Bob Bob Bobble heads arriving faster than I can count

Congratulations to Richmond and Rosie whose nest is on top of the Whirley Crane at the Richmond Shipyards in San Francisco! That first hatch of the three eggs came on 2 May.

Everyone knows have been pulling my hair out to understand what in the world is going on at the nest of Gabby and Samson – no food for Legacy for three full days. But, hats off to Richmond, the minute that pip happened, he went out and hauled in a fish for Rosie! Richmond and Rosie are a great team. They can handle three – no question!

Welcome little one. Your parents have that fish under control and you are assured of lots of food and maybe some fun toys and blankets in that nest, too.

And, oh my. I reported the first hatch at Dahlgren Osprey Nest in King George Country, Virginia. It should have been the second hatch! Sometimes it is really hard to wade through and see what is in the nest. Jack brings in so much stuff. Harriet is going to have to start throwing it overboard!

There are two little taupe bobble heads with stripes down their back right under Harriet’s beak.

Every year Big Red gets my vote for ‘Bird Mother of the Year’. She is incredible. She is the epitome of care and devotion. I sure would like to ask her if she would consider fostering a juvenile Bald Eagle from Florida right now! Big Red’s kids never go hungry. Never. She’s old school, like Richmond. Load that pantry – tomorrow could be a hot stormy day. Don’t wait. Arthur is more than happy to oblige.

Oh, you can barely see that little bobble head, K1.

And last but not least, the ‘Name the Royal Cam Chick of 2021 Contest’ is Open. You can take part. There are lots of prizes but the opportunity to name this beautiful albatross is award enough! Give it a go.


This year’s competition theme is ‘kaitiaki’ which is the Māori concept of guardianship over the land, sea and sky. This theme has been chosen to inspire names that celebrate this vital role. Five names have made the short list out of 700 submitted. The five short listed are:

Tiaki means to preserve, protect, and care for the land, sea, and sky.

Mahara means to think about and remember.

Ururaki means the winds of the sky. It is also the name of a star cluster.

Ataraku means morning star, a time for new beginnings and opportunities

Kaihauta means navigator

Vote here: www.doc.govt.nz/namethechick❗ Polls close at 5 pm on the 6th of May.

Thank you for joining me today. I will be in a decidedly better mood once our dear Legacy has some food in that crop of hers. It is 32 degrees in Jacksonville today and the only way to get hydration is through prey. There is no intervention allowed. Just send warm wishes like we did for Tiny ‘Biggie’ Tot that whatever is going on with the NE Florida Bald Eagle nest is rectified soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams. Those cameras provide the feed where I get my screen shots: Bay Ospreys by Golden Gate Audubon, Dahlgren Ospreys, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, and Cornell Bird Lab and NZ DOC.

Name the Chick Contest

The New Zealand Department of Conservation have opened up the contest for the naming of the Royal cam chick of 2021. You can enter, too. Here is the poster and the URL for additional information:

This year’s Royal Cam chick is a female. She is the daughter of Lime-Green-Lime (LGL) and Lime-Green-Black (LGK). The parents are named after the coloured ring bands on their legs. Only the Royal Cam chicks get an official Maori name. In fact, in 2019, LGL and LGK were the parents of Karere who was the royal cam chick that year.

This year’s chick hatched on 24 January 2021. The eggs are removed from the nest near hatch and placed in an incubator. A dummy egg is put under the parent at the time. This is to ensure that no fly strike kills the newborn. When the chick is returned, the dummy egg is removed, the nest is sprayed with a substance that will not harm the birds, and the chick is placed under the parent. The rangers at Taiaroa Head do many checks on the health and safety of both the parents and the chick daily.

The royal cam chick just hatched in the incubator. 24 January 2021. @Ranger Julia NZ DOC

She is the sweetest, soft as a cloud gorgeous indigo eyed sea bird!

The Royal Cam chick and her beautiful indigo eyes. 9 April 2021

Here she is getting a feeding from LGK, her dad, today:

The royal cam chick is tapping at her father’s bill to stimulate feeding. 9 April 2021

From the time this beautiful fluff ball was born, she was taught to tap the parent’s bill in order to stimulate them to regurgitate the oily squid food for the little one. When the chick is very small the parents will take turns staying with it and feeding it little bits many times per day. As the chick gets older, the meals are larger but farther a part. After about six weeks, the chick is in the pre-guard stage where the parent leaves it alone for awhile. Then both parents are out foraging for food. This chick is now left alone and the parents only return to feed her.

LGK is leaning down so he can feed his royal cam chick. 9 April 2021

This year’s royal cam chick’s parents, LGL and LGK, are fitted with satellite transmitters that show where they are fishing. The red is for LGL, the mother and the blue is for LGK, the father. The piece of land jutting out about a third of the way up from the bottom is Taiaroa Head. You can see the point where the land and take off. That is their chick!

The NZ DOC rangers on Taiaroa Head weigh the chicks every Tuesday. In the event that a parent has been away for an extended period, the staff will give the chicks a supplemental feeding should it be required.

You can watch the Royal Cam chick here:

Watching the comings and goings at the Royal Albatross nest is the total opposite of watching the Achieva Osprey nest. If the Albatross chicks get too hot, there is a sprinkler system to help cool them off. The rangers often switch out the eggs should one couple lose their chick and another parent not return. Everything is done for the welfare of the these sea birds. There are no worries about whether or not the little one will get enough to eat! It is recognized that human impact on the climate, specifically, and the planet overall (over fishing, not taking care and albatross caught as bycatch) has made these things necessary. There is no debate, no paper work that takes days – the rangers are ready to go should anything be required.

Thank you for joining me today. Look up the guidelines for the name the chick contest and then check out Maori names and their meanings. There are lots of great prizes and it is a lot of fun. As we get near to World Albatross Day in June there will also be contests for children – and cake contests we can all enter!

Thank you to the NZ Department of Conservation and the Cornell Bird Lab for their streaming cam and Achieva Credit Union in St Petersburg. That is where I get my screen shots. Thank you also for caring about your wildlife NZ. It warms my heart.

ACHIEVA OSPREY UPDATE: Tiny had 2 feedings today, 8 April before 10:30 am. Another fish came in at 7:08:20. It was medium sized. Tiny kept his head down til he knew the bigger 2 had eaten. He went over to mom but there was no fish left for him or her. Both are very hungry. The mother brought in two of the three fish today.

In the image below you can see that Tiny is up by mom, Diane, but nothing left for either one of them. Hoping for more and bigger fish tomorrow. Sad situation. I would really like to understand the ‘why’. I just looked at the Venice Golf and Country Club Osprey nest with its three and each one is great. What is happening on this nest? and why?

Tiny has finally been able to get up to mom but there is not a scrap of food left for him or her. 8 April 2021.