Sadness on Channel Islands Bald Eagle nest and other news from Bird World

There is sad news coming out of the Channel Islands Bald Eagle community. The male eagle, A64, Spirit, devoted mate to Cruz, was found floating in the ocean near Fraser Point on 21 July. The report stated that there appeared to be no traumatic injuries. Spirit’s mate, Cruz, has been seen at their nest. Condolences to all.

Deb Stecyk made a great video of this wonderful couple in 2018. Here it is:

The gusts have really been whipping the Fortis Alberta Exshaw Nest around this afternoon. For awhile it looked like the two chicks might get blown off. Mum was food calling and looking in the sky and you sure had a lot of sympathy for dad trying to fish and feed his family this afternoon. The weather station reports that the winds are blowing at 21 km/h. The gusts appear to be more than that. Hang on everyone!

Of course, you can’t even tell there is a breeze in a still photo!

The chicks are doing well on this nest. There seem to be no worries.

The wind was not blowing at the Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Nest. Just look at how big and pretty Only Bob is getting! It really does help to be an only chick.

As the day heats up, Mum is making sure that this little one is good and shaded from the pounding heat of the sun.

The Only surviving Bob at the Collins Marsh Nest had a nice crop this morning. It is really, really hot on the top of that old wildfire tower. Both Mum and chick are really panting.

It was really nice to see a nice big crop on this little one today especially with the heat.

Tiny Little had breakfast and had an evening meal. Mom flew in to help but looks like Tiny Little did a pretty good job cleaning up. Our little one decided to sleep duckling style on the nest tonight. I like to think that all those lines are golden rays shining down and protecting this wee babe.

Other news coming out of Welsh Osprey nests is from Llyn Clywedog, the nest of Dylan and Seren. Only Bob, Blue 496, today flew from the nest with a good sized fish attached to its talons to eat it elsewhere. It is not clear if this is a first for Only Bob but it sure could be. Well done! Another milestone.

This is so fantastic. Dylan and Seren can be very proud of their 2021 fledgling Blue 396. He is doing so well in all aspects – flying, self-feeding, and now flying with a fish in talon. All good prep for migration.

As you probably know, the mothers leave before the fledglings and dad. They normally take off for Africa (or Spain or Portugal) two weeks before everyone else. Seren has been photographed in The Gambia. Dad will stay behind and feed the fledglings. When they take off and are all on their way it is only then that the male will leave. Everyone knows what a treacherous undertaking migration is. This year only 80% of the Ospreys expected to return did so in the UK (according to Tiger Mozone’s data). That is low. Normally it is 90%. We will begin to look for their return the third week in March. Normally Blue 33 and Maya are one of the first couples to get back to their nests. I can’t wait. There is something adorable about these little fuzzy bobble heads turning into reptiles and then getting their juvenile plumage that warms your soul.

My last report comes from Dr Ericke Green at the Montana Osprey Project. Him and his team have now visited 200 Osprey nests along the Clark Fork River. They note that the water in places is less than half the normal amount. The heat has persisted for more than a month, the water is hot, and the fish are dying. This is bad news for the Ospreys. Green noted that the chicks that they ringed were in good shape, regardless. He said that when they were on the Flathead Indian Reserve north of Missoula they found some nice healthy chicks living in nests lined with Bison hair! The nest is close to the Bison Wildlife Refuge. Wouldn’t that be soft and cosy?

Do any of you know what has happened in the Barlinecka Forest’s Osprey Nest in Poland? I have written to the Polish Committee for the Protection of Eagles that ran the camera. It has gone off line. There were two chicks on the nest – chick 1 hatched on 25 May and chick 4 hatched 31 May. Eggs 2 and 3 did not hatch. That is a massive difference in age! If you know anything about the status of these birds please let me know. I haven’t had a response yet from Poland. I will share it if I hear.

I want to thank all of you for joining me today. It is always a pleasure to have you with me. It was helpful to hear Dr Green say that this year’s osprey chicks in Montana have done well despite the drought that is encompassing so much of that area and ours in Canada. Take care everyone. Tomorrow loads of images of Big Red and the Ks.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: CarnyX Wild and the Llyn Clywedog Osprey Nest, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Collins Marsh Osprey Nest, Fortis Albert Exshaw Osprey Nest, and the Fortis Alberta Red Deer Osprey Nest. I also want to thank the Montana Ospreys at Hellgate FB Page where I grabbed the image of the Osprey chicks in the nest lined with Bison hair. They hold the copyright.

2 Fledges in Ospreyland — and More and more threats to their health

Let’s start off with the fledges. Wow. They almost happened simultaneously.

Only Bob, Blue 496 at Clywedog, the son of Dylan and Seren fledged at 12:34:54 on 12 July.

And he’s off. He first flight was short but it was a fledge – he went to the camera pole. Congratulations Only Bob!

Dysynni, Blue 490, fledged from the Dyfi nest, the son of Idris and Telyn, at 12:26.

Gorgeous take off! Congratulations.

And now to the serious stuff for the day. It is wonderful to see the birds fledge but we need to take care of them afterwards.

If someone stopped you on the street and asked you to list all of the threats to the well being of our beloved Fish Hawks, what would you say? Think about this and jot down as many issues as you can. You can even use some historic examples because in parts of the world some of those could still be threats.

“Pandion haliaetus Osprey” by David A. Hofmann is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
  • Methamphetamines. The Smithsonian Magazine picked up a story running in several newspapers about a week ago. That article focused on the minute amounts of meth amphetamine that were in the water and that the fish had gotten addicted. The diet of Ospreys is fish. How might this impact the adults and their chicks?
  • Fishing Equipment. Every year adults and chicks alike get tangled in monofilament fishing line. Without doing any research to find the latest examples, there was the incident of the dead Osprey near London, Ontario about a month ago and just a week ago Fortis Alberta was called to the Red Deer Osprey Nest to remove monofilament line around the only surviving chick on that nest. I am going to guess that anyone reading this will have several examples. Then there are the hooks. And hooks attached to monofilament line.
“People fishing on the shores of Loko Waimaluhia (Hoʻomaluhia Reservoir)” by nsub1 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  • Non degradable Baling Twine. The banders who went to Warm Springs, Montana, found four chicks entangled in bailing twine. One had died. It took 20 minutes to remove the twine from another chick. The twine was so tightly wound that it had cut through the skin and had halted the chick’s circulation. As a result the chick was in pain and the leg was very swollen.
Copyright Montana Osprey Project
  • The impacts of climate change can include a long list of side effects. One of those is heavy winds that can tear down trees and nests.
  • The impacts of climate change can include a warming planet. Everyone witnessed the high temperatures that hit the Pacific Northwest (the US and Canada) recently (June 28). Heat kills Osprey chicks that cannot regulate their own temperature to survive. The heat also causes the fish to go to the bottom of the river or lake so that they are difficult to catch. This causes the birds to become dehydrated and die if there are not sufficient deliveries. You can probably name several nests where you witnessed chicks die due to the heat. Ospreys want open nests or platforms where they can see the environment around them. Because of this the nests are not shaded and the temperature on the nests can be higher than that reported. The sun bears down on the little ones and they die quickly. A good example is the Cowlitz chick. Electra went to get fish despite the fact that the chick had a crop. Temperatures were in excess of 40 degrees C. The mother was only gone from the nest for a few minutes when the chick began calling for her and died of heat stroke. Osprey chicks in British Columbia and in Alberta also suffered death from the high temperatures.
  • Decline in fish stock numbers due to pollution, high temperatures, and drought. The diet of Ospreys is 99% fish and if the fish numbers are low, the Osprey have nothing to eat.
  • Snowpack. Warming temperatures mean that there is less of a snowpack at the top of the mountains. The snowpack will melt faster causing flooding making it difficult for the Osprey males to catch fish when the chicks are hatching.
  • Mine waste and heavy metals. Eric Greene studies the toxic heavy metals in Montana from the old mining sites. He tests for these when Osprey chicks are banded. He has found 30% more arsenic in 2018 than he did when he began his study in 2006. Greene has also found very high mercury levels that result in egg mortality. The rate is up to 50%. Greene also found that the level of mercury in Osprey chicks blood is 100 times higher in the chicks than what is considered a problem for humans. Imagine. In other areas of the Clark Forks River, there is so much dioxins, furans, and PCBs that humans have been told not to eat the fish. The Osprey continue to eat the fish and feed it to their chicks. I do not know if you can open it but here is a report from Montana on the clean up and issues related to heavy metals in the Osprey:

