Osprey Migration

Dr Tim Mackrill, the Osprey specialist that worked with Glaslyn on how to set up the fish table for Aran and Mrs G this past late spring and early summer when Aran injured his wing, gave a wonderful Webinar on Osprey migration. He has taped the entire talk and you can watch it on YouTube. It is free – and worth every minute. You can, of course, start and stop the presentation as needed. Here is that link to everything you wanted to learn about Osprey migration and more!

The wait continues for the female adult at Port Lincoln’s first hatch. Any time! It’s 12 August in Australia and that was the day I guessed on the FB page. Come on hatch!!!!!!

The nest at Port Lincoln is known for its siblicide. There will be no intervention of any kind – other than putting on the Darvic rings and maybe another satellite tracker this year (if they choose to do this). If you take the number of days different from the day egg 1 was laid and egg 3 and then add the number of days between when they hatched, you will get a real number that tells you the difference in age between 1 and 3 – sometimes ten days. Some of these little ones survive. Tiny Little Bob at the Foulshaw Moss had extraordinary parents. Tiny Tot at the Achieva Nest was simply an extraordinary bird. Many aren’t. So please keep this in mind. Here is the link to the streaming cam.

There is news coming out of Loch Arkaig. Louis might still be at the lake along with one of the juveniles. Louis is very devoted to his chicks and he will wait til one of them leaves – for certain – before he does. Stay tuned. People will be checking this to make sure.

There has been no confirmation about Iris, the grand dame of all Ospreys, having left for her migration. The last certain sighting was by Sharon Leigh Miles on 6 September.

Put a bookmark on the Osprey migration video if you can’t watch it soon. On one of those rainy days when you are wanting something to watch, it is a great resource.

Thank you for joining me this morning. Take care everyone. Stay safe.

The featured image is Iris. Iris is believed to be the oldest Osprey in the world. She summers in Montana but no one knows where she stays for the winter.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Montana Osprey Project and the Cornell Bird Lab.

Saturday Excitement in Bird World!

Oh, my day was made perfect when I woke up to see that both Tiny Tot and Little Tiny Bob both had had fish this morning.

The Cumbria Wildlife Camera has no rewind feature and shivers went up my arms as I struck it lucky for the late afternoon feeding! Little Bob is right in there and is starting to get a nice size crop. Warm fuzzies and tiny tears.

Here is a very short video of Little Tiny Bob getting some good bites.

If you look carefully, up by Blue 35’s head, you will see Little Tiny Bob with its nice crop. Big Bob is facing the opposite way.

Tiny Tot slept on the natal nest perch at the Achieva Osprey Nest in Florida last night. He went to sleep without any fish but woke up hopeful this morning. He kept flying on and off the nest in expectation. And then at 10:26:49 Jack delivers a fish! Tiny Tot has not been forgotten. Isn’t it just lovely? Warms my heart for this little one.

There is always a bit of a scramble as the juvenile grabs the fish out of the parent’s talon.

Tiny Tot is enjoying his fish in peace. No intruders and no siblings there to annoy him.

Liz Brackens reports some exciting news from Loch Arkaig. Last year, Louis and Aila raised three fabulous Ospreys. Louis is a fabulous provider. He would even fish at night and take on tandem feedings with Aila to ensure that little all of the chicks including Little JJ7 grew and thrived. Sadly, Aila did not return this year from her winter migration. Louis waited and waited at the nest. He bonded with another female and they took on nestorations on a different nest – not the one Louis shared with Aila that has the camera. Everyone was happy that Louis had found a new mate. This morning Liz reports that the nest behaviour has changed. Normally Louis would bring a fish to the nest and the new female would take it off the nest to eat it. Louis would then incubate the eggs. But this morning that behaviour changed. Louis brought a fish to the nest, stayed for a few minutes before going to the perch. The female ate the fish on the nest. Do we have a hatch?

The 1000 Islands Environmental Centre in Wisconsin posted a video of their four eaglets. They are doing fantastic. There are three parents. In this nest, there are two females and one male. Some of you may watch the Love Trio Nest on the Mississippi where there are two males, Valor I and II and Starr, the female. I grabbed a screen shot from that video for you. There they are all four of them getting ready to branch and then fledge. Goodness. I cannot imagine trying to hunt and feed four – good thing there are three parents!

This morning Aran arrived at the Glaslyn Nest where he collected the morning’s gifted fish. He then went on to defend the nest against intruders. It is wonderful that he is healing. Let us all hope that his wing is in excellent shape when winter migration comes in September.

And there is more fledging news. Big Bob on The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island near Savannah fledged this morning at 8:22. He is going to hover and land on one of the branches above the nest. There is a fish delivery about half an hour later and Big Bob had a bit of a time figuring how to get down to the nest and eat. Oh, these fledglings are so funny.

