on their second egg of the season at Llyn Clywedog. What a gorgeous view.

Handsome Aran brought in a gorgeous Rainbow Trout to the Glaslyn Nest which, after eating his share, he eventually shared with Mrs G. Do you think that Aran knows that Mrs G was over cavorting with Aeron Z2 before he returned from migration? It makes you wonder. Everyone at Glaslyn is hoping that Mrs G keeps her legs crossed and doesn’t lay any eggs for a week. Otherwise we might see some eggs being broken and tossed out of that nest. That is what Osprey males do – they will not expend the energy to raise the chicks that carry the DNA of another male. There will be no ‘ifs, ands, or buts about it’.

Personally, I think Aran is pretty handsome!

After finishing the fish, Mrs G and Aran worked on the nest a short time. They are bringing in moss to make it soft.

The streaming cam at Glaslyn is currently having issues. It will be reset or repaired but probably not until Tuesday.

If anyone thought that the confusion at the Glaslyn and Pont Cresor Osprey nests was crazy have a look at what is happening with Bukachek’s nest in Mlade Buky in The Czech Republic. Good gracious!

The eaglets on the Dale Hollow nest have been eating and growing more feathers. River came in and fed them both a fish that had been on the nest from earlier in the day. Both are doing really well. It is such a pleasure to watch them.

Tomorrow we will find out the name of Annie’s New Guy. The top 3 finalists were Aiden, Lou, and Archie.

I was thinking about what happened at the Glaslyn nest of Mrs G and Aran and then at Buckachek’s and then reflecting on the ‘New Guy’. Annie clearly showed him the two eggs before they committed to one another and laid their own egg. Now he works hard to make sure that all three keep warm always being careful when he arrives and leaves. He really is a kind, loving, and generous soul.

The New Guy leaving the scrape. His turn to incubate the eggs is over for a bit.

I hope that each of you has had a lovely Sunday. Thank you for joining me and the birds. Take care everyone. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures: UFlorida Ospreys, DHEC, Cal Falcons, CarnyxWild, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, and Capi Mlade Buky. I would also like to thank Port Lincoln Osprey Project for posting the images of Ervie that are sent in! Thank you.

For the love of Ospreys

14 April 2022

The first time I watched an Osprey nest I swore I would never watch another one. Here I am years later. My book shelves are full of information on Ospreys, I dream about Ospreys, I do research on third hatches. My mind is filled with ‘Osprey’. These birds can take you to the lowest depths and send you to the highest heights of joy. Together many of us cheered on Ervie – the third hatch at Port Lincoln, Australia in 2021 – who was clever and survived winning our hearts and the sat-pak over Bazza and Falky. Since then he has had at least one talon pulled out – it is growing ever so slowly. As a result, Ervie has stayed around Port Lincoln. Ervie has entertained us by returning to the nest barge over and over with his puffers. It is the best! We get to enjoy him longer.

The camera at the Achieva Osprey Cam in St Petersburg, Florida is now on line. It looks terrific. While the camera was out of order, Diane laid three more eggs – a second clutch. The first fell in a hole in the nest (or so it was believed). Normally, the eggs would be hatching at the end of February or beginning of March. The hot Florida weather may pose a problem. I found it very endearing when I discovered, this morning, that David Hancock is adding a shade canopy to all of the Bald Eagle nests he is building in British Columbia. That is something that may become very necessary at the Florida nests!

Jack and Diane fledged three last year. It was not an easy nest to watch as Tiny Tot Tumbles struggled. More than three times we thought TTT would die but she was clever and persistent. She learned to eat old dried fish and she lived to become the most dominant – and beautiful. In the end, Diane went and caught cat fish to supplement what Jack brought to the nest. This is what turned the corner for Tiny Tot.

After fledging, Tiny Tot remained at the nest for some time. She even defended it against adult intruders on her own and with Jack. Oh, how I wish she was banded!

But, I will warn you. With the late hatch and the heat, there is no telling what will happen at this nest.

I have no idea how the three will be doing in a week at the U of Florida Gainesville nest. It is hot! The chicks are enjoying the shade under Mum.

These are also three of the most active little ones I have ever seen!!!!!!

At least two are up out of the egg cup. If Little Bit isn’t yet, he will be out of there soon clamouring around on the Spanish Moss.

