Outpourings of love for Malin

It is difficult to suppress the tears because of the enormous outpouring over the death of Malin. A reader from Japan wrote, “It is raining in Collins Marsh, but in Japan it is called “rain of tears” and is considered to be rain that falls in times of sorrow. I hope from Japan that the nest environment will improve. I sincerely pray for the repose of Malin ‘s soul.”

Someone else wrote: “I grieve for Malin. I was watching the live cam and turned to do something for a minute and when I returned my gaze, he was gone! I had to scroll back to see what happened because I just saw mom on the nest looking agitated. 

Malin was on his way to being a beautiful osprey and needed extra time because he was underdeveloped. I am so sad. Thank you for your post.
Malin’s soul has journeyed to “just this side of Heaven…a place called Rainbow Bridge. Whenever a bird dies,that bird goes to the Rainbow Bridge…at the Rainbow Bridge there are meadows and hills and beautiful trees of all kinds where our special friends can fly…play…and singing together. There is plenty of good food…There is crystal clear water in brooks and springs are filled with water….Those who were hurt or maimed or ignored…are made whole and strong and free of fear again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by.”

So soar high, beautiful Malin. No worries now because you will always have a fresh supply of fish to fill his crop.”

Another writes, “his little bird that sat in the nest, day after day, mostly alone, unprotected for the most part from blistering sun or rain just captured our hearts for his bravery and persistence. I now accept the sad fact that he is gone……..but not forgotten. I hope there are answers forthcoming to address your questions, and mine.”

Still another that I know loves Malin deeply and who was involved in his naming writes, “This is very sad about Malin. We all loved Malin. May He Rest In Peace. Thanks for the beautiful photo of Malin on the nest and all the info.May God Bless all birds and animals who need help and May they always be in the right place to get that help.”

Those comments appear in the comment section of my blog. E-mails have filled by inbox. I am so grateful for your outpouring of love for Malin. A good friend of our birds writing from Latvin, says that she learned to love Malin so much through the stories of his day to day struggles. She is saddened and upset that he has been taken away because of some bureaucratic mixup. I certainly think we all feel that way. So many have written to say just how sad they are at Malin’s passing and how much joy he brought to them. Of the ones I have also read you have talked about the nest environment of Malin. I appreciate that. As you know I have had continual concerns over access to the nest in case of an emergency. There is no perch for the parent. Sadly, Marsha found a tiny twig she could use one day. I was informed that no one wants to take the nest down and disturb all of the work of the birds but, in fact, the Snowy Owls in the winter have done much to rid the nest of its twigs, etc. This nest needs attention at all levels. You are all so right.

I know that there was surprise at Collins Marsh that so many people knew about Malin and cared for him. The love for Malin have joined people from around the world. Today we grieve and remember. Tomorrow we work so that all non-humans are respected and cared for – so that our planet can get its balance back. We do it in memory of our little Malin. Here is a short video of a fish delivery for Malin:

Malin with one of the tiny fish deliveries.

I will not be able to answer each and everyone of the e-mails in my inbox today but I am grateful to the outpourings of love for Malin and I will answer each and every one as soon as I can. Thank you!

QUICK UPDATE IN OTHER NEWS: All of the storklings have fledged from the nests of Grafs and Jan. Karl II has joined his 3 on migration. There is concern over one of the fledglings. I will discuss this tonight. The second egg has been laid at Collins Marsh. The dominant behaviour has stopped again at the WBSE nest. It looks as if the osprey chick at the Minnesota Landscape nest has fledged but I cannot confirm the date or time currently. It did not spend the night on the nest and because of Malin I have no watched as carefully as I might normally. Details on all of these later today.

Credit for feature image is: “Rainbow and the rain” by Ryan Ojibway is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

For Malin

I want to thank everyone who took the time to either comment, send me a personal e-mail, or both about Malin. It is clear that this sweet little soul was loved by so many.

When I wrote my last newsletter I felt a little like a detective in a TV crime show not wanting to compromise an ongoing investigation. I do not wish to cause any issues to those who are working on the ground to get some justice for Malin. In fact, I will not do that. But, there is a lingering bonafide question that needs to be answered:

Why did an employee of a nature centre deny a wildlife rehabber access to the tower on Thursday to look for Malin with their binoculars? Why did they make them wait for three full days to get permission?

