Migration woes and daily threats to our feathered friends

5 August 2022

Good Morning Everyone! It is a hazy day on the Canadian Prairies. The birds have been up early feeding as temperatures are set to rise to 29 degrees C today. The plants in the garden are looking a little droopy despite watering – we have been lucky to have all that rain. Some areas are really struggling. It is now a little after noon and the Crows and Blue Jays are reminding me that they need more peanuts and want their water changed! They are so smart. Wonder if I could teach them how to use the water hose?

I hope that you enjoyed seeing those beautiful pictures of Brooks back on the nest with Mum and Dad, Rosie and Richmond, at the WWII Whirley Crane. HE is well and beautiful. In case you missed it, Brooks (Blue XA) arrived back to the nest yesterday in the late afternoon and DNA testing has confirmed that Brooks is a male. Molate was also confirmed to be a male. This is a photo of him. He is very handsome.

Richmond does not migrate but Rosie does. Wonder which Brooks will choose? It is much safer to stay put!

Rosie has brought Brooks a lovely fish. Welcome home, Brooks.

Fish hooks and monofilament line are dangerous for all birds that eat fish like Ospreys and eagles. This is a reminder that things on nests can happen quickly — and for us to clean up our environment! Join a riverbank of lake clean up. It will make you proud that you have helped.

As we get ready to begin the great autumn migration, it is perhaps best if we take a deep breath. Migration is extremely dangerous especially for first year fledglings but it is becoming increasingly difficult for ‘seasoned’ birds as well.

I was surprised when I brought home a book from our nature centre, Atlas of bird Migration. Tracking the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds. It has good solid information on species with maps, information on the difference of gender in certain species as to migration —– and, hold on, out of 176 pages, four are devoted to “Threats and Conservation.” Out of those four, two pages had large photographs. The book lists: water (they show an oil spill), field and forest (they show fires), hunting and caging. Can you think of good current examples of these that will impact the birds we love heading to their winter quarters? what are they missing? Send your ideas to me and they will be included in a special blog on migration next Friday, 12 August.

Do you live anywhere near Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania? You can visit but, you can also take part in the annual count. Here are the dates that the birds fly over. Even if you didn’t help with the count what a special time to see the birds flying with the thermals, soaring over the mountains on their way to South America.

Hawk Mountain has kept track of spring and autumn migrations since 1934. You can go to their link and see population shifts. It is an eye-opener in some cases.

https://www.hawkmountain.org/conservation-science/resources/migration-data

Each of the nests below has faced or is facing challenges like many others. If you looked at the picture of the nest could you come up with issues they have faced? Try it before reading my text!

The two osplets at the Osoyoos Osprey nest have not fledged yet. They are working on some wingersizing. Caught them enjoying an early fish from Olsen this morning. Today will be good but by Sunday the temperatures at the nest will be 36 rising to 38 on Monday and 40 on Tuesday. Extreme heat has been an issue at this nest for several years with the temperatures continuing to rise and rise.

Thanks to the lovely people who live around the Notre-Dame Eagle nest we have more pictures of ND 15, 16, and Little Bit 17. It is always so funny…Little Bit seems to love to hide behind the small branches with leaves. So grateful to all those keeping track of the trio!

Hi Sweetheart.

The Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour have some significant toxins in the water that impacts the fish eaten by the sea birds.

The toxins leaked into the river from a shipping container company as reported in The Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2009. The article said, “The Patrick’s site on the Camellia peninsula, near Rosehill Racecourse, has been found to be leaking the chemical Chromium VI, posing a risk to people and marine life.”

In 2017, 2ser 107.3 reported that the Parramatta River was a “toxic time bomb.” They said, “Fifty years of toxic chemical residue is sitting on the bottom of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River. It’s a toxic time-bomb and disturbing this sediment could worsen already dire pollution levels. And now sweeping developments along the shore of the River could be bringing more pollution to the already sullied waters.” While many might have hoped to swim in the river before they were too elderly to do so, contaminated storm water was pumped into the river in December 2020 causing more problems.

It is unclear what impact this is having on the White-bellied Sea Eagles who are at the top of the food chain along the river. Despite research being carried out, the direct implication to these WBSE is not normally discussed. If you know of a study with results, please let me know.

Lady with WBSE 29 and 30. They are filling up the nest cup!

Karl and Kaia missed each other by a flap of a wing. The fish basket has been replenished! Karl II rains down fish on the storklets. You can see the fish on the nest in the image below and then in the video. So grateful for Urmas and his fish baskets that have kept this family in good health. Areas where the Black Storks used to fish is becoming too developed and it is becoming more difficult to find fish – so grateful for the intervention. I continue to question whether or not it would work -in nests impacted by human action such as Osoyoos – to place a fish basket for the Ospreys? Would they use it? We are constantly told that the temperatures we are experiencing now are not going to alter but will get hotter. We need to work on plans for the birds.

Kaia has also been collecting fish for the four.

The four were stuffed after the feedings from both Karl II and Kaia. They will not fledge in rainy weather nor will they fledge when they are so full.

Urmas posted this note on Looduskalender yesterday. It has some information about what will happen once the storklets fledge.

The storklets now have names. Bonus will keep his name. The other three are Voog, Wada, and Iks.

The three storklets of Karl II and Kaia are Voog. This is Voog standing up

Waba is on the perch.

Iks is preening Waba. So there are the three!

Last year Kaia left for her migration on 11 August. These storklets should have fledged last week but they have not. Recent heavy rains have halted this or large feedings. The longer they stay on the nest and eat the stronger they will be.

The storks will travel to the centre of Africa for their migration. Have a look at a map and remember that that they often stop west of Odessa at a nature reserve. What particular issues will they face during migration?

The migration threats to the White Storks of Mlade Buky in the Czech Republic are similar to the ones that Klepetan faced when he migrated back and forth from Croatia to South Africa. He would visit his mate, Malena in Croatia for the breeding period. The person who cared for Malena was particularly concerned with the White Storks passing over Lebanon? S Vokic even wrote to the Prime Minister and President of Lebanon. Do you remember what his concerns were?*

Dad continues to provide fish on the Janakkalan Osprey nest in Finland. I have not seen Titi fly.

He can fly. He just does not know it and he has no mother like Nuppu to encourage him. As such he continues to be a target for predators. It is good to remember that Ospreys talons are for holding fish – getting them out of the water and transporting them – not for fighting. They are too curved inward.

Despite concerns over migration or intruders, the birds on the nests are doing fine. Their health appears good and food is coming in on a regular basis – even at Osoyoos where Olsen brings fish in early on the hottest of days and late in the day. Once the birds fledge they can also cool off in the water. Keep sending them your warmest wishes. Life is getting ready to get difficult as they fly, perfect their flying, and set off on their own course in life.

There is some great news coming out of Yorkshire! More firsts for the UK Osprey population. Fantastic.

Sharon Dunne posted an update on when the Royal Cam chick will be banded. They ran out of time yesterday. Here is the announcement:

The Albatross face particular threats that some of the other migrating birds do not face. QT chick will fledge in September. When she flies off Taiaroa Head she will head out to sea where she will spend 4-6 years before ever returning to land. Then she will return as a juvenile with wobbly legs for a bit partying it up with the others hoping to find a mate for future years. What could happen to these lovely birds on the high seas for all those years?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the lovely sea birds around the UK continue to die from Avian Flu. They thought it was over and it has come back with a fury. Dutch scientist, Thijs Kuken says the solution for future outbreaks is to stop the factory farming of poultry. So far the Ospreys in the UK seem to have not fallen victim to the latest outbreak.

https://theecologist.org/2022/aug/01/avian-flu-outbreak-killing-wild-birds?fbclid=IwAR1erpdLzQUUobsxWqc5oQM5e9hURsLjGxXpP0vVS1Eu7HzmlSDPbLXIc1E

Thank you for joining me today. Remember do your research on threats to our feathered friends due to migration. Think about it. Send me your findings by Thursday of next week. That would be 11 August on the Canadian Prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!

