Tuesday in Bird World

It is a grey and windy day. As the weather channel promised, our summer heat wave in October seems to have come to an end (for the moment) with the arrival of single digit temperatures. The recent rains have caused the ground and old tree stumps to come alive and the sparrows and thrashers are thumping the ground having a good old time. It reminds me – continues to remind me – why we should not be raking our leaves or mowing the grass. Gently rake them into a corner if you have to. The birds really will thank you!

It is also nearing Halloween and all around me I can see the windows and doors decorated – many have elaborate displays outside.

I believe Halloween was the favourite holiday of my children – you got to dress up, get candy, and have parties at School. I recall pulling the two oldest in a sled one year as the snowflakes fell faster and faster. We did not need to go more than a block. Their pillowcases were full because they were the only ones out on such an incredible wintery night. The grandchildren enjoyed decorating the trees and, sadly, I remember using some of that web material with little black plastic spiders. That was a long time ago when I did not know better – but I do now. As a reminder to everyone, please be careful if you decorate. It will be a tragedy if animals get caught and have to be euthanized just for a bit of fun.

Oh, gosh, golly. Xavier and Diamond’s little chick just took its first steps!

Meanwhile, the Collins Street Four – which are a week older – are now standing up. They are also getting curious about the outside world and one nearly gave several streaming cam viewers a heart attack when it walked up to the edge of the ledge.

The Collins Four having some fun. Look at the size of the wings!

In case you are wondering why the scrape box is so messy this year, it is because the wind does not blow through it like it did at the other end. On a positive note, the chicks have been supplied with some shade and neither them or Mum have been as hot and panting as much as last year.

At the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest, the osplets had, at least, five fish yesterday – probably a couple more. I could not rewind the camera prior to 16:00 and all had big crops at that time. One of the most interesting interactions was between Little Bob and Mum. They had a tug-o-war with the fish tail. Mum won!!! It was very cute. that fish tail was from the 18:02:17 fish Dad brought in.

The osplets are doing really well walking around in that twig lined nest, too. They are covered more and more with feathers each day. Those feathers seem to be pushing out of those quills right before our eyes.

Dad brought in a bedtime fish for the family at 19:39:16. It is difficult to tell one from the other but there is Little Bob in its usual spot, right up by Mum’s beak.

Where is Solly, the first hatch of the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge in 2020? She seems to have decided to take a quick trip to Streaky Bay before heading back to her special tree in Eba Anchorage. It is such a relief to see the movements of the birds – to know they are safe, living their lives well.

If you were following some of the Montana Ospreys, a map of their locations has been released on the Montana Osprey FB page this morning. It shows that all of the Ospreys arrived in Mexico or Central America. Such good news. Their satellite trackers are working splendidly.

Both of the little sea eagles, WBSE 27 and 28, were still on the nest early this morning. That doesn’t mean that they will be there in a couple of hours.

I am a huge fan of Gabby and Samson’s at the Northeast Florida Bald Eagle nest near Jacksonville. The morning was just starting. The couple spent the night on the branches and as the sun came up, Gabby could be seen working on the nest.

At various times during the day, Samson, Gabby, or both, can be seen preparing their nest for the new breeding season. Here is a link to the streaming cams (there are several but this one looks directly into the nest), so you can check on them.

Tiaki, the 2021 Royal Albatross Cam Chick, is making really good time on her way to Chile. She was well beyond the International Date Line this morning. So, with that news, everyone in Bird World is doing well today. Smile. It is all good!

The sun is out and the Slate-grey Juncos are on the deck and the sparrows are having a drink out of the bowls. I wonder what other garden critters will show up? No Halloween candy for them! But they are getting extra dry corn cobs.

Thank you for joining me. Take care each and every one of you. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Port Lincoln Osprey Project, NEFlorida Bald Eagle Cam and the AEF, Sea Eagle Cam@ Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and the Montana Osprey Project and the Port Lincoln Osprey Project FB Pages for the sat-pak maps showing the location of the migrating Montana Ospreys and Solly.

Bird World Happenings

There is a lot of news in Bird World this morning. Early sat-packed Ospreys are finding their way to Africa. A 2013 hatch from Rutland, the famous 4K, arrived on the coast of guinea on 23 September at 17:00. Chris White has also sent photos of other unringed Ospreys arriving. So nice to hear they are safe.