Lena and Andy were one month ahead of the normal egg laying time in Florida. Their two osplets are just about ready to fledge. They are beginning to get a little air under their wings and it won’t be long til they are hovering about. Andy and Lena did a great job this year.

By laying the eggs a month early at Captiva, Andy and Lena might have saved their chicks from the Crows and other predators that predated their nest for two years.

The two are yelling at Andy to get the breakfast fish on the nest pronto! Lena can sit back and let them take care of it – if she chooses. They can be pretty loud.

You can still watch this nest and enjoy seeing these two beautiful birds fledge! Here is the link:

Idris has brought a large Mullet onto the Dfyi nest in Wales today but Telyn wants more fish and she is really telling him!

I am not sure what is happening in Loch Arkaig. Louis and Dorcha seem to be playing musical nests. Yesterday it felt certain that Louis and his new mate of last year would go back to the old nest but, today, Dorcha has been on the one that they used as a couple last year. It doesn’t matter for watchers – cam 1 or in this case, cam 2 – we can see them at either one!

Mrs G and Aran on the Glaslyn nest – now that everything is sorted and the females are where they should be – everyone can settle. Aran brought in five fish so far today – 3 yellow-bellied trout, 1 sea trout, and 1 flounder. He is an incredible fisher.

Mrs G, the oldest UK Osprey.

Aran! And he is very handsome.

While we wait for Mrs G to lay her first egg, Blue NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes nest laid her first a day ago and we will be watching for egg 2 shortly.

Seren and Dylan have their first egg yesterday at the Llyn Clywedog Nest in Cumbria.

One of my favourite nests is the Foulshaw Moss nest of White YW and Blue 35 in Cumbria. This nest fledged three last year. It was the home of a third osplet that no one thought would survive – the others were monstrous when the third hatched. It was to the keen parenting and the tenaciousness of Tiny Little Bob. She fledged as Blue 463 and she was queen of this nest! It was incredible to watch her figure out how to get around the big ones.

They are not on YouTube and there is no rewind on the two cameras. You can access them here:

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

That is a very quick run through some of the nests. I wanted you to know about Achieva in case it was a nest that you watch. Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: UFlorida Ospreys at Gainesville, Captiva Osprey and Window on Wildlife, Achieva Credit Union, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig, Dyfi Ospreys, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, and CarnyxWild.

Thursday Morning in Bird World

14 April 2022

Dyson sends his love to everyone and he wants you to know that he is doing what he does best – getting seeds off the hard seed cylinders!

Thank you so much for your kind notes. The snow storm did precisely what had been predicted. There was a lull yesterday in the late afternoon and then the snow began with earnest around midnight. The forecast is now at the higher end of the snow accumulation at 80 cm or 2.62 feet. We continue to clear periodically and put down a line of seed that extends across 9 metres or 30 feet of decking and keep the feeders full and check on the hard seed cylinders as they need replacing. It has been a challenge. The sheer number of birds in the garden speaks to the recent arrival of thousands of birds during spring migration. Rain is set to start shortly turning to snow in the afternoon. Could it get worse for our feathered friends? The winds continue to bring some white out conditions. Hopefully the storm will taper off, as predicted, late Friday. Sadly, it brings out the worst in the birds who are hungry and fearful that they will starve to death. It is not unlike the beaking in the streaming cam nests when a weather event or diminished prey delivery sets off the ‘survival’ instinct in the biggest bird. Difficult to watch.

When you think you have absolutely ‘had it’ – you ‘are done’ with the birds and their beaking and bonking, stop and watch this piece of archival film that Charles Puleston shot in one of his Osprey nests on Long Island in the 1950s. It is called ‘My Turn’.

I can promise you that there is nothing more joyful, more tearful, and more satisfying than having a third hatch almost die in front of your eyes and then to have them turn around and become the most clever and dominant bird on the nest! It happens! Those are the nests you never forget.

A few of you have written to me in the last week about your need to pull back from the streaming cams and the chats that go along with some of the nests. The last note came this morning from a reader and I thought it would be a good time to discuss this. Watching the streaming cams can often bring about a sense of utter helplessness and frustration instead of the joy you anticipated. Instead of shutting the birds out of your life, I would like to make a couple of recommendations. The first is to educate yourself about the species you are watching. You do not have to purchase the books, go to your local library and if they do not have a copy see if they can order one in for you to borrow. The second is to arm yourself with emergency call numbers. Last year when a fostered Osprey chick fell off the nest at Patuxent River’s nests, the nature centre was closed. No one was answering the phone. People watched in horror hearing the chick splashing in the water. A number of us began to call leaving messages. One of the staff heard these and took their canoe back out to the park and found the chick – just in time – and literally tossed it back on the nest. This was a perfect outcome. That said frantic phone calls came from Hawaii, Canada, and the US to anyone who would listen. Every streaming cam needs the number of the local wildlife rehabber. Sadly, they do not post them. So it is up to you to find those numbers and have them ready if something happens. You also need to understand that most times help does not come. That is why Patuxent was simply so fantastic.