  • If you said shooting for sport you would be correct.

Thank you to the following for their posts and/or streaming cams where I took my screen captures: SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, Notre Dame Eagles FB, Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre Sydney Olympic Park, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Eagle Club of Estonia and Looduskalender, Mlade Buky White Storks, and the Osoyoos Osprey nest.

Early Monday in Bird World

4 July 2022

Good Morning Everyone. I hope that you had a marvellous weekend and for those celebrating independence day in many countries around the world, have a fun and safe time.

With all the talk about storks, ‘L’ asked a question in the comments. Did I know what happened to the White Stork couple, Malena and Klepetan? Thank you ‘L’ – that is a great question and I bet many are wondering too.

Klepetan and Malena are the best romance story in all of Bird World. The intervention to save Malena’s life after she was shot by a man in Croatia is a testament to what love can move us to do for our wildlife friends.

If you do not know the story, before you read further, please watch at least the first one of these videos so you know the background to this truly remarkable story.

Perhaps the most famous stork couple in the world were Klepetan and Malena. Malena stayed year round with Stjepan Vokic in Croatia. As you will know from the video, Malena was shot and it was only through the gentle care of Vokic that her life was spared. What devotion to keep her, clean her, feed her, prepare the nest and fish for both adults and chicks so that Klepatan and Malena could spend all their time together.

For 20 years, Klepetan migrated back and forth from South Africa to Brodski Varos, Croatia. Malena died peacefully on 7 July 2021 of old age. She was 28 years old. Klepetan was by her side when she died along with her other faithful companion, Vokic. Malena was buried in one of her favourite places. Klepetan continued to come every day wondering where his mate was. They had been together for 20 years and had raised 66 storklets. Klepetan was fitted with a transmitter. He did not return to the nest he shared with Melana in 2022. Did he also die? or find a different nest with a new mate? I am hoping to be able to find the time and help to see if Klepatan’s transmitter is still working.

Want to help out Humane Wildlife Indiana? They have an extensive wish list on Amazon including a xylophone for chickens. I have learned through one of our readers, ‘L’ how important it is to have creative stimulation or enrichment for all of the animals in care. Who would want to live strapped to a perch with nothing to do? There are lots of things on the list from a few dollars to $30 or $40. Here is the link. It is good to see what the wildlife clinics are asking for. You can always help out your local clinic too – they always need laundry detergent, bleach, hand sanitizer, wipes, and those old clean towels I keep repeating…Even if you do not intend purchasing anything for the clinic, have a look. It is possible that you intend to get rid of items that could be used at your local clinic.

Here is the link.

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/12TH5G1M7K4DC?fbclid=IwAR26cBDgVhsmN3_U_rzTCKHLaamk0zys4DS3eN8P0piyppMkdBox9oJs1Ms

So busy with Little Bit and the JJ storklets that some others get forgotten so I am also playing catch up this morning. The only surviving eaglet at the Fort St Vrain nest in Colorado, 46, fledged on the 1st of July. Congratulations everyone!

It is not just Annie and Alden bonding in the scrape! As breeding season in Australia gets closer, Diamond and Xavier are doing a lot of bonding rituals in the scrape – some short, some long. Oh, you are going to fall in love with little Xavier if you don’t know him already. Here is that video clip.

‘B’ sent me a newspaper article on the rescue of the US Steel Eaglet. It is a good read with one troubling bit – they state that he eaglet will learn to fly and be released in an area away from the natal nest. My concern is that they must teach that eaglet to hunt – just like Little Bit needs that training. In order to do that the eagles need a little of time, trained professionals, and specialized structures. It is expensive and time consuming and well worth it if neither wind up back in care. Thanks ‘B’.

https://www.post-gazette.com/life/outdoors/2022/07/03/bald-eagle-pittsburgh-pennsylvania-us-steel/stories/202207030127

I want to include a screen capture that ‘H’ sent me on Sunday. It is just a beautiful sunrise at the Boathouse Osprey nest on Hog Island, Maine. How stunning. Thanks ‘H’ for sharing this beautiful image with all of us!

The boathouse osprey cam on Hog Island is currently offline and is only showing highlights.

Two chicks on the Osoyoos Osprey nest on a misty wet morning. Let’s hope that dad gets a pile of fish on the nest today since the weekend festivities have passed.

There is a severe thunderstorm watch in the area of the Canmore Fortis Exshaw Osprey nest…send positive wishes to all!

There was also beautiful sunrise in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic. Betty has flown in and is feeding those four great big storklings.

It is early morning in the Karula National Forest in Estonia. The four chicks of Karl II and Kaia are sound asleep. It is so good that Bonus, one of JJ’s chicks, has integrated so well into this family. It is Day 5 for Bonus.

‘T’ sent me an image of Karl II. Last year he discovered the fish basket that Urmas provided. It is about 9-10km from the nest and this year Karl II has been visiting the fish basket and bringing lots of fish to the four storklets on the nest. They are hoping that the herons do not find the basket as it will limit the fish Karl II will find.

This is the other nest where Janus, the middle chick of Jan and Janika, in Urmas and Dr Madis V’s experiment has been placed. It is doing well. Thank you ‘T’.

Takoda decided to come and visit the National Arboretum nest on Sunday. He has found his reflection in the camera. There are some great ‘selfies’ that Takoda is taking! Have a peek.

Some of you became very interested in what your country is doing to help stop avian electrocutions. Knowing what is being undertaken to help the birds is a good way to begin understanding what you can do to spread the word about the dangers and solutions. ‘A’ wanted to find out what Japan was doing and she discovered that there is a special institute working on this problem on the northern most island of Japan, Hokkaido.

“Birds of prey have the habit of perching on high places with a good view and will use tall trees as well as man-made structures such as streetlights and utility poles as perches. When raptors perch on utility poles or pylons, or when they are about to take off from a perch, they are electrocuted when their wings or other body parts come in contact with parts of the body that conduct electricity.

In Hokkaido, accidents involving electrocution of Blakiston’s fish owls, hawk eagles, white-tailed eagles, and Steller’s sea eagles have occurred to date. Electrocuted birds of prey may show severe burns and blackened feathers. Red spots called electric current spots may also be seen on the skin where the electric current was applied.

To prevent electric shock accidents, electric power companies install insulators on current-carrying parts and devices to prevent birds of prey from perching on utility poles. They also install safe perches on top of utility poles to prevent electrocution. The Institute for Birds of Prey Medicine is working to prevent electric shock accidents by analyzing electric shock accidents and consulting with electric power companies and other parties in order to develop more effective countermeasures in areas where electric shock accidents have occurred or are likely to occur.”

Thank you, ‘A’.

I wanted to see what work the Institute for Birds of Prey Medicine is doing and came across something very interesting. Fifteen years ago the use of lead (Pb) ammunition was outlawed in Japan. Today, lead poisoning remains a serious problem for raptors who accidentally consume lead pellets from illegal hunting in various places in Japan but the overall testing of raptors and discovery of those who have ingested lead has dropped significantly (lower than 25%). In comparison, the US Geological Survey discovered that between 2010-2018 (the end of the study) more than 50% of all raptors in the US had been poisoned by lead either in hunting or fishing equipment. The soft lead bullets that break into fragments have the worst impact on the raptors. Other lead fishing equipment can be mistaken by birds such as Loons who think these lead weighs are pebbles and eat them!