Sharon Leigh-Miles posted a long list on the Montana Osprey FB Page. Sharon reported the following (abbreviated):

First out of the gate for migration was Avery. Many of you know Avery. She is from the Class of 2016. She returned to her nest by the Yellowstone River about April 19, 2021. This year she fledged three healthy chicks again. Dr. Marco Restani of the Yellowstone Osprey Project banded her chicks. Avery must have needed a rest because she left for her home in Veracruz about September 1st. Avery’s sister or half-sister, Boots, Class of 2018, seemed to find a home in Idaho this year. She is now on the coast of Louisiana. It is decision time for Boots. Will she fly east to Cuba, her first winter home, or will she veer back westerly and return to the Chiapas, Mexico? We believe hurricanes and tropical storms may have blown Boots off course last year and she settled in Chiapas. We have three chicks that fledged on MPG Ranch in the Bitterroot Valley. Kove was banded and outfitted on July 21, 2021. He was the eager beaver and left on his first migration on September 11th. He is currently right outside Tampico. Lupine from the Class of 2020 found her winter home slightly northeast of Kove’s location. Sainfoin was banded and outfitted on August 10th. This chick left on migration on September 16th and just crossed the border into Mexico. Rio is our last chick this year. She was banded and outfitted on August 10th as well. Rio seems to think that having fish delivered and having a full crop is just the ticket, as she is still at her natal nest being supplied by her dad. Don’t worry. The urge to migrate will soon move her south. In addition to Lupine, three additional ospreys from the Class of 2020 remain at their winter homes. Zinnia and Dahlia have made Louisiana their winter home. Lucky settled down on the coast of Tabasco, MX.” Thanks, Sharon!

Satellite Packs and even simple banding give us a lot of information about the travels of our beloved birds. Audubon FL reported that a Banded juvenile Bald Eagle Green K/48 from Florida was located far from home in Virginia. Have a read:

https://fl.audubon.org/news/banded-eagle-spotted-hundreds-miles-nest-site?fbclid=IwAR3nNRp2wMD5NjudQ_vUwAoexk2NMJiWABT6FGFBWmL6XeDxMzXYnaJsnns

There are currently only 10 Albatross chicks left on Taiaroa Head, NZ. One of those is Tiaki. Tiaki is the Royal Cam chick of the year, daughter of LGL and LGK. She is a beauty. She has already mastered hovering and when Tiaki decides it is time to fledge, we will all be cheering for her. We can also watch her travels because she also has a sat-pack!

If you are a fan of Turkey Vultures, the San Diego Zoo announced that it has successfully hatched an Egyptian Turkey Vulture in captivity.

https://www.kpbs.org/news/2021/sep/23/first-egyptian-vulture-bred-captivity-san-diego/?fbclid=IwAR32UpOxdtf2MCrJx5-3jlE62cpSE7gEG5bvTdvvlsJGWLPMQeGXl3nAWBM

Last but never the least, the Port Lincoln Ospreys had several feedings after I turned out the lights on the Canadian prairies. Dad brought in a whale at 13:56:56. Mom was still feeding the chicks at 14:29. That is a total of 34 minutes. It is good to compare this with earlier feedings that were only 6 minutes long. It will give you some idea of the amount of food the chicks are now consuming. There was another feeding at 15:04:54 and again at 16:03. The kids – each and everyone of them – had nice crops! It was a good day in Port Lincoln.

At 12:51, the trio still have crops from their earlier feeding.

Look at that great fish Dad just delivered!

More than half of it was gone at the end of the feeding. Remember when this fish would have lasted all day?

Mom cleaning her beak at the end of the feeding.

Happy babies wanting more.

Their crops are full. one is passed out in a food coma. Little Bob and one of the older siblings are holding out for a bit more. Little Bob never leaves the table early. He seems to have an endless pit.

The Port Lincoln chicks are all doing well. Little Bob is beginning to lose the soft down on top of his head and you can see the dark feathers coming in. Little Bob is 51 hours younger than Big Bob. He will be catching up in plumage very soon. There are a lot of people that think that he will catch up in size but, the general rule – rules, of course, always broken – is that the third hatch is a male. If that is the case with Little Bob then he is going to be smaller than Big Bob who is probably a female. At least 30% smaller.