OK. Back to educating yourself. If you want to understand how the use of DDT caused the large Apex predators such as Eagles and Osprey to become almost extinct, get a copy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Here is an article that speaks to the importance of this book.

Find out who Dennis Puleston was to the environmental movement and how he signalled the decline in Ospreys. Who was Charles Broley to the Bald Eagle community? These are people who fought the good fight to protect and restore the populations of Ospreys and Bald Eagles. You should know who they are. For a specific UK approach, any of the books by Mark Avery who headed the RSBP for 25 years are excellent.

The current threat is often from climate change and for eagles it is heat. Many eagles went into care last summer as did Ospreys particularly in the Pacific Northwest. One of the newest additions that David Hancock (Hancock Wildlife) is adding to the artificial nests for the Eagles in British Columbia, Canada is a shade screen. Ground breaking. How fantastic! Indeed, you might have noted the artificial nest in the Miami Zoo for the WRDC nest. These human-made nests will become more common as trees fail just as artificial platforms are now common for Ospreys.

How many times have you seen individuals belittled and having to apologize for putting human emotions on birds? This especially happens in some chats. I suggest that you read Marc Bekoff, The Emotional Lives of Animals. Good solid research. You won’t apologize again! Jennifer Akerman’s The Genius of Birds and The Bird Way are also very good.

My library is mostly full of books on Ospreys and the smaller raptors, Peregrine Falcons and Red-tail Hawks.

Falcons: The Peregrine by J.A. Baker, Falcon by Helen Macdonald, and H is for Hawk are some good starters. Winter’s Hawk speaks to the persecution of the Red-tail Hawk where I grew up, in Oklahoma. The Kings and their Hawks gives a particular historical perspective. These are a few to get you started.

Ospreys: Alan Poole’s Ospreys is a good solid introduction to the birds. I am particularly fond of David Gessner’s Soaring with Fidel: An Osprey Odyssey from Cape Cod to Cuba and Beyond for a good look at the issue of migration, particularly the New England ospreys. It is a good read. Gessner’s other books speak to various environmental issues impacting birds. There are others: Scottish Ospreys by Philip Brown, Lady of the Loch by Helen Armitage amongst others. I will try and bring one up now and then.

If you want to understand migration, A World on the Wing. The Global Odyssey of Migrating Birds is a great start!

If you want a good laugh, Zarankin’s Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder is excellent!!!!

I did a quick check on some of the nests. The third hatch is hanging in there at the UFlorida Gainsville Osprey nest! Good for it. Spunky little thing.

Here is the link to the UF Osprey cam. It is not on YouTube.

https://wec.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/ospreycam/

The sun is coming out on Little Middle and Big at the Dale Hollow nest. They will be anxious for some fish to arrive on their nest.

Deb Stecyk did a short video of Big and Little Middle in the storm.

I found a new Peregrine Falcon nest this morning! It is in the UK at the Chichester Cathedral. There are four eggs.

When people get burnt out of watching Bald Eagles and Ospreys – where there is often a lot of beaking – I highly recommend both falcon and hawk nests. They are often overlooked because they are smaller raptors but the way that they take care of their young is reassuring that life is good.

There is also a Kestrel nest in Yorkshire. Eggs soon!

I highly recommend the streaming cam of Big Red and Arthur at the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York. Good solid nest. Big Red is 19 and Arthur is 6. Big Red has been raising little hawklets for 17 years – for ten on camera. Only one did not fledge and that was K2 in 2021 due to a beak injury and infection. There is also a good respectful moderated chat for a couple of hours in the morning.

The Queen of the RTHs, Big Red incubating four eggs on the Fernow Light Tower. This is the first time she has laid 4 eggs since the camera was set up in 2012.

Indeed, you will notice a lot of nests of falcons and hawks with four eggs this year. It could be nature’s way of adjusting for the quickly spreading Avian Flu.

