Saturday Nest Hopping

Tiny Tot is growing. He is the third hatch of Jack and Diane at the Achieva Credit Union’s Osprey nest in Dunedin, Florida. It is on the coast, just north of Tampa. He is clever and he is starving. You can’t tell how small he is from the picture below. Tiny Tot is on the left.

17 April 2021. Tiny Tot is on the far left, then 2, and 1

So far, three fish have come on the Achieva Osprey Nest today. Tiny Tot got nothing. He was fed at 9:00pm last night for about half an hour. The skin is simply sagging off its bones.

For the past two years this nest has had only one chick on it to feed. Perhaps the parents are simply overwhelmed? Tiny Tot is used to being hungry. The food insecurity started on 12 March when he was a week old. He has never known any different – for Tiny Tot it is either famine or a feast. He is clever and he has survived this long because of it. He is the only one that has been self-feeding because he had to and then it is pieces of old flesh from bones. In doing the research on the ones who survive like this, they do well. Often living much longer than their siblings that were pampered. Some of those have not even made it to migration dates. I wouldn’t count his abilities to survive in the wild out – that is what I am saying. I hope before the thunderstorms come into Dunedin again that he gets fed. It is all we can do – hope.

In the image below, Tiny Tot has bulled the bone out of the rim of the nest and is trying to find some food. It is 4:12pm.

It is nearly 5pm and Tiny Tot is still working on that bone. Diane has left the nest. I hope she brings in a massive catfish, wide at the girth, so that Tiny can finally have some food. Or will she ignore him?

There is, however, something to cheer about. Over in San Francisco, the second hatch of Annie and Grinnell came around 12:12. Now they are four. Only two more eggs to hatch! These eyasses will not have a problem with sibling rivalry or food! This is an amazing nest to watch. I actually admire the hawks and the falcons. They can feed a family of four or five and not blink an eye – and all of the chicks thrive.

12:12 pm 17 April 2021

Annie often eats the yolk left in the egg and sometimes the egg shells to help her replenish the calcium that she loses laying the eggs. In fact, you can leave egg shells out for the birds in your garden to help them have strong shelled eggs – they need calcium, too. You need to wash the eggs and clean them good and place them in a 250 degree F oven for about 30-45 minutes to kill any bacteria. You don’t want to transfer anything to the birds. Alternatively I have boiled the shells for half an hour at a hardy boil.

Legacy is really branching today. She has gone quite a bit higher in her natal tree, the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest, near Jacksonville, Florida. Fledge watch is coming! She is such a strong girl. There is really something to be said for having only one egg hatch on a nest. The parents don’t get worn out and that chick gets lots of food. Legacy has learned from watching Samson and Gabby. She was self-feeding and mantling. She did not need a sibling to drive her to do those things that come to her naturally.

One of the others to benefit from being an only child is Kisatchie. He was born in the Bald Eagle nest in the Kisatchie National Forest in Central Louisiana- the first eaglet since 2013 to be born in this beautiful tree. His parents are both new to raising a family. Louis and Anna have done a fantastic job. Can you see the turtle shell? There are actually two of them on the nest. I wonder if they have been feeding Kisatchie turtle? The shells seem to move. I wonder if they were brought to the nest and are alive????

Over at the Duke Farm Bald Eagle nest in Hillsborough, New Jersey, Li’l and Big are losing the last bits of their soft white down just like Legacy and Kisatchie.

Oh, and another great nest is Pittsburg Hayes. It has been seven years since this nest had three eaglets; the last time being in 2014. Look at the trio now. H13 hatched on 23 March at 4:21 am, H14 hatched on 23 March at 21:57, and H25 hatched on 27 March at 5:33. And they are all doing fabulous!

Fish Buffet. 17 April 2021

You can see the wing feathers starting to come in.

Everyone has a food coma. 17 April 2021.

Proud mama and her big healthy babies.

17 April 2021

Family Portrait!

17 April 2021

The eaglets on the Minnesota DNR nest are doing great, too. They do like to scare the living daylights out of you. The youngest one likes to walk right along the rim of the nest. Harry, you might want to bring in some more twigs and big up that wall!

17 April 2021

Be careful little one!

17 April 2021

Food coma.

17 April 2021

So far, both of the Osplets on the on Skidaway Island Osprey Nest near Savannah, Georgia are doing fine.

Lunch time.

17 April 2021

Peeking out.

17 April 2021

NC0 laid her third egg on the Loch of the Lowes Osprey Nest this morning. Congratulations Laddie and Blue NC0!