Everything is wonderful in Bird Land. Lots of good stories about migration coming out.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is another grand fall day with summer temperatures on the Canadian prairies. Take care everyone. See you soon!

Thank you to the Montana Osprey Project and Sharon Leigh-Miles for allowing me to use their information from their FB page. Thanks to the Port Lincoln Osprey Project and the Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.

Saturday in Ospreyland

There is super news regarding the fledglings. Pont Cresor Blue 494, son of Aeron Z2 and Blue 014 was spotted at Point Caillot in Brittany, France by Colette Leclerqu. Blue 494 was also a historic hatch – the first for the Pont Cresor Nest in the Glaslyn Valley.

Blue 494 has a great pedigree. He is the grandson of Monty and Glesni. Looking forward to his return in 2023!

If anyone hears of someone spotting Blue 463, Tiny Little, from the Foulshaw Moss Nest, please let me know!!!!!! Did you know that Foulshaw Moss was one of only a few Osprey nests in the world to successfully fledge three Osplets in 2021? Achieva Credit Union Osprey Nest with Tiny Tot was another.

I did a short report on the feedings at Port Lincoln in the middle of the night. There were at least two other meals for the three after I shut my computer down.

Mom knows with the cool winds coming off the water that the chicks need to be kept warm. They don’t! They are curious and wiggly and want to look around! Too funny. These three are going to be a handful.

Calypso, the 2019 hatch from this nest, a female, lives and is seen often around Port Lincoln. Solly, 2020 hatch, has a satellite transmitter and continues to stay around Kiffin Island and Eba Anchorage. Solly is 364 days old. Tomorrow is her first year hatching birthday!

The Montana Osprey Project has officially said goodbye to Iris for the 2021 season. She did not return to her nest to say goodbye this year and she was last seen about four days ago on the branch at Mt Sentinel eating a fish.

Here is one of the most iconic of Iris images. For those of you just learning about Ospreys, Iris is the oldest Osprey in the world. She is unringed. No one knows where she spends her winters. Her nest for the spring and summer is at Hellgate Canyon in Missoula, Montana. Iris, we wish you safe travels, great fishing, good weather, a wonderful winter break, and a speedy return to us.

It continues to be a good day in Osprey Land. Wishing for lots of fish for the PLO and great feedings today.

What a treat. An Osprey came into view while Ferris Akel was streaming at Wildlife Drive in Montezuma, New York.

I am off to check on the ducks today. Thank you so much for joining me. Emyr Evans if you are reading this, please open the on line store so we can all order our copies of Monty!

Thank you to the PLO Project, the Dyfi FB Page, Ferris Akel Livestream, and the Montana Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots.

Bird World. 14 Sept 2021

Everyone loves a new hatch and the two little Osplets at PLO continue to just make me go “awwwwwwwwwww.”

Look at that nice fish Dad has brought in for Mom and the Little Bobs. They are both lined up, mouths open, watching with their eyes which aren’t focusing 100% yet. Oh, so sweet.

There is a pip in the third egg. It was seen about nine or ten hours ago. There is not much progress. Will it be a successful hatch? We wait.

The feedings seem to come often, sometimes an hour apart. That will do much to instil food security to these two – of course, along with those good catches of dad’s.

Around 08:07, viewers might have thought there was bonking going on but it is the lack of clear focus and just seeing a ‘beak’ that they try to aim for. Not intentional. You will know for sure when the pecking is meant to be harmful.

You get a glimpse of the crack in the third egg at 07:15.

The cam operator at Port Lincoln gave everyone a tour of the area. I want to share it with you in case you did not see these beautiful images.

It is a lovely area for an Osprey nest.

This is a great image. It shows you Mum and the nest on the left. You can see how it is raised up. Then look down on the deck. That is Dad’s man-cave. Looks pretty good. He has a nice perch there or there are perches on the ropes that eventually the juveniles might use.

The Port Lincoln Osprey Project has permission for three satellite trackers for this year. This is due to the success of Solly! Yes, you can close your eyes and see me jumping up and down. It is often difficult to demonstrate the merit of using technology but I think the data coming from Solly’s transmitter turned some heads. Now PLO just needs to get the funds to purchase them. With no eggs on Turnby Island, this means that all three of these chicks, if there are to be three, ‘might’ get one.