Here he goes hovering. He will land on one of the branches of the tree off camera and make his way to a different branch where we can see him.

Oh, Big Bob wants some of that fish! But how do he get down now that he is up on the branch? That seems to be his quandry. Of course, he will figure that out. Hunger is a great motivator.

After doing a lot of calling, fretting, and pacing on the branch, Big Bob jumps down!

There are going to be a lot of fledges. This morning at the Pittsburg Hays Bald Eagle Nest both H13 and H15 fledged. Early in the morning while the IR is still on you can see the three – one on the nest (H13) and two branched (H14 and 15). You might recall that this nest is a big event for the Pittsburg community. This is the first pair of Bald Eagles that have bred in 150 years. H13 has already fledged on 6 June. He was 75 days old. Today, H14 and 15 fledged. They are 77 days old.

The juvenile on the nest below is H13 having a food drop.

There will be a lot more fledges in the coming week. Things are really ramping up. Thank you for joining me today. It is a beautiful sunny 24 degree C day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are so happy that the temperature has dropped from the heat wave last week.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Achieva Osprey, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Pittsburgh-Hays Bald Eagles and Pix Cam.

Wednesday in Bird World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Laddie flying in with a delivery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As the Nest Turns – Monday late edition

My regular readers will know and might be scratching their heads about all the Osprey posts. Like 400,000 others, I rejoiced when Louis helped Aila feed the three chicks on the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest. It renewed my faith in Ospreys after having had a rough season with a couple of other nests. Mary Cheadle posted this image taken from the streaming cam last year of Louis helping with the three little ones. That is JJ7 Captain being fed alone so he is not bothered by the two older and bigger siblings. I mean how brilliant is that! It was 3 June 2020. What a beautiful family photo. They all fledged. Sadly, Aila did not return from her winter migration this year. Louis has a new mate off camera on another nest. I hope he is helping with the little ones too. This family gave me hope – hope that not every third chick died of siblicide. And then there was Port Lincoln and Tiny Tot – but Tiny Tot’s survival has really moved me. So, I haven’t stopped my love for Ospreys – it has grown!

Osprey dads vary in their dedication and care of their family just like human dads. Some help with incubation and feeding the wee ones while others bring in lots of fish and do territorial protection. And then there are some who don’t have another nest but still do not bring in any fish and their children starve to death. Then there are the moonlighters like Louis in Missoula, Montana who has two nests but he only takes care of one. A reader asked me if I had heard of or watched the Cowlitz Nest in Washington State. I don’t. I know about it. It is the nest of Electra and Wadsworth. At present there are two chicks. Wadsworth helped incubate the eggs and everyone thought he might have changed his ways but no fish deliveries til this morning – when people feared the little ones would die. After Tiny Tot and then Glaslyn, I am afraid that I do not need the drama. I hope that Wadsworth continues to provide for his family – that is HIS job. Electra’s is to keep the chicks warm and dry and to feed them.

We now know that Ospreys in need will accept fish that they did not catch. The laws in Europe and the UK permit feeding tables. In 2012, Rutland provided one for one of their nests. I heard of an instance in Canada but it is not clear to me what the circumstances were or even when the event took place. I understand the Ospreys did not accept the fish. Mrs G and Aran readily accepted the fish from the staff and volunteers at Glaslyn. They are alive today because of the insights and generosity of these fine caring people. So what about the situation with Electra? On the surface it appears that intervention cannot take place unless the situation has been caused by humans – according to US wildlife laws written more than 50 years ago. But that cannot strictly be the case. This February E17 and E18 were removed from their natal nest by CROW, a wildlife rehabilitation clinic in Fort Myers, Florida, because the eaglets had conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball. Humans tend to call it pink eye. The eaglets remained in the care of CROW for five days. To the people that had the backbone to get the care those eaglets needed – bravo! Just how they got around that archaic law of non-interference is unknown to me but they did and I am glad. I put out a call to help Legacy if, in fact, the bout of Avian Pox she had worsened. Thankfully, it was not necessary. But I sure did ruffle a lot of feathers – and they weren’t on birds! At this point in the history of the planet, the unseasonal weather, the lack of prey, the loss of habitat and the resulting woes of the wildlife rests right on the shoulders of us, humans. But if the community were to get permission to supplement the feeding of Electra and her chicks, I would highly recommend that they contact the Glaslyn Center in Wales. It is the fine details that matter. You don’t want Electra to bolt and not return! Still, I hope that Wadsworth shapes up and takes responsibility for his family.

This morning the intruder was back on the Achieva Osprey Nest. Today, it successfully got Tiny Tot off the nest. Jack flew in and dispensed with the intruder and stayed doing guard duty on the perch pole til late in the afternoon.

At 3:58:58 Tiny Tot returned to the nest very hungry! Here is his approach and landing – gosh he is a good pilot!

Here comes Tiny lining up with the runway.

Landing gear down.