The wildlife rehabber found the body of Malin near to the nest in 30 minutes from the top of the tower once they had access on the 21st. Feather comparisons, tail bands, etc. have been compared carefully and the Osprey juvenile found on Sunday is confirmed to be Malin. It is believed that Malin was still alive on Friday when Marsha was calling and looking down the edge of the nest of the tower.

This is a quote from Marc Bekoff, Professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado:

“When we make decisions that damage the environment or harm animals, it is rarely because of a lack of knowledge and concrete data. Rather, losses to biodiversity, inadequate animal protections, and other negative impacts are typically due to problems of human psychology and social and cultural factors. Science alone doesn’t hold the answers to the current crisis nor does it get people to feel compassion or to act differently”. Bekoff is keen to get people to imagine the world from the perspective of wild beings. I would like to do that for Malin and his parents. Bekoff always emphases the role of human values in protecting our wildlife. He says, “…coexistence has to do with our human hearts.”

So why did the staff of the Collins Marsh Centre deny an individual trained to save and rehabilitate animals access to the tower to look for Malin when time was of the essence? According to Bekoff, that answer lies in the heart of that individual.

As I learn of things I will let you know if they do not compromise ongoing local enquiries.

Collins Marsh is part of Caretakers of the Environment International, CEI, a global, independent organization for environmental education and protection.

Their website is here: https://caretakers4all.org/

There is a form to send concerns on that site if you wish to do so.

If you wish to bring the concern I have raised to the local board that oversees Collins Marsh, I suggest that you FB message the Treasurer, Marilyn Starzewski. I am unable to locate the other members of the Board. It is of no benefit to write the e-mail address on the website of the centre.

Also, in my posting yesterday there were two typos. Malin fledged on Thursday at 3:47pm the 19th of August. His parents called him and brought fish to the nest on the 20th. The wildlife rehabber was given access to the tower on the 21st. I apologize for any confusion. It was a very emotional day.

Thank you for being with me today and thank you for caring for Malin. Malin will become a symbol, I hope, of the need for wildlife to have strong advocates and for their rights to be enshrined in law and in our minds and hearts so that incidents such as this never happen again.

Malin’s Soul is Soaring

On Thursday, 19 August, 2021 the nestling Osprey, Malin, had a forced fledge.

Malin hatched either the 16th or the 18th of June. His parents were Collins and Marsha. The smallest chick died on 28 June and the larger of the two surviving died on 14 July. The body of that bird was not removed so the cause was never determined.

For the three weeks prior to Malin’s forced fledge, so much had improved on this nest. The heat of June had dissipated. The tiny fish that came to the nest were slightly larger. The deliveries became more frequent. They were so frequent that Malin often turned away from being fed he was so full. Malin began to grow. He stood and walked more and was flapping his wings. This is a video from 9 August of little Malin exercising:

Still Malin’s development was behind. His tail had just grown to reveal six dark bands on the day of the forced fledge. The earlier concern over his missing or delayed feathers was disappearing. There was great hope, because of the food deliveries, that Malin would fledge successfully. He just needed additional time and he would also require no less than a month on the nest to hone his skills while the parents provided him with food. Then an intruder enters the air space of the nest on top of the fire watch tower, 120 feet up, on 19 August in the late afternoon.

Some claim that this was a perfect first fledge. But Osprey experts who have worked for more than 50 years in the field say it is anything but. This was a forced fledge. In normal fledges, the bird goes a short distance. The bird returns to the nest. The fledgling will be lured back to the nest with food – just as Collins and Marsha tried with Malin. This is what is happening with Kindness, the Bald Eagle fledgling up in Glacier Gardens. The fledglings spend, on average, 36 days being fed on the nest while taking flights, getting its wings stronger. It is well known that if there is a forced fledge then the bird needs assistance. It will be on the ground. Time is of the essence!

This is Malin on 14 August. Oh what a beautiful bird.

It is with a very heavy heart that I confirm that our beautiful Malin died. The circumstances of Malin’s death are not clear but I believe that he was alive until the time when the parents quit going to the nest. Their last visit was in the afternoon of the 21st.

My concern is always the bird. When there is a forced fledge it is imperative that individuals in charge act immediately. An excellent example is when ‘Silo Chick’ fell off the Patuxent Osprey Nest #2. The park had closed but help was notified and they responded quickly. The chick was saved and back on the nest within 2 hours. That chick is alive today because two people who were off work for the weekend got their canoe and drove out to the park and found the chick. It really is that simple.