There have been a few visitors to the Achieva Osprey Nest since Jack and Tiny Little vacated in August. One of those came today – a very hungry young male, I think.

There was a posting on Twitter this morning showing an image of an Osprey eating a fish on the Mt Sentinel tree. It is presumed to be Iris. If so, she is still in Montana and has not come to say goodbye to her nest yet.

I ‘think’ Aran is still in the Glaslyn Valley. I caught sight of an Osprey as the trees were blowing. The Osprey is in the tree behind the pine branch.

Ring-Bill Gulls on the dock. They do not seem to mind the more choppy weather.

The leaves are turning and the landscape is simply stunning.

The Cormorants were very clever. The choppy waves were driving the little fish into the edge of Clear Lake. They waited and were catching their lunch. Very impressive.

Thank you so much for joining me. It is definitely fall in Northern Manitoba and there are few birds about. I was told about a possible sighting of a Blue Heron but I am holding out for some loons! Fingers crossed. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Port Lincoln Ospreys, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

It’s a Pip for Port Lincoln …and is Iris still in Montana?

The poor mum at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge nest has certainly been stared at! Chatters want a stick moved and Dad seems to continue, on occasion, to bring in some more nest materials.

At 02:06, many were certain there was a bump. By 05:33:13 there was a definite pip. The bump expanding for three hours certainly seems logical.

You can see it here – the back egg! The first egg was laid on 3 August. I think it makes it 40 days on the dot – but don’t trust me, do your own math, please. It looks like there will be a little Osprey by morning tomorrow. Lovely. I hope the weather is good for mum and chick.

Thanks to the two ‘Ss’ for alerting me. It seems that Iris was enjoying a fish yesterday on her favourite tree at Mt Sentinel. You will read later in this newsletter that Ospreys prefer trees without branches. This one is certainly perfect. She can see all around her. Oh, the survival skills the Ospreys have developed over millions of years.

Oh, these birds are so smart. If the weather is bad, maybe they know it. Certainly they anticipate local weather and act accordingly!

Hurricane season officially lasts from 1 June to the end of November. Last year several of us worried about Tiny Tot and we became curious about the impact of hurricanes on the Ospreys and other birds.

This is an excellent document on the subject.

In his book, Soaring with Fidel, David Gessner talks about visiting Sanibel Island after Hurricane Charley hit the area in August of 2004. Santibel took a direct hit and it is home to many sea birds including lots of Ospreys. Some of you might have watched the Captiva Bald Eagle nest last year – Joe and Connie. That nest is on Santibel Island.

According to Gessner’s friend, Tim Gardner who lives on Santibel, the hurricane hit with 140 mph winds, a category 4. “The Ospreys, according to Tim, moved lower and lower in the trees, until they hunkered down near the ground in the brush.” “But no amount of hunkering could protect them.” Gardner revealed to Gessner that all of the nests were gone after the hurricane. Blown away. Gardner also added, “The remarkable thing was the birds’ resilience: those that had lived through the hurricane had come back to rebuild on the same spots”. He noted that the few trees that remained looked just like sticks pushed up out of the ground with no branches —– well, lo and behold, our Ospreys love trees without branches. Perfect. They can see all around them. As hurricane season continues for 2021, let us wish all the wildlife resilience and strength.

I have so enjoyed Gessner’s writing that I was able to find his first book at a used book shop. It is Return of the Osprey. A Season of Flight and Wonder. I hope that it is as informative as it is a good read. Certainly Soaring with Fidel fit that. I continue to return to that book. It is a delight.

After posting the article, “The Tears of the Albatross,” my friend, ‘L’ send me a link to this wonderful video, Albatross – A Love Story! It is excellent. Have a look. Thank you, ‘L’!

So many of you have sent me the most beautiful images of your the birds. Thank you! The care, love, and concern that each of you have for the wildlife visiting your gardens is so endearing. I wish we could spread that love and care like an aerosol.

Oh, the joy and laughter the birds and animals bring with their antics! This evening as the sun was setting, the three Blue Jays that visit my garden and two of the large grey squirrels had noticed the ears of dried corn that had been put in a bowl for them. My view was mostly blocked but oh, you could see the crest of the Blue Jay pop up and down and, on occasion, the cob would roll and you could see the Jays getting a kernel and eating it. One decided to have a bath. Of course, he will never use the bird bath. This fellow, the male, prefers the old gold water bowl.