Wing tips going down. Perfect.

Now that he is safely home and there is no intruder, Tiny Tot is rather impatient and would really like some lunch!

Looks like sibling 2 has a similar idea. Oh, dear.

Tiny Tot isn’t the only one waiting for dinner rather impatiently. Big and Little from Duke Farms have been sitting on the nest or the branches around the nest hoping for a food drop. You might recall that the pair of them fludged and the parents were able, after a few days, to get them back to the nest. The parents come with prey but sometimes the youngsters timing is wrong. Big got the last drop. Little has to be really hungry. The amount of time they are hanging around the nest tells me two things. The parents are not doing prey drops elsewhere and the juveniles haven’t had much luck hunting on their own. Fingers crossed for them today.

The storks that are being fed by the villagers of Mlade Buky in Czechoslavkia are really growing. Here is their delivery of little fish today.

And here is them with their dad a little later. What a wonderful caring community. It looks like these three are going to survive thanks to their help. Let us hope the storks bless this village!

The kindness of the Glaslyn community is helping Mrs G and Aran gather their strength. They continue to provide fish for the pair and will do us until such time Aran is healed and can fish.

Laddie has joined NC0 on the nest. NC0 has just had a bath and her hair has that wind swept pandemic look! Laddie looks at her adoringly! Meanwhile Little Bob is thinking it is time for some fish. Laddie is thinking intruders! He will stay on the nest for awhile helping keep NC0 and the two Bobs safe.

When it is all quiet Laddie brings in a nice fish. Little Bob eats his fill and doesn’t want anymore. NC0 offers to both of them several times before tucking in herself.

There were several other feedings throughout the day. This is the last one as the sun is setting. Take a glimpse of Little Bob. He is beginning to get that reptilian look.

Big Red and the Ks are definitely enjoying the sun. Look at those feathers coming in and it looks like Arthur made another squirrel delivery!

Soon these Ks are going to be running up and down that ledge jumping and flapping and causing everyone to have a small heart attack.

Mom is back on the barge at Port Lincoln and Solly with her satellite tracker is north of Eba Anchorage, past Kiffin Island and Perlubie. Gosh, it is sure good to know that she is alive and surviving. She is 284 days old today. Thanks for the satellite tracking!

It is a beautiful day in Canada. Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the US and Happy Bank Holiday to those in the UK. Thank you for joining me.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Duke Farms, Mlade Buky Streaming Cam, Scottish Woodland Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, and the Port Lincoln Osprey FB Page for the information on Solly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maya approaches the fish cautiously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Nest Hopping

I watched Legacy this morning. She seemed occupied by what was happening beyond the nest.

Then she moved to another branch and looked out.

She turned back to look at us. Then, Legacy lowered her head, did a ‘ps’, and flew off. It was 11:51:00 on 11 May.

It was a fabulous push off – and whoosh. Legacy left the nest.

There she is leaving the branch and flying out beyond the nest tree – in the two images below. What a gorgeous silhouette.

Notice the wing positions as she goes up and then thrusts forward.

Are Samson and Gabby training her to find prey elsewhere? Will she return?

And here is our answer. At 2:42 Samson coaxes Legacy back to the nest. He flies in and drops a small piece of fish on the nest. Sometimes Samson looks like a cartoon character – I promise you that is really Legacy’s dad standing on the nest! He has the most amazing legs!!!!!!! Almost like skinny jeans.

Here comes Legacy – she messes up her landing and has to fly around and come back on the other side. Meanwhile, Samson waits.

Samson sees Legacy coming and he is out of there. She mantled it and took only a few minutes to eat that small piece of fish.

Legacy was up on her branch looking out over the territory of her parents Samson and Gabby and hoping for another chunk of fish! So glad to see you Legacy.

Across the state of Florida, from Jacksonville and Legacy’s nest to the Achieva Credit Union Osprey nest in St. Petersburg, Diane appears to be giving more advice to Tiny Tot. Is it one of those mother-daughter chats about survival and raising her own chicks?

Oh, I hope that Tiny Tot hangs around the nest for 3 or 4 weeks building up her skills! The research indicates that the more food and the longer on the nest the stronger the possibility is of survival.

Blue 152 (female) and unringed male were still at Loch Arkaig at 16:09. Fingers crossed for a new couple. They are surveying what could be their territory. Looks like Louis might not give them any trouble. He is busy with his new mate since Aila did not return from migration on the other nest. Rumour has it Louis and her have at least one egg on that nest.

This is not the best screen capture, apologies. The female has a very beautiful necklace (she is on the right with the blue band). And look at the difference in eye colour from that of Tiny Tot. Osprey eyes are darker, an amber or orange-yellow, as a juvenile lightening up to a bright yellow as an adult. The female appears to have a bit of a crop – she was crying for a fish this morning – while the male’s seems to be fairly flat. Remember the crop is a pouch under the throat which is part of the bird’s (all raptors but owls) digestive system. I like to think of it as a holding tank. They might find prey one day and get ‘full to the brim’ – both the stomach and the crop bulging – to not have any food for a couple of days. The raptor can ‘crop drop’ – releasing food into the stomach.

