The Sweet and the Bittersweet

Ah, the sweet and the bittersweet. All of my friends from the Achieva Osprey Club who loved Tiny Tot or Tumbles as so many called her, will remember that she was the last fledgling to leave the nest. She was there for precisely four months – worrying us, causing us to lose sleep, cry, hope, cry again, bite our finger nails to the quick and watch the hurricane warnings with great anxiety. And then, of course, the miracle of it all, Tiny Tot became the most fierce and dominant bird to hatch on that nest this year. She will survive anything. No doubt. Tiny Tot stole my heart because of her ferocious desire to live. She had been starved – not being allowed to eat for several 72 hour long sessions by her two older siblings – and she tried every way to get around and get the food. Of those four months, she had no food for 12 full days, scattered more in the first half than the last. In the end, Tiny Tot ‘didn’t take anything from anyone’. She could handle an intruder as well as an adult – and she did, many times protecting the nest alone. Here she is a few days before she left the nest for good. She was gorgeous and she was the first miracle of 2021.

The second miracle I often talk about, too, is Tiny Little on the Foulshaw Moss Nest of White YW and Blue 35. Like Tiny Tot, Tiny Little is the only fledgling left on the nest in Cumbria. Everyone else but dad, White YW, has migrated. She has benefited, like Tiny Tot, from getting well fed, getting her flight skills in order, and not being in a hurry. She was enjoying a nice fish tonight for dinner (nest time). Will it be the last on the nest? Or will we get the pleasure of seeing her tomorrow? There are still plenty of Ospreys hanging on.

Polly Turner caught Tiny Little with her fish in this very short video!

The view this morning from the Glaslyn nest is Aran overlooking the valley. It reminded me of the paintings of the German Romantic painter, Casper David Friedrich. Aran’s healing from his late May-early June injury is something to smile about as well.

Idris and Dysynni were still at home on the Dyfi Nest. Idris brought in quite the catch for his boy, Blue 490. Telyn has not been seen since around noon on Saturday, 21 August.

That fish is just amazing. Idris you are so strong and just a great provider!

And what a beauty Blue 490 turned out to be. A lovely male.

So proud of his fish!

You can’t see them – sadly the camera at the Llyn Clywedog nest of Seren and Dylan and Only Bob, Blue 496. John Williams reports seeing Seren fishing and Only Bob later in the afternoon today, UK time. So they are still with us.

Maya was still at Rutland yelling as loud as she could for Blue 33 to get that breakfast fish on the nest! Ah, so happy to see you Maya. You deserve the time to get in great shape after the kids have headed off on their adventure.

I mention all of these because I really hope that Tiny Little is in no hurry to get on with her life. Selfish me. I want to enjoy her for a few more days.

In Latvia, everyone is elated. One of the storklings of Grafs has found the feeder!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a success.

No matter where you live, remember this, please. In the future when our birds are at risk with no food or water – an area can be designed for them with a decoy to lure them to the site.

So happy for our friends in Latvia. It has been a long worrisome year.

Discussed on the Latvian Forum today is also a theory that the male, Grafs, lured the storklings off the nest by flying close and then flying away. This was what was suggested by chatter Liz01, a long time watcher and forum poster, “After the first storklet leave the nest on August 23 and didn’t come back, someone landed on the left. He flew away and the Storklets followed his departure with their eyes .. they turned and looked towards the forest on the right. One of the two, the eldest, took courage and flew behind. I already saw it yesterday, but only the departure and wondered how it could be that he chose this route. Now I have the explanation. It could be it was flying with Grafs!”

That is a very interesting and astute theory. I have seen hawks take a small piece of prey to lure their fledglings from one hunting spot to another or Peregrine Falcons that tease the eyases with prey flying in front of them to get them to leave. It is certainly a very credible idea by Liz01. Here is the link to the page where you will find photographs and a short video of what she noticed.

The wind continues in Sydney, Australia. At this point I am not prepared to report on the White Bellied Sea Eagles nest. The amount of prey has dropped to the point that I fear that WBSE 28 will be killed by 27. I do hope that the situation turns around. I am still working on how best to deal with the situation that occurred with Malin in the hope that people will learn and help wildlife. In a few weeks, someone let me know how WBSE 28 fared. Thanks.