17 April 2021. Now it is three.

What an amazing view – and a beautiful calm day for egg 3. Laddie you are going to be very busy!

17 April 2021

Also bringing hope is the arrival of an Osprey at Balgavies Loch. The resident male for the past two years, KR3, just returned. This is going to cause a disturbance on the nest as a new male, Blue YD, has already taken up with the female. The Balgavies nest was Blue YD’s natal nest and there are many hoping that he can retain control. But, this also means, that there is still hope for Aila to arrive at Loch Arkaig. Louis is still waiting.

Thank you for joining me for a hop, skip, and a jump around Bird World. I live in hope that Tiny Tot will get fed today. If he does, I will do a very short posting. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union Osprey Cam, UC Berkeley Falcon Cam, NE Florida and AEF Bald Eagle Cam, KNF Bald Eagle Cam, Pittsburg Hayes Bald Eagle Cam, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cornell Bird Lab Savannah Ospreys.

World Osprey Week Days 2 and 3

Oh, the postman delivered a copy of The Rutland Water Ospreys by Tim Mackrill. If you are really into Ospreys – their history and the reestablishment of them in the United Kingdom, I suggest you either order your own copy or ask your library to purchase one. It is an excellent history with beautiful images. There are photos of all the Ospreys and their genealogy, lovely drawings of the birds, a chronological history of the reintroduction of Osprey into the United Kingdom as well as a look at the people involved and the migration to Africa. It will keep you busy for several full days!

The history of the Osprey as a species is very long. Did you know that there are fossils showing that Osprey lived 10-15 million years ago? Storied in Natural History museums and in research facilities, there are a few claws of Osprey from the Eocene epoch which was 50 million years ago. Further evidence such as wing bones have been found and dated to the mid-Miocene epoch or 13 million years ago. Those were found in California and Florida in 1976 Stuart A. Warter. Warter was highly skeptical of the remains attributed to the Eocene era. Eggs of Osprey were found in Austria and the back limb ones in Florida from the late-Miocene era. All of that suggests that Ospreys were present in the southern US and in Europe from 10-15 million years ago. More fossils were found in Western Europe, North and Central America during the last 2 million years. Ospreys were found in the period from 9000-5000 BP in the Balkans as well as the rest of Central Europe, including Switzerland. All of a sudden no remains are found for nearly 4000 years. The Osprey show up again in the Baltic, in northeast Germany. Because of hunting, egg collection, and taxidermy and then the use of DDT, they reach near extinction again. This information has been taken from the article, ‘Archaeozoological records and distribution history of the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in Central Europe’ in The Journal of Ornithology, vol. 10, no. 1, 2006. I am also reminded that the Roman writer, Pliny, mentions that the Osprey parents have their chicks fly to the sun as a test and that Shakespeare mentioned Ospreys in his 1609 play, Coriolanus. Osprey specialists in Britain believe that he must have seen the live birds. In China, Ospreys are symbols of fidelity.

World Osprey Week is to celebrate the rebuilding of the Osprey in the United Kingdom and what better way, on this the third day of World Osprey Week to check in on the monitored nests to see who has returned. To the time of my writing this on 24 March at 2:45 pm CDT, only four Osprey have returned to the United Kingdom so far.

Laddie (unringed) or LM12 arrived at 5pm on 21 March. This will be his tenth season at the Loch of the Lowes and Laddie wasted no time in fixing up his nest and hoping that his young mate of last year, Blue NCO will return. In the image below he has come to the nest with a morning fish hoping that his mate might have arrived. He has spent the last two days doing nestorations. Look at how clean and nice that nest is! Laddie we sure hope that a wonderful young lady comes to you.

Laddie on the nest at Loch of the Lowes 24 March 2021.

Maya and Blue 33 (11) came in on March 19 within minutes of one another. Blue 33 (11) arrived at 12:29pm and Maya came in at 12:56. They got down to business renewing their bonds at 1pm and then began nestorations. Today they have had to fend off some intruders. They are at Rutland MB.

Maya and Blue 33 working on nest and defending it against an intruder. 24 March 2021

The very first osprey to arrive on a monitored nest was back on the 19th of March and that was a female at Rutlands, Blue 25 (10).

Blue 25 (10) checking in on the Mantou Nest at Rutlands. 19 March 2021.

Black 80 is said to have arrived back at Threave Castle on 23 March. No doubt waiting for its mate unringed Mrs O. However, friends of Threave Osprey have been near to the nest and have not seen an Osprey.

Had a visitor to Loch Arkaig but not the one everyone was counting on! 