The female spent some time rearranging the nest and the pair mated just after 4pm. Now bring your lady a fish!

Boy does he look grumpy. I hope it is just the angle of the camera.

Blue 33 (11) gets his status as super star of the Osprey world for his great devotion to Maya and his chicks. Here he is delivering a nice big one for the evening meal for the ‘Bobs’.

Of course raising 11 chicks in three years (2019, 2020, and this year if the third egg hatches) gives both him and Maya super Osprey status.

Blue 33 (11) is a very devoted dad and often spends time sitting nest to Maya in the nest while she incubates or broods.

Big Red took a break and the Ks all cuddled up together to keep warm. When she returned she had a fresh chippie for lunch. Watching the Ks learn to eat in the midst of a little bonking is fascinating. Big Red is so patient!

You can catch this entire feeding on a video. See if you can tell which K is which.

This morning the Ks were a little disorganized. Look at them five hours later standing still all lined up to eat. K3 knows that being in the front is important. This is more like it. They have dried out more and so has the nest. Almost looks like they have had a bath.

Grinnell was doing a great job feeding the three this afternoon. Those juvenile feathers are really starting to come in. Love the ‘peach’ at the end of the tail.

It is hard to imagine but they will look like Izzi in about a month.

Izzi is such a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon. Here he is at just a little over seven months old – 5 May 2021. Of course, we all want him to stay in his parent’s scrape box but, do they? In a nutshell, Izzi had three fledges – yes, three! One fludge, one that sent him into a window and rehab, and then a fantastic one. Each time he was returned to the scrape box so this parents, Xavier and Diamond, would accept him. But now, maybe he thinks the penthouse apartment on top of the water tower is his!

Look at those eyes. Izzi loves to see his reflection in the camera casing.

Jack brought in a nice fish for Harriet to feed the two osplets on the Dahlgren Osprey Nest in King George County, Virginia. It is nice to see Jack staying on the nest while Harriet feeds the babies. There is one egg lost in the nest that didn’t get incubated and another in the nest cup but from my calculations it is too late for it to hatch. That is probably a very good thing. Look at how big those two are!

I didn’t know if we would ever see Tiger or Lily Rose back on the nest tree in Kansas. And there, at 5:09 am is one of them sitting on a branch hoping for a food delivery. I think it is Lily Rose but I cannot be 100% certain. Bonnie and Clyde will continue to help them until they such time as they are able to catch their own prey – and that won’t be long.

Thank you so very much for dropping in to check on ‘the birds’ today with me. I hope that your day was good and that you are safe and well wherever you are. Tomorrow the Duke Farm eaglets will get banded.

Thank you to the following for their steaming cams. That is where I grab my screen shots: Cornell Bird Lab, Farmer Derek, Achieva Osprey, Dahlgren Osprey Cam, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Falcon Cam, Charles Sturt University at Orange, Australia and the Falcon Project, Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and the LRWT Manton Bay Ospreys.

Tuesday edition, ‘As the Nest Turns’

Sometimes I just sit and stare at the birds. They are incredibly beautiful. The nestlings, fledglings, or soon-to-be fledglings seem to change over night.

Take Tiny Tot, for example. Three weeks ago many wondered if s/he would even live to fledge. Today, I kept pinching myself making squealing sounds like Legacy because Tiny Tot really has grown into a magnificent Osprey.

Tiny Tot has a broad brown-black band running from in front of the eye, through the eye connecting with another band and going down to the shoulder.

10 May 2021
10May 2021

Just stop for a moment and look at that piercing amber coloured eye and that perfect strongly hooked black beak.

10 May 2021

Tiny Tot’s crest is variegated with more brown than white. If the wind would blow more that crest would stand up.

10 May 2021

The plumage helps to camouflage the nestlings before the permanently leave the nest.

The image below stopped me in my tracks – Tiny Tot standing next to Diane looking out to the traffic. I noticed today, for the first time, that Tiny hesitated when food arrived preferring at that second to continue to look at the moving objects below the nest. S/he has been working its wings more and more and sadly, our dear little one that no one believed would make it, will fledge. Maybe Tiny Tot you can hang around the nest for a month getting those flight muscles strong and letting Mom Diane feed you! That would be simply grand.

Wonder if Diane was giving Tiny any advice?

10 May 2021

Both Eve and Eerik were on the nest today. Look at Even looking down at that little one. Eve’s beak is sooooo big and the eaglets so tiny and yet, Eve can take the tiniest piece of prey and place it directly so the little one can grab it with its beak.

