The heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest on the 28th of June continues to claim the lives of Ospreys. It is impossible to know the full extent of the impact because the vast majority of nests are not monitored. We now know for sure that two chicks at Clark PUD in Washington, 1 chick at Cowlitz PUD, 3 chicks at Osyoos, Exshaw lost 1 of 3 chicks, and all three at the Red Deer Nest in Alberta are unwell as I write and are not expected to survive. They are not eating. The little ones survived the heat to be hit with a torrential storm. Sadly I am not holding out much hope. The only raptor rescue in the interior of British Columbia has saved 26 raptors from perishing in a 24 hour period.
In a recent article, “The record-setting day when global heating surpassed COVID-19 as the existential crisis” in The Narwhal, Arno Kopecky came to the conclusion that the record breaking heat was not ready to take a downward curve because there are serious repercussions. The biggest one of those is wildfires. The town of Lytton hit a Canadian record for 47.5 degrees C. Then we watched that town burn to the ground.
There will be more wildfires – fires that rage and kill humans and animals and burn the trees that help cool the planet. Creeks and wells will continue to dry up. No water, no fish.
Kopecky mourns the lack of seriousness and understanding and says that it took this “extreme heat wave to galvanize public concern over climate change”. He believes that it is NOW – not in three months – but NOW when the heat is still killing that we, the people, must talk to our leaders and friends “about what a heat wave like this means, and what we’re willing to do about it.”
It is understood that the heating of the oceans will cause more hurricanes and storms. Right now sitting off the coast of Cuba is Elsa. That storm has its heart set on battering the west coast of Florida where there are many sea birds including our beloved, Tiny Tot.
This is the latest map showing the path that they believe Elsa will take. What happens around Cuba could change this trajectory.
For those of us worrying about Tiny Tot, the good news comes out of Wales at the beginning of June. How many of you watch the UK Osprey Nests? If you don’t, you should!
Wales was hit by a Force 11 wind storm that brought heavy rain. The wind was blowing at 75-78 mph. Mrs G, the oldest Osprey in the United States, was on the nest with her and Aran’s 2021 brood. Chicks were hatching as this storm raged. The chicks died but not because of the storm. Mrs G was soaked but she stayed on that nest! In an earlier storm that hit Wales, Monty, one of the most beloved Osprey males in Welsh history, went fishing during Storm Hector for his family.
So what I am saying is that many birds and nests will weather such a storm just fine. We are fortunate that there are no chicks on the Achieva Nest. Chicks have perished in such storms as evidenced by several weather systems that hit Martha’s Vineyard and region years ago. Imagine if this were the 10th of March?! The nest tower that the Achieva Credit Union built should have been designed to withstand a hurricane. Tiny Tot and Jack will hunker down. They may eat a lot more before the storm arrives to sustain themselves.
And now for some brief news from other nests. Electra has been on and off the nest at Cowlitz PUD. This morning around 6:30 ish, her and Wattsworth were both on the nest.
Mom and Dad both slept on the ropes last night at the Port Lincoln Osprey Nest in Australia. This is giving hope that the 2021 season is about to begin for these rare birds in Australia.
I was also very happy to see the official report on the ringing of the three ospreys on the Foulshaw Moss nest in Cumbria. There is some information to be corrected. The first hatch is a female and she is now Blue 462. Middle Bob is the one that they could not determine the sex. That bird is Blue 463. Tiny Little Bob – oh, bless you – is a male and is Blue 464. He weighed 1.6. I always believed that Tiny Little was a tiny little boy and that Big Bad Bob was a female. Thankfully it turned out that way! Someone had written, incorrectly and I picked up on it, that because Tiny Little was growing so fast it had been decided he was a female. Oh, dear.
Tiny Little is definitely growing! He still prefers not to lean on Big Bad Sister – and she is a big girl. There they are looking at something coming – White YW with a fish perhaps.
The two Rutland chicks, 095 and 096, of Maya and Blue 33 continue to practice their flying skills. They are doing great.
Flying certainly makes the little ones tired. It takes a lot of energy especially when they are learning. Both have had some good power naps.
Blue 33 makes sure that they are all fed. 095 and 096 take turns eating. Neither is out witting the other with the fish and the self-feeding. That is truly refreshing. Maya and Blue 33 rank up there as one of the power couples of UK Ospreys in terms of rearing chicks. There is never a shortage of food and Maya keeps good organization on the nest.
It is raining around the UK Osprey Nests right now. Earlier the two Bobs on the Loch of the Lowes Nest were enjoying a lovely dinner right in the middle of the drops. It is a bit too soggy to think about fledging right now but that day is coming. We will all need our worry beads!
Did you follow Louis and Aila on the Loch Arkaig Osprey Nest? If you did, I know that you are amongst tens of thousands sad because Aila did not return from her migration this year. Louis finally took another mate. They now have chicks on another nest, off camera. One devoted Osprey fan visited the area of the nest and was able to take photographs. I am sorry I cannot share them with you but what I can say is that Louis and Mrs Louis (that is what someone is calling her) have at least two healthy chicks on that nest! They are soooooo cute. There could be three. Mrs Louis would not move from her perch on the railing of the nest for the visitor to see further into the nest. I am so happy for this very devoted Osprey Dad.
Thank you for joining me and thank you to all that send me a note or make a comment. Let us all wish that Elsa gets slowed down before she gets to Florida. Take care everyone.
Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I grab my screen shots: Achieva Credit Union, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Foulshaw Moss Osprey Nest, LRWT and Rutland Water Manton Bay Ospreys, and Port Lincoln Osprey.