There is no nationwide ban in the US for the use of lead. California is the only state to ban the use of lead entirely. New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Maine have partial bans in fishing gear. In 1987, Minnesota banned the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting. In 1991, a federal law in the US also banned lead shot for waterfowl hunting. The problem rests with the DNR who has lobbied against imposing any other lead restrictions on hunters. In April of 2021, three states – Maine, Minnesota, and New York introduced bills that would ban lead completely in all hunting and fishing gear. I am checking to see if HF2556 has been signed into law in Minnesota in 2022.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/02/220217141324.htm

Do you remember the ‘Old Warrior’? He was taken into care after being found on the side of the road lethargic. He went to A Place Called Hope, another great wildlife rehabber. His lead levels were measured at 49. Very extensive lead removal treatments resulted in the old eagle with the broken leg and beak being able to go into an outside enclosure. A Place Called Hope applied to the USFWS for a license to keep the Old Warrior as an educational bird. I reached out to A Place Called Hope and they said that sadly the lead issues had caused so much damage that the Old Warrior had died. He was a poster child of trying to beat the odds. There are other kinds of ammunition – stainless steel and copper. Lead is not the answer!

There has been some concern about Blue 022 at the Poole Harbour nest. He has now been caught on camera and all is well. The two chicks have been ringed and they are both girls! Well done Poole Harbour. Congratulations and relief.

At the Rutland Mantou Bay nest of Maya and Blue 33, 1H2 and 1H3 fledged this morning. All girls are flying about and there is definitely an empty nest! They will return to harass dad for fish, no worries.

Whew! You might need an extra cup of tea or coffee to make it through this today – sorry! Lots happening in Bird World. The kids up at Loch of the Lowes are starting to get the hover going, too. Thank you for joining me today. Please take care. Thanks to everyone who sent news, photos, or comments. They are always appreciated. See you soon!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages or videos where I took my screen captures: The Dodo, HRT, Ft St Vrain and Excel Energy, Falcon Cam, Audubon Explore.org, Osoyoos Osprey Cam, Fortis Exshaw, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, NADC-AEF, A Place Called Hope (APCH), Poole Harbour Ospreys, and LRWT.

Henlopen Osplets die of starvation and other late Saturday and Sunday news in Bird World

11 June 2022

UPDATE: THE DEATHS OF THE THREE OSPLETS AT THE CAPE HENLOPEN STATE PARK NEST IN DELAWARE WAS CAUSED BY INTRUDERS TAKING OVER THE NEST. THE FEMALE WAS LAST SEEN ON THE NEST ON THE 10TH. ALL CHICKS WERE FINE. BOTH PARENTS ARE MISSING AND THE BIRD ON THE PLATFORM NEST IS NOT EITHER PARENT.

Oh, Saturday was just such a beautiful day. We all must treasure them and get outside and listen to the birds singing and smell the freshly mowed grass and the flowers. Our summers are so short in Canada that it is such a pleasure just sitting and listening, sometimes. Today the wee rabbit found itself underneath the square feeder by the lilacs. It was certainly enjoying those Black oil seeds and millet that had fallen to the ground. Mr and Mrs Grackle have fledglings and they are very noisy if you go anywhere near the lilac bushes – and then there is Mr Crow who arrives demanding bread, cheese, and sausages. It was quite the afternoon. I will try and take my phone out and get some photos another day for all of you. My big camera doesn’t quite understand that when it is set to CQ mode it is supposed to be ‘quiet’ and instead the noise frightens everyone within ear shot.

Saturday was not, however, a great day for Little Bit 17 at the ND-LEEF Bald Eagle nest. But it was not all bad, either. In fact, there was so little food brought to the nest that for Little Bit to have a crop was a blessing. He spent various times through day working on a raccoon that had been brought into the nest. He started working on it once at 14:39 and was still eating on it at 14:58. It looks like he ate the entire head which would have had lots of meat and fat. There were two other times that he worked on it. A fish was brought in but the older siblings seem to have been fed all of it. At one time, 16 tried to hurt Little Bit 17. It is over and Little Bit is fine. Let us all hope that there is more prey tomorrow. The nest is really relying on road kill it seems. Perhaps the river is still too high with all of the rains and too murky for the eagles to fish. Last Sunday saw a lot of fish brought to the nest – will the same thing happen tomorrow?

16 (I think it was 16 because of their actions towards Little Bit) came up wanting some of the remaining raccoon.

Mum flew in and fed the two older siblings. Little Bit stood by the side rails hoping there would be a little left but, alas, no.

All spread out and sleeping with the turtle shells. Someone said that there are at least 50 of them somewhere in the nest. You can see Little Bit’s primaries growing and his tail. I wish his head feathers would grow back. Poor thing. Any sore spots seem to have healed, thankfully.

Wish for fish everyone!

And the fish came Sunday morning. Mom brought in a Walleye at 08:28:21. At 08:40:11 Little bit 17 steals that walleye from one of the older siblings! He takes it to the porch to eat it.

You can see Little Bit pulling that fish to the porch. There is no head and he is going to heat for several minutes (7 or 8) and then 16 is going to steal it back.

At 09:59:47 Dad brought in a Blue Gill. Little Bit 17 stole the whole fish. He took it to the porch and ate the entire thing!!!!!!!!!! All by himself. Can you believe this kid? Bravo Little Bit.

Little Bit ate all of the fish and returned to look out at the world while the older siblings are up on the branches. He flapped his wings – they are growing – and stopped. You can only get a sense of how big his crop is over by the edge but he is one happy full little eaglet this morning and I have tears rolling down my eyes. He has been super brave pulling that last fish right out from under the older sibling!!!!!!

Both fledglings at the UFlorida-Gainesville have been on and off the nest eating or hoping for a delivery. At one point it started raining (or was it hail?). Middle was trying to hover off the nest and was having difficulty – of course Middle you can’t fly in pouring down rain!!!!!!! Just look at those beautiful, beautiful wings! These osplets are simply gorgeous. The feathers are absolutely perfect. Oh, I wish Little Bit was as healthy as the two fledgling ospreys.

It is rainy and windy in Gainesville Sunday morning and Middle is on the nest thinking it is a good day to stay home.

Ferris Akel has wonderful Saturday bird tours around Montezuma, Sapsucker Woods and Ithaca. At the end of the tour today, everyone lucked out as the Ls and Big Red were quickly located. I cannot tell you which chick is which from these images – so just enjoy a basket of cute little hawks.

Big Red was over on the other light stand. An adult is always around close watching the hawklets. Arthur was not spotted. He was probably off hunting!

All of the storklets still remain on the nest of Bukacek and Betty in Mlade Buky. They are growing and growing. While there is a significant difference in the size between the oldest (front right) with the youngest (back left), each is holding their own and as I have mentioned several times, there appears to be no effort to do any brood reduction by the adults. Fish must be plentiful – wonderful news!!!!!

It was a feeding fest Sunday morning in Mlade Buky. Watch how the two little ones get in there to get those fish.

Karl II and Kaia’s storklets are also growing and are being very well fed. There appears to be plenty of fish at their source in the Karula National Park in Estonia.

Kaia has fish and is getting ready to regurgitate them on the moss so the storklets can eat.

They are grabbing them with their little beaks.

Just look at the little fish in their bills. So sweet. The moss nest keeps these babies so nice and white compared to the red iron soil of Mlade Buky. The eaglets are always looking a little dirty there.

Bywyd Bwyllt Glaslyn posted some information on the osplets of Aran and Mrs G today on their FB feed. Little Bob is certainly smaller than Big Bob at the front!

There is much sadness at the Henlopen State Park Osprey Nest. One of the osplets appears to have died. I did not see it move at all today. The other osplets are weak and very hungry. Mum came in with a tiny fish. I thought she would feed the other two and they did too but, she didn’t. I fear that all will die.

It is a tiny fish. In raptors, it seems that their first priority is the protection of their territory, then to keep themselves fed and alive, and lastly the offspring. Mum has to be strong enough to fish. I do not know what if any was delivered after the 8th in terms of fish til this morning. It was not enough to keep the osplets alive and the two surviving have very concave chests.