10 May 2021

Oh, that one is full! It is that gentle look, staring at the little one – from a big wooly White-tail Eagle mom.

10 May 2021

It is going to be a nice day for Big Red and Arthur and the Ks in Ithaca, NY. There is only a slight chance of rain in the middle of the night for an hour and maybe that will disappear. Full sun tomorrow and it will be around 12 degrees C.

At least two of the Ks were awake early in the morning when Big Red got up, stretched, and took a break. You can still see the white dot, the egg tooth that helped them pound their way out of their shell, at hatch, on the end of their beak. Soon that egg tooth will disappear as the beak and the toes are two areas that really develop during the eyasses first two weeks of life.

Cute little Ks. 11 May 2021

Arthur comes in early to give Big Red her breakfast, to watch the Ks, and to check on their pantry. The chipmunk is still there for last evening.

Arthur’s early morning check in. 11 May 2021

Looks like K1 is getting a little warm from the brooding and restless, too.

11 May 2021

Big Red is ready for another break. Look at how her apron of beautiful red feathers covers those little Ks while she broods them.

11 May 2021

Being every so gentle, Big Red backs up so that she does not injure a K or two. Notice how the nest bowl is indented. This allows Big Red to straddle the chicks so that they can move about under her.

Big Red’s beautiful striped feather apron. 11 May 2021
Ever so careful getting off the nest cup. 11 May 2021

Bye Mom! What a difference 24 hours makes. Big Red can leave the Ks in the sunshine for a few minutes without fear of them getting wet or too cold.

At last some sun for the Ks. 11 May 2021

For all of those who were disappointed that Louis moved to a different nest with his new female, today there is exciting news at Loch Arkaig. A blue banded female, 152 (left side) and an unringed male are on the nest. The female is calling loudly for a fish! Wonder if they will stay? They sure would have prime real estate!

New occupants for Loch Arkaig? 11 May 2021

And while I cannot show you, I understand from folks in the area that Louis and his new mate now have at least one egg on their nest! Great news for this wonderful Osprey dad.

The two little Bobs at the Manton Bay Osprey Nest at Rutland, have fantastic parents – May and Blue 33 (11). Generally, the males fledge and return to raise their own families near to their natal nest. That is true for Blue 33 (11) who hatched at nest B at Manton Bay. He is the son of a mega-super star Osprey 03 (97) who was translocated from Scotland to Rutland to restore the Osprey population there. 03 (97) you might recall was known as Mr Rutland. Mr Rutland had three mates and hatched and fledged 32. He failed to return from his migration in 2016 when he was 18 years old. In the image below are two of his grandchildren. They definitely have amazing Osprey DNA!

Since 2015, Maya and Blue 33 (11) have raised 21 chicks to fledge with – if this third egg hatches – eleven osplets in just three seasons. Blue 33 (11) might be working to get that megastar status, too, or better his dad.

Fish dinner. 11 May 2021

Look how strong those Bobs are holding their heads up straight. My goodness the little one is hardly a day old!

The Two Bobs being fed some fish. 11 May 2021

At the beginning of the season, it was not clear whether Laddie would be able to attract and keep NC0 at his nest at Loch of the Lowes. Laddie wasn’t even sure that he wanted to share his fish with her! Well, fast forward and we will be on hatch watch starting Sunday 16 May for this pair of Scottish Ospreys.

NC0 incubating her three eggs. 11 May 2021

There has been a lot of kerfuffle over at the Glaslyn Nest the past few days. Mrs G has been trying to incubate her three eggs in the midst of intrusions by another female. Mrs G is the oldest breeding female in Wales. She has been fledging ospreys – 41 of them -since 2004! Talk about a mega-star on the Osprey breeding chart! Of those 41, her and Aran haver raised 15 fledglings to date. Mrs G is just returning to the nest after eating her fish and Aran is getting off. You can see their three eggs. I have hatch watch down for them starting this upcoming weekend, too. Oh, it is going to get busy!

Thank you for joining me today. It is a gorgeous spring day on the Canadian prairies. The leaves are just wanting to burst forth. It is still too early to put in the annual plantings as it will drop down to 1 degree C during the night this week. Fingers crossed for next week on that front. Tomorrow the two eaglets at Duke Farms will get their satellite trackers. Fantastic. Wish Tiny Tot had one. Take care all!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I capture my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, The Eagle Club of Estonia, the Cornell Bird Lab, LRWT, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery,

Wednesday Nest Runs

Congratulations to Richmond and Rosie. Their second hatch for 2021 arrived on the nest on top of the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco on 3 May.

In the image below, Rosie and Richmond’s first hatch of 2021 is right beside the egg that is pipping. You can see the end of the beak and the egg tooth breaking up that shell.

Rosie is really excited to show Richmond the second hatch!

Here we are dad! Can we have some fish, please?