If you would like to keep track of the Ospreys coming and going, you can find the chart here:

http://ukospreys.uk/arrivals.htm

That link also gives you the history, the genealogy, and more information that you could ever hope to find on one site. It is excellent. And so we wait and mourn the two Osprey migrating back from Africa that were shot on purpose over the island of Malta. What a sad sad event and one that happens to often over this small Mediterranean Island. One of the stories can be found here:

Protected Ospreys shot down by hunters in Gozo and Malta

Moving back to the United States. Oh, that Osprey male, Jack, at the Dahlgren Nest is such a hoot! His nest is simply full of all manner of things. And it is raining! Poor Harriet. Their first egg arrived at 4:33 on 23 March.

And I am honestly not sure why many male Osprey are called Jack but a check on the Achieva Osprey nest reveals that yesterday, Diane came in with a gigantic catfish and fed the trio for several hours. That feeding seems to have turned the tide in that nest for now. Jack came in with a fish at bedtime and all three went to sleep with large crops. This morning Jack brought in two fish. Peace reigns and little Tiny Tot has been well fed for 2 days. I am hoping that this will blast away any food insecurities that the two oldest have and that Jack and Diane will both bring in lots of fish.

In the image below Tiny Tot is still eating. The two older sibs are in a food coma. So all is good. Let’s hope that large fish come in regularly now and the weather stabilizes for them. It would be fantastic for this nest to fledge three again this year!

Thank you for joining me today. By the end of the week there should be some more osprey arriving in the United Kingdom – news for celebration as World Osprey Week continues. Have a great day.

Thank you to Achieva Osprey, Scottish Wildlife Trust, and Rutland for their streaming cams where I got my scaps.

World Osprey Week Begins

World Osprey Week is from 22-26 and it celebrates the arrival of the Ospreys from their winter migration in Africa back to the United Kingdom in spring. For the second year, the pandemic has caused previous large celebrations to be much scaled down. Still, it does not damper the enthusiasm of Osprey lovers throughout Wales, England, and Scotland as they welcome home these beautiful yellow eyed sea hawks.

There is even an app and a website where you can go for sightings and confirmed arrivals on nests. This is very impressive.

And there are educational programmes and YouTube videos all week. Here is Day 1:

There are also free digital educational packets which you can order on line. Simply go to this URL and sign up: www.lrwt.org.uk/wow

Now let’s check and see which of the Ospreys at monitored nests have arrived so far.

The very first Osprey to arrive was Blue 25 (10), a female. She is back on one of the Rutland’s nests. Blue 25 (10) was born in Rutland in 2010 – hence, the (10) in brackets behind the tag colour and number.

The stars of the Mantou Nest are Maya and Blue 33 (11). They arrived within thirty-minutes of one another. Great planning! Blue 33 (11) flew in at 12:29 followed by Maya at 12:56. These two have been together and raising chicks since 2015. And they wasted no time in getting reacquainted. The streaming cam caught them mating at 1pm! After fighting over a fish that Maya caught, Blue 33 decided some nestorations were in order.

After bonding it was time to eat and you can see that everyone wants the fish that Maya caught! Too funny.

All is calm again and it is time to start getting the nest in order. Don’t you think Blue 33 (11) is handsome?

Blue 33 (11) looking up at the camera.

And both arrived back on the nest right before dawn on the 22nd of March to start things off:

Laddie (LM12) arrived home at 5pm, 21 March, at the Loch of the Lowes Reserve nest. He is the resident male at this nest. There is a new female as of last March tagged NCO. She was ringed as a chick at Loch Ness in 2016. His former mate was LF15. She went missing on the 7 August 2018.

Lock Arkaig is awaiting the arrival of Louis and Alia.

The nest at Glaswyn is awaiting for the arrival of Mrs G (the oldest Osprey in Wales) and Aran.

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust is waiting for arrivals to their Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest . 2021 will be the eighth year running – should the mated pair arrive – that Osprey chicks have been born on this nest. The couple are Blue 35 (female) and White YW (male). This mated couple have fledged sixteen chicks between 2014-2020. At least one of their fledglings, Blue 5N, of 2018 has been spotted in The Gambia in 2019.

So everyone is waiting! Some people are trying to keep six screens open at one time in case someone arrives today. Enjoy the beginning of World Osprey Week! Find a nest and enjoy all the fun of the arrivals.

And before I close this off. Just a note. The Achieva Osprey nest fooled me again. All three had full crops this morning at 9:33 CDT. Wow. So happy. Let’s hope Jack continues to bring in very large fish. It helps.