Half way around the world, Lesser Spotted Eagles will be nesting in Latvia. The nest of Anna and Andris is now happy as Andris returned from his migration yesterday. Anna came home on the 12th.

And because incubation can be so boring to watch, Cal Falcons has done a really fast day in the life of Annie and the New Guy incubating! So funny and a good way to end this blog.

All of the nests seem to be doing fine. The first egg at Llyn Clywedog was laid at 10:27 this morning UK time. That is the nest of Dylan and Seren. I will be checking on those UK Osprey nests later today.

Thank you so much for joining me and for all of your good wishes, prayers, and warm thoughts for us and the garden birds and animals in the storm. It is much appreciated. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Under the Feeders. 14 April 2022

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: DHEC, UFlorida Osprey Nest, and Cornell Bird Lab and RTH.

Late Tuesday and Wednesday in Bird World

12-13 April 2022

We continue to shovel the walkways so that we can put down seed. Then it snows lots more and we do it again!

It is nearing 23:00 on the 12th of April. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) are closing all of the major highways in the province where I live. This is unprecedented and will actually be quite helpful in keeping people safe. For at least two days we have known about the historic storm that is due to arrive in a few hours and have been told to stock up on medicines, batteries, candles, food, etc. All of the schools are closed. As for me I am sitting back and waiting and watching the MN-DNR Bald Eagle nest south of me in Minnesota to see how this system plays out with those eagles.

The nest is in a severe thunderstorm watch area. The winds were gusting earlier. I caught a few minutes of the nest as it creaked and swayed.

It is currently raining and the nest is still blowing about but not nearly as bad.

This is the nest Wednesday morning. They have gotten rain but not the snow that we are experiencing that is confusing many of the smaller birds such as the Juncos.

There have been two recent visits of Ervie’s to the Port Lincoln Osprey nest. One was 17:42 on the evening of the 12th (last night). The other was this morning, the 13th in Australia. Ervie arrived and then left and returned with a puffer.

In the image above, you can see the missing talon. Ospreys only have four talons. The image below has caused a lot of confusion. Does the nail on the right top belong to a different foot? or the one with the missing talon?

Is Ervie missing one or two talons? or is one curled under? Everyone is looking very closely at Ervie’s feet.

I wanted to do a quick check of many nests this morning so we can see how they are doing.

The rain from yesterday seems to have stopped. Both Big and Middle Little at the Dale Hollow nest are dry and there are large pieces of fish on the nest. Little Middle had a nice feed earlier, too. So all is well with those two!

This nest has settled down.

This is the Llyn Clywedog Nest of Dylan and Seren. It is gorgeous. Dylan is notorious for bringing back trout to the nest! Sadly, yesterday, a goshawk came and sat on this nest. Goshawks tend to like to lure the Ospreys into the forest where they attack. Fingers crossed that it will not return!

Aran and Mrs G together on the perch first thing on the morning of 13 April. Aran at the back and Mrs G with her really dark face at the front.

Handsome Aran with his fish on the perch at Glaslyn later in the day. Did he bring it for Mrs G? where is she?

Idris and Telyn on the perches at the Dyfi Nest. All is well.

Blue NC0 laid her first egg on April 12 at 18:35. What a beautiful nest at the Loch of the Lowes – so soft and comfy – and personally, one of the most gorgeous sites in all of the Osprey breeding areas.

Laddie LM15 comes to take his turn helping his mate Blue NC0.

CJ7 has been bringing nesting materials into the alternate nest at Poole Harbour. Blue 022 has been seen sky dancing all over the place. I hope he stays at Poole Harbour!

All is well at Rutland Water. Maya is incubating three eggs. Fantastic.

If you are following the UK arrivals, here is a good chart for you.

Thank you to Friends of Loch Arkaig FB Page for posting his chart.

Moving back to North America, the three osplets at the U of Florida at Gainesville continue to do well. Little Bob is still with us! And that is a good day.

Strong winds took out the camera at the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta on the 12th.

Calmer winds are forecast for the Channel Islands today. That is fantastic. Looks like the view is pretty good from Two Harbours already. That wee one of Chase and Cholyn’s looks so tiny in that huge nest!

Andy has delivered fish. Little (or Mini) is calling for fish in the image below while Big flaps its wings.