Legacy stayed around her natal nest today. As I sat and watched her, I was reminded of an incident with one of our cats, Melvin. At the time, cats were allowed outside and Melvin loved to roll around in the grass and dirt in the garden. He was content not to leave the yard and never wandered away. One day he didn’t come when we called him. We searched high and lo at all hours of the day and night. Then about four days later, in the middle of the night, we heard him yowling at the door. Melvin ran into the house and went under the bed. For the next 15 years of his life he rarely left that one room. We will never know what happened to him while he was away, but it scared the wits out of him. There were marks on his paws where the fur was gone and holes. We wondered if he had gotten caught in a trap or barbed wire.

Looking at Legacy I have a feeling that she was lost. Of course, I could be all washed up! This evening Samson brought in a fish for Legacy at 4:52:41. It was 32 degrees in Jacksonville and it was windy.

Legacy started mantling when she saw her father coming in with that fish. She was also squealing very loud.

Legacy held on tight to the fish. Samson had eaten the head so it was easy for Legacy to self-feed. She did it like a pro!

Legacy ate every last bite of that fish. When she got to the tail she wasn’t quite certain what to do with it. She tried to pull it off like skin. If the parents were watching they would have been very proud. Good work Legacy!

Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot on the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest in St Petersburg, Florida is the most beautiful bird. Tiny is a survivor. As the sun is setting Tiny had not had any of the last fish. He spent some of the time when he was alone on the nest chewing what fish was left on that bone in the middle of the nest.

At 7:59:46, there was a fish delivery and Tiny mantled it. ‘Mine!’

Tiny had not moved. He was still working hard on that fish as the sun set even more. Good night, Tiny!

Diane, #2 and Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot are ready and waiting for breakfast on 5 May. If you are wondering, #1 sibling has not returned to the nest. It is unclear if she is being fed elsewhere or what her status is.

You might recall my concern over The Landings Skidaway Island Osprey nest. The aggression from the oldest sibling was amping up as the food deliveries were irregular. That aggression continues. However, this morning the youngest got a nice big feed and it was a delight to see. They are still in their reptilian phase.

The oldest is getting fed and the youngest is cowering (on the left) afraid to go over to mom.

But like Tiny Tot, the youngest is waiting and watching for an opportunity. It moves around the long way once the biggest is full. If allowed, these little ones that are bonked/abused become quite clever. We have seen what an amazing bird Tiny Tot is. It is interesting, speaking of Tiny Tot, that the Achieva Osprey nest became peaceful the instant the oldest sibling fledged despite the fact that the eldest did not directly attach Tiny Tot after the third week in March. It became the duty of #2. Sorry – the behaviour of the birds is very interesting. I bet you never thought their lives could be so complicated?

There is number 2 – the darkest plumaged of the osplets – getting a nice big feed from mom. How wonderful!

Oh, goodness. Over at Big Red and Arthur’s Red Tail Hawk nest, K3 is coming!

It is a very soggy morning at the Fernow Light tower nest and here are K1 and K2 waiting for their little sib! It won’t be long and the entire K clan will be with us! There will be bonking bobble heads for a couple of days til their eyes focus and they realize that it is mom’s beak they need to connect with not their siblings!

I have checked on many more nests this morning but this blog would go on for a kilometre. Suffice it to say that Kistachie at the KNF Bald Eagle nest in Louisiana is doing a pretty good job self-feeding. He is not branching yet and Anna helps when he has trouble eating. Blue 152, a female, has landed again on the Loch Arkaig nest. Maybe a new male will appear! This morning Li’l and Big at the Duke Farms Nest were doing great. Mom was feeding both of them and that silly squirrel continues to bug the Pittsburg Hays trio. The last notice for today is 8 May is Bird Count Day. This is the day that people around the world stop and count the birds that they see. It is a major migration study and is how we know if populations are declining, growing, or if there are environmental issues impacting them. You, too, can take part. In fact, I urge you too. I will give you that information tonight.

Take care and thanks for joining me today. K3 is coming!!!!!!!!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell BirdLab and Skidaway Audubon, Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, NE Florida Eagle Cam and AEF, and Achieva Credit Union. I get my screen shots from these cameras.

Friday Happenings in Bird World

Congratulations to Eve and Eerik on the hatch of White-tailed Eaglet #2 at the Matsalu National Park in Estonia. It looks like this little one joined its older sib around 10:47 am on 30 April (but I stand to be corrected). At that time, there is the most gentle look into the nest cup. The eggshell is clearly visible inside the cup.

This last image (below) was taken at 16:44 during a feeding. You will notice that the eggshell has been moved over to the edge of the nest now. What a beautiful image – the gentleness of these large eagles with their enormous beaks feeding their little ones. Two little bobble heads. How sweet.

You can watch this nest here:

Just as Eve and Eerik are welcoming their little ones, Samson and Gabby continue to call out and search the skies for Legacy. The last ‘for sure’ sighting of Legacy was at 9:53:51 on the 28th. Gabby was on the nest calling loudly for Legacy this morning at dawn, the 30th, along with Samson.