I want to thank each and every one of you for caring for this little Osprey. I have received so many notes from you telling me how much Malin meant to you. Malin will always be our strong little warrior.

Malin’s soul is soaring.

My screen shots and video clips were taken from the Collins Marsh Streaming Cam.

Iris and Louis defend nest

In my last post, Tiny Little Bob or Blue 463 from the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest was screaming at White YW (aka dad) for a fish. He could have flown to Wales and he would have still heard her.

What is that about the squeaky wheel always gets the oil first? Perhaps screaming daughters do, too. It is the last fish of the evening probably and Tiny Little is eating it. Blue 462, the other female on the nest, would like Tiny Little to share. Somehow I don’t think so ——- it was, after all, Blue 462 who was such a meanie to Tiny Little when she hatched. Birds have good memories.

These are the areas adjacent to Iris’s nest in Hellgate, Missoula, Montana. It is very beautiful. We always see the nest in the parking lot but just on the other side are trees, grass, and water.

Iris is the oldest living Osprey in the world. Her nest is at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. After her mate Stanley died, she bonded with Louis. They had one chick survive, Lele, in 2018. Louis has another nest at the baseball park with Starr. They fledged two chicks this summer. When Stanley died, Louis also took over the territory that includes the two nests. Every year Iris returns, goes through the rituals of breeding, lays her eggs, and everything falls apart. People get upset. They think very little of Louis. I am of a divided mind. Right now I prefer Iris taking care of herself, eating well, and bulking up for migration than running around with a nest full of juvenile fledglings. She has done her bit for the DNA of the species. But that is just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs, for sure. But the one solid thing that binds all of us together is our love for this most amazing of Ospreys.

Iris tends to spend more time at her nest before she leaves on migration. Last year she departed on 8 September. Everyone gets a little teary eyed right about now because there is no promise that Iris will return but, we live in hope that this strongest of female Ospreys graces the screens next spring. Along with that hope is that the rains come and there is plenty of food for all.

There have been a number of intruders, both male and female, this summer. Do they want to usurp Louis? take Iris for a mate? Certainly when Dunrovin’s Congo came on the scene everyone was hopeful! or are they just curious and checking out what nests are available? Perhaps all of those things. Today, Louis flew to the nest alarming and Iris flew in and joined him – showing off her big crop!

Erick Greene and his team in Montana are considering many ways in which to commemorate Iris. Stay tuned or check out the Montana Osprey FB page. If you wanted to order an Iris pen and forgot, if you will send me a note I will send you the details. They are gorgeous and made from those sticks she brought to the nest.

In the image below, Rosie, the female adult on the San Francisco Bay Osprey cam at the Richmond Yards, is bringing Poppy, one of two female hatches, a beautiful trout. Poppy is 110 days old today.

The average age for Richmond and Rosie’s female chicks to stop feeding at the nest is 105 days. The longest a female stayed was in 2018 and that was Kiskasit who was 124 days old. Lupine was last seen on Monday. She was 103 days old. Sage, the only male, was last seen on 28 July at the age of 86 days. The average for the males to stop feeding on this nest is 93 days so Sage left a little early. There is no reason to believe that Sage and Lupine have begun any type of migration. Richmond stays in the SF Bay area year round. Mom Rosie will migrate and the female adults normally leave before the fledglings. And whose to say they will migrate! If there is plenty of food and the weather is fine – well, it certainly agrees with Richmond – may be they will stay!

And, of course, just thinking about fledglings returning to the nest to be fed until they are 90-100 days old just makes me think about Malin. Susan, the wildlife rehabber that is over the area where Collins Marsh is located, was to get in touch me later today. She wrote me a long note yesterday and she is also firm in her knowledge that Malin was a forced fledge. As we have learned, normal fledges do not require our attention. The chicks return to the nest, take short flights, and are fed by the parents. Malin was not ready despite his age. He had suffered a lack of food. His forced fledge meant that he was in jeopardy and boots on the ground were needed immediately. This did not happen. As noted earlier, she found two chicks – one dead, one alive. I am hoping that ‘no news is good news’.