I am also certain that he can hear when I take the cap off the lens since he absolutely refuses to pose! Seriously, he had been looking straight at me prior to this.

The Blue Jay couple are year round residents in the back garden. They always come out in the morning and late afternoon to almost sunset. They often arrive with a single juvenile every summer. To my amazement, they get along with the other regulars – the little Downy male woodpecker (and his juvenile in the summer), the lone Black-Capped chickadee, the three Grey Squirrels, Sharpie the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Hedwig the Rabbit, and ‘Little Red’, the Red Squirrel. OK. Red and the Grays dislike each other completely.

These characters that give us so many giggles are really a part of the family. It is always comforting, at the end of the day, to check off that each has been seen.

The link to the Port Lincoln Osprey cam is here:

My newsletter will be late tomorrow, very late. I am hopping to get a glimpse of some birds during the day if the weather cooperates. On the list are Sandhill Cranes. In fact, it might not arrive until Tuesday late morning so don’t worry.

Thank you so much for stopping by to check on our friends in Bird World. No doubt everything will happen at once – the chick at PLO will hatch the moment that Tiaki fledges and Iris arrives at her nest! The birds certainly keep us on our toes. Stay safe everyone.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or their FB pages where I took my images: Montana Osprey Project and Cornell Bird Lab, Sharon Leigh Miles from the Montana Osprey Project who allows me to use images from their FB Page she posts, and the Port Lincoln Ospreys.

Taiki to get GPS tracker

It is 9 September in Australia. My computer tells me that it is 17:34 on the Canadian Prairies on the 8th of September. In three hours, around 20:00. CDT, the NZ DOC rangers will fit Tiaki with the tracker. She is 228 days old and could fledge any time.

Here is the link so that you can watch. Both LGL and LGK were fitted with trackers. LGK’s is still working providing valuable information on where the adults forage for food for their chicks.

In other nest news, it has been confirmed that Z2 (Aeron) and his family have now all departed for migration. Aeron’s nest is the Pont Cresor in Glaslyn. At the same time, Aran is still at the Glaslyn nest. Many worry about his late spring wing injury but, he most often doesn’t leave until mid-September.

Wales issued a statement that due to the cold spring weather and misfortunes, their six nests produced only six chicks to fledge.

9 October is one of Cornell’s big bird submission dates. This year they are even calling it October Big Day. They want everyone to do a bird count around the world. Mark it on your calendar. I will give you more details closer to the day.

eBird submissions are very helpful. Some recent discoveries, sadly, include bird and plane collision information.

A photo of an adult Osprey yesterday leads everyone in Missoula to think that Iris is still in Montana. The image was taken from the Owl Pole Camera.

Let’s chick on where the Black Storks are today.

Pikne is in Moldova.

Udu is in Southwest Poland.

Udu’s area is full of lakes!

There was no data update for Karl II.

Julge, the only surviving chick of Jan and Janika, has made its way through Germany and looks like he is flying into France. This stork picked the Western Route! Julge is the purple line going into Belgium. It is nice to know he is safe.

The last time that Big Red and Arthur’s K1 and K3 were spotted was 3 September. If they are truly gone and starting their own lives, we wish them and those that are migrating good winds, food, and safe landings.

My original computer issue was fixed but now it seems that some of the keys are sticking. It isn’t fun to keyboard. I will leave you with a couple of images of ducks and geese from my excursion to the park today. It was quiet. Everyone was off tracking down a Green Heron that had flown into town!

A juvenile male Wood Duck.
Juvenile Female Wood Duck
Adult male Wood Duck,moult
Canada Geese

Thank you so much for joining me today. Don’t forget to drop in and see Tiaki get her tracker! My hope is that it is equipped with a 7 year battery. Take care everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams or FB pages where I took my screen shots: Montana Osprey Project, Eagle Club of Estonia, Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC, and BirdMap.