Last a very rare sighting of a White-tailed Eagle has occurred in King’s Lynn, UK. If you are an eagle fan, have a read. This is amazing news.

https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/rare-white-tailed-eagle-spotted-in-kings-lynn-8270552?fbclid=IwAR2wzMu2VsM9qykrr8KSXX86DC3MvUQZqzcCs00iNhJ7kTeIMFzxdBZMUfc

In Manitoba, we are celebrating the work of our great vets, the rehabbers, and the visiting vets at Wildlife Haven. We also have the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. I will tell you more about that in a couple of days. For now, our grand dame, Princess is 19 years old. She hatched in Minneapolis in 2002 and was translocated to Winnipeg that same year. Two years later she meets up with her first mate. She has had 4! In 15 years, she laid 54 eggs, hatched 46 chicks with 37 fledges. More about her later this week and her rescue. Everyone is happy.

Take care everyone. I am hoping to let you know that Tiny Little is still with us and has not started her migration. Just a few more days, please, Tiny Little. And where are Karl II and family? Updated reports tomorrow. Stay safe. Be kind to one another. Protect our wildlife.

I am grateful to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, The Latvian Fund for Nature and the Latvian Fund for Nature Forum, the Dyfi Osprey Project, LRWT and the Manton Bay Osprey Nest, the Achieva Osprey Nest, and the Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

The Migratory Bird Acts – do they really protect the birds?

It has been a little over a week since the furor erupted at a local park in our City when a public utility company was clear cutting trees near a Cooper Hawks Nest. The outpouring of anger by residents and concerned citizens paused the clear cutting until fall when there would be no active nests. A victory for the birds!

Several of us were pretty certain that the migrating birds were protected under the Canadian Migratory Birds Convention Act of 1994 – an act originally passed in 1917 and updated in 1994 and 2005. But, we were wrong. Raptors are not protected under the federal act. They are protected by the Wildlife Act of Manitoba!

As Tracy at the Manitoba Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project reminded me:

The original Act was written to protect birds that migrated between Canada and the US and  were either a) beneficial (songbirds eating agricultural pests or waterfowl which were hunted) or b) harmless to humans (puffins for example).  Birds of prey – dead or alive, whole or their constituent parts – are generally protected under provincial and territorial Acts.  In Manitoba all vultures, eagles, ospreys, hawks, falcons and owls are designated as protected species under the Wildlife Act – the Act protects them, their nests and habitat.

As I sat reading Tracy’s words, I began staring at two books on my shelf. The first one was Rosalie Edge. Hawk of Mercy. The Activist who saved nature from the Conservationists and Winter’s Hawk. Both paint a picture of wanton killing of birds, not protecting them. Rosalie Edge will use her influence and money to establish a protective area in the United States called Hawk Mountain. She will take on Audubon and all the men she knows who love sport hunting and the bagging of raptors. What a woman. Hawk Mountain is the site where the thermals are so good and birds migrating from eastern Canada and the US pass through to get to their winter grounds. You can visit Hawk Mountain and you can go there and help count migrating raptors. Google it.

Rosalie Edge was a very special woman. She was not afraid of going against the establishment. Rachel Carson has often been given the credit for sounding the early alarm against DDT in her book, Silent Spring. In fact, it was Edge that was raising concerns fourteen years before Carson. Edge was a leader in seeing the need to really conserve the birds and protect them against humans.

The book is a good read. It shows the real attitudes towards birds at the turn of the century – the impact of sport hunting. Edge had the strong constitution to take on some of the most powerful men at the time and win. Hawk Mountain remains today a place of refuge for the migrating birds and, of course, my dear raptors. I am actually including provincial wildlife acts of Canada at the bottom of today’s blog. If you wish to read The Migratory Bird Act of Canada (MBAC) it can be accessed by Googling.

So lesson learned: When demanding protection for raptors in your province, you need to go to the provincial wildlife acts which I have included below!

I went to check on Little Tiny Bob at the Foulshaw Moss Nest in Cumbria. He has been getting stronger and growing the past few days. He also appears to have gained some confidence – a very good thing. We saw that in Tiny Tot as he began to get so clever in order to get food. Blue 35 has been doing really well feeding the trio. I am really proud of her and White YW keeps the fish coming in.