There is an individual, Gretchen Butler (apologies if this is spelled incorrectly), who monitors this nest and has done so for many years. It is my understanding that there are now ‘boots on the ground’ looking for Legacy. We all hope she is found and there is nothing seriously the matter. Hearts go out to Gabby and Samson today. They must be really missing their beautiful Legacy.

At 2:04 EDT, Gabby is still there on the branch scanning the horizon hoping that her Legacy will appear. It is heart wrenching.

30 April 2021. Gabby stares off over the tree tops hoping to see her beautiful Legacy.

There were two fish deliveries at the Achieva Osprey nest this morning. The first one came at 7:48.

The second fish arrived at 10:18. Look who has a crop left from the first fish and who is right up at the dinner table ready for more – it’s ‘Biggie’ Tot. And I am not surprised. S/he is growing leaps and bounds – just look at the size of those wings now. ‘Biggie’ Tot is catching up!

It is calm on the nest and my mind and heart are finally at ease. This little one is going to make it and fledge! And because s/he learned to be a scavenger to live, I am certain s/he has more than a best chance to survive out in the wild.

Some do not even recognize #3 or Biggie Tot but there s/he is standing looking out from the nest with sibling #2 who has the most copper at the back of their head just now.

Big Red and Arthur are not giving any secrets away. The weather has switched and it is windy in Ithaca, New York and this beautiful couple are dried out from the soggy weather on Thursday.

The eggs were laid on 26 and 29 March and 1 April. Big Red averages 38-41 days between the date the egg was laid and hatch. If she were to stay consistent, the first egg would hatch in 3-6 days. However, if we took 35 days which appears to be a general average for all hawks, then today would be the day. Oh, Big Red I wish you would give us some hints! You were talking to those Ks the other day!!!

At eighteen, Big Red is in incredible shape. She is simply an amazing mother and raising hawks is so different to watching the eagles especially when the clutch fledges. Big Red will make sure they learn to hunt while they are building up flight muscles.

Arthur is five years old. He is an amazing mate for Big Red. You will be shocked when you see the amount of prey he brings to her and the eyasses. What a hunter!

You can join the fun and watch this nest here:

The solar camera has just come on the California Condor nest at Big Sur. Eyes remain on that egg of Redwood Queen and Phoenix.

It is 1 degree C in Estonia on the White-tail Eagle nest but it is 31 degrees C on the Skidaway Island Osprey nest and the two little ones are hot. They are under Mom hoping to stay cool! Can you see them?

For those of you that watched the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest last year along with the 400,000 others, sadness now surrounds that empty nest. Last year Louis and Aila raised three osplets to fledge. Their daily lives brought hope and joy to everyone. This year Louis fixed up the nest and waited for Aila’s arrival from Africa. She has yet to return. No one knows if she is injured and being cared for in a rehab clinic or if she perished during her migration. Poems and tributes are starting to come in and this one by Sue Wallbanks appeared on The Friends of Loch Arkaig FB today. I hope that Sue does not mind my sharing it with you.

Thank you to everyone for joining me today in Bird World. Congratulations to the people of Estonia on the hatch of the second White-tailed Eaglet. I will continue to monitor and post any news of Legacy and we will watch for hatch at both Big Red and Arthur’s nest and Redwood Queen and Phoenix’s nest.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Ventana Wildlife Society and explore.org, Cornell Bird Lab RTH Cam, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Achieva Credit Union, NE Florida Bald Eagle Nest and the AEF, and the Eagle Club of Estonia. Thank you also to the Friends of Loch Arkaig FB group and Sue Wallbank for the tribute to Alia.

Friday Morning Nest Hopping

Sad news arrived on Thursday night. Millie, a young Kakapo, was found deceased. This brings the total number of Kakapo to 204.

Millie sadly died.

In Latvia, the rain has been falling hard all day Thursday. The heavy drops sounded like hail hitting the microphone of the streaming cam. Milda has to work hard to both feed her miracle chick and to keep it warm and dry. That little one has no protection against the weather! That will come when she gets some thermal down but still, she will not be protected fully from the weather until we have juvenile contour feathers.

Rain had stopped on 23 April and Milda looks at her miracle baby.

The wind was really strong on the White-Tailed Eagle nest at Durbe, Latvia Friday morning but the rain had stopped. Milda looks at her little miracle in the nest. By afternoon the winds had calmed and the songbirds sing to Milda as she calls out to Mr C.

Milda is talking to Mr C. 23 April 2021

Milda’s eaglet is so cute and so healthy. Bird World needed something wonderful and the miracle of this little chick hatching in a nest in Latvia was it! It is really endearing to watch Milda feed her last chick with her deceased mate, Raimis.