https://hs.umt.edu/osprey/heavyMetalStudies.php

  • Soil Remediation to remove the contaminants from the rivers causes a temporary decline in fish stock.
  • Egg collecting. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, the collection of Osprey eggs was very much ‘in vogue’. This caused the numbers of Osprey to decline significantly. There remain some egg thieves today. The eggs of Osprey were considered the most beautiful and were highly prized. A man in the United Kingdom, Mark Gonshaw, was convicted of illegally acquiring eggs of endangered species including eight Osprey eggs in 2011. He had more than 700 eggs in his possession and on 22 December 2011 he was sentenced to prison. You can read about this here: https://focusingonwildlife.com/news/british-egg-collector-sentenced-to-prison-term/
  • Vandalism. A good example is the instance when one or more persons came to the Lyn Brenig Osprey Platform where there was egg/s and cut down the platform with a chainsaw.
  • Shooting. This year it is known that at least two Ospreys were shot over Malta on their return flight from Africa to their breeding grounds in the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Other Birds of Prey or Animals. Other birds and animals often predate the eggs or take the chicks out of the nest such as the attack on the nest by a Northern Goshawk in Latvia recently. Great Horned Owls are also problematic as are Ravens who love Osprey eggs.
  • Urban Development and loss of forest habitat.
  • Power Lines. Many power companies are now creating artificial platforms so that the birds are not electrocuted on the lines.
  • Pesticides. Ospreys were the first of the large raptors to warm about DDT. Today DDT still exists in the soil of some areas and causes reproductive and thinning of the egg shells.
  • Poor Water Quality. You might recall that there was an enormous spill of toxic material into the water near the Sarasota Osprey nests. Those toxins will spread with the flow of the water.
  • Hypothermia. Hypothermia is believed to be the cause of the deaths of the surviving two osprey chicks at the Urdaibai Biosphere in Spain.
  • Human disturbance. Ospreys are much more tolerant of humans than many of the other large birds of prey. Still humans can come near the nests and frighten the birds causing them to abandon their nests with eggs or chicks.
  • Avian Flu. The impact from this is not clear. I continue to research.
  • Competition within their own species for nests and territories.
  • Competition within their own nest.

The article from The Smithsonian is here:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/meth-pollution-waterways-turning-trout-junkies-180978133/

Another article:

You have probably thought of many more ways that these beloved birds are threatened. I would love to hear from you!

I will leave you with a couple of images of Tiny Little taken around 6:15 am Monday 12 July 2021 nest time. Tiny you are not looking so Tiny! No one needs to worry about you and that is fantastic.

Tiny Little seems to really be enjoying himself up on that perch instead of being on the soggy nest this morning. Look at those wings. Tiny Little has grown like a very bad weed in my flowerbed. Unbelievable! Maybe that bander is right and he will be the second to fledge! We wait. This afternoon, Little Bob was getting some bites in between Fledgling Bob, 464 being fed.

Thank you so much for joining me. Stay safe and take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I took my screen shots: The Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, the Dyfi Osprey Project, and CarnyX Wildlife and the Clywedog Osprey Cam. I am grateful to the Montana Osprey Project FB site for the link to the recent report on threats to the Ospreys in their state and for the photo of the entangled Osprey chick which I took from their FB Page.

Monday Nest Hopping – to keep my mind off Elsa

There were some lovely letters in my inbox today – articles and quesions – to keep me busy and to try and curtail me from checking on Tropical Storm Elsa every half hour. My friend Wicky – lover of books and hawks as long as they leave her songbirds alone – pointed my noise to an article in The New York Times by Margaret Renkl. Renkl is the author of Late Migrations, a fabulous book that I pick up often to simply read a single entry. Today in “Hawk. Lizard. Mole. Human”, Renkl speaks to the garden that she can see out her windows. She says, “How lucky I am to live in a home with windows. Against all odds – the encroachments of construction companies and lawn services and exterminators – those windows still open onto a world that stubbornly insists on remaining wild”.

Here is the link. I hope that you can open it. Renkl is a wonderful writer always leaving me appreciative of her love of our feathered friends and – others. Thank you, Wicky.

Like Renkl, I am grateful for my windows and astonished at what happens in a tiny bit of paradise inside the heat and concrete of a big and growing city. The birds have returned to the garden after the extreme heat. It is simply glorious seeing them splash around in the baths, having drinks, and sneaking off with some birdseed that looks like trail mix. The Blue Jays love the cashews and the berries and have gone through the large berry-insect-suet cylinder in a few days. There seem to be fewer insects every year. Is it the spraying of the caterpillars who eat the leaves off the trees? the greening of the lawns so that they look like they came out of a magazine, or the opposite where concrete is replacing grass? What are the birds to eat? Thankfully a growing number of people are willing to put the time and effort into helping them survive.

A lovely note came in from Finland, also, telling me about the ten Osprey nests. Thank you Tiny Toefan! I admit to not knowing enough about the Finnish nests but tonight while that storm is churning through the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida I am going to begin my education on these Ospreys. I want to learn more about them so I am just not an occasional observer. Tiny Toefan says that their Ospreys had a bit of a sad year. The attack of the Raven at the Satakunta Nest and the death of Alma spread quickly within the community of Osprey Lovers around the world. Our hearts broke for that dear family. Intruders, lack of food, and weather-related events have wrecked havoc with all the Ospreys this year.

Speaking of intruders, the UK nests are having issues with the returning two year old juveniles. They are all excited and flying about while the adults are trying to take care of their chicks that will soon be fledging. Today there were three intruders at the Glaslyn nest. All hatched at the Dyfi Nest. Z2 (Aeron, 2017) has chicks on the PC nest with 01 at Glaslyn. He quickly moved Hesgyn KA3 (2019) and Dinas KS6 (2018) along before they could do any lasting damage. Here is a video clip of all that action:

There were intruders at Foulshaw Moss Nest also. While watching Tiny Little get ready to stand up, in a quarter of a blink he was flat down like a pancake. For a moment I thought he had broken his leg – but, no – somewhere there were unwanted guests.