On Sunday all three of the osplets have died. What a tragedy. The poor Mum – she lost her mate and all her lovely once healthy chicks in a few days. Incredibly sad.

There appears to be no attempt by anyone to provide a fish table for this family. Just sayin’. Most of the issues related to getting fish or other prey to the nest including those at the ND-LEEF nest can be attributed to human interference in some way or another. Changing weather patterns causing torrential rains, floods, and mudslides is impacting the rivers so that the Bald Eagles and Ospreys cannot ‘see’ to fish. Most of you are very much aware of the impact that we have had whether it is habitat destruction, rising sea temperatures due to a heating planet, etc. There isn’t much that we haven’t caused so I will not accept the answer that it is ‘just nature’ not to help out these lovely raptors.

In contrast, we have the surviving three Black Storklets in Estonia. They are being well fed and taken care of and every aspect of their future well being has been considered. Please note that they do not see ‘human animals’ very often – just the decoy mother, the step-father who feeds, and themselves. This is so they will not imprint on others.

The smallest chick even had a private feeding to ensure that it gets enough to eat with the two much larger siblings. Just like at the size of its crop when it is returned!

Everyone has been talking about the Bald Eagles raising the hawklet in their nest on Gabriola Island. Here is a delightful discussion of another Bald Eagle adopting a Red-tail hawklet a couple of years ago. Here is the complete story from beginning to successful end. Please listen. This is such an informative discussion with live footage in the nest showing the eagles and the hawklet.

The Dyfi Osprey Project posted an excellent bit of information on their FB site this morning about Osprey growth.

These are the osplets that Dyfi is referring to – the three of Idris and Telyn. We should know their names soon! Over 200 suggestions – wow.

I often wonder if the change of the plumage and the itching makes the osplets crankier during the Reptile phase that then causes them to start pecking one another????

It has been very windy up in Alaska at the nest of Liberty and Freedom. The two little eaglets don’t seem to even notice! They are having a nice meal.

The winds are raging at Loch of the Lowes too. The wee chicks are calling for food as Blue NC0 waits to see if Laddie will have some luck fishing Sunday afternoon.

Dylan brought in a perch at 16:04 at Llyn Clywedog and Seren is happily feeding all of the Bobs. The weather does not look as windy – thank goodness. This nest in the Cambrian area of Wales has been wet for several days now.

The third hatch, Little Bob, at Glaslyn is really starting to catch up. Aran is bringing in lots of fish. No one is hungry. There is even a fish sitting on the nest waiting for the next feeding. That is Little Bob by the side of Mrs G.

Poor Dorcha. The Loch Arkaig nest seems to be getting all of the bad weather. It is rainy and windy. Louis, thankfully, prevails in getting fish on this nest in the most dire of times. He is literally amazing.

I want to leave you with something beautiful. Andris has come to the nest and he is feeding the small eaglet! Mostly the males do not do this so it is very special. Oh, such a sweet little fluff ball. Andris and Anna have their Lesser Spotted Eagle’s nest in Zemgale, Latvia.

Anna is feeding the wee eaglet later. Oh, how precious.

Grinnell Jr and Lindsay are sure keeping Annie and Alden busy at the UCalifornia-Berkeley scrape. They are running all over the place chasing any adult food begging – even if they are full – and are beginning to self feed. Adorable. Being the pests they are meant to be!

Grinnell Jr has a blue band and Lindsay has a gold one.

Last but the falcons are never least, the wee little peregrine at the Manchester New Hampshire nest, Colby, woke up watching everyone fly around. At 06:52:49, Colby fludged just like Clem. I am certain the volunteers will be out to make sure he is OK and perhaps he will be returned to the nest with Clem tomorrow!

The weather certainly changed on the Canadian Prairies. We had thunderstorms all during the night and much more rain. My garden is beginning to look like a thick forest – which is what I have wanted for years – a forest in the city! The sadness at Henlopen weighs heavy today.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. See you tomorrow!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams, FB posts and video clips: ND-LEEF, UFlorida-Gainesville Ospreys, Ferris Akel Tours, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Henlopen State Park Ospreys, Christian Sasse, Dyfi Osprey Projects, Glacier Gardens Bald Eagles, Loch of the Lowes and the Woodland Trust, CarnyXWild, Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Post Code Lottery and Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cal Falcons, Peregrine Network, and the Latvian Fund for Nature.

Early Friday in Bird World

27 May 2022

As the sun goes down, we say soon say goodbye to the Captiva Ospreys – Lena, Andy, Middle Little, and Little Mini O. What a delight this Osprey season has been. We were sad for Big to die so quickly and mysteriously but, we all rejoiced when it was not Avian Flu and the rest of the family members were healthy. The chicks grew and grew. Middle Little’s legs are like Aran Daddy Longlegs and he had quite the loud call when he wanted Andy to deliver. Little Mini O turns out to be a big sister. Both flew and fished with the parents and we wish them a long successful life.

We will look forward to the 2023 season with you, Lena and, of course, with Daddy Door Dash, Andy. What a great parents you are! Thanks to Lori Covert for sharing her raptors with all of us.

Little Bit 17 went to sleep with a full tummy. Mum brought in a nice fish at 21:18. By 21:20:40 Little Bit 17 was up there being fed on one side while a big sibling was on the other. In fact, Mum move the fish and it helped 17. The fish was finished at 21:30. Little Bit 17 had a crop and was ready for the day to end.

Mum has brought the fish in and one of the older siblings is pecking at it. Little Bit is at 9 o’clock. Mum will take the fish and move it up to the opposite side of the nest.

It takes Little Bit 17 about 10 seconds to get himself situated in a nice spot so that he will get fed but not pecked (the older siblings have been quite good lately, generally).

Little Bit ate for a good 10 minutes. Would I have liked it to be 20? Of course! You can see he has a nice crop and he will sleep good tonight. There is forecast for a lot of rain tomorrow. Let us hope a couple of good sized fish get on the nest.

At 09:12:48 Little Bit takes his turn at the prey item on the nest this morning.

A little earlier he was sharing that unidentified object with another sibling. It is so nice this nest has turned around.

It looks like there are now four storklets on the White Stork nest of Bukachek and Betty in Mlade Buky, The Czech Republic. They are so cute!

Kana’kini has been really getting some air under her wings as the two brothers look on.

Cody at the Kistachie National Forest Bald Eagle nest put together a great video showing Kincaid at various ages throughout the 2022 season. So many memories – we forget them. Thanks, Cody. This is awesome.

Are you a fan of Xavier and Diamond, the Peregrine Falcons at Charles Sturt in Orange? The three cameras are now being integrated with the CSU web site. The first one to be integrated is the nest box. Here is the new URL: https://youtu.be/su_eumVDeBs

The two osplets of Richmond and Rosie have been eating well. Richmond has been bringing in some nice striped bass and Rosie has been catching some huge fish, too, and bringing them to the nest. Rosie is one of the few females that – at this stage – goes out to fish when the male is doing brooding. It could be the secret to the success of their nest.

The four Ls are really getting their juvenile plumage! There is little L4 who is a month old today! Big Red and Arthur have also done an amazing job. Do you remember when people thought they could not handle four eyases? Arthur is also Daddy Door Dash and he sure kept the prey on the nest even in those torrential rains.

One of the things I love about Mrs G is her long experience raising chicks. Aran is a fantastic fisher (when he is not injured) and here they are together, proud of their first healthy hatch for 2022.

Idris and Telyn are doing fantastic at the Dyfi Osprey nest. There are two chicks! It looks like the males are busy catching flounder. There was a running joke at the Glaslyn nest – Mrs G hates flounder. She will only feed it to the chicks if there is absolutely nothing else. Aran brought in a flounder and Mrs G left it. Aran finally took it away! Reminds of Diamond in the CSU falcon scrape – Diamond hates Starling! Interesting.