Milda feeding her chick. 22 April 2021

I wrote with tears running down my cheeks earlier because Tiny Tot had really done well with the feedings, trying to steal a piece of fish from an older sibling, and having success grabbing a large piece from Mom that Dad has just delivered. Well, why did I think that would be the end of the day? At 6:59:57 on Thursday evening Jack arrives on the nest with a really nice headless fish.

One of the older chicks wants that whole fish but Jack seems to be waiting around for Diane to arrive. Maybe he shared the head with her? Let’s hope so. She has done an amazing job today equalizing the feeding on this nest.

But wait! Diane has other ideas. She arrives with another fish at 7:02:58. Wow. Within three minutes the nest has two fish deliveries. This is how this nest should have been going all along. Keep it up!

Of course, 2 thinks she should have both fish.

Diane looks like she is comparing her catfish to the one that the older sibling has from Jack. Oh, Diane’s fish is still alive!

I could paste fifty screen shots but, instead, I will just cut to the chase. 2 has its own fish so Diane is feeding 1. But where is Tiny Tot?

At 7:14:28 Tiny Tot is between mom’s legs getting fed. Diane moves the fish to the right corner of the nest. Tiny Tot only stopped eating to do a ps at 8:09:15.

Tiny Tot is full to the brim and finally quits eating at 8:10:10. He has eaten approximately half a catfish in this last feeding. Look at the picture above. His legs are fatter and you can see his round little bottom again. Tiny Tot staggers to the middle of the nest and passes out in a food coma. Sweet dreams little one!

It was a brilliant day on this nest on Thursday. Jack and Diane seem to have gotten their act together in terms of what is needed for food. Giving the older siblings small fish or their own piece allows Diane to feed Tiny Tot. We know that he can also self-feed. Let us hope they remember this strategy and do the same tomorrow. Diane finished feeding the big ones at 8:28 and she also got some nice bites herself – well deserved.

On Friday morning, there was some catfish left from last night (a bit and the bones) and 2 deliveries on the Achieva Nest. One looked like a flounder (or a flat fish) and another was a chunk of catfish. Tiny Tot did not get any of the first flat fish that I could see but he did get some of the big chunk that came at 8:08:18. Diane fed him some and then he took a piece at 8:28:50 and was self-feeding. Diane also fed Tiny something (perhaps the piece he was self-feeding and the old piece of catfish). There is Tiny Tot standing up nicely at the rim of the nest looking at mom when he is all finished.

Grinnell is doing the late night Thursday feeding at the UC Berkeley falcon nest. Isn’t he handsome? And as of Friday morning we still have three little marshmallows.

22 April 2021. Grinnell comes in for a late feeding of his adorable eyasses.

It is a gorgeous day on Skidiway island and there are two very healthy and alert Osplets on that nest. No sign of anything happening with that third egg (yippee).

Lunch for two. 23 April 2021

Over at the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville, Legacy really enjoys her fish delivery early this morning. She is a super strong beautiful ebony coloured eaglet. All eyes are on Samson and Gabby’s 2021 chick as she continues branching. Fledge is coming soon!

Gabby and Samson continue to feed Legacy well and teach her lessons about stealing food – things she did not learn with another sibling in the nest. Legacy is going to be a magnificent eagle!

Legacy enjoying her breakfish. 23 April 2021
Legacy looking out to the wide world. She will be flying soon. 23 April 2021

Tomorrow, 24 April is the expected hatch of Big Sur’s California condors, Redwood Queen and Phoenix. Oh, I hope that egg is viable. It was laid on 4 March. What a wonderful thing for these two that both survived huge fires in their lives.

Phoenix coming in to incubate the egg. Hatch watch tomorrow. 23 April 2021

And you might remember that I was looking into third hatch Ospreys – the ones like Tiny Tot that had been battered by their older siblings. My friend ‘T in Strasbourg’ had contacted someone in Wales for me. I am very interested in the ‘survival’ rate of the ‘threes’ and Z1 was identified as an osprey like Tiny Tot who returned as a juvenile as a fierce Osprey. The last sighting I could find of him was 4 April 2020. Well news came this morning in a list on the Loch Garten FB page that Z1 arrived at his nest in Snowdonia on 1 April along with his unringed female mate. Oh, I wish I could put together a list of these third hatches that survived. Z1 is the only one of his clutch to migrate and return – now three years! Fantastic. If you think of any third hatches that were bonked and battered but survived to return from their first migration, please do let me know. I would really appreciate it.

Thank you so much for joining me today. As you can tell I am really excited about the progress that Tiny Tot has made in the past few days. It looks like all of the birds heading into the weekend are doing well. Take care. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Ventana Wildlife Society, Achieva Credit Union Osprey, NE Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, Latvian Wildlife Fund, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidiway Audubon. Thanks also to the Kakapo Recovery FB Page where I took the image of Millie.