Did the adults teach them to do this? or is this 65 million year old instinct at work?

My friend, “R” also wrote today to tell me of another bird in the wrong place. It begs to ask how many instances of birds being where they shouldn’t are there? There is a Stellar’s Eagle in New Brunswick, Canada that should be in Russia and there were definitely birds out of location in Toronto earlier in the season.

The bird in England is a beautiful Black-browned Albatross. It should not be in the Northern Hemisphere! Imagine what a sight it was for those in Britain. I will follow up later on this story with more information. Thank you, “R”.

Here is the article. If it won’t open, try to copy and paste the URL in your browser. What in the world is this bird doing in England!?

https://www.thisisthecoast.co.uk/news/local-news/rare-albatross-sighting-on-yorkshire-coast/?fbclid=IwAR2lu8erfI5wv_J-I0gGdUvcJ2YM35wipWkXornJDTVtlAdiUgMs372NWRQ

In a swing through the Osprey nests, Tiny Tot is not on the Achieva Osprey Nest. She came in during the night and then left. The fireworks for the 4th must have been really disturbing to all the Osprey in that area. I am going to hope that Tiny Tot is down by the water catching fish to hold her until Elsa passes. She might also be looking for a place to hunker down til the storm passes. Again, because she is a fish eater and not an insect or nectar eater, Tiny Tot should be alright. It is the wind and flying debris if it gets bad. Well, it is worrisome. We can all image a hundred scenarios. I continue to run Laura Culley’s advice in my head – “worrying is nothing more than establishing an outcome in your mind before it happens. Don’t do it!” Need to put that mantra on repeat. Culley would tell me that these birds are much smarter than we are.

Electra has a huge fish that she is eating on the Cowlitz PUD Nest. It is good to see her eating well. She needs to regain her strength. On the other hand, it also makes me very sad. It would have been grand if that size of a fish came on that nest when the little tykes were alive. It might have made all the difference.

Give a shout out to the linemen of Fortis Alberta and to the streaming cam watchers who notified them that Legacy was tangled in monofilament line. They got there in time and saved her life. Legacy was so wound up in the line that she could not even lift her head to eat – and this was during the heat wave. She needed that hydration! The linemen responded to the call quickly. They removed the fishing line as well as the two dead chicks from the nest. Today, just look at her. Legacy is chowing down on a nice fish on the Fortis Red Deer Nest. There are still dark clouds but the rain has stopped and the nest seems to be drying out. That said the forecast is calling for rain tomorrow. The temperatures are in the 17 degree C range, a far cry from the extreme 40s C.

The two chicks on the Fortis Exshaw Nest at Canmore, Alberta seem to be doing alright, also. They are both being fed by mom. The skies are the same as those at Red Deer but they are calling for a thunderstorm tonight and rain tomorrow at the nest. Oh, stay dry little ones!

There seems to be a constant stream of intruders on the Hellgate Osprey Nest of Iris. It is prime real estate right next to the river and the fishing continues, despite the heat and low water, to be good for Iris. Louis has come and helped ward off the Dunrovin juveniles looking for a nest but sometimes, Iris has had to fend for herself The indignity of it all!

There are not enough good trees for the Ospreys and the placement of platforms has to be carefully evaluated because of all the territorial issues. It is confusing. On the one hand old timers tell me that Ospreys do not have territories but if you watch, Louis certainly claims this nest and the one at the baseball park as his even if he fishes in the same river as the other Ospreys. As more male chicks survive and return, careful planning will need to be undertaken for nests – if the water in the rivers and the fish stay sufficient to support a growing population of these fish eagles.

The predictions for Elsa are becoming more worrisome. Each change in the model sees it bearing down more heavily along that Southwest coast of Florida including Fort Myers up to St Petersburg. Please send any warm wishes you have that the system pulls more to the West as it heads towards Florida after Cuba.

Thank you for joining me today. Stay safe wherever you are and thank you to everyone who writes to me. I do try and get to answer your letters as quickly as I can and please know that I appreciate them. I learn something new every day from you! And thank you to all of you for simply loving the birds and doing what you can to make their lives better.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Fortis Exshaw, Fortis Alberta, and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Cam.

Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, rising water temperatures all impact our beloved birds

Is there anyone who is not aware of extreme heat that is in the Pacific Northwest? or the fact that the rivers and creeks are drying up? and the temperature of the water is getting hotter?

The Montana Osprey Project has just posted the following:

“In order to reduce the stress and disturbance on these fish, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has placed fishing restrictions on many rivers in Montana, including parts of the Clark Fork River, Big Hole River, Gallatin River, Madison River, Beaverhead River, Jefferson River, Ruby River and others. The trout populations in parts of the Clark Fork River (and other rivers) have dropped to fractions of their former sizes. The low water and warming temperatures are suspected to play a big role in these population declines.”

The river temperatures in Montana are at 75 degrees F. The authors of the FB Montana Osprey Project posting state that they will “not immediately kill the trout” but a long exposure could kill up to 50% of the fish. That is why they took such drastic actions. Those warm waters impact all the fish that the Ospreys consume including the grand dame, Iris. The authors say that they will follow up with a report on what they believe declining fish numbers due to heat will have on the Osprey populations.

“Mountain in a town” by Bitterroot is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

There has been much discussion about the impact of weather systems on our birds and all of us are watching Elsa. My inbox has been full of queries – for which I am very grateful. It shows the love and concern we all have for these gorgeous fish hawks (and the other birds).

I wanted to find out what had happened to the birds on the island in the Caribbean where my son lives – Grenada. The year before he moved to Grenada, 2004, there were two hurricanes that hit the island directly, Ivan and Emily. Each struck the island. Ivan was slow and deadly churning over the islands of the Atlantic for twenty-three days. Ivan was enormous sustaining winds of 165 mph or 270 kph. It was the strongest hurricane of the 2004 season and destroyed the growing economy of Grenada. The palm trees lining one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with its pure white sand, Grand Anse, were uprooted. Most houses lost their roofs. An old timer told me that they called the hurricane ‘Ivan Rufus’. People were in their houses and the roofs went spinning off. Centuries old nutmeg trees were destroyed along with much of the bird populations and their source of food. The worst hit were the birds that feed on nectar, fruit, and seeds. Nests in the forest were destroyed and breeding was delayed.

There is a really good article that my son sent me today that is called, “The effects of hurricanes on birds, with special reference to Caribbean Islands” by J.W. Wiley and J. M. Wunderle. It was printed in Bird Conservation International. While the article does deal with the Caribbean, it brings much insight to what could happen along the US Southern Coast.

Elsa is predicted to stay as a Tropical Storm so, as you do read the pages, please keep that in mind. There is nothing pointing to Elsa gaining strength to become a hurricane. Tiny Tot should weather the storm fine. She will be soaked and that nest could be missing some twigs but it should also have been built using hurricane standard methods. Still, all of us will keep watch and send warm wishes that all of the birds and wildlife are not impacted.

I am attaching the article here if any of you are interested. The same information could be applied to areas hit by hurricanes in the US.

At 4:55:17, Jack delivered Tiny Tot a really nice fish! Thank you, dad.

It looks like Mrs G gave up on Aran and went and got her own fish today!