Thank you to Achieva Credit Union, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Friends of Loch Arkaig FB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Scottish Wildlife Trust for their streaming cams where I got my scaps.

The Lady of Loch Lowes

“Loch lowes” by fuzzytnth3 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Loch of the Lowes is a loch near Dunkeld in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The Osprey nests are part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust along with the forested area. There are hides and there is a shop.

The loch has been a perfect place for Ospreys to nest for over fifty years. There is a large number of mature trees for nests and many sources of fish. Some of the tree nests have artificial platforms attached at the top. It is relatively predator free and the many hours of sunshine allow the Ospreys a longer time for fishing. It is idyllic for the Osprey – or was. Besides other birds of prey, other predators of the Osprey are humans – those who simply want to disturb the Osprey, the continuing problem of the egg collectors. and helicopters.

“Osprey Nest Loch of Lowes” by martinrstone is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By 1916, the Ospreys were ‘extinct’ in Scotland. By 1954, there were four Osprey nests. In 1969 the area was designated as a site of special scientific interest and was purchased by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. That year Ospreys arrived late in the season, too late for breeding but they returned making the Loch Lowe nest only the fifth in Scotland at the time.

The most remarkable of the Ospreys at Loch Lowes is ‘The Lady of the Loch’ who arrived in 1990. Lady is the oldest breeding Osprey in the United Kingdom. In twenty-four years of breeding, Lady had four mates with whom she laid seventy-one eggs. She fledged fifty chicks! In 2005, Lady laid a clutch of four eggs – and she would go on before she became infertile to do that one more time in 2013. Incredible. I cannot even imagine trying to feed four Osplets!

Lady shows LM12 the fourth egg and lets him incubate while she takes a break.

Here is a video of Lady laying that fourth egg in 2013:

In 2010, Lady laid eggs for a record breaking twentieth time only to fall gravely ill. You have to realize that the average life expectancy of an Osprey is eight years and Lady is laying eggs for a twentieth time!!!!!!!!! The wildlife managers did not think she would live. Her new mate that year, ,her third, tagged Green 7Y, noticed that Lady was very sick and possibly dying. (Green 7Y was born in 2000 just twelve miles from Loch Lowe). He stepped up and did the fishing for her and the Osplets as well as the security. At one point, Lady quit eating. She was believed to be only hours away from dying when she watched her chicks fledge that year. Wildlife managers did not believe that Lady could undertake her migration to West Africa but she did and she returned in 2011 to lay eggs again with Green 7Y. Those eggs were not fertile. Sadly, Green 7Y did not return from his migration in 2012.

In 2012, Lady took her last and fourth mate, LM12 (unbanded but thought to be young). The pair remained together for three breeding seasons during which time their chicks were tagged with satellite transmitters. One, Blue 44, disappeared during migration in France and Spain while a 2013 female, Blue YZ, disappeared in Guinea Bisseau. Her body along with her tag were recovered in 2014. 2014 was the last year that Lady laid eggs with LM12. They were not fertile. Lady was thought to be at least twenty-eight years old (not banded and that would be the minimum age). She did not return to the nest for breeding and Roy Dennis says that he would like to imagine her in retirement sunning herself in Spain!

LM12 kept the nest with a new mate from 2015-2020. LM12’s current mate is a young female Blue Darvic tag NCO. She hatched at Loch Ness in 2016 and 2020 was believed to be her first breeding year. That spring a visitor to the loch broke the pandemic curfew riding in a kayak close enough for the nest’s microphone to pick up a cough. They so disturbed the Osprey for more than two hours that they did not return to the nest to lay their eggs. The nest had been in use constantly since 1991 – this was the first year that it was abandoned. We wait in 2021 to see if the mated pair will return.

It should be noted that the reserve area is always closed to the public, pandemic or not, during the breeding season. This was a major intrusion and sadly, it could have consequences for several years.

Vacant nest at Loch Lowes, end of April 2020. @Scottish Wildlife Trust

Here is a link to the live streaming camera at the Loch. Let us all hope that the person did not put the Ospreys off of this nest for good.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has revised the estimate for the juveniles who migrated to Africa to return. From their experience they say that it is anywhere from 3-5 years. Perhaps there will be some sightings this year!

World Osprey Week is getting closer. It is the 22-26 of March, only nine days a way and counting. Thanks for joining me. I hope you liked the story of that remarkable female and her aerie. Just imagine all those Osplets! I hope that some of Lady’s DNA survives. I must check. Several years ago consideration was being given to some type of memorial for Lady. Will keep you posted if I find it.