All of the Bobs were full. Little Tiny Bob just wanted to go to sleep and there was enough fish for mom to have a good meal, too. Any food insecurities seem to be dissipating on this nest. Yes! That is a good thing on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Tiny Tot was waiting on the nest and hoping for a fish drop early this morning. Jack did not disappoint. He arrived with a fish at 7:40:36.

“Thanks, Dad!”

Jack took off and left Tiny to his fish. Tiny continued mantling. He knows there is an adult intruder in the area and he doesn’t want to loose his fish.

Sadly there has been no fish delivery at the Cowlitz PUD nest. Those babies have gone through all that food they ate yesterday. They were starving. They are once again food begging. Electra called out to Wattsworth for a long time. She left the nest and I thought she was returning with a fish for the babies but she wasn’t gone long enough – she came in with bark. Of course, Wattsworth had to come sniffing around. What a lazy Osprey! I guess Electra will have to leave the babies and go fishing again today if they are going to survive.

The babies were cold and crying for food.

No sooner than Electra had that piece of wood on the nest than Wattsworth appears thinking it was a fish. Does he have another family? Is he just a lazy osprey? Yes, I do believe that birds have individual characteristics. Or is he just completely inept? Reminds me too much of Louis and the way that he treats Iris on the Hellgate Nest. Thankfully the Ravens took Iris’s eggs this year before there could be any starving chicks.

While it is true that this nest needs some rebuilding on the sides, it surely needs fish to keep the babies alive so they actually need the crib sides!!!!! Wattworth – go fishing! You make me disappointed.

I always check on Tiny Tot, Little Tiny Tot, and the Ks every morning. This time I took a deep breath. I could only see one of the Ks at the very far end near a good spot to fledge. My mind was racing telling me that they are not ready to fledge yet. I had counted the rings on K1s tail and concluded that and yet, where are they??!!!!!!!!

At that moment I remembered that there is a second camera at the Cornell site. Well, it made me feel a little better. There all three of them were but one of them is over where Big Red has been standing – on the fledge ledge. It is going to be soon. Better watch these kids while there is time!

Thank you for joining me today. Send warm wishes, as always to those wee ones who need warmth and food – the Cowlitz Kids.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD, and Cornell Bird Lab RTH. Thank you to Tracy at the Manitoba Peregrine Recovery for pointing out the difference in the wildlife acts.

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Here is the wording for the Canadian provincial and territorial laws:

Birds in Canada are protected under provincial and territorial statute in addition to the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Please consult the legislation of the relevant jurisdiction before making any decisions regarding the protected status of a bird species in Canada. The following links are provided for convenience, but may not be current.

This table provides information on legislation of other jurisdictions regarding migratory birds in Canada.

Province/TerritoryLawURL
British ColumbiaWildlife ActBritish Columbia – Wildlife ActDesignation and Exemption Regulation: Schedules A and C
AlbertaWildlife ActAlberta – Wildlife ActWildlife Regulation, Schedule 4
SaskatchewanWildlife Act, 1998Saskatchewan – Wildlife Act (PDF; 155 KB)The Wildlife Regulations, 1981 (PDF; 216 KB)
ManitobaWildlife ActManitoba – Wildlife Act: Schedule A
OntarioFish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997Ontario – Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997: Schedules 3, 7 and 8
QuebecAn Act Respecting the Conservation and Development of WildlifeQuebec – An Act Respecting the Conservation and Development of Wildlife
New BrunswickFish and Wildlife ActNew Brunswick – Fish and Wildlife Act
Nova ScotiaWildlife ActNova Scotia – Wildlife ActGeneral Wildlife Regulations
Newfoundland and LabradorWildlife ActNewfoundland and Labrador – Wildlife ActWildlife Regulations: Schedule B
Prince Edward IslandWildlife Conservation ActPrince Edward Island – Wildlife Conservation Act
NunavutWildlife ActNunavut Wildlife Act: Subsections 6(2) and 6(3)
Northwest TerritoriesWildlife ActNorthwest Territories – Wildlife ActBirds of Prey RegulationsWildlife General Regulations: Schedule General
Yukon TerritoryWildlife ActYukon Territory – Wildlife Act : Schedule H