At the Lyn Clywedog Nest, Seren has decided for their great Big Bob to see if he can begin self feeding. That is a really nice fish that Dylan brought in. Like all moms, Seren will give in and help Only Bob but he is giving it a good go before asking for help.

There is an easy way to deal with the rising temperatures, the droughts, and the declining fish stocks for the birds that rely solely on fish stocks for food. The first is for humans to take responsibility for climate change. Then build fish farms for these birds – not for humans, for the birds. When the Ospreys migrate to places in the northern part of South America, such as Columbia, they are often shot for stealing from the farms. So we know that they will get fish out of tanks – so build them if they are needed and put some enthusiasm behind the word ‘Conservation’.

That’s it for a hot Sunday in Canada. I do not know where the birds are that generally hang out in my garden but they are still not arriving and it is nearly 7pm. There is lots of water and food. Hopefully they will come soon.

Take care everyone. Thanks for joining me. Continue to monitor Elsa as she moves towards Florida. Stay safe Tiny Tot!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Lyn Clywedog and Carnyx Wild, Achieva Credit Union, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn. Thank you to my son for finding the academic article on the impact of hurricanes on our birds. So appreciated.

Featured image is Mrs G on the Glaslyn Osprey Nest, 4 July 2021.

Some good – and some worrying – news in Bird World

After the extreme heat and the death of the second and last chick on the Cowlitz Osprey Nest due to heat stroke, we all need some good news to come out of Bird World and we have it! Thank goodness.

The fantastic news comes from the Glaslyn Osprey Nest in Wales. In early June, in the midst of storms that had force 11 winds in the area, Aran, the mate of Mrs G, the oldest osprey in the UK, injured himself. The damage was to his primary wing feathers and was caused by battling intruders. That incident meant that Aran could not provide fish for Mrs G and the three chicks and, subsequently, those three chicks died of starvation despite the community gathering to bring in fish for the family on a feeding table. The fish donated by the community enabled Mrs G and Aran to heal. Still, everyone worried that Aran would not be sufficiently fit and healed for the late summer migration.

The couple are being monitored closely by the staff and volunteers. Today, at &:35 am, Aran brought Mrs G a fish! Now that might not sound like much of ‘anything’ but this is a really big deal. It is the first time that Aran has provided Mrs G with a fish since his wing injury occurred. It is also a significant step towards Aran’s complete recovery. There were tears in Wales but – they were tears of joy!

Here is that historic moment:

Mrs G is delighted and quickly accepts Aran’s gift. It isn’t just the food or Aran’s healing, it is also the bonding of the couple.

Now only was she delighted, but Mrs G was waiting at the nest until late still hoping that Aran would bring her another! Just lovely.

The camera is so hazy but I can tell you that Jack has been bringing in fish for Tiny Tot today. So everything is OK on the Achieva Osprey Nest.

Cute little K3 was over on the Cornell Red tail hawk nest had a prey drop.

K3’s self-feeding is getting much better and that is a good thing!

Don’t worry. A short time later K1 got some prey, too! Here she is eating as the rain begins to fall.

And it began to pour. It is 16:00 nest time and there are two very wet Ks. Both have eaten and really, everything is right in the world. Both are safe and sound sitting out the rain.

Sadly, Electra has returned to the nest where the bodies of her two chicks are. She has brought the same piece of fish she had last night – or that is what it looks like. Is she driven to want to feed the little one? Is it those same hormones that keep her tied to the idea that the male brings the fish keeping her here in her duties as mother to feed? I think she understood the death of the first chick. But, last evening she went out to get fish to feed her seemingly well chick that had a crop from an earlier feed. She returns and that chick is dead. How could she process that it was the heat that killed her baby?

Electra is panting and it has to be over 100 degrees up on that nest. Let us all hope that she leaves the nest and goes down to cool off in the water. I cannot tell from the camera angle if Electra has a crop of if her chest is extended from the heavy panting she is having to do. I am worried about her if that is the same fish. It would have been hot last night on the nest when she returned after 9pm. She stood looking out in the distance keeping the fish in her talons for some seven hours. She did not eat anything. If she has not eaten today yet – and it is around 1pm nest time – I wonder what kind of physical (and mental) state Electra is in. It has been a very traumatic year for this nest and the heat is not going to help. Electra has to be exhausted. ——— I recall being in India when it was 46 C. If humans do not stay hydrated they can become disoriented and confused also. Is this happening to Electra?

I just went to check on Electra again. It is now approximately 13:40 nest time. Her condition appears to be worsening. Her eyes do not look right and she is panting heavily. This poor mother. Will the heat get to her before her own survivor instincts kick in? or is she already damaged from the heat yesterday that she is simply not responding appropriately.

We know that Mrs G and Aran lost all three of their beautiful chicks. Mrs G processed that. She had rain and cold to deal with but what is this heat doing to this fish eagle?

UPDATE: 2:22 Cowlitz Nest Time. Electra has flown off the nest with the fish. I do not believe it is the same fish from yesterday or it was the tail section. I hope the large crop is from eating the other fish. Electra needs to heal. However, the important news is that Electra is no longer in the heat of the nest. Will keep you posted.

Because of the heat I went up to Juneau Alaska to check on Kindness on the Bald Eagle Nest in the Glacier Gardens. Everything is fine there. It has been hot and the eagles have been doing a lot of panting along with Kindness but the fish deliveries are constant and consistent. They will be fine.

This morning I was looking at the drying up of water and it sent me to check on Iris. Sometimes Iris, actually quite often, is on her nest. She is constantly doing nestorations and this year she has had a lot of intruders. Today was no exception. An intruder came to the nest about 11:35:31 this morning.

Note to everyone: Look at the beautiful nest that Iris has been constructing even after her eggs were taken by the Raven. She has brought in soft moss and built up the sides. I really do wonder if the state of the nest says something about the mental state of the Osprey mother??? I know it sounds out of left field but I always wondered about Electra and the state of the nest at Cowlitz. Birds have memories. Iris certainly has memories of lost chicks and hope. Raises so many questions! But, nevermind, I am rambling off in another direction.

About 1.5 or 2 minutes later, Louis flies in to help Iris.

This is not the first time that Louis has heard Iris and come to assist her with intruders. While he might not be a good mate to Iris and I have called him lots of names, he has shown himself in the last month to be willing to come and protect that nest. Is he protecting Iris? or is it the nest in his territory?

There he is below, facing towards the front. Iris is at the back. her wings still in the mantling/alerting position. For now, things have calmed down.

I am not sure how the heat is impacting the Bald Eagle and Osprey Nests in British Columbia. They are being impacted by it also. Will try and see if I can find out some news.

Thank you for joining me. It is wonderful to see Aran’s improvement! That should give us all a bit of a glow. Send all your warm wishes to Electra. She is confused and the heat is not helping her. Hopefully she will go and get in the shade and have a bath in the water to cool down. Sadly, no humans will go up and help her even if they understand that the extreme climate change has been caused by us. It is beyond sad.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Glacier Gardens Bald Eagles, Cowlitz PUD, Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Ospreys, and Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.

Happiness in Bird World

It seems like it has been a pretty good day in Bird World.

The two little ospreys on the Cowlitz Nest had plenty of food today and nice crops albeit one of them had a bigger crop than the other. But, hey! I am not complaining. Fish is fish and they both ate really well. So did their Mom! Yippeee.