Suzanne Arnold Horning was on the Cornell Campus and she found the two Ks. No sightings of Big Red and Arthur but, guess what? Getting to see K1 and K3 on the 22nd of August is a bonus. Here they are hunting. That is K1 on the top. She looks so much like Big Red and has turned out to be such a fantastic hunter. Suzanne said they were not food calling – just being quiet and hunting. These two seem so much more independent this year.

Ah, the little cutie, K3 looking down and hoping to find a chippie.

What a nice treat to get to see the Ks. And, of course, theirs could be a migration dilemma. Big Red and Arthur stay in the area year round. Perhaps with the changes in weather so will the Ks. If someone could put the average date that birds leave for migration this year against last and create a global directory (surely someone does this already), tracking of changes related to climate could be measured. We have seen Poppy stay longer as are many others and now perhaps the Ks.

Thank you for joining me today. I will let you know as soon as I hear about Malin – it is heartwarming to hear from so many around the world who came to love that little nestling. If you are in line with any of the storms hitting the coast of the US, going over Hawaii, or elsewhere, take care of yourselves. Stay safe.

UPDATE: Aug 23 at 17:35:35 No2 (7182) fledged at the Estonian nest of Jan and Janika. Slept as an adult off nest.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and video clips: Montana Osprey Project, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon. I would also like to thank Suzanne Arnold Horning who allows me to download her images to share with you.

When is a fledge a normal fledge? or a forced one? Can you tell the difference?

What is the difference between a fledge? a normal run of the mill fledge? and a ‘Forced Fledge’? And how do we as individuals react to one or the other?

So first off, let’s begin with Kindness, the Bald Eagle juvenile who branched a couple of days ago. Kindness flew off the nest this morning at 10:01 am.

No one was there, Kindness flew off on her own. She was 86 days old setting a new record for the nest.

Here is the video, enjoy:

Later, Mama Liberty lured Kindness back to the nest with food! It was 12:30 pm. That is the way it is normally done. It is the same with Ospreys as it is with Bald Eagles and other raptors.

I wanted to get the opinion of an expert on Ospreys about Malin’s fledge. There has been a lot of disagreement over whether or not Malin just flew off normally like Kindness or if his flight was a ‘Forced Fledge’. So I went to a UK expert – someone that I trust that has decades of experience. I sent them the long footage of Mom alerting and then Malin flying off.

The longer version has the adult alerting for about ten minutes longer. This is the shorter version and you can still see mom, Marsha, alerting but imagine it ten minutes longer.

The expert asked me what the question was and I answered: Does it appear that the nestling fledged normally? or was it frightened by an intruder and flew?

The following questions and answers were exchanged:

  • Expert: Was that its first fledge? Answer: Yes
  • Expert: How long did it stay away? Answer: It Never Returned. Gone 2 days.
  • Answer from expert: Forced Fledge
  • Expert: Anyone looking for it? Answer: Person in charge said it was normal and Ospreys do not return to their nest after fledging.

The expert said that the average number of days that an Osprey fledgling spends on the nest after fledging is 36.

Here are two examples. The first is a normal fledge. The second is a forced fledged (different from Malin’s but close enough) but, the chicks returned to the nest.

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-evans/2013/08/25/clarach-and-cerist-fledge

https://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog/emyr-evans/2015/07/21/three-fledge-one-morning

It is important to know the difference so that you are educated on what is and is not a normal fledge. As someone watching streaming cams then you will understand and respond appropriately. You will not be upset when it is a normal fledge and the bird returns and does more flying continuing to return and be fed by the parents. But you will also recognize an emergency, like Malin. In that instance, the minute he was forced off the nest there should have been a search party spread out on the property. They would need one expert to deal with Malin if found but ordinary people who care for birds could have spread out and looked in every direction from the nest for up to 300 metres. Do not get me wrong. People did look but it was at least 2 to 2.5 hours after the fact and it was getting dark. As I understand it, no one looked Friday. One person, a wildlife rehabber, returned to search today.

The reason that it is important to look immediately when it is an accidental or forced fledge like Malin’s is that the birds are vulnerable to predators. They will normally land on the ground. Additionally, they could require immediate veterinary assistance. This is the other reason that there should always be an emergency number easily found on a streaming cam or wildlife centre that will be answered! I am talking about a 24/7 emergency number. Alternatively, a moderator on a chat with a list of emergency helpers works fine as well. But you need to reach the boots that can get on the ground!