Iris, the Grand Dame of Ospreys

As the days of summer give way to thoughts of falling leaves and back to school, our beautiful Ospreys think of migration. Those in the United Kingdom have already already headed to the area around Poole Harbour to have a last good feed and sleep on land before heading south to Brittany and on to Africa. Those in the United States and Canada will take various routes. The male is still in Manitoba with one chick at the nest I watch.Some head to southern Texas and places in Mexico while those in the northeast fly over the cost, over the length of Cuba heading to South America. One of those leaving her summer breeding grounds in Missoula, Montana will be Iris.

Iris is not ringed. No one knows where she goes for the winter but, she turns up in tip top shape to her nest at Hellgate Canyon every spring.

Typically Iris spends more time at her nest before her departure. Last year she said goodbye on 8 September. Because of her age, many worry that she will not return. It is always an anxious wait until spring and she arrives again full of hope and hormones.

Sharon Leigh Miles shared this image of Iris taken on her favourite tree on Mt Sentinel on 6 September at 09:22.

She is there. Just squint.

Iris is the oldest osprey in the world – the grand dame of all of them. In her lifetime it is estimated that she has fledged between 30 and 40 chicks but no one knows for sure. It is possibly more. Iris is known around the world. Her arrival on 7 April 2021 to her Hellsgate nest made print and television news. Dr Ericke Green of the University of Montana believes Iris is at least 25 years old, perhaps more.

In the image below, Iris just landing from her winter migration. All the worrying about whether or not she survived another winter is put to rest.

Welcome home, Iris. 7 April 2021
Landing with a nice big breakfast. 10:36 am. 11 April 2021

Iris’s nest, prior to the one she uses now, was on a hydro pole about 68 metres or 200 feet from this one. This artificial nest was built for Iris because of the high rate of electrocutions on power lines – all birds, not just Osprey. The power lines are high enough and have a clear view that they appear to be desirable. The new nest, erected in 2007, is all set up with a high resolution camera. Iris took to the new nest right away, thankfully. Iris mate, at the time was Stanley. Stanley did not return from migration in 2016. Her current mate, Louis, and her have had a very chequered relationship. Louis also has another nest with Star, his primary nest, near the baseball park. Iris and Louis fledged one chick, Le Le, in 2018.

Many of us are glad that Iris has been spending the summer of 2021 taking care of herself. Raising chicks is not an easy job – and everyone loves Iris and wants her to return year in and year out from her migration.

I have included some images taken at the nest this year.

Iris worked on building the best nest that she could. Every day she brought in more material. She eventually will lay three eggs – that we and she – seem to know are destined not to hatch. These were bittersweet moments for everyone.

She was fierce in her fishing and the protecting of her nest. Indeed, her and Louis protected the nest together several times. The video below is from 22 August.

Sharon Leigh Miles provided a chart of the departure dates for Iris for her migration. Today is 6 September so we are definitely in the range. These are the previous dates of her departure:

  • 2012: 6 September
  • 2013: 6 September
  • 2014: 11 September
  • 2015: 4 September
  • 2016: 8 September
  • 2017: 9 September
  • 2018: 10 September
  • 2019: ?
  • 2020: 8 September

There is no one on the Hellgate Canyon nest this morning. Everyone is hoping that Iris will make several long appearances on the nest before she departs. This has been her MOD in the past. Fingers crossed!

If you would like to periodically check on the nest, here is the link to the streaming cam:

The Montana Osprey Project has had one fundraiser – the Iris pens – this year. If you would like information on how to order one of these, send me an e-mail and I will provide the details. They are lovely. There are also plans to commemorate Iris by a woodblock print. As information comes through I will post it.

Keep Iris in your heart. Migration is challenging. We wish her a safe journey, good winds, lots of fish, and a safe return to Montana in the spring.

Thanks for joining me. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the Montana Osprey Project for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots and their FB page. Thank you Sharon Leigh Miles for allowing me to use your images posted on the FB page.

Thursday in Bird World, 2 September

It is pretty quiet at the nests these days – that lull if you like between the Ospreys leaving for their migrations in Europe and the US, the Bald Eagles slowly returning to their breeding areas, and the falcons and Ospreys incubating eggs in Australia. The biggest news in Bird World is that Diamond laid her second egg at 20:55 September 2nd.

Xavier taking a turn incubating and rolling the eggs for a bit this morning. Gosh, those are big eggs!