The little ones really blend into that nest with that bright sun. The one is in profile and the other is still being fed by Electra. And, of course, Wattsworth is hovering in case there is fish left! Can you hear me growling? Electra has done really well eating along with the two chicks and using up every morsel of the fish.

Now this Bob has a bit of a crop, too. He is going to drop it shortly. Wish he had done now and turned to get some more fish. For some reason this chick does not eat as much as the other.

Little Bob on the Foulshaw Moss Nest was right up there today with his big siblings – all standing in line nicely. Blue 35 is doing a fantastic job keeping those kiddos in line.

Little Tiny Bob has figured out where the ‘sweet spot’ is for feeding. Good for him. He has a lot of growing to do but, already, he is getting his beautiful curved feathers. What a cute little one.

Jack brought Tiny Tot a fish at 11:57:26 and then the rain started falling. Tiny really earns that fish. All day he has had to contend with adult intruders. He is doing an amazing job keeping those adults moving off that nest. Here is a short video of Tiny Tot getting one adult off the nest. That adult had the nerve to dive bomb Tiny!

Over at the The Landings Nest on Skidaway Island (Savannah) the second chick has fledged. That happened this morning at 6:13:51. By 8:50 both were on the nest having some breakfish. Scarlett and Rhett do not seem to be in any hurry for these two gorgeous ospreys to leave the area. Food arrives in good time to keep them on the nest and practising their flying skills before taking off for good.

There was quite a bit of excitement over in the UK today related to Ospreys. The 150th juvenile to fledge from Rutland Water has returned today for the first time. It is Male 056 hatched on the 13th of May 2019, one of four chicks of Maya and Blue 33 (11). 056 was seen in January 2020 in The Gambia. Wow! That really points to the success of their reintroduction programme.

Now to celebrate the translocation project of Poole Harbour. Translocation is when young birds are taken, at a certain age, and moved to a different location to try and establish an osprey colony where there is none. Such was the situation of Poole Harbour. In an earlier blog, I told you how Roy Dennis worked with the Poole Harbour Ospreys to introduce birds from Scotland to Poole Harbour. Remember, male birds normally return to the area of their natal nest to breed while females go elsewhere. The celebration is not happening at Poole Harbour per se but over in Glaslyn in Montgomeryshire Wales. There is the nest of Mrs G and Aran and then there is the PC nest. Z2 is the 2019 hatch of Monty and Telyn and his mate is Poole Harbour 014. And, while there are no images available, boots on the ground note that the behaviour in the nest has changed and it looks like there could be two hatches now! There is really good DNA in those chicks – lucky youngsters!

And everyone is wondering what in the world is going on in Missoula, Montana. Iris had the most handsome visitor – a three year old juvenile returnee visiting on her nest. His name is Congo 4C and he was hatched at the Dunrovin Nest in Missoula in 2018 just when Iris was taking care of her last ever chick, Le Le. This image shows Iris on the nest. She has been doing all manner of nestorations this morning. Then Louis has gotten a whiff of the visitor who is flying overhead with a fish! Like everyone else, I would love for this to get interesting!

Iris is on the left and Louis has just landed on the right. Overhead you can see Congo 4C coming with the fish – possibly for Iris? Now wouldn’t that be an interesting match? The oldest Osprey in the world with a 3 year old. And he is trying to show her he can fish.

Someone once told me that Ospreys do not have territories since they all fish in the same spots. That said, I have always understood that Iris’s nest is on Louis’s territory – that Louis more or less inherited it when Stanley died. But can a territory be divided? what about Starr and her chicks? My answer to that is that I wish Louis would take good care of his family at the baseball park and let Iris find herself a young man who wants to take care of her!

Here is Congo with Iris on the nest earlier:

Wow. Lots of things happening and then there is the fledge watch at the Redtail Hawk Nest of Big Red and Arthur. Laura Culley says it isn’t going to happen til next week. I hope she is right. K3 almost fludged today! But K2 has a bit of a sore or something causing its mouth not to close and a problem with an eye which Cornell experts are monitoring. I am really hoping that she has not cleaned her beak well and this is dried prey. The eye issue could relate to the chicks pecking at one another when they were younger???

K2 is on the left and K1 is on the right. K1 is distinguished by her very dark and thick belly band.

And then there is the adorable K3.

I am a real sucker for these tiny third hatches – for sure!

Thank you so much for joining me today. The ten goslings at Schloss Benkhausen in the White Stork Nest hatched and jumped to the ground this morning. You can see it here again:

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots and video clips: Schloss Benkhausen, Achieva Osprey, Cowlitz PUD, Cornell and Skidaway Audubon, Cornell and Montana Osprey Project, and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Here a fish, there a fish, everywhere a fish!

One of the things that I have learned but which I continually have to remind myself is this: birds are individuals. They may have instincts that have developed over 50 million years but, at the same time, they definitely have their own character. One of the first times I noticed this was with the Royal Albatross Family in 2020. The Royal Cam chick was Atawhai (Pippa was her nick name). Her parents are OGK (orange-green-black) and YRK (yellow-red-black). OGK hatched in 1998 and he was 22 years old last year when Atawhai hatched. YRK hatched in 1994 and was 26 years old when Atawhai hatched. They have been a bonded pair since 2006 and 2020 was their seventh breeding attempt. They have four children and one foster chick as of 2020. So they are not ‘new’ parents. OGK would fly in to feed Atawhai. He loved to sit next to his baby girl and have the most animated conversations. OGK was never in a hurry to leave. Atawhai adored him and would go running when he would land. Sometimes he would even spend the night with Atawhai. In contrast, YRK liked to feed her daughter and leave! Then there are the adults that I call over providers. A case this year was Louis, the partner of Anna, at the Kisatchie Forest Bald Eagle Nest. They were first time parents of Kisatchie. At first I didn’t think that Anna would ever figure out how to feed her wee chick. The parents try to look straight at their chick and keep their beak straight and vertical but in fact, because of the way the raptors see, the mother needs to angle her beak. Anna figured it out – thankfully. Louis was the envy of all the people fishing on Lake Kincaid. One day there were eighteen fish piled up on that Bald Eagle Nest – 18! He had enough food for all the Bald Eagle nests in the southern US. Unbelievable. And then there are those nests where you just sit down and weep. I said I was not going to watch the Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest but one day I peeked. How bad could this dad be? I know that I often called Jack at the Achieva Osprey Nest a dead beat dad and for several weeks he was but I didn’t think it could get worse than Jack. Oh, but yes it can! Wattsworth. I only have to say his name and those that watch the nest know precisely what he does and doesn’t do. Wattsworth gets caught not bringing in fish but if Electra catches one he is right on the nest expecting her to give it to him! Meanwhile the two barely living chicks – those poor little things – have barely enough food to live. They certainly don’t get enough food to thrive. And Electra is worn out and ever so hungry, too.

Can a nest be an indication of the success the couple will have with their nestlings? I know it sounds like one of those really stupid questions. The day that Louis landed on the rim of the nest at Loch Arkaig, the nest he shares with his mate Aila, he began to do nestorations. He repaired the walls of the nest, brought in new seaweed from the loch to dry and got everything ready for Aila’s arrival. As the days passed and Aila didn’t show up, Louis continued to work on the nest in case she was really late. Have a look at this nest. There has been snow, lots of rain, and some pretty windy storms but the nest is more or less the way Louis left it when Aila did not return this year.