So educate yourself so you know what is what in the world of fledging. It could save the life of a precious bird.

Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations to Liberty and Freedom for the successful fledgling of Kindness and to all the folks at Glacier Gardens. Thank you for the boots on the ground looking for Malin. I have been told two chicks were found – one dead and one alive. I will let you know as soon as I hear the identification.

Thank you to the Glacier Gardens Park and the Collins Marsh Nature Centre for their streaming cam where I take my screen shots and videos.

Sadly, no word about Malin

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

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

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

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

Collins is looking down like he might be seeing Malin.

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

19 August 2021. Malin, Marsha, and Collins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awww. What a sweet face.

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

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

The pantaloons are growing too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is better than a Peregrine Falcon Kiss?

Lots of people keep track of hurricanes and tropical storms. Most watch because they or their loved ones, or both, live in the line of the storm. Bird watchers also track weather systems. There are currently two systems that might impact our beloved Big Red and family as well as the birds that are migrating over Hawk Mountain, PA.

Henri is going to give some heavy rain and wind. Ithaca is west of the darkest green band but could get some rain.

Tropical Disturbance Fred will also give some heavy rain in the same area. There were flash flood warnings for Ithaca last night. It is 1:03 am Thursday morning in Ithaca and there are rain drops dripping off the metal supports of the light stand that Big Red and Arthur’s nest is on. The rain does not look heavy at the moment. There is also a peculiar corn plant growing out of the centre of the nest!

Heavy rain will impact the hawks ability to hunt. They would have felt the pressure system coming and hopefully caught more food yesterday.

This isn’t the beginning of the season. Hurricane season runs until 30 November.

Baby Kindness (I wonder if she would mind if I call her that?) is not worried about hurricanes. Today, she is 83 days old. Kindness branched yesterday and all she has on her mind is ___________________. If you said flying you are 100% correct. She has really been putting on a show for the people watching the live stream today.

Oh, she really gets some nice air under those wings going back and forth from the branch to the nest.

Wow. Look at those wings. Magnificent.

Kindness has spent a lot of time considering what is below that branch she is sitting on. Sometimes she gets the branch to bouncing a bit and that seems to unnerve her slightly and she flies back to the nest.

For several days, I have been talking about the migration of Ospreys in Wisconsin, like Malin, or those living in the United Kingdom or in Northeastern Europe. The Bald Eagles in Alaska do not migrate south of Alaska unless there is no food. In 1972, the State Legislature established a long stretch of the In Chilkat River as critical bald eagle habitat. The goal was to protect the birds, some 4000 of them, that move from the interior to the Chilikat River Valley where they feed on the Chum Salmon run during the late fall and winter. The juveniles normally eat spawned and dead salmon or the carcasses left behind by bears.

The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is located in the Tongass National Forest just fifteen minutes away from Juneau. This is where Liberty and Freedom have their nest and where Kindness will fledge. There are meadows, forests, and glaciers. What a spectacular place to be a Bald Eagle!

“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
“Tongass National Forest” by markcbrennan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the features of the park is the Mendenhall Glacier.

“Mendenhall Glacier – Tongass National Forest” by jcsullivan24 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Liberty, Freedom, and Kindness are not far from the Chilikat River Valley and the Alaska Chilikat Bald Eagle Reserve.

In the spring, many of the Bald Eagles will head to areas rich with Herring and Eulachon. These include the Stikine River, Copper River Delta, Silka Sound and Kenai Bend. You can see some of those on the map below. The Copper River flows from Prince William Sound while Silka Sound is closer to Juneau on the far right bottom.

Kindness is fortunate to live in such a beautiful state with what we all hope are abundant resources for her and all the wildlife forever.

There are so many worries in the world. The birds bring so much joy to each of us filled with nail-biting anxiety and that bittersweet moment when our friends fledge to begin their lives off the nest.

Malin is beginning to feel the wind beneath his wings. For so long I did not believe that Malin’s feathers would develop and he would fly – but here he is preparing just for that. Joy.

Like other birds, Malin is doing much more wing strengthening flapping as fledge approaches. The energy from the fish he is eating gives rise to lots of exercising after a feed.

For tonight though, Malin is sleeping like a duckling dreaming of fish.

While Kindness and Malin are dreaming of fish and flying, Xavier and Diamond are constantly pair bonding while preparing for their 2021 eggs and hatches. After doing their courtship dance in the scrape box today, they sealed the deal with a kiss – peregrine falcon style.

Can you think of a better way to end this newsletter? I can’t!

Want to catch the adventures of Xavier and Diamond, here is the link:

Well, what could be better than a Peregrine Falcon kiss? Three Black storklings eating the fish that Urmas brought them. That is actually cause for a big celebration!

When the storklings woke up at dawn and found the fish gift from Urmas, they began to eat.

The feeding of the storklings is a success! Congratulations.

Thank you for joining me this morning. Have a wonderful Thursday. Take care all.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Cilla Kinross and the Falconcam Project Charles Sturt University, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure, Google Maps, Cornell Bird Labs Red Tail Hawk Streaming Cam, and the National Hurricane Centre.

Things are happening in Bird World

Oh, just look who showed up on the NorthEast Florida Eagle’s nest in Jacksonville today – none other than the resident male, Samson! It was 7:23. So very nice to see you, Samson.

Samson is the son of Romeo and Juliet. Samson hatched on this very nest on 23 December 2013. Samson fledged and left the area on 22 April 2014. He was 120 days old.

At the end of the summer in 2019, in August, Samson arrived at the very nest he hatched from and began bringing in sticks. His mate, Gabrielle arrived on the nest on 12 September. In May of 2020, their two chicks, Jules and Romey, named after Samson’s parents, Romeo and Juliett, fledged. In 2021, they fledged their only hatch, Legacy.

The picture below is of Mama Gabby and baby Legacy in February 2021.

Samson has been seen at the nest earlier this month when the technicians came to do the maintenance on the streaming cam. Samson remains in the area of the nest year round while Gabby migrates to a cooler place – although, as I have often said, I don’t know where that would be this year! She will return about the middle of third week in September. It will be wonderful to see her back. Can’t wait.

Samson may be working on a nest but the Peregrine Falcon couple, Diamond and Xavier, are expecting eggs in the nest week or a week and a little bit. Their scrape box is high on a water tower, 170 steps up, on the campus of Charles Sturt University in Orange Australia.

This is Diamond on the ledge of the scrape box today.

Diamond and Xavier’s 2021 fledgling, Izzi, was the joy of everyone. As the only little falcon he was loved and spoiled by his parents. There was some concern he would not leave the scrape box before this year’s eggs are laid. This is the latest message from Cilla Kinross, the head researcher on the Falconcam Project:

“Izzi has not been in the box now for 12 days, but we think he is still around from calls. Parental behaviour continues as normal, with up to three prey a day being delivered to Diamond and preparation of the scrape. Eggs are expected soon (within a week or two). Generally, Diamond starts to spend more and more time in the scrape and her backside looks large and fluffy.”

You can watch Diamond and Xavier here:

Peregrine falcons are nothing short of amazing. Bald Eagles are big but Peregrine falcons are fast.

“Peregrine Falcon” by Jon David Nelson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The cere is the yellow part above the beak. Now look at the nostrils in the cere. There are small keratinous tubercules – they look like small little bumps inside the nostril. Can you see the one on the right nostril of the falcon above? Those are what help the Peregrine Falcon fly so fast. They serve as a baffle against the wind driven in so forcefully into the lungs of the falcon as they do their high speed dives. Otherwise, their lungs would burst.

“Faucon pèlerin / Peregrine Falcon / Falco peregrinus” by FRITSCHI PHOTOGRAPHY is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Most Peregrine Falcons that you will see on a streaming cam lay their eggs in a scrape box like the one of Diamond’s, above. Some make their nests on the side of cliffs like this one in Japan on the island of Hokkaido.

“Peregrine Falcon Nest” by Ken-ichi is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Peregrine Falcons do not make their nest out of twigs. It is believed that this helps to stop the spread of disease from twig nests pests like flies and parasites.

Here is a short 8 minute video to introduce you to the speed and hunting methods of the Peregrine Falcon:

It’s a great day for Malin! We do not know Malin’s exact hatch date. There were three chicks and the youngest hatched on 18 June. Two chicks perished in the heat. So Malin is either celebrating his two month hatch today or his two month hatch and a couple of days, more or less. His first delivery came around 9am and the second was at around 10:14. Malin is really growing.

Here is Malin next to mum, Marsha, this morning. You can see that Malin’s feathers are growing in nicely. Look at the crossing of those wing feathers. Yippeeeeeee. This chick has really grown with the increase in feedings.

And look at all of the bands on those tail feathers – looks like a clean 7 – while, at the same time, there are no spaces in the wing feathers.

Oh, Malin, aren’t you beautiful?

Malin has gotten very good at self-feeding.

Malin is off to a great start on Wednesday. Terrific.

It is raining heavy in Latvia at the nest of Grafs and Grafiene. There are some concerns on the amount of energy used to keep warm by the nestlings.

This is the nearby ditch. It is 200 m long. A portion of the ditch has been closed off and fish have been placed in there along with the decoy of Grafiene. The decoy of Grafiene was painted by an active chat participant and installed by Janis Kuze, the ornithologist.

I hope you don’t mind if I correct just minor details. The beautiful decoy was painted by the active chat participant B.K. and installed by the ornithologist Jānis Ķuze.

These are the size of fish being put into the feeder for Grafs. So much effort. Now we need Grafs to find this spot for his three storklings. It is a very, very difficult time for everyone especially with the rain. If you would like to check on the Latvian Forum for progress, please go to this link:

The situation of the Black Storklings in the nest in Jegova County, Estonia appears to be better than in Latvia. Jan has come to the nest to feed the storklings 3 times today. The storklings have not almost completely depleted the fish that was brought on the 13th when they received their transmitters and bands. They appear to be healthy and doing well. It is not raining on this nest today.

The three storklings are 63 and 64 days old today. The average for fledging appears to be 71 days but then the young storklings are dependent on their parents for another two to three weeks before leaving the nest area. That only puts us at the end of the first week of September for these three to be totally independent of Jan — but, of course, those numbers are only averages. It appears there is time! We all must hope for these birds. They are very rare and very special and there has not been a lot of studies done on them.

The Forum with ongoing information on the Estonian Black Stork nest is here:

Karl II has been in to feed the one fledgling on the Black Stork Nest in the Karula National Park in Estonia. Oh, that fledgling was so happy. That was at 18:33. It is Urmas, the only chick still being fed by a parent. Kaia has left for her migration and the other two siblings appear to have left the nest area and might be travelling as well.

I know that there is much sadness and anxiety in the region for the two Black Stork nests that had late hatches. But, we must also celebrate the happiness of this nest in Estonia, that of Karl II and Kaia. Three fledglings, all healthy! We need to send the most positive wishes for Kaia and the other two siblings as they make their way through Europe trying to get to Africa. And, then, of course, for Karl II and this storklet when they begin.

I have tried to catch the number to confirm this storkling but it is nearly impossible.

The smudge is right in the way!

For those of you watching the North American migration, it kicked off Sunday, the 15th of August at Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania. The first over the ridge that day was a Broad-winged hawk. There was a strong wind that day and the count was 4 Bald Eagles, 2 Cooper’s Haws, 25 Broad-winged Hawks, and 3 American Kestrel. If you would like to check on the migration in North American on the route over the mountains with all their thermals, here is the place to go for a day to day check in:

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/hawk-count

It’s 17:16 in Cumbria in the UK and our second great Osprey chick survivor this year – Tiny Little Bob on the Foulshaw Moss nest – is waiting for dad, White YW, to bring her the teatime fish! Every day is a blessing to see you on the nest, Tiny Little (Blue 463).

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please send all your positive energy to our friends in Latvia and to Grafs for him to find the feeder and for the safe migration of all of the birds. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following streaming cams and forums where I grabbed my screen shots: The Forum for the Latvian Fund for Nature and the Sigulda Black Stork Nest, The Eagle Club of Estonia and the Black Stork Nest at Jergova County, The Eagle Club of Estonia and the Black Stork nest in the Karula National Park, Collins Marsh Nature Centre, Northeast Florida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and Cilla Kinross and the Falconcam Project at Charles Sturt University in Australia.

Kindness Branched

Kindness, the daughter of Liberty and Freedom, in the Glacier Gardens Bald Eagle nest branched at 9:39 am nest time in Juneau, Alaska.

Kindness spent quite a bit of time off the nest – playing with the nest and dismantling it a bit. She was rewarded with a really big fish by Mom on her return!

Kindness is 82 days old today. The average age for fledging at the Glacier Gardens nest is 89 days. It is an average of 80 days in Alaska.

Oh, Kindness really likes the feel of the air under her wings! GG4 left the nest 14 days after branching. GG5 left the nest 8 days after branching.

Kindness is GG6. Let us hope we have a little more time to spend with her. She is so sweet!

You can still catch a lot of action as Kindness works those wings. Here is the link to the streaming cam:

Oh, I love that picture on the streaming cam. Look how little Kindness was up against Mom Liberty!

It’s 4:42 nest time in Collins Marsh. The last time I peeked at Malin he was eating another fish delivery. That was at 2:16. There will most likely be another one before dusk. Gosh, Malin is growing. He has six clear bands on his tail and before long, he is going to be hovering around that nest.

Here are some cute Malin pictures to put a smile on your face.

Here is that 2:17 delivery.

Malin ate it all and laid down on the nest duckling style.

It’s been a great day for these two – Kindness and Malin. Congratulations to Kindness, Liberty, Freedom and all the folks at Glacier Gardens.

For those looking to get an Iris pen, I checked. Dr Greene has picked up another box of twigs that have been turned into pens. There are a few left. If you don’t remember how to order, send me a comment and I will give you the instructions Dr Greene left.

Thank you for joining me. We needed a good news story today and we have two of them. That is wonderful. I am hoping to wake up tomorrow and read that Grafs has found that gorgeous Grafiene 2 and is filling his kids with fish!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams: Glacier Gardens Park in Juneau, Alaska and Collins Marsh Nature Cam in Wisconsin.

A Cracker of a Day for Malin

Oh, it’s a cracker of a day! We know that the Sharp-shinned Hawk that comes to our garden is here often but since the extreme head we had not seen him. He flipped around on the lines bringing the Internet into the house and then in a blink was in the lilac bushes. He stayed there for about ten minutes and out he flew between the houses heading north. No chance for a photo but I tried! We feed approximately 300 urban birds a day – yes, you read that right. I never grieve over the single sparrow that Sharpie is sometimes able to catch. He has to eat, too.

Sharpie is an aberration according to Cornell Bird Labs. He should not be living on the Canadian Prairies in the winter but he does! He is a year round resident. It was his mate – in January 2017 – that changed my life. It is so good to see him.

Malin is such a sweetheart. He has the sweetest face. It has been a good day for Malin, too.

Last night, Malin slept on a piece of fish about the size of the one in front and to the right of him. There was also a small Bullhead on the nest last night. Malin woke up and ate the fish he was sleeping on. Mom arrived and shared the Bullhead with him. On top of those two, Malin had four other deliveries today. A total of 6 fish! His crop is about to pop. We have never seen this Osprey chick this full. I wonder if he will use this fish as a pillow? save it for breakfast? or finish it off a little later? He is one lucky little Osprey today.

Those pesky little sea eagles will have several good feeds today, too!

WBSE 27 is the one on the left and cutie pie WBSE 28 is on the right.

There is still a tiny bit of egg tooth left but it is disappearing quickly. If you look closely under that soft down are there little pin feathers growing?

WBSE 27 hatched on 29 July and WBSE 28 hatched on 31 July. Today, they are 17 and 15 days old. This is the end of week 2 going into week 3.

  • Week 2: The wee ones are covered all in white down. Their beak is starting to grow longer but the egg tooth (the white dot) is still visible.
  • Week 3: We should be seeing the bill and the eyes enlarged but still the white down. The chicks are now doubled in size from when they hatched. They are looking around and noticing things.
  • Week 4: Those pin feathers I wondered about are starting to show on the wings. You will see them begin to preen their feathers and they should be moving around the nest picking up sticks and leaves. They will also be resting on their tarsus assisted by their wings for balance. The tarsus is the part of the leg from the top of the foot to the knee.

Ah, so sweet when they are asleep and growing!

The day is yet to begin in Latvia and Estonia. We wish that those beautiful Black Storklings get lots of fish today.

Thank you so much for joining me for this quick update on Malin. We are so pleased that Malin has had lots of fish today. He is getting so big and no doubt the more he eats the stronger the little one will get for fledge. The featured image is our little cute Malin. Take care. See you soon.

Thanks to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre and Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia, and The Discovery Centre.