The Osprey was officially adopted in 1994 as the is the provincial bird of Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s ten provinces. Nova Scotia is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Fundy, the Northhumberland Strait, and the Gulf of Maine. It is one of Canada’s Atlantic or Maritime Provinces. At its widest, 128 km, it is easy to reach any body of water easily. It is said that Nova Scotia has more Ospreys than the United Kingdom in its entirety. Many live on McNab’s Island at the mouth of Halifax Harbour.

@Wikimedia Commons

The lighthouse was built in 1809. In 1852, Dr. Abraham Gesner was given control of the lighthouse. In December, Gester used a fuel that he had just discovered – kerosene – to operate the light.

“McNabs Island” by KellyMercer is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“Maugher Beach Lighthouse (McNabs Island, Nova Scotia) – (Adventure of the Seas – August 1st, 2018)” by cseeman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
“Wharf at McNabs Island” by wdrwilson is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
[[File:Osprey Bird.jpg|Osprey_Bird]]
[[File:Osprey on Sandy Hook (70318).jpg|Osprey_on_Sandy_Hook_(70318)]

Ironically, there were hardly any Ospreys in Nova Scotia two decades ago. The use of DDT had weakened the eggs to the point that the birds were virtually going extinct. Since 1979, the Osprey Management Program, operated jointly between Nova Scotia Power and the environmentalists at the Department of Lands and Forestry to relocate nests that are on top of live utility poles to safer unused poles nearby. Each year they partner with the Museum of Natural History to live stream an osprey nest. The Osprey are in Nova Scotia from April to September. At the end of the summer, when the juveniles are old enough, they leave for their winter grounds in the Caribbean and South America.

The first little video is from 2014. Seven years ago, when streaming cams were not so HD. Here is a typical Osprey family of five in Nova Scotia on top of one of the partnership nests.

Here is another short video of 2020 showing the improvement in cameras. It shows the hatch of the second chick at this nest on 9 June.

Speaking of Osprey, Sharon Leigh Miles took this image today of an Osprey at Mt Sentinel in Missoula, Montana. It is Iris’s favourite tree and it is presumed to be Iris, the grand dame of North American Ospreys. Hopefully she will visit her nest before she leaves. She is the oldest Osprey in the world.

In other news, White YW, the male at the Foulshaw Moss Nest, dad of our one and only Tiny Little, Blue 463, is still in Cumbria. He was photographed there today. White YW hatched at Bassenthwaite in 2008. Gosh, he is a great dad. One of the unsung heroes. Chris Wood has received word that the estuaries that the UK Ospreys travel to for their winter season are filling up with water. Wonderful! Yesterday, I saw Cormorants here in Manitoba and today a couple seem to have taken over Maya and Blue 33’s nest at Rutland (at least for part of the day). The two little sea eagles are getting along fine. Food remains plentiful and they are growing, flapping, and learning to walk. Those clown feet are really growing. Just look, with food, 28’s feet are getting huge. Wow.

I am attaching the progress map of the Ospreys and Black Storks:

Pikne, in orange, is really travelling well. She has gone straight south almost beating Karl II in royal blue. You can follow them, too. Here is the link:

http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care. Stay well. Look for egg number 3 on 4 September down in Orange.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: The Falcon Cam Project at Charles Sturt University in Orange, The Montana Osprey Project FB Page, Sea Eagle Cam @Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, and BirdMap.

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.

Happenings in Bird Land. 17 August 2021

Our sky is very overcast this morning and, for one of the first days, our temperature will not go over 29 C which is the same as it is in the Caribbean. It is not surprising that the summer flowers, such as Jasmine and Hibiscus, are thriving while the others meant for bees and butterflies are having a difficult time with it even with watering. So far I have gathered 5 one-gallon pails of blossoms off this Hibiscus and dried them for tea. It has been a bumper crop.

Sweet little Malin slept on his fish. Smart little one. Perhaps that is how to keep leftovers if you are afraid that someone will steal your food! Malin ate it for breakfast and then, at 10:17ish, Dad made a delivery.

Sometimes Malin bites Dad’s toes. It is a good idea to drop that fish and get away fast!

Malin protecting his little fish while Dad flies away.

We are keeping a close eye on what is happening with the Black Storks in Latvia and Estonia and I am very grateful to ‘S’ for helping with this. In Latvia, Grafs made a fish delivery at 12:04:43.

The storklings had one feeding yesterday but four feedings on the 15th. It is hoped that more fish will come to the nest today.