From the moment Iris arrived at her Hellgate Missoula Montana nest she began to repair it. Iris had a lot to do. Last year she went on a rampage when a squirrel climbed up and tried to get in the nest cup. This was after the raven had eaten her egg. There wasn’t much left of the walls. So in 2021 it was almost like starting from scratch. One of the people who belong to the FB page of the Montana Ospreys commented on how Iris was still doing her best even though Iris knows that the outcome in 2021 will not be any different than previous years. The key is that she is doing her best, regardless.

Even CJ7 and 022, who are currently bonding on the Poole Harbour Nest but will not have chicks this year, are working on their nest!

Just yesterday one of the two chicks on the Cowlitz Nest almost fell out of the nest. There is no wall on the far side! You can see it plainly in the photo below.

Is this because there are no sticks to bring to continue building? or there are so many intruders there is no time to secure the nest? or is it indifference? or is Jack just lazy? or does he have another family or two? If anyone knows the answer, write to me – I would sure like to know!

How can you tell if a raptor has food in their system? We all know by looking to see if they have a crop but is there any other way? I happened to catch Tiny Tot on the Achieva Nest tonight doing his ‘ps’. That white streak ends between the C and the H in the Achieva logo below. The PS left Tiny Tot’s body like a cork popping out of a champagne bottle. The point of all of this is that Electra had such a tiny ps yesterday that you knew her system was almost entirely void of food. The same for those babies. They fight now – they each want to live. It is sad because that clobbering one another uses up their precious energy.

Tiny Tot doing a PS. 15 June 2021

The Cowlitz kids had feedings from two fish today and Electra was eating too. We can hope that all of that small fish will go to Electra and the babies and not into the talons of Wattsworth who was waiting to claim it! Wattsworth certainly gets the Dead Beat Dad award for the past two weeks!

Speaking of Dead Beat Osprey Dads. I have to give Jack a gold star. He has really turned around. Every day he brings at least one fish to Tiny Tot on the Achieva Osprey Nest. One day – was it Sunday? – he even brought in four – FOUR – fish for Tiny. Jack has not forgotten his little one protecting the nest!

Here comes Jack with that fish for Tiny at 7:05:17.

White YW and Blue 35 on the Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest have also been working on the nest. White YW is getting much better at bringing in fish to the nest for Blue 35 and the three chicks, too. My concern is really only Tiny Little Tot. Oh, he is starting to get clever like Tiny Tot did when he was starving and being picked on by the bigger siblings. One of the FB friends of the nest said it well today, “Little One saw the fish coming in and made sure he was in pole position!” Her observations were absolutely spot on. Tiny Tot got right in front of mama so that she could see him clearly and Tiny Little Tot didn’t move. Not only did he not move but he also took bites meant for one of the bigger siblings. Oh, I just adore this little sweetie. He could go on that list of third hatches that survive and thrive!

That was just brilliant! And the older ones didn’t even seem to mind. What a relief. Tiny Little Tot had a really good feed.

Speaking of crops, have a look at the crop of Little Bob on Loch of the Lowes. Looks like everything has straightened itself out on that nest as well. Both Bobs are really thriving.

Today’s winner of provider of the day goes to Idris, however. Sorry Laddie! Just look at that whale that he hauled in for Telyn and the Bobs. He didn’t even eat the head!

Oh, thanks so much for joining me. It is always a pleasure. I will be checking in on Big Red and Arthur and the Ks first thing tomorrow. Fledge watch is truly on for that Red tail Hawk Nest on the Cornell Campus.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cam where I grabbed my screen shots: Dyfi Osprey Nest, Achieva Credit Union, Cumbrian Wildlife Trust, Cowlitz PUD Osprey Nest, Scottish Wildlife Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Poole Harbour Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Woodland Trust and Friends of Loch Arkaig.

Tiny got fed up!

I wasn’t expecting to do another posting this evening but I found myself checking to see if a fish had wound up in Tiny Tot’s talons. I kept doing this every so often and then, all of a sudden, that intruder bird is on the perch pole and Tiny Tot is in the nest. Keep in mind that the last meal that Tiny Tot had was last night – 24 hours ago. He chased the adult intruder out early today and then brow beat a juvenile that came on the nest and took the fish that was supposed to be his! He is hot, hungry, and fed up.

And then there, perched on the pole is the intruder. Again. Now Tiny Tot is clever and he knows that if there is going to be a fish delivery it will be coming soon. And if he can do anything about it, he is going to get that fish. I grinned as I was watching Tiny Tot. Laura Culley is a falconer and she says that “food is a great motivator”.

So, at 8:25:55, Tiny Tot flies off the nest. You can see the intruder on the perch. I watched the footage four or five times. It seems that Tiny somehow hovered and reversed in the air. Tiny Tot’s flying prowess is increasing daily.

Then he sort of reverses and turns 45 degrees toward the perch. It reminded me of the men with those little carts that are hooked to the nose of airplanes and help them turn. Tiny didn’t have any help – he just did it.

He is doing a rather complex series of movements to turn around and get behind the other bird on the perch without flying forward off the nest.

OK. Tiny is aiming for the back of the intruder.

He flies up and gets on its back!

There he is flapping his wings and landing on the intruder at the same time.

He is hanging on the intruders side and is pushing him off by flapping his wings.

Down they go. Tiny Tot chases the unwelcome guest across the road. Hopefully that bird will not be back again tonight.

Tiny Tot returns to the nest. And at 8:35:12 Jack arrives with a fish for Tiny Tot. Oh, this is a well deserved fish. I hope it is a whopper.

Tiny is really hungry and he is gobbling the fish. I think he realizes that sometimes you just have to eat that fish fast so another bird doesn’t come along and steal it.

Tiny was finishing up and cleaning his beak at 8:54:54. Wow. That fish didn’t last very long.

Sleep well, Tiny Tot. We are all so proud of you. You defended your nest valiantly.

Thank you for stopping in to check on Tiny Tot. He will always be close to my heart but I know that he is loved by so many others. I am glad that his bravery and confidence – plus his knowledge of how to survive – is growing every day. As I have always said, if only one out of three survives in the wild – my money is on Tiny Tot.

These times with Tiny Tot are precious. There is no certainty that he will be there tomorrow so every day is a gift.

I want to close with an image of Iris’s nest at Hellgate in Missoula, Montana. If you are familiar with early 20th century American artists, you might know the work of Edward Hopper. For some reason the lighting and the emptiness remind me of Hopper’s images.

Now that Iris’s eggs have been taken and eaten by the Ravens, she has no need to come to her nest. She can just be out fishing and enjoying herself. But, on occasion, she stops by to say hello.

Thank you Achieva Credit Union and Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project for your streaming cam. That is where I get my screen shots.