Dorcha and Louis have been experiencing horrific weather at the Loch Arkaig nest. Louis brought in a big fish for Dorcha regardless. Oh, I hope this weather settles down before those babies hatch!

Louis is an incredible provider. Dorcha seems like she will be a formidable Mum. Last year the camera was set on the other nest and we could not watch Louis with his new mate. They did fledge two chicks. Can’t wait for this year!

The weather is so bad – high wind gusts and rain – that Dorcha has taken to eating her fish on the nest.

Laddie has just brought a big live fish to the nest at the Loch of the Lowes. I hope that Blue NC0 feeds all of the chicks including Little Bob. He missed out on an earlier feed. I am not staying to watch. The ringing at the Cal Falcon scrape at The Campanile is taking place in a few minutes. I do not want to miss it and the Q & A. I will being news of that later today.

I am a little nervous about this nest. Fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for being with me this morning. Take care everyone. Have a lovely end of the week.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Friends of Loch of the Lowes and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Dyfi Osprey Project, Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Cornell Red Tail Haws, Friends of Loch Arkaig and People’s Post Code Lottery, SF Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon, ND-LEEF, Captiva Osprey Project, Mlade Buky, Explore.org for the video on Kana’kini’s hovering, and to Cody for that great video on Kincaid from footage at the KNF Bald Eagle Nest.

Hawks definitely do not like children

By 18:30, the smoke and the temperatures were cooperating and it seemed like a good time to go and check on the Cooper’s Hawk family in Assiniboine Park. When I arrived at the Park, there were several cricket games going on, families were meeting and sharing a pot luck outside – many for the first time since spring 2020, there were birthday parties and children running around.

When I found the spot and knew where the hawks had their nest and were hunting for bugs and chipmunks the other day, there were children running around. I could see the hawks in the sky circling. They never went to the nest tree or came to the ground. It is the life of a birder. It would be wonderful to see them a few more times before migration. The Canada Geese do not usually begin leaving until the middle of September through to the end of October. I have seen some miss the group and wind up walking about on an early snow. Weather is such a significant factor in the challenges our birds face.

For those who are not sure what migration actually is. Our feathered friends Move from one area for breeding during the spring and summer to another area for winter. They have adapted to the pattern of coming and going in order to survive. It is based on food supplies.

Different species travel different routes to their winter homes. These are long journeys. For example, the Ospreys in the United Kingdom will travel some 8,000 kilometres or 5,000 miles to places in Africa. The birds will fly over land, sea, and desert to reach their destinations. People wonder why the birds just don’t live in Africa all the time. The answer is rather simplistic: there would not be enough nesting sites or food for all of them plus their chicks. There are also a lot of very hungry predators ready to take those lovely fluffy little ones. So they disperse from Africa to sites in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The birds decide when it is time for them to migrate. The hormones in their body begin to change. Unlike spring when this hormone change leads to breeding, the autumn sees the birds restless until they know that it is time to depart. These hormones trigger a lot of eating. Fat begins to gather under their skin. They gain weight. It is that fat that will see them through their migration. Still, they stop and feed along the way. Normally they hunt for food in the early mornings and late afternoons. High pressure systems are good for flying but low pressure systems bring winds and rain. When the birds get into a low pressure system, they will normally stop flying, if they can, and wait til another high pressure system comes through. Migration times vary because of the winds and the weather. Birds that soar and ride the thermals can travel as much as 465 km or 300 miles in a stretch. Some gather in flocks like the storks in Latvia and Estonia. Sometimes birds pair up to migrate. For the Ospreys, the female leaves and the male stays behind until there are no fledglings crying for food.

Not all birds migrate. Even I have a sedentary Sharp-shinned Hawk that defies all logic to stay on the Canadian prairies for the winter. The Osprey in Australia do not migrate. The birds in the Amazon Rainforest do not migrate. There is plenty of food and nesting sites for them year round. This past spring and early summer there was much discussion over the migration of birds from Florida. In Jacksonville, Samson, the father of Legacy, stays in the area of the nest year round. Gabrielle, on the other hand, migrates north – yes north – to cooler summer climates. This year she might have discovered it is hotter up north! Even some of the Ospreys in Florida do not migrate; they stay year round. There are plenty of fish for them as well as nests.

Birds take different routes. The White Storks from Latvia either taken a western route or an eastern route. Dr Erick Greene and his team in Montana study the migratory movements of the Ospreys from the Clark Fork River area with satellite transmitters. In the United States, some fly over Hawk Mountain where there is an annual count. In fact, you can go to this site to see the number of birds traveling over this marvellous area with its thermals. Here is the link for you for their autumn migration count that will being in about a week!

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

Migration is extremely challenging and we hope that all of the adults will return to their nests the following spring and that we will see the juveniles who take their first flight to Africa in a couple of years.

And now for some birding and nest news

Poole Harbour: Blue 022 and CJ7 who were so visible until a few weeks ago sky dancing, mating, and working on the nest with the streaming cam are now working on another nest in the area. There is no camera. They are still doing everything together and everyone is looking forward to the first hatches in Poole Harbour for 200 years.

Dahlgren: A large part of the nest in King George, Virginia, collapsed today. It will be fixed in the fall well after Jack and Harriet’s migration.

Kielder Forest: All 16 of the 2021 juveniles have fledged successfully. Everyone is elated. This is 6 more fledglings than their previous best year. Congratulations everyone!

Mlade Buky: Bucachek and his new love spent the night on the nest in Mlade Buky, Czechoslovakia. Oh, how sweet! Just as the dawn is beginning to appear, they are both preening.

Balloons, something that impacts all birds: Virginia, Maine, Maryland, and Delaware have or are going to pass shortly the release of balloons. Hawaii has already passed a law on helium balloons.

Port Lincoln Ospreys, Australia: Dad and Mom have been taking turns incubating the eggs. Here is dad on the nest. A little earlier he had been pestering Mom. He kept pulling on that turquoise rope wanting his turn. It was too funny. The Port Lincoln Ospreys are an example of sedentary birds. They do not migrate. There is no need.

Loch Arkaig: The two juveniles of Louis and Dorcha have now fledged. I have not heard anything about the chosen names yet.

Collins Marsh: Malin was a little wet off and on during Saturday. S/he is sleeping on the nest alone tonight. There is no perch – let us hope that the parent or both parents are in a nearby tree in case there are any owls about. It seems like a pattern. Does mom always spend Saturday night off the nest?

WBSE, Sydney Olympic Forest: 27 and 28 continue to eat until their crops almost burst and sleep. Meanwhile there has been an intruder today and Lady and Dad were honking in alert.

And last but very special, A Place Called Hope. Along with other wildlife centres, they are receiving quite a number of starving Great Blue Herons and other herons. Why would they be starving? It has been raining in the Connecticut area and all the herbicides and pesticides that people put on their lawns and gardens makes its way into the environment, into the water table, into the ponds. It is poison. If your gardening centre or lawn care person tells you that the chemicals they use are ‘Green’ – well, think again. Whatever they are using kills. So sad. It is OK if your lawn doesn’t look emerald green.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Have a lovely Sunday. Take care of yourselves. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and their FB pages where I grab my screen shots: A Place Called Hope, Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Port Lincoln Osprey Project, and Sea Eagles, Birdlife Australia and the Discovery Centre.

The featured image is Dad at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge taking his turn incubating his two eggs.

Love is in the air in Mlade Buky

Sometimes there are things just too exciting not to share right away. My friend ‘R’ sent me a link to a video that the two engineers that took care of the White Stork family prepared and I want to share it with you.

For those that do now know the story, here is a little background first. Bucachek and his mate, Barunka, have their nest in Mlade Buky, Czech Republic. In the spring they had four storklings hatch. Sadly, Barunka was killed when she stepped on the electric transmission lines. Two engineers in the community of Mlade Buky, Sandor Harvan and Jiri Zeman, fed Father Stork, Bucachek, and also fed the little ones fish many times a day so that they would live and thrive. After awhile, the men fed Bucachek only and he fed the storklings. They were then older and the community did not wish to scare them so they would fly off the nest. Bucachek eliminated the smallest chick as many storks do. The three grew and grew, eventually fledgling on 18-19 July. Sadly Bonifac was also killed when he landed on a high voltage line. That was on 29 July. The two surviving storklings, Pantrac and Servac, have left the nest. They are fine and preparing for their first migration.

So, that takes us back to the bachelor Bucachek. Bucachek has found a new love! The pair are bonding and working on the nest before they both part to travel thousands and thousands of miles to winter in the southern parts of Africa. They are optimistic. As I was watching the video it felt good to see the birds planning for the future. The news on the television can be so discouraging – so I hope that Bucachek and his new love will brighten your day!

Have a look:

I want to thank Sandor Harvan and Jiri Zeman first for their kindness to this stork family. I hope that they are truly blessed for caring for these beautiful birds. Secondly, for taking the time to set up the streaming cam so that we could share in the life of this family as it struggled after the loss of the female.

This is the link to the streaming cam where I took my screen shot. You can also look under Mlade Buky to find individual videos highlighting events on the White Stork Nest.

And thanks to all of you for joining me. Take care and see you soon.

The featured image is of Buckacek around 5am 7 August 2021 on the nest alone.

Oh, Tiny Little!

Oh, what a relief to go to the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest and see all three of White YW and Blue 35’s fledglings on the nest. Big Sibling 462 had the fish.

Of course, Tiny Little had her back of tricks open to try and get that fish and sibling 462 knows that Tiny Little is getting much better at stealing fish.

So, 462 decides that the best approach is to take off with the fish in talon! Meanwhile, 464 is at the back of the nest, only partly paying attention.

Tiny Little reminds me so much of Tiny Tot from the Achieva Osprey Nest. No matter what, Tiny Tot would dig around in the nest and find food. That is precisely what Tiny Little is doing right now. The first thing she eyes is a nice fishtail.

She eats all of the fish and horks down that tail like the pro at self-feeding she now is.

Then after digging around a little more, look what she finds. Wow. A great big piece of fish. Way to go, Tiny Little.

When she finished those treasures, Tiny Little began to move sticks around. Was this to pass the time? Or was it in search of more hidden treasure?

Both Tiny Little and 464 ‘think’ that a fish drop is imminent. They have seen an adult, and they are both food calling.

Each has tried to find the perfect position to get in close and take the fish from dad, White YW.

And now both have flown off the nest! That fish drop must have been made somewhere else, off-camera. It was so good to see all of them but, particularly, Tiny Little. She is looking really well.

News has come in from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation that this year’s chicks, eight of them taken from nests in Scotland, were successfully translocated to Poole Harbour. They were placed in cardboard boxes filled with moss and closed – kept in a temperature-controlled van. The party stopped in Staffordshire for the night. The chicks were fed then and fed again in the morning. They have all been at Poole Harbour for about a fortnight and will be released the first week in August. Let us hope that the birds that have been translocated return and help build up the population of Ospreys at Poole Harbour in the future.

Roy Dennis’s website is full of information. You should check it out when you have time. Roy Dennis is one of the main individuals responsible for bringing back the Ospreys and other large raptors to the UK. Here is the link:

There should be another hatch – WBSE 28 – today. Indeed, maybe Lady isn’t given up secrets, and we already have two soft little chicks. Meanwhile, WBSE 27 could not get any cuter. It is hard to imagine that this little soft ball of down will be a big sea eagle by October!

I did check on the Collins Marsh chick before things got hectic. By 13:13, the wee babe had at least three feedings. Oh, that was really wonderful to see. This is not a popular Osprey nest. When I look down and see ‘3 people watching’, I know precisely who those three are! This is an image of the last fish delivery around 13:00.

Despite two earlier feedings, our wee babe is happy to tuck in. So three feedings in one morning. That is sometimes better than what happens in an eight hour period on this nest. Yeah, dad! Keep it up. This wee one needs to really grow and begin to put on some fat, too.

Ferris Akel has been out finding that beautiful Roseate Spoonbill, and he has made another video of it fishing. In past images or videos, this gorgeous bird has been in the trees. Here that is for your pleasure:

The White Storks at Mlade Buky are doing fantastic. They come to the nest for food, but it also appears that they are now spending time off the nest doing their own fishing. Here are some images from the late afternoon.

There were always only two storks on the nest. The other one must be catching enough fish to try and be on the nest when Father Stork returns to feed.

They did a lot of preening.

They also did a lot of looking for Father Stork, but he did not show up.

One flies off to the left. That bird will fly over the rooftops and fly beyond the highway on the other side of the tree line about 3/4 from the bottom of the image.

Then the other one departs. What beautiful wings.

Tomorrow I will bring you some more news from the Gough Island Recovery Project to eradicate the mice and rats killing the Sooty and Tristan albatross chicks and adults.

The only news in my garden included the ‘usual gang’ was a Golden-Crowned Sparrow this morning. Not very exotic for sure, but since the heatwave came through, there are fewer ‘visitors’ to the garden despite plenty of water and food.

“Golden-crowned sparrow” by jimculp@live.com is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thank you so much for joining me today. We will hope that Tiny Little landed another fish before the fishing stops for the day. Regardless she looks really great – and that necklace of hers is more prominent along with her stout legs. I hope you are all doing well. I will look forward to bringing you updates and news about the Gough Island Recovery tomorrow. Take care! Stay well.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screenshots: Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Sea Eagle Cam, Birdlife Australia, and the Sydney Discovery Centre, Collins Marsh Nature Centre Osprey Nest, and the Mlade Buky White Stork Cam.

Late Monday 19 July in Bird World

When every fledgling is hungry and Mum brings in a fish:

This is currently the state at the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest where the three fledglings are waiting on the nest for a fish drop and each one of them is food begging. Tiny Little has lost out today so let us hope that Blue 35 shows up and feeds him. The birds do not need to eat every day – a lesson that they will have to learn.

I have watched and watched but was away for a couple of hours. It is unclear if Tiny Little had any fish today. At 22:00 one of the big siblings was on the nest eating. At first Tiny Little food called to Mum but then he laid down like his cute duckling self and didn’t continue. The big sibling ate the entire fish, flew off, and then Blue 35 left also.

Nite Nite Tiny Little. Have some sweet fishy dreams – and if you are hungry tomorrow, let everyone know it.

The film, Brave New Wilderness, is only showing in New Zealand on Vimeo right now. It is about the recovery efforts going on for the Kakapo and the Takahe. Watch for when it will be released worldwide on Vimeo. Here is that trailer:

There are now only 202 Kakapo in the world. Kakapo parrots that cannot fly. They are loners. They rarely interact with one another. The only time that they come out of their ‘own space’ is during the summer and fall breeding season or you might find 2 to 4 gathered at a food dispenser on the island. Kakapo will only breed if there is lots of food and that food must be Rimu fruit. It is sometimes called Bush Tucker and is a group of Indigenous foods that grow wild.

“Ripe rimu fruit” by Department of Conservation is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is Sinbad and he has been fitted with a very special transmitter by the Kakapo Recovery. This transmitter will not only will give Sinbad’s GPS but will also tell the researchers and staff of the recovery if Sinbad has mated.

Because of their solitary nature the Kakapo have to be fitted with transmitters so that they can get their health checks. It has made a huge difference in the population as any ill birds can be sent out for wildlife veterinary assistance.

Some people thought it was funny but right now it is such an effort to feed four people that Laddie, LM 12, losing a fish over the side of the nest on a delivery at 17:05 feels rather tragic. I know that Tiny Little would have liked to have been under that nest to catch that fish!

The storkling that fledged is back up on the nest with her other siblings. So everything is fine in Mlade Buky with the White Storks. Good news. So happy when the fledglings don’t get themselves into a spot of mischief.

It’s 5:54 at the Patuxent Osprey Nest 2 and Mom has a fish and there are three hungry chicks. The chick that fell into the water is doing fine. What a relief to have that little one back on the nest! One of the rescuers told my reader ‘L’ that they were fortunate because it was still low tide when they went to find the baby. Everyone is still so grateful!

I have to admit to almost having a mini-meltdown. One of the chicks was so well hidden behind mum that it looked like this nest had lost another one overboard. Thank goodness it was just the angle of the camera!

That is a short round up today. All of the UK Osprey nests are doing great. The fledglings are all flying and getting stronger save for our little one, Tiny Little. Her confidence is growing and no doubt by this time next week we will be wishing she was back being a duckling on the nest.

Thank you so much for joining me. So happy that you enjoy the birds! It is lovely to have you with us.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Mlade Buky White Stork Cam, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and the Patuxent Park Osprey Nest 2 as well as the Kakapo Recovery FB Page and SF Bay Ospreys and Golden Gate Audubon for their video.

Sunday in Bird World

Today it not just about Ospreys. There have been some nests that have been overlooked lately so I am going to try and catch up on some of those for all of us.

I love how the wildlife rehabbers go to great lengths to make certain that the babies they rescue do not imprint on humans. Have a look at an eaglet that came into care and how it is being fed:

https://fb.watch/v/1NOZVD1I5/

The female White Storkling at the nest in Mlady Buky, Czechoslovakia is ready to fledge! Look how beautiful she is with her wings spread. She looks like a dancer bowing to her audience. She was making all the right moves this morning. She began flapping her wings as the sun was rising and got very enthusiastic around 6am. She is restless and continues flapping and looking out to the world beyond the nest.

Father Stork comes in to feed the three youngsters. This generous community continues to provide supplementary food for Father Stork so that he and his three babies can survive. You can see, in the background, Father Stork eating from the fish table that is provided to him and his family. Sadly, their mother was killed on one of the electrical lines and these three are alive today because of this community. It is heart warming to see that the storklings are ready to fledge. Everyone can be so proud of their efforts!

The Bucovina Golden Eaglet, Zenit, grabbed the prey delivery from Mom and completely self-fed today for the first time. Zenit mantled and flapped all the while telling Mum to go away he could do this himself. Wow. Another milestone to independence. Lady Hawk caught this magical moment in a video:

There has been a lot of discussion about goshawks lately because they have raided and killed many Osprey both in Latvia and an eagle in Spain. There is a Crested Goshawk nest in a park in Taipei. The adults failed at their first breeding attempt and had one hatch on their second. The eaglet is three weeks old. So cute.

Crested goshawks live in Asia. Their territory is from the Indian subcontinent to Taiwan. In terms of its range and numbers it is of ‘least concern’. It is, however, a protected species in Hong Kong because of the encroachment on its forest environment. The hawks are now adapting to urban living. The Crested Goshawk is 30-46 cm in length or 12-16 inches. Like other raptors, there is reverse sex size diamorphism – the female is larger than the male. They feed on insects, birds, and mammals. The nest is normally made of sticks in a tree and most often the female will lay between two and three eggs.

The image below shows a Crested Goshawk Female. Look at that gorgeous plumage.

“鳳頭蒼鷹 – 雌鳥 Crested Goshawk (Female)” by alexwhite21 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In size comparison, the Northern Goshawk that has caused issues related to the death of the Osprey chicks in Latvia and Spain is approximately twice the size of the Crested Goshawk. Each species has a long tail and shorter broad wings to help them speed around the forest area where they hunt. They are more adapt at living in the forest and often lure their prey into that environment.

Here is the mom in her nest with her eaglet.

The eaglet has been ringed with two official bands.

The eaglet will fledge in 2-3 weeks. You can watch this little one grow up here:

Now let’s check on some of those Ospreys!

Foulshaw Moss. Tiny Little is still moving in to get fed. I have seen some people worrying about him but, honestly, this little one is going to be grand. At tea time on Sunday, 464 was self-feeding. Self-feeding is hard work and the chicks spend a lot of time and energy fighting with the bones in the head. They get tired. So when 464 finished eating, Blue 35 took over and fed Tiny Little and Middle Bob.

In the image below, 464 is self-feeding. Mom, Blue 35, is waiting and it is Tiny Little stretching his wing. As we will all be saying, Tiny Little isn’t so Tiny anymore. And that is a good thing!

Blue 35 has taken over the feeding and, of course, Tiny Little is right there for the bites! Tiny Little and Middle Bob have always done well together. It is really good that 464, the big female, fledged first. It is hard to imagine but a couple of days ago Tiny Little looked like an extremely young chick. Now, unless the bands are visible and you follow the chicks it is hard to tell them apart. Now that is magnificent and it shows precisely what getting a good feeding means to these chicks.

Dyfi. Right now it is pitching down rain. Earlier it looked like Dysynni was hovering so high that he was going to fledge – but, he didn’t. Ystwyth is in awe! Dysynni is 52 days old today and Ystwyth is 48 days.

I imagine that Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Galactic’s Unity Spaceplane took off from Spaceport America this morning successfully returning to Earth from space would really like to fly like a bird. Laura Culley, falconer and great mind, told me once that humans have the DNA for feathers and flight we just haven’t turned them on. Any geneticists out there to confirm that?

And then the rains came and Idris delivered a really nice fish that Telyn is feeding the nestlings. No more thoughts of fledging today!

Poole Harbour. Both CJ7 and Blue 022 were at the nest at Poole Harbour today. They continue bonding. There is at least a month or six weeks til they head off on their migration. Let us all hope that this lovely new couple return in late March or early April – both of them – and entertain us with their antics while raising chicks.

Clywedog. Oh, it is wet and miserable at this nest in Wales today. Only Bob looks pretty miserable.

Never fear. Dylan went out and got a nice perch for Only Bob’s (Blue 496) tea time treat. Seren is happily feeding her little one. Soon Only Bob is going to be thinking about fledging too.

Look at Dylan’s strong thin legs. The other day he flew 13 km to get a trout for his family’s dinner. Thanks John Williams for confirming that distance!

Loch of the Lowes. It is raining in Scotland, too. NC0 is on the nest feeding her nestling and her fledgling their tea time meal. NC0 has been flying with Fledgling Bob over the loch. It will be wonderful to see her spend time flying with both her babies once Second Bob has fledged. NC0 has become a very good mother. She struggled at the beginning with the feeding and many thought that Second Bob would not survive and perish like little third Bob. But, look at these two now. Fantastic. NC0 really came into her own. Laddie has done his part, too!

Are you interested in France’s plan for their Osprey and White Tailed Eagles? If so, Stephanie Scofield posted the French government’s document on the Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) FB page. If you cannot read French, have a look anyway. The graphics are very helpful. Here is that report:

Thank you so much to the person who forwarded me an image of Z1, Tegid. I do not know who to credit for the image so thank you to that individual. I hope you do not mind my posting it today!

I am so grateful to my friend ‘T’ for telling me about this brave little osprey. As many of you know, I am setting about on a ten year plan to follow the osprey hatches that were beaten and battered and deprived of food but, who made it despite all the odds against them to fledge! I want to see how their lives unfold. Sadly, many like Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey nest are not ringed and most are not seen on camera. So my list is short. It includes Z1 Tegid, JJ7 Captain, Tiny Little Bob Blue 463, and Tiny Tot. If you know of others please alert me. You can leave me a comment or send the information through e-mail (maryannsteggles@icloud.com). It is much appreciated.