Gosh, those chicks of Andy and Lena’s are sure beautiful. They will surely pop the corks when these two fledge! It has been a good year for Captiva Ospreys.

Mr President and Lotus’s chick has a nice big crop this morning. That little fuzzy teddy bear of a shape has sure changed over the past week! No signs of bad weather at the National Arboretum Nest in DC.

It is a little wet and windy in Iowa at the Decorah North nest. I wonder if they are going to get any of the system that is impacting us?

This is an image of Majestic, the Ambassador Bald Eagle for Wildlife Haven, our local rehabber. She has been part of a fund raising campaign because of the Avian Flu. She has been moved indoors where she will be safe. Everyone loves Majestic!

The Manitoba Wildlife Federation is sponsoring a virtual talk/discussion on what is being done about Avian Flu in our province on 19 April at 7pm. Here is the link to sign up. It is free. Since it is virtual and if you are wanting to learn more about Avian Flu, why not sign up?!

Hancock Wildlife in British Columbia is having a GoFundMe drive for nests for Bald Eagles. David Hancock is ‘the eagle man’ in Canada. Most of you probably know him. He reminded me today that when he was sixteen years old and living at Blaine Harbour, you would see white buckets on the fishing boats with eagle legs. Yes, the legs cut off. They would be shipped to Alaska for $2 a pair. That was 1954. Sadly, David says that the same attitude of neglect towards the Bald Eagles continues.

Thank you for joining me today. We are busy trying to take care of the birds that come to our garden as best we can. The squirrels are tucked up warm and no where in sight. Take care everyone!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, MN-DNR, DHEC, CarnyxWild, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Dyfi, Scottish Wildlife, Poole Harbour, Rutland Water, UFL Ospreys, Explore.org, Captiva Ospreys and Window on Wildlife, NADC-AEF, and Wildlife Haven.

Fishy Dreams and Fish Tails

Today, the Collins Marsh Osprey chick, Malin, had six fish deliveries. SIX! Feel free to correct me but I don’t ever remember this much fish on this Osprey nest. Ever.

In fact, there was so much fish with deliveries coming in on top of one another that Malin simply could not eat all the fish. There is a bullhead left – it is on the left below the light. Malin is sleeping on half of a bigger fish. What a grand pillow for an Osprey. He can have fishy dreams all night! And, Malin can wake up in the morning and not have to wait for a fish delivery.

Fish. It makes all the difference in the health and well-being of our Ospreys and Storks.

In the image below, the setting sun puts a soft glow over our little one. Please note that the big feathers are now beginning to cross. Malin is also standing and walking more and is flapping his wings much more often to get them strong for flying.

A month ago there was concern that Malin would not develop his plumage and would be unable to fly successfully off the nest. Now just look! Food – the right kind of food and the amount of it – makes all the difference in the world in Malin’s development.

Malin is miracle #3 for 2021.

Here on the Foulshaw Moss nest, Blue 463 or Tiny Little Bob, is eating the fish her dad delivered. White YW would have heard her several miles away screaming for fish. Blue 462 had gotten the earlier fish and Tiny Little wasn’t liking it. Dad came to the rescue! Indeed, White YW and Blue 35 should get a round of applause. They pulled off a nest of three fledglings this year. They did not lose a hatch.

The crows are hoping that Tiny Little will leave some bites for them! I don’t know. She is a bit like a nest vacuum when it comes to food falling between the twigs!

Tiny Little is miracle #2 and, of course, miracle #1 is Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey nest in St Petersburg, Florida. I am certain that there are others that will come to mind when I publish this newsletter. For now, however, these three were enough to cause lots of anxiety.

I did a Sunday hop-skip-and-jump through some of the UK Osprey Nests to see if anyone was home. This is the Dyfi nest in Wales of Idris and Telyn. On the nest is Ystwyth, their daughter. Telyn is on the nest perch and Idris is on the far perch.

Idris and Telyn together. How beautiful.

Does he need an introduction? The chick on the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Only Bob? Only Bob was so big when he was ringed that everyone believed him to be a large female. Nope. It is just all that fish that Dylen and Seren fed him. My goodness did Blue 496 grow.

He has spotted Dylan flying in with a fish. We are so lucky to see this. Indeed, to see so many of the UK fledglings on the nests today is fantastic.

That is a gorgeous fish for dinner. Only Bob looks pretty excited.

Watch out for your toes Dylan.