‘As the Nest Turns’ – late Friday and Saturday edition

I don’t quite remember when the heavy rains started in the United Kingdom last week. It was a terrible time with many of our Bird friends suffering because of the unseasonable weather. Chicks died, generous people came to the rescue of the Glaslyn Nest, and at two different villages in Czechoslovakia, ordinary citizens are helping two stork families survive by providing food and dry hay. You might wonder why I say ‘dry’ hay but it has been chucking down rain and the nests get soaked. Because of that and the coolish weather, the wee ones are more susceptible to any type of virus or disease. Their system can get stressed. So providing the storks with dry hay is a fundamental way of helping them to cope in what is already a stressful situation – the death of a parent. I really applaud those who stepped up and are helping out. I hope that after things settle down in Glaslyn they might publish every detail about the feeding table they provided so that others in similar situations can more quickly help the Ospreys because of what Glaslyn learned. One thing we did learn is that Ospreys will eat fish that they did not catch. Another feeding table at Rutland in 2012 also provided fish but people forget and many carry on with the belief that Ospreys will not eat fish that is provided to them. Nonsense! Aran and Mrs G were very grateful and continue to be.

I had a question from a reader and I am trying to find out the precise answer. They wondered if Aran would be alright. Yes, Aran is getting stronger every day. It was exhausting trying to fish in Force 11 winds with flooding and intruders and then an injury to the feathers required to fish and fly well. As long as Aran continues to eat the food provided he will continue to improve. We hope that there are no more intruders on that nest to damage more feathers. We must also remember that those feathers help Aran with his flying and he needs them to migrate. Please continue with your donations – no matter how small. Glaslyn exists solely on donations to run their streaming cam plus everything else and now they are feeding Aran and Mrs G. The staff and volunteers are really amazing and they are also stressed and worn out. So don’t forget them simply because there are no longer chicks to feed – they still have Mrs G, the eldest osprey in the UK at 21 and her mate, Aran, to care for. Thanks!

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will recall that I often say that a fledgling that flies off and returns to the nest to be fed by the parent is one that has a better chance of success. Indeed, when I hear that a bird has fledged and never returned to the nest my antennae go up and for all the wrong reasons. So, it was with great joy that not only did Fauci, Annie and Grinnell’s Peregrine falcon fledgling, fly from the nest on the Campanile at Berkeley yesterday over to the Evans building but, Fauci returned to the nest tower today. My goodness I bet he was hungry – he flew in screaming. Here is the video of that return:

I hope that his siblings do not try and copy Fauci’s landing when they return!

The two Bobs had a nice fish dinner before bed last night at Loch of the Lowes. Both of them looked wide awake and hungry after Laddie brought in a nice fish.

Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes. 27 May 2021

Laddie is a good provider as long as the weather cooperates. He has brought in a couple of big fish. There is an enormous size difference and NC0 doesn’t always fill up the beak of the smaller one but today it stood there til she did!

It’s Saturday and Laddie delivered another fine perch to NC0 and the little Bobs. And guess what? The sun has come out in Scotland. My goodness. They were beginning to think that winter had returned. Looking forward to some nice weather and the nest drying out!

Little Bob seems to like to be on the right side looking up at Mom. It must be working. It looks like he is growing and he is certainly holding its own. Sure makes you happy.

NC0 is doing a great job keeping the Bobs in the shade. It is about 15 degrees and it could be warmer on the nest but oh, how I bet that warmth feels good to mom. And getting this nest dry is a primary importance, too.

Iris stopped in at the Hellgate Nest today. It was almost like she was posing for all of her fans waiting to get a glimpse of her. The Ravens took and ate her three eggs so Iris doesn’t need to come to the nest but there she stood looking straight into the camera. And look at that crop. Iris can now focus 100% on herself – she has earned it. Having fledged 30-40 chicks before Louis and one with Louis, she is the grand dame of Ospreys everywhere. Thank you for popping in to show us you are OK. Put your talons up, Iris. Have a fish smoothie on us!

Isn’t she looking good?

The IR camera has been tripped by the sun rising on the Dyfi Nest in Wales. Telyn was off for a quick comfort break and the two wee ones are awake and wanting breakfish. Idris will no doubt bring in a whopper as soon as he can.

It looks like Idris and Telyn and the Two Bobs are getting a break. Their nest seems to be drying out a bit. Idris came in with a nice fish and you can see that both of the Bobs are getting a crop and Telyn hasn’t even finished feeding them. Wonderful.

There is still only one chick on the Llyn Cleywedog Nest in Wales of Dylan and Seren. And if the other two eggs do not hatch, I continue to say that one healthy little Bob is fantastic. The image below was taken last evening as the sun was going down. The little one had a nice feed along with mom, Seren.

It is late Saturday in the UK and there is still no sign of a pip on that second egg. Apparently the longest incubation for a second egg was at Dyfi – Idris and Telyn – at 37 days. The second egg on this nest was laid on 19 April. Any way I count it makes that egg 40 days old. Perhaps it is not viable. If the third egg is 38 days old today, it might still hatch. We wait!

It is just coming on 5 am on the Rutland Manton Bay nest of Maya and Blue 33 (11). The Two Bobs are still asleep and Maya is expecting an early morning delivery from dad. Just look at that beautiful sky. These nests are often located in some of the most picturesque landscapes. How wonderful!

The storklets are just waking up on the nest in Mlady Buke in Czechoslovakia. The mother was electrocuted on the hydro lines and the father cannot fish and protect the nest. The villagers have gotten together and are providing fish for the family. They bring fish right up to the nest three times a day. People can leave donations. This is heart warming.

The live camera to watch this family is here:

Yesterday, Big Red and the Ks were getting soaked in Ithaca, New York. It was hard to tell form the weather forecast if they would even catch a break before the middle of the week. Big Red was still cold and soaked this morning at 6:40 am.

She kept those babies covered as best she could but around 9am when the heavy rain had stopped, Big Red got up and took a comfort break. It was out and back in a blink trying to find something on the soaking nest to feed the babies. Arthur had brought in a Robin – not their favourite but food anyway – late yesterday. Critters hide and birds sit and hunting is difficult with wet wings – even for Arthur!

By 11 am, feathers are beginning to dry. Big Red is preening and the Ks will be working on themselves too.

I would like you to locate the black dot behind the eye of K3 nearest to you. That is the ear. It is not yet covered with feathers. Mites can get in there or mosquitoes can lay eggs and cause horrific problems for the hawklets. That is why Big Red has to keep that area clean for them until the feathers have grown over them.

They are preening away. Those feathers are all important – they will keep them dry and wet when they all come in and they will help them fly so they can hunt. They say birds spend 70% of their time conditioning and preening their feathers.

Ah, what a great shot. The Red-tail hawks only get their beautiful red tail feathers once they have their first moult and are a year old. You can just see the little tail feathers beginning on K1. “One day I will look just like my mom!”

It’s 11:33 and already the rain on the metal of the lightbox where the nest is located is drying off. Oh, goodness, I hope Arthur has good luck hunting and that our Red-tail hawk family in Ithaca gets to completely dry out and eat before the rains begin again.

Today, Aran and Mrs G have been sitting with one another on the perch post of the nest. Aran has also been seen flying as far as the Visitor Centre where he has been chasing off intruders. This is good news because this is the farthest he has flown since his injury.

It is so nice to see them together. They will both regain their strength and Aran will heal so they are ready for their late summer, early September migration.

Thank you for joining me today. I am keeping an eye on Tiny Tot at the Achieva Nest. The intruder is still around and he is sure wanting to have a fish drop. Fingers crossed for our brave little one. Take care. Stay safe!

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I get my screen shots: Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife, Cornell Bird Lab Red Tail Hawk, LRWT, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve, Dyfi Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and the Montana Osprey Project, Ziva Camera in Mlade Buky, Clywedog and Carnyx.

Thursday hoppin’ and skippin’ through Bird World

Oh, there are so many happy people today. The Glaslyn Wildlife Center started the streaming cam on Aran, Mrs G and chicks 2 & 3 at 8am this morning. Thanks to the advice of Dr Tim Mackrill, the staff, and all the volunteers for jumping in there and doing what they could to save this iconic Osprey family. It worked. Aran is getting stronger, Mrs G is getting stronger, and the two remaining chicks are thriving. Just look at the fish on that nest – what wonderful people.

Aran is on the perch protecting the nest from intruders – and there still remain intruders!

Aran is one handsome Osprey with that beautiful crest of his.

So many were relieved and that soon turned to a state of elation when Aran accepted the fish.

Mrs G is also alert to the intruders.

No one ever imagined these little ones could go without food for at least two days. They did. Chicks 2 and 3 survived. It is not clear what happened to the first hatch but it died late Sunday afternoon after eating all day. But, it is time for the joy and everyone is rejoicing that there are 2 strong little ones left!

Here is a really good look at those two plump strong little chicks of Mrs G and Aran. Gosh, just look at them with those strong necks and wings and little fat bottoms. My goodness I never would have imagined.

Everything seems to be going pretty well up at Loch of the Lowes. NC0 took a break and had Laddie doing incubation. Laddie appears to be very uncomfortable around the chicks but he stepped up to the job and did it well. He is keeping the nest supplied with fish and the two remaining chicks are looking good – albeit one much smaller than the other. NC0 is a first time mom and let us hope that she makes sure the little one gets food at every meal. I have to say I am worried because that tiny one is so thin. I hope I am worried for nothing. Sadly we have already lost one chick, the last hatch, on this nest. It would certainly be nice if these both fledged.

Over at the Clywedog Nest with Dylan and Seren, there is one healthy chick and we are waiting for egg 2 to begin to pip. Tonight? Possibly.

Seren is restless. She can hear the chick in the egg. But, stop for a moment and look at Seren’s gorgeous yellow eyes. They are stunners.

A mysterious unringed Osprey has appeared on the Loch Arkaig Nest. Look at that fabulous dark plumage. Surely someone recognizes this Osprey as it is so distinctive.

Blue 33 (11) brings in an early morning fish delivery for Maya and the Two Bobs over at the Rutland Manton Bay nest. These two are really in the growth phase.

The two chicks of Idris and Telyn are doing fantastic. They sure know what to do when mom walks over to the fish! Lunch time!

Lined up nicely! Idris brought in another one of his whoppers – actually he has brought in several. One just about knocked the poor babies right off the nest.

It is sure good to see these Welsh nests drying out from all of the rain and wind last week.

Going stealth like a Peregrine Falcon from Wales to San Francisco and all eyes are on the tower of the Campanile on the UC Berkeley campus today. It is fledge watch for Annie and Grinnell’s three boys and Fauci has been on the ledge since yesterday! While Fauci is occupied with ‘the world out there’, the other two, Kaknu and Wek-Wek, are having their lunch.

I put in an arrow so you can see where Fauci is on the ledge. He moves, of course!

Here is the link to the fledging camera:

In Ithaca, the skies opened up to some torrential rains last evening and Big Red rushed to get the Ks under cover.

The sun came out Thursday morning and everyone was floofed by breakfast.

Just about three weeks to fledge. Time has melted this year. These three are standing and getting their legs strong and attempting to walk. Soon they will be running and flapping all over the ledge. Everyone needs a pocket of worry beads then.

Around 6pm on 26 May, the Raven arrived at Iris’s nest in Hellgate while she was away. It took all of Iris’s eggs and ate them.

The mist is rising over the mountains in Missoula this morning. It is a new day for Iris. She is no longer tied to the nest because of the eggs. She is now free to enjoy her summer fishing and building up her strength for her long migration in early September. While many would like Iris to have had a loyal supportive mate, the fact is, she doesn’t. She hasn’t since Stanley died and she won’t as long as Louis is alive. Is it better for the Raven to eat the eggs or the chicks starve on the nest? For me, there is no question – let the Raven have them.

There is no reason for Iris to be at the nest so we will not see her as much. But, last year she stopped by once in awhile even just before she migrated. So fingers crossed. Catch fish, get really healthy, enjoy your summer break, Iris – you certainly have earned it.

If I pulled the image below out of a pile of photographs, would you recognize these two beauties? They are both standing and walking now, their juvenile plumage is really coming in with all its peach and they certainly don’t look like reptiles anymore – ah, that was a hint. Yes they are the chicks of The Landings Osprey Nest on Skidaway Island in the ‘Peach’ State of Georgia. Gosh, Rhett and Scarlett make beautiful babies. Goodness.

The Achieva Osprey Nest has settled into a routine. In the morning Jack brings a fish for sibling 2 and Diane brings a fish for Tiny Tot. It means they both have a nice meal in the morning. This method is working and 2 is not ‘hogging’ all of the fish that come on the nest. The parents maintain this effort 2 or 3 times a day. Tiny Tot remains on the nest and is still doing its practice flights. This is one smart fledgling! Sibling 2 is in and out, mostly coming for fish. He must roost somewhere close to the nest.

After sibling 2 departs, Tiny Tot decides he is going to get up there and try out that perch! These days are precious. Tiny won’t necessarily give us any warning. One morning he will go for a flight and he will be off on his journey.

The only osplet on the Lake Murray Nest in New Hampshire is being well taken care of – just look at that crop! That ‘little’ one looks like he is trying out for the role of Hulk in some new movie. Lucy and Ricky have certainly taken good care of their only chick! Mom has a big crop too. Fantastic! This is the way it should be.

It is really green in Minnesota just like it is here on the Canadian prairies. We have had a good rain. Harry and Nancy’s two are soaked through. Don’t think they plan on leaving the nest today!

For those of you who watched Kisatchie hatch and grow up on this historical nest near Lake Kincaid in the Kisatchie National Park, it has been a great disappointment that he did not return to the nest after his fledge on 22 May. The Wildlife Services have had no sightings of Kistachie up to yesterday. The streaming cam will remain on until 11 June at which time it will be shut off until next season. The adult eagles, Anna and Louis, will migrate north to cooler weather returning in the fall.

The Bald Eagle juveniles that are ready might get the same phone call telling them it is time to leave their natal nests. Legacy’s nest is empty as is the nest of E17 and E18. Both of the fledglings at Duke Farms are now away.

Thank you for joining me today. It is a blessing getting to watch these birds live their lives day after day meeting enormous challenges. Thank you to the people at Glaslyn for their fortitude.

Thanks go to the following organizations or companies who streaming cams provide my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Cornell Bird Lab and Skidaway Audubon, Cornell Bird Lab and Montana Osprey Project, Cornell Bird Lab and RTH, UC Falcon Cam, LRWT, Scottish Woodland Trust and People Postcode Lottery, Clywedog, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Loch of the Lowes, Lake Murray Ospreys, KNF, MN DNR, Dyfi Osprey Project, and last, but not least, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn Wildlife.