Here is Tegid. He has a nest with chicks for the second year in Snowdonia in Wales! Look at those strong little legs, too.

It is a soaring hot day on the Canadian prairies. The birds are really enjoying the water dishes and baths – they are keeping us busy filling them. I am taking a break from cleaning my tiny home office. It got stuffed with all manner of everything during the pandemic and now it is time to get that sorted. It is so nice, like now, to stop and check in on our friends with feathers!

Thank you so much for joining me and thank you for all the letters, comments, and pictures. I love hearing from you.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I take my screen shots: Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, CarnyX Wildlife and Clywedog Ospreys, Dyfi Osprey Project, Poole Harbour Osprey Project, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, Crested Goshawk Nest Cam in Taipei, and the Mlady Buky White Stork Nest Cam.

Nest Hopping on the Summer Solstice

Today in the Northern Hemisphere we are celebrating the Summer Solstice. In the Southern, it is the Winter Solstice. My friends in Australia are finishing up their gardens, eating the last of the tomatoes and clearing up the vines, enjoying the first of the cabbages. It is even time for them to light the small fires that keep them warm. For the rest of is it is the beginning of summer officially. A time for school to be over in Canada and people to start thinking what they will be doing to enjoy themselves for the second summer of the pandemic, living under various restrictions.

There has been a lot of action in Bird World this past week – some good and some tragic. We lost the two seemingly healthy Ospreys chicks at the Urbaidai Biosphere Nest. The staff believe the cause was hypothermia. There had been lots of rain and the nest was wet. It is so sad because those chicks were quite large and doing so well. Now at the Golden Eagle Nest in Bucovina, Romania, the beautiful little Golden Eaglet has not had a good meal since the 16th of the month. Today it was so hungry that it had to eat one of the leg bones from the deer brought on the nest. The father had been helping with prey – hunting and then doing an exchange with mom. I wonder if something has happened to him. The female brought in only a small bird since the 16th. It is so frightening because this nest is beginning to feel like a repeat of the absolute horror at Spilve’s nest in Latvia last year. Spilve’s mate died and then her beautiful Klints, almost ready to fledge, starved to death. Spilve could not get enough large prey for Klints to survive. That said there is a difference. A human frightened the male provider while putting up a camera. Spilve’s mate was injured or died. Think about it. This is the reason that no one should go near an active nest once the birds are there. The question is this: does the individual who put up the camera have a ethical obligation to provide prey for the Golden Eaglet?

The eaglet had a crop but I believe it is only from the eating of the bones. I want to be wrong. My friend T sent this picture to me and we both hope he had some real food.

Just now the mother has brought in a very small bird for the eaglet. It is 17:28 nest time in Romania. Eaglet had seen her and started food calling. Oh, I hope that nothing has happened to the father so that larger prey can come on to this nest!

There has been a lot of sadness at various of the nests this year. K2, the middle hatch of Big Red and Arthur, is having some issues. No one knows specifically what the matter is. The beak appears to be layered with dried food that did not get cleaned off. The eye issues could be compounded by the chick’s scratching. It was a good day for a fledge for K1 and K3 but that did not happen. Big Red fed all three chicks on the nest tonight – including K2 who ate well. Big Red knew that heavy rain was coming and she kept those babies on the nest. Oh, she is such a wonderfully experienced mom!

K3 is the one facing towards the street standing in front of the light box. If you look carefully you can see the accumulation of dried prey on the beak. I am hoping that is all that is the matter with her beak and that antibiotics, fluids, and TLC will have her fit to release. I say her. I actually believe K2 is a he. If K2 goes into care they will surely do a DNA test and we will find out – boy or girl.

Around 9:26 this morning Arthur brought in prey for Big Red and the Ks. These parents are being very attentive to their three hawlets as the time comes closer for them to fledge. Already this morning K3 has taken the spot on the fledge ledge. It will be 80 degrees and sunny. A nice day to fly for the first time!

There were three fish deliveries that I am aware of on the Cowlitz Nest today in Longview, Washington. That is wonderful. There continues to be food insecurity and competition on the nest. The smallest chick is very feisty, just like K3, and does take advantage of that when feeding time arrives. I do not know how soon this will stop but I do hope that Wattsworth will bring more fish to the nest so that these two can begin to grow and thrive. Chick 1 hatched on May 27th making it 23 days old and chick 2 hatched on May 29th making it 21 days old today. They are physically behind in their development but that might not be a bad thing unless they are not ready for migration when August or September arrive. It would be like having a child who is either small for their age that they are at the bottom of the chart or, likewise, one that is really big for their age. I was happy to see crops on both the chicks today and also to see a pair of fat little bottoms. Hopefully they will be fine but they need consistent fish brought to the nest for that to happen! Wattsworth!!!!!!!

You can just see the coppery colour starting on their heads. They still have the white stripes on their back and their dark charcoal down as infants. It looks like their spider legs are beginning to fill out a bit but the little bottoms today – at least – are plump and round. These kiddos have been a bit of a worry because there is no rhythm to this nest. All you have to do is look at the nest where the chicks are thriving and see the dad bring in a fish first thing in the morning – it is there just as dawn is breaking – and at tea time or before bed. And, of course, in between. Wattsworth is not regular. It makes for so much insecurity – and hunger – which leads to rivalry.

There they are those sweet little kiddos with their little tails coming in. Oh, you keep every morsel of positive energy you have going the way of these two. They cannot help who their father is – I just hope that for them Wattsworth will continue to provide more and more fish. They can get over it. Just look at Tiny Tot! But they are going to need lots of fish as they should be entering their biggest growth period.

Jack brought in two fish to Tiny Tot at the Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest. The first of the day was actually the tea time fish at 4:52:33 and the last was at around 7:50. Tiny gets so excited when he sees fish coming in – he food calls and starts mantling – always backing up on the nest so that dad has a place to land.

It was a really quick hand off. Tiny is great – can you tell in the image below that he has a fish in those talons? I couldn’t for the longest time.

In the Karula National Forest in Estonia, the Black Storklings are thriving. Karl II and Kaia have done a wonderful job parenting the three of them. This is the nest where Karl’s former partner typically laid 5 or 7 eggs and then would toss the smaller chicks off the nest. I am hoping that Kaia only lays three eggs every year so that all can survive – providing there is enough food. Food insecurity triggers the elimination of the smaller chicks.

So much on these nests – every nest no matter the species – depends on a regular supply of prey. Any nest can change in an instant if something happens to the amount of prey or the weather turns cold and damp.

Aren’t they adorable?

I do not know if the community is still feeding the storklings in Mlade Buky. You will recall that their mother was electrocuted and Father Stork was going to have difficulty protecting the little ones and getting food for them. The community chipped in little fish and various other small mammals for both Father Stork and the storklings, feeding them three times a day. Those generous caring people made it possible for these three to grow strong and fledge. When I check now, it is Father Stork who is feeding them.

Here is father stork feeding them just after 10pm last night in Czechoslovakia.

And today you can see how big those storklings have grown.

It is morning in Scotland. There is a beautiful golden glow falling on NC0 and the Two Bobs. Look how big they are? At one time I worried so much for the Little Bob and NC0’s feeding ability but she has proved herself to be an excellent mother.

There is a bit of mist as the sun breaks in Wales at the Dyfi Nest of Telyn and Idris.

Let us all hope that the golden glow that falls so beautifully on NC0 at the Loch of the Lowes will bless all of the nests this week so that everyone is well.

Thank you for joining me. You stay well, too!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Project, Scottish Wildlife and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Achieva Credit Union, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Mlade Buky, Eagle Club of Estonia, and the Bucovina Golden Eagle Cam.