Only Bob learned well despite the fact that he was the only chick on the nest. He is excellent at mantling. But, stop, and take a look at that tail and the size of those wings. I would be ever so grateful if Malin’s was half that size when he fledges.

Oh, let’s just move this beauty over here so I can eat it!

At least one of the chicks on the Loch of the Lowes has a huge crop. It is so big, it looks like it could pop. The other is hoping for a fish delivery. Of course, neither is showing us their pretty blue bands.

NC0 and Laddie have done an amazing job raising these two. NC0 has really moved up to be one of the females that I want to watch. She is becoming super mom. She can fly and haul fish to the nest just like Iris – and she isn’t afraid to do it!

Grafs was able to find enough fish for two deliveries today. The first was a bunch of small fish at 15:29 and the second came at 19:41 with some bigger fish. The storklings are starving. They are already beginning to show the signs of malnutrition.

Grafs makes sure he moves around so that each one gets a little something.

It was mentioned that not only the sunken bodies but also the fact that the bills are turning a bright colour indicates starvation.

Once the people watching these nests realized what was happening, they became very vocal in their demands that the birds be fed. Everyone knows about the fish table that the two engineers set up for the White Storks in the village of Mlade Buky, Czechoslovakia. The people demanded that their storks be fed and the wildlife staff heard them. After seeing only one feeding by 15:00, Janis Kuze wrote the following on 15 August 2021: “It may be necessary to support the operation of the feeder – to bring live fish there regularly (once a day or two). I will write about it in the coming days.”

Liz01, the moderator of the looduskalender.ee/forum (English forum for the Latvian Fund for Nature and this Black Stork Nest) posted this notice:

“Due to the fact that the female has not been seen in the stork nest for several days, she has probably started migrating, opportunities are being sought to artificially feed this nest. Currently, the only feeder is the male, whose capacity is too small for the young birds to be successfully.
One way of trying to help the inhabitants of this nest is to set up an artificial feeder. There is one ditch near the nest where it can actually be done. Ornithologist Jānis Ķuze is ready to take over the management of this event, but he needs the help of the society. Therefore, we are looking for:
1) people on the Sigulda side who would help to set up a feeder,
2) human or fish feeders on the Sigulda side, which would be willing to donate and / or catch small fish (they must be still alive), with the possibility, to put these fish into the feeder, thus regularly
replenishing fish stocks in the feeder a third person or another link in the chain).
If anyone has the opportunity to help with this event, please send a message to Jānis Ķuze by e-mail: janis.kuze@ldf.lv.
This is currently the only real way you can still try to help the young birds in this nest survive and fly successfully! It is not known whether it will work, but we think it would be better to try not to do anything and just watch.”

Immediately, there were too many offers to help the Black Storklings and Grafs. Tears. People are so generous. All we have to do is ask.

If you wish to follow the discussion about what is happening at this particular nest in English, please go here:

When I have news of what is happening at the Estonian Black Stork nest, I will let you know.

You can watch the Black Stork Nest in the forest near Sigulda, Latvia here:

We all send our prayers and warm wishes to these beautiful birds and the people helping them. We need a miracle like that at Mlade Buky.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is wonderful to bring you such good news. Please send all your positive energy to Latvia and Estonia so that the efforts to save the Black Storklings from starving to death will be successful. It is heart warming to see so many people answer calls for help.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: The Latvian Fund for Nature, the Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cumbrian Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest and CarnyX Wild, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Just a note. My newsletter will be posted late on Monday 16 August. Thank you!

Bird World Happenings. 27 July 2021

Oh, so many of us are having Empty Nest Syndrome. It is that time of year. You go and check to see if there are any Osprey fledglings on the nest – and no. Poof. Gone. It suddenly sets in that those precious little fluff balls have grown up. They have fledged and are gaining their flying skills for migration. Osprey breeding season is almost over. There are a chicks few trailing behind – Collins Marsh and Chesapeake Bay to name a couple in North America. There are still chicks on the nest in Manitoba but there are no streaming cameras. The Port Lincoln couple on the barge are only ‘thinking’ about eggs. Those will come mid-August most likely. So what does one do?

One of the first things is to treasure the moments we got to spend with these bird families. It is a privilege to see them living their daily lives. There is a saying in Japanese – Ichigo ichie. It was coined by the great tea master, Sen-no Rikyu. His meaning focused on the sharing of the tea ceremony and the realization that you can repeat the ritual but you can never re-create that moment with the same person ever again. You must live it to the fullest with the deepest respect. In terms of our birds, I would like to think that we must treasure every moment that we can share with them and give them our attention. It truly is a once in a life time encounter. Tiny Little will never again receive a huge fish and fend off its sibling with that same sibling later getting a little tiddler from dad. Those were two precious moments that will never again be repeated. Indeed, I wonder if we will ever see Tiny Little again before her migration. That nest has been awfully empty today.

Some of us began to focus on the few nests that do have chicks. My attention has been on the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest in Wisconsin. It is easy to notice the very odd behaviour of the bonded pair at the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest. It truly is strange. The female disappears for 21 hours! That was when ‘S’ and I began to find other strange tidbits about this nest. The female returns on Sunday morning and Dad spends the day bringing in several fish deliveries. Then on Monday the male brings in the first fish and we don’t see him anymore. It is the female catching the fish and bringing them to the nest. So is there a pattern here? or are we just losing our minds? The female brought in two fish today in the afternoon. One was cream coloured with gold scales but the last one was pink inside and out with gold scales. Any help on IDing these would be much appreciated.

In the image below, it looks like a salmon-red colour. Needless to say the chick went to bed quite full. Every time it started chirping mum was offering fish. She has been very devoted since she returned.

Thanks S for this great screen capture.

A couple of hours earlier Mum brought in this fish. I could not readily identify it either. Regardless of the species, the chick is delighted with the arrival! The faces this chick makes are incredible. Very animated.

This is the approach to the nature centre that is near the Collins Marsh Reservoir and the Mud River in Wisconsin. Look at the left and you will see the ‘retired’ fire tower which is now home to the Osprey nest on the very top of the glass enclosed space that appears above the ‘red’ in the image. Snowy Owls inhabit the nest in the winter. The tower is 33.5 metres or 110 feet tall. The staff of the Osprey centre access the camera within the glass enclosed area. At one time it was thought that there was a portal from the glassed area to the nesting platform but it turns out that is not correct. There is no ‘easy’ access to the Osprey nest. Getting to the nest physically to do a wellness check on the chick, right now, would mean finding a person with particular skills and then being certain that it was safe for them.

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

You can see that the nest is slightly off centre and is situated on a sort of cone hat with the camera on the pole at the corner.

Looking at this got me to thinking about access. It is quite true that there are raptor nests that can never be accessed. Eagles and Ospreys love to make their nests in extremely high places away from us! That said I have known or witnessed ‘tree climbers’ in Germany whose skill set is such that no tree defies them unless the tree itself is unsafe. This is an interesting situation at Collins Marsh. The Wisconsin DNR Biologist and the Wildlife Rehabilitator continue to monitor the chick in terms of feather growth, etc. That is great news. The question then arises: if the chick displays in another week or ten days problematic feather growth, what can be done? With the access so difficult, it would seem nothing. So let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed that nothing is wrong with the feathers! It would, however, seem prudent to explore the possibility of a portal access to the nest once the Ospreys have migrated and before the Snowy Owls take over. I hope that it is never needed but, if it were, it would be a win-win for everyone. All of that said, it would require the services of a structural engineer to figure out the best way to do this. Maybe there is someone who is qualified and loves the raptors that might, at least, consider if this was possible and do it as a donation of time to the centre. That would be grand.

Tuesday morning at Collins Marsh Osprey Nest: The day began with rain and then wind.

Mum left later and returned with a small fish/ a twiddler.

Mum leaves the nest three times after this. Very different behaviour than Monday. Dad does come to the nest and delivers a piece of fish. The chick winds up with a bit of a crop.

At the moment, the chick is on the nest alone. It is windy and the temperature is currently 24 degrees C going up to a scorching 30 degrees.

Mum returns and the chick joins her in fish calling to Dad. Oh, I hope the fish arrives and mum stays to shade the baby today.

The Cornell University Red tail hawks are still putting smiles on everyone’s faces. Suzanne Horning was out yesterday evening checking on them. I remain ever so grateful that she lets me share her images with you.

K3 and those beautiful celadon eyes just strikes right at my heart. This little one has, according to the boots on the ground, turned into a magnificent flyer.

K3 sees Arthur and immediately starts calling for food. You will notice that when the chicks do not see an adult they generally do not food call but when they do see someone who might bring ‘a food delivery’ you can hear them crying several blocks away!

K1 had a nice spot on top of one of the light stands. These stands have been, in past years, great places for the chicks to eat their prey. They are nice and flat on top.

If you cannot see their tails it takes a few moments to sit and figure out which K you are looking at. In this instance, the belly band has more red than the chick in the image above.

This is such a beautiful close up of K1. Look carefully at that beak – that very sharp point for tearing the food – and then look at how clean it is. You will see the chicks cleaning their beaks on all manner of things – sticks, tree bark, grass. At the same time they are also sharpening them. Like their feathers they need this ‘tool’ of theirs clean and sharp.

Here is a great little article that goes into more depth on the reason you see birds rubbing their beaks. It is short and very informative!

https://www.audubon.org/news/heres-why-birds-rub-their-beaks-stuff

Big Red is doing a kind of hawk walk while she is looking for prey. She is our gorgeous matriarch and every second seeing her reminds us how precious she is.

The Hornings did see Arthur but I don’t have an image for him. Both adults are moulting now and look a little scruffy.

Some of you have been asking about Arnold. Well, look at that picture of Arnold with his mate, Amelia. His wounds have healed enough that he now has a waterproof bootie and can spend some outdoor time with Amelia. If Arnold continues to improve – and why wouldn’t he with Amelia there cheering him on? – he could be released in a couple of weeks. That is wonderful!

@ Cape Wildlife Center

A few nest checks for the UK Ospreys and wow, lucky was with me.

There is one very loud food crying fledgling on the Loch of the Lowes nest. Looks like it is LR2. He wants his breakfast ‘now’!

Telyn is on the perch of the Dyfi Nest in Wales and Ystywth is eating her breakfast. How lucky she is. LR2 is so unhappy. I wonder if his big sister, LR1, took the first fish?

Ystwyth eating a fish on the Dyfi Osprey Nest in Wales. Telyn is o the perch.

One of the reasons for the big smile on my face is that when I checked the Glaslyn Nest of Aran and Mrs G someone was on the perch! And it is Mrs G. The timing could not have been better.

There she sits – the oldest Osprey in all of the United Kingdom – looking out over the territory that she shares with Aran.

Mrs G on the perch at Glaslyn.

Perhaps if I took one more peek at the Foulshaw Moss nest someone might be there having breakfast. Let’s see!

Well, not only is there no one on the nest but there is not an Osprey to be seen on the parent’s tree in the distance. I wonder if White YW and Blue 35 have taken everyone to the reservoir to try some fishing?

It is now 17:00 on the Foulshaw Moss nest and there are two fledglings hunkered down because of an intruder. “Hello, Tiny Little!”

Ah, maybe there isn’t much of an intruder. Wonder what Blue 464 is hiding? It is a big fish! No wonder Tiny Little is there. I will try and check back later to see if he gets some of it. The fish looks large enough for both as long as 464 doesn’t fly away with it. You can see its tail extending out to the left of the log. Hopefully 462 won’t come around!

Oh, Tiny Little is wanting that fish! She is up to her old tricks. It is a huge fish. Blue 464 will get tired of working at the mouth and walk away if Tiny Little can be patient.

Tiny Little has stepped back. She caused Blue 464 to move the fish a bit and she might be remembering that he did fly away with part of a fish the other day. Just wait, Tiny Little. There will be fish left!

But life throws birds wrenches and today, Blue 464 flew away with that huge fish! Tiny Little is yelling at White YW to go and get another one. Poor Tiny Little!

This is a good overview of what is going on at the nests today. So happy to catch Tiny Little. These moments are very precious.

Thank you so much for joining me today. It is so nice to be with fellow bird lovers. Just a reminder. If you live in a place where it is hot please, if you can, leave out bowls of water for the birds. Old ceramic serving bowls work great. The clay does not get as hot as metal containers. If you leave water for the hummers, make your own. It is 4 cups of water to 1 cup of sugar. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. You can heat it and allow it to cool before putting in the container. Do not use the red commercial hummer food. It actually kills the birds! How sad is that? A company allowed to make a product that actually kills the thing it is supposed to help! OK. It happens with humans, too. Terrible.

Thank you to Suzanne Arnold Horning for allowing me to use her images of Big Red and her family in my blog. Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen captures: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Loch of the Lowes, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Carnyx Wild and Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, and Collins Marsh Nature Centre. A big shout out to the Cape Wildlife Centre who is caring for Arnold. You are fantastic!