One of the birdwatchers in the area and a good friend to this nest, BK, purchased a white decoy and has spent their time painting it to be Grafiene 2. This decoy was installed on the morning of the 17th to try and lure Grafs to the fish table.

Anyone who lives in duck hunting country will know that the use of decoys to attract birds can be very successful. We hope that Grafs smells the fish donations and sees Grafiene 2.

Some of you might be wondering why they do not climb the Black Stork nest near Sigulda. The simple answer is – it is not safe to do so. The nest is mostly made of peat and the birds could from their movements and jumping cause that to break off. Human disturbance would cause the same issues. It is also a very old tree and not strong. Everyone is doing everything that they can. After the feeding at noon heavy rains came to the area.

One development is that the eldest storkling is now branching. You can see that in the image below.

This Black Stork nest is very special to the people of Latvia as are these miracle storklings. ‘S’ tells me that there was no successful nesting here in both 2019 and 2020. This year no one thought that Grafs would attract a mate to the nest – especially so late in the season. No one would dare to think that there might be storklings for fear that something would happen. But there were eggs and they did hatch and look at these beautiful trio. Sadly, around the nest the area of the forest and adjacent areas have changed so much in the past couple of years that finding food for a family here can be difficult. Everyone continues with hope that Grafs will find the fish table. As I have said so very often, human encroachment and human impact on the climate are causing wildlife irreparable harm. Providing food for the birds now and in the future is the least we can do.

In Estonia, Jan has brought in three big fish for the trio at 11:01:17. He made a second trip to the nest at 15:09:18. In between, the storklings have been picking at the old fish on the pile. They were so full that they did not eat one of the big fish that came to the nest. Sadly, that fish fell off.

In other Osprey news, Telyn is still at the Dyfi Nest and has not left for her migration. She delivered a nice size fish and Dysnni was the taker! Some had thought he might have left the area but he hasn’t. Maybe Idris will get something for Ystwyth who looks on – no doubt she had hoped to nab that fish.

And here is Ystwyth, Blue 491, with her fish:

Beautiful Telyn or Blue 3J is a great provider for her two fledglings just like Idris.

Dysynni, Blue 490, flew up to the branch to eat his fish. Everyone always talks about how messy Idris is when he eats well, his son is just like him!

Dysynni has managed to eat the flesh of the fish and leave the tough skin. Bravo – but still messy! BTW. Dysynni is 89 hatch days old today, the average age of the males fledging off the Dyfi Nest in Wales.

You could hear LR2 on the other side of the Loch of the Lowes she was food crying so loud. There is no getting away from the fact that a fish is wanted! NC0 came in with a nice one. So, if anyone is wondering, NC0 has not left for her migration either. Historically, the 18th was the latest that she has left but, perhaps, the birds, hopefully, understand the weather along the migratory route and they will stay in place. As long as there is food, why leave? wait a couple of weeks. LOL. As if I can read an Ospreys mind!! I do hope they can wait.

Lucky! That is a nice fish and this chick doesn’t look like it is starving. That is a pretty nice crop.

These birds have turned out to be strong and healthy. Laddie and NC0 did well.

To close the day off, it was wonderful to click on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey nest and see Tiny Little, Blue 463, eating a really nice size fish! It was 18:40. It could be the last one for the day.

But, the icing on the cake was the receipt of my ‘Iris pen’ just a few moments ago in the post! It is Choke Cherry and is absolutely gorgeous. You can refill with any Cross Cartridge. What a fantastic fundraiser. Thank you Montana Osprey Project! My picture does not do this beautiful pen justice.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please continue to send your warm wishes and prayers to the very precious Black Stork nestlings in Latvia and Estonia. The people there are doing everything they can to take care of these precious birds. I am continuing to monitor the fires in Greece. There are two new ones. Those fires impact the migration of the birds already on their way. There is a very sophisticated system using magnetic fields and Quantum Mechanics that our birds use to get from one place to another. If you want to read about it, one of the best books is A World on the Wing. The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul. I just want them to stay put if they can! Take care everyone. Order you Iris pen if you didn’t! See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Collins Marsh Nature Centre, The Eagle Club of Estonia, The Latvian Club for Nature, The Dyfi Osprey Project, The